On September 19, 2019, the Yankees clinched their first AL East Title since 2012. This was a crazy season for the Yanks, a season in which an MLB record 30 different players were injured at some point in the season. Yankee stars including Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, James Paxton, Didi Gregorious, and Miguel Andujar. With this many injuries, the Yankees needed a lot of replacement players. Brian Cashman chose to go in-house for most replacement players. That is how the Next Man Up Yankees were born.
This group of players included Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Thairo Estrada, Mike Ford, and Clint Frazier. Many of these players came from unheralded beginnings. For example, Yankees First Baseman Mike Ford went undrafted. In 2018, he was drafted in the Rule 5 Draft and then returned to the Yankees after he didn’t make the Seattle Marecause. He believed that he’d never get his chance again. He played the 2018 season as the starting first baseman for the SWB Railriders. The 2019 season was different because of the injuries. With Greg Bird going down to an injury that would keep him out for the rest of the season, Brian Cashman signed Mike Ford to an MLB contract. What came next was completely unexpected. Mike Ford slashed .259/.350/.559 in 50 games for the Yankees this season. He also hit 12 home runs and drove in 25 runs in that short time span. He was so good this season that there was consideration of him being on the playoff roster.