Long before the New York Yankee’s Mr. November, long before Deter Jeter earned that moniker, there was a Mr. October, that being Reggie Jackson. Jackson had an outstanding baseball career, one that earned him a Hall of Fame enshrinement in 1993. In his long distinguished career, he played for the Yankees and helped the Yankees win a championship in 1978 and spent a total of five seasons playing (1977-81) in the pinstripes.
In 1993 former Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner appointed Jackson as a special advisor to the Yankees. Since then, Jackson has been at every spring training in Tampa, Florida, mentoring the young Yankees. Now, after all those seasons he is stepping back, he will no longer serve as a special adviser for the Yankees, the 74-year-old announced on Sunday.
“I would say I’ve stepped back a little bit, taken my retirement, really,” Jackson said. “I just think it’s time.”
Jackson was the MVP of the 1977 World Series, where he hit three home runs in the clinching game to draw the moniker “Mr. October,” Jackson, 74 now, has worked in an advisory role for the Yankees since George Steinbrenner hired him. Jackson said it’s time to step back; it’s time to move on. He didn’t rule out working for another team closer to his home in California. Maybe he will have time to savor a “Reggie bar.”
Yankee outfield named number one in AL East
The Yankees have the strongest group of studs at an already loaded position across the division. The Yankees have the strongest group of studs at an already loaded position across the division as noted by SB Nation’s Cooper Halpren.
He suggests the Boston Red Sox are at the bottom of the barrel, followed by the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays, and coming in second, the Toronto Blue Jays, with the New York Yankee’s outfield at the top of the heap. Although each team has an All-Star-worthy outfielder, the Yankees have three potential nods. Clint Frazier, after being nominated for a Gold Glove in 2020, Aaron hicks and Aaron Judge, who has been an All-Star two of his four years of eligibility.
With Brett Gardner now hired for a 14th season, the Yankees have a minimum of starter-level outfielders without factoring in the backups. Gardner’s a plus-platoon guy. Aaron Hicks walks better than almost anyone. In 2020, his walk rate ranked in the 99th percentile of the majors. His eye makes him a valuable contributor as long as he is healthy. Finally, Clint Frazier is going to be a starting outfielder for the New York Yankees. After years of injury setbacks, poorly timed slumps, and general overcrowding, the time has come for Frazier to cement himself as one of the franchise’s cornerstones. An then there is Aaron Judge, a no-brainer MVP candidate if he is healthy. The Yankees have too much talent and enough insurance to enter the season with the AL East’s best outfield corps. Everything depends on the health of the outfield.
Austin Wells impresses in spring training
The 2021 spring training is in the earliest days, but the Yankee’s new catcher Austin Wells is already impressing. The 21-year-old is making up for that lost time after no minor league games last season. He is showing flashes of why the organization selected him 28th overall. Wells is a left-hand bat with pop. He stared at the Univerity of Arizona while in college and is now among the Yankee’s prospects trying to make a name for himself ins spring camp.
“It’s definitely a great opportunity, a great experience,” Wells said. “It’s been great so far in the first couple of days. I’m looking forward to facing all of the pitchers, honestly. I’ve been out for over a year, doing remote training and everything, so any at-bat against a pitcher that I get is going to be beneficial to me.”
New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone has noticed that Wells seems to have an advanced hitting mindset, peppering coaches with mechanical questions about his swing and the proper approaches to take in the batter’s box. His coach Kevin Reese, the Yankees’ senior director of player development, said, “He smoked a couple of balls in the first live BP today. So far, he’s been imposing. I can’t imagine being a player during this time, but especially a first-round pick who has to wait a year to get into a game.”