We’re a week into New York Yankees baseball, how about some bold predictions – which will only turn out to be way off base later, but what the heck:
Troy Tulowitzki hits .250 with 15 homers and gives you solid defense until Didi gets back.Â He was one of the top shortstops during his tenure with the Rockies.Â Heâ€™s going to be a good fit he he stays healthy and with that attitude-he wanted to replace Jeter when he retired-he yelled into the Blue Jays dugout as he rounded the bases for his homerun-an attitude that demands respect and gets it.
Tulowitzkiâ€™s homer off Marcus Stroman was a good one, not a batting practice homer off of a AAA relief pitcher. He had a double and a walk in Saturday’s matchup with the Pirates and made his signature moves at shortstop -the off-balance throw to first to catch the runner.
The first base competition for the Yankees takes a turn:
Greg Bird makes the opening day roster and Luke Voit starts the season in AAA along with Clint Frazier. Â The reason I make this prediction is because Bird is raking, he had a double in Saturday’s loss to the Pirates to continue his hitting streak. Bird is six for 11 with four extra-base hits so far this spring. Â If he keeps up this torrid pace, his lefty bat makes its way into the lineup.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hit 100 homers.Â The Yankees hit 266 home runs in 2018, setting a Major League Baseball record. Â The lineup was fraught with injuries to key players, such as Judge (wrist) and Stanton (hamstrings) who played through injury because Judge was out. Â
A pair of healthy sluggers make the world go round:
In 2019, both Judge and Stanton are healthy to start the season and fans are excited to see the power bats in action again gearing up for what will undoubtedly be a big season for this pair of sluggers. Â Judge, who hit 27 homers in 112 games in ’18 is projected by ZiPS to perhaps hit 35 homers in 128 games in ’19.
Stanton, on the other hand, hit 38 homers in 150 games in ’19 and ZiPS projects him for a big year in ’19 with 47 home runs in 150 games. Â The resulting combined projected homers, according to ZiPS, for Judge and Stanton would be 82, but I’m predicting that Judge has a better year that ZiPS projects and we see him claim the power throne from Stanton.
-Judge will hit over 50 homers this season and be in the MVP conversation-
Yankees win 103 games. While the Yankees fans were ecstatic that the team won 100 games in 2018, losing to the Red Sox to end the season was no cause for celebration. Â It took a while to appreciate the 100 wins, especially with the seasons that Bird and Gary Sanchez had and the injuries to Judge, Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman that they had to overcome.
2019 feels like an improved team, with the addition of James Paxton, Adam Ottaviano and infielders, DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki – fans are expecting nothing less than a World Series this season. Â Are these the players that can deliver – or, in the case of Tulowitzki, can he deliver until Gregorius is ready to return to the team in July or perhaps, even August?
A clean bill of health is necessary if No. 28 is to be realistic:
The 2019 Yankees have the opportunity to outpace the 2018 team and win number 28 on paper, but as always, the health of the team, and sometimes even luck, have a lot to say about how a season pans out.
Last bold prediction is my opening day roster – this is the best team I believe we can field behind the ace Severino on Opening Day – what changes would you make?
Opening Day Roster:
- Gardner LF
- Judge RF
- Stanton DH
- Sanchez C
- Hicks CF
- Bird 1B
- Torres SS
- Andujar 3B
- LeMahieu 2B