New York Yankees

New York Yankees: 2018 Season Outlook

This upcoming season is sure to be a great one. There are some new faces, but a majority of the New York Yankees’ team is the same one who was within one game of reaching the World Series. The 2017 was a building block that saw players such as Judge, Didi and Sanchez develop tremendously.

In 2017, there was thumbs down from Todd Frazier and also the Toe-night show with my favorite utility guy in baseball, Ronald Torreyes. Judge broke the Rookie home run record (I was there for that game), and he won Rookie of the Year. He was 2nd in MVP voting and is the cover athlete for MLB the Show 18. The 2017 Season was a great one and 2018 should even be more special.

Off-Season Recap:

  • October 26th : it was announced Girardi would not be returning as manager.
  • December 4th: Aaron Boone announced as the 44th manager of the Yankees.
  • December 11th : Giancarlo Stanton was acquired from the Marlins for Starlin Castro and Prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers.
  • December 12th : Jabari Blash was acquired for Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell.
  • February 5th : The rest of the coaching staff is announced.
  1. Josh Bard: Bench Coach
  2. Larry Rothschild: Pitching Coach
  3. Mike Harkey: Bullpen Coach
  4. Reggie Willits: 1B Coach
  5. Phil Nevin: 3B Coach
  6. Carlos Mendoza: INF Coach
  7. Jason Brown: Catching Coach
  8. Radley Haddad: Bullpen Catcher
  9. Brett Weber: Instant Replay Coordinator
  • February 20th : Brandon Drury acquired in a 3 Team Trade with the Rays and Diamondbacks. The Yankees sent Prospect Nick Solak to the rays and Prospect Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks.
  • February 21st : Jabari Blash Dfa’d

Yankees Spring Training Roster:

  • Gary Sanchez- C
  • Austin Romine- C
  • Greg Bird- 1B
  • Brandon Drury- 2nd,3rd
  • Neil Walker- 2nd
  • Didi Gregorius- SS
  • Ronald Torreyes- SS,2nd,3rd
  • Tyler Wade- SS,2nd,3rd
  • Aaron Judge- RF
  • Giancarlo Stanton- RF
  • Brett Gardner- LF
  • Aaron Hicks CF
  • Clint Frazier- OF
  • Jacoby Ellsbury- CF,LF
  • Luis Severino- SP
  • CC Sabathia- SP
  • Sonny Gray- SP
  • Masahiro Tanaka- SP
  • Jordan Montgomery- SP
  • Luis Cessa- SP
  • Chad Green- RHP,SP
  • Adam Warren- RHP,SP
  • Chasen Shreve- LHP
  • Tommy Kanhle- RHP
  • David Robertson- RHP
  • Dellin Betances- RHP
  • Aroldis Chapman- CL

Notable Minor League Deals with Spring Training Invites:

  • C- Eric Kratz
  • 2B- Jace Peterson
  • LHP- Wade LeBlanc
  • SS- Danny Espinosa
  • RP- David Hale
  • CF- Shane Robinson

Notable Prospects Invited To Spring Training:

(Listed in Order based on ranking in Yankees System)

  • Gelyber Torres- 2nd,SS
  • Estevan Florial- OF
  • Justus Sheffield- SP
  • Miguel Andujar- 3B
  • Albert Abreu- SP
  • Chance Adams- SP
  • Domingo Acevedo- SP
  • Thairo Estrada- 2nd
  • Dillion Tate- SP
  • Jonathan Loaisiga- SP
  • Cody Carrol- RHP
  • Domingo German- RHP
  • Billy McKinney- OF,1B
  • Giovanny Gallegos- RHP
  • Tyler Austin- 1B,OF
  • Jake Cave- OF
  • Trevor Lane- LHP

Prospects not ranked in the top 30 invited to Spring Training:

  • Cale Coshaw- RHP
  • Raynel Espinal- RHP
  • P. Feyereisen- RHP
  • Brian Keller- RHP
  • Brady Lail- SP
  • Ben Heller- RHP
  • Jonathan Holder- RHP
  • Francisco Diaz- C
  • Chance Numata- C
  • Jorge Saez- C
  • Kyle Holder- SS

Season Outlook:

Yankees fans have a lot to look forward too this season. The duo of Judge and Stanton in the same lineup, a healthy full season from Bird, Sanchez and Didi both continuing to become elite players and the emergence of even more baby bombers.

Catching:

Sanchez is poised to assume the starting role no question. He is the best offensive catcher in baseball but there is concern over his ability to block balls. I believe that once the season begins Sanchez will show great improvements in his blocking ability. If Sanchez can lock down his defense the sky is the limit for number 24.

Austin Romine will be the backup catcher. I personally love Romine and not just for taking a shot a Miguel Cabrera. I love the his attitude, defense and personality. He is not a great offensive player but, if can average .250, drive in 25 rbi’s that would be perfect. Yankees also have depth in Kyle Higashioka, but I think that Geovany Soto should be signed to a minor league deal to provide the Yankees with veteran depth.

1st Base:

If healthy, Greg Bird is the staring 1st baseman. I say ‘if’ because the last two seasons he has had trouble staying healthy. Bird, when healthy, is amazing. What he was able to do when he was called up in 2015 was spectacular, and how he handled himself in the playoffs last season shows how much of an offensive threat he can be.

He is also an above average defender. Bird will have the luxury of seeing a lot of pitches this year because he will most likely be penciled in behind Judge or Stanton.

Tyler Austin should make this team out of Spring Training. He has shown the ability to play 1st in the majors and has a perfect swing for Yankee Stadium. He has opposite field power that plays very well into the short porch. He gives the Yankees the option of letting Bird DH and still have a quality bat at first.

2nd Base:

Neil Walker was signed on March 12th and will be the Yankees opening day 2nd baseman. An eight-year veteran; Walker adds depth to Yankee’s lineup as a guy who can hit 20 or more homers and play a solid 2nd base.

Wade should also see time at 2nd this season given how well he has played this spring. Torres was optioned to minor league camp on March 13th and got a majority of playing time in Scranton at 2nd.

Look for Torres to make his debut at some point his season.

3rd Base:

Miguel Andujar needs to be the starting 3rd baseman come opening day no question about it. His offensive skills are off the charts.

There are questions about his defense but I think once he sees regular playing time in the majors he will become a solid defender, not a gold glover but an average defender. Andujar has all the tools offensively to one day become the best hitting 3rd baseman in the league.

I truly believe that Andujar will prove to the Yankees that he will be their 3rd baseman for the future and they do not need to go out next offseason and make a splash for Machado. Andujar if given the starting job will be just how Judge was last season.

He will become a star over the course of the season. With all of that said Drury will most likely be the opening day 3rd baseman. When Cashman acquired Drury he stated that Drury will be competing for the 3rd base job. Cashman would not have acquried him if he did not plan on starting Drury.

SS:

Didi will be the Yankees SS this season and many to come. He in my opinion is the most underrated player in baseball. What he has done to become a threat at the plate not only against righties but also against lefties is amazing.

His defense is at an elite level but his greatest attribute is his personality. His personality is amazing and he is always smiling and laughing. Didi has continually become a better and better player over the last three seasons and entering his fourth season in pinstripes he has the ability to become a top player in baseball.

He hit 25 homers this past season as a SS which is truly unbelievable and if can keep producing at that level he will be unstoppable.

Backup Infielder:

Torreyes should be the Yankees backup infielder. He can play every infield position besides 1B and is a good contact hitter. He rarely if ever strikes out. The ball is always in play when he is at the plate. His defense is good and his clubhouse presence is necessary. He is always joking around and keeping the team loose.

LF:

Gardner will be the primary LF for the Yankees. Stanton might play out there and Judge might also. But Gardy is the 1st option in LF. He is a gold glove defender and has developed into a solid leadoff hitter. One area I hope he improves in is base stealing. He is a speed threat and should use that to get into scoring position. Besides that Gardy is a great guy to have and every other team wishes they had him.

CF:

Aaron Hicks will be the staring CF. His arm is probably the best in baseball and his defense is insane. That throw he made in 2016 against the Athletics was the most impressive throw I have ever seen in person. He has developed into a decent offensive and power threat. It took him time to become a productive everyday Major Leaguer but he is now the starting CF for the Yankees.

Ellsbury is someone who the Yankees are stuck with. He is a 22 million dollar 4th outfielder. But, with that there is still some value in him. He has speed and if anyone goes down he can definitely step in. I think that if given the opportunity this year with this lineup he should be able to have his best year in pinstripes.

 RF:

Aaron Judge should be the starting RF, but I think that there will be a rotation between him and Stanton. One will be the DH and one in RF. First on Judge, he is a stud. He hit 52 homers as a rookie, broke the single season home run record at Yankee Stadium, broke the rookie home run record, and won the AL rookie of the year award.

His rookie season was a tremendous success and I think he will continue his dominance at the plate. Judge is also a great defender. The plays he made in the playoffs and the regular season in RF were some of the best I have seen for the Yankees since Johnny Damon. I mean, he has a section of seats dedicated to him, he is truly the face of the Yankees and one day will likely be the face of the MLB.

Stanton is a phenomenal player, I still cannot believe he is on the Yankees. He is the reigning NL MVP and home run leader. His addition to this team should be one that makes the lineup one that teams fear. The lineup was fantastic last year, but adding Stanton and his power will only increase the amount of homers the Yankees will hit. Stanton is a great fielder and I believe he will play right field three-times per week and the rest he will be the DH to keep him healthy.

Starters:

Severino will be the ace of the staff and should be the opening day starter against the Blue Jays. He took a major leap forward last season after struggling in 2016. He was dominate in the playoffs besides the wild card game. He should continue to develop into one of the game’s most elite pitchers.

CC has been a workhorse his whole career and is a Hall of Famer in my opinion. Last year, CC was the stopper whenever the Yankees were on a losing streak and when it was CC’s turn, he emerged victorious and ended the streak. He was the game five pitcher in the ALDS and proved he still has something left. I think he will have a good year backed by a great offense.

Masahiro Tanaka had a tremendous Spring Training last year, but hit a rough patch in the season and gave up way too many homers. He corrected himself in time for the playoffs and was amazing. If he can be that pitcher from the playoffs, the Yankees rotation will be even better.

Sonny Gray was acquired at the trading deadline last season and didn’t quite pitch up to expectation. With that he also did not get tremendous run support either. I like Gray and know he has the ability to put together a fantastic season for the Yankees.

Montgomery was a great surprise for the Yankees last season. I was there for his debut and after getting off to a rocky start he buckled down and took command of the game. He has a very successful season and should be the guy to win the last spot in the rotation if the Yankees do not acquire or sign a pitcher before the season begins.

Bullpen:

Adam Warren will be the long man because he will be stretched out during the spring. Warren has always been durable and proven he can pitch in New York. He has a solid mix of pitches and has stepped up in big spots for the Yankees in the past.

Tommy Khanle was an excellent addition by Cashman and he is stud. He was originally selected from the Yankees system by the Rockies in the rule five-draft, but was then reacquired by the Yankees in the trade with the White Sox last season. He is a strikeout machine and has an electric fastball. He knows how to mix up his pitches and is an excellent guy to have.

Wade LeBlanc is in Spring Training on a minors deal with an option to join the Yankees. LeBlanc should be the lefty out of the pen. I do not like Shreve, he is homer prone and is not consistent. LeBlanc is a veteran who can have a solid season in pinstripes if given the opportunity.

Chad Green was probably the biggest surprise out of any of the Yankees last season. Acquired from the Tigers with Luis Cessa for Justin Wilson, Green has become a top reliever in baseball. He is not afraid to challenge hitters and was valuable all season to the Yankees, including the postseason. I believe that Green will continue to become a dominant reliever and eventual become the setup man for Chapman.

Betances definitely had a season and post season to forget last year. All of his struggles were mental, as he was overthinking and not taking control of the game. Betances will hopefully bounce back and be that elite bullpen arm once again.

David Robertson is a true pro. He never complains about not closing and does what is asked of him. Robertson is my favorite reliever on the Yankees. He is an amazing professional who always takes the mound and gets the job done.

Chapman is the closer and showed after he was demoted out of the role that he can still be a dominate closer. His fastball is elite but he needs to add movement to it and his slider can be deadly at times. He is the same as Betances all of his struggles are mental. Once he controls his emotions he is a top closer.

Players who could be called up in case of Injury or for Depth

  • Clint Frazier
  • Tyler Wade
  • Jace Peterson
  • Shane Robinson
  • Eric Kratz
  • Kyle Higashioka
  • Luis Cessa
  • Giovanny Gallegos
  • Domingo German
  • Ben Heller
  • Jonathan Holder
  • Chasen Shreve

Prospects who might Debut this Season

  • Gleyber Torres
  • Justus Sheffield
  • Chance Adams
  • Domingo Acevedo
  • Thairo Estrada
  • Dillion Tate
  • Cody Carrol
  • Billy McKinney

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