Every year before the season starts, I make my predictions on what the New York Yankees season might look like, who will star, and who will bomb. Last year I bombed out several times but still had a 50% winning percentage. Here are my predictions for the 2021 season and my results from 2020.
1. Gerrit Cole will not perform as expected!
Last year I predicted that Cole, in the shortened season that he would not lose a game. I was wrong; he went 7-3 and gave up 14 home runs. This year after his average spring training performance, I predict he will go 15-6 with at least 24 home runs given up. He will also leave several games early.
2. DJ LeMahieu will be good, but not as good!
Last year I made this prediction and surely bombed out. I said he would not be as good; it turned out that he was even better in the short-season than in 2019. He was the New York Yankees MVP and was all of baseball’s batting champ, hitting .364. I again make the same prediction this year. He will start the season slowly and will shine after the All-Star break.
3. Clint Frazier will shine in his first full season!
I made that prediction last season and was only partially correct. Where I was wrong was that he didn’t play a whole season in the majors. I was correct because his defense would significantly improve, and boy did it ever; he was even nominated for a Gold Glove Award. His quick bat prevailed, hitting .267. This season I predict the same, except that he will have a better batting average.
4. Aaron Judge will have an injury-free season
Last year I predicted that Judge would have an injury-shortened season, and I was correct; he played in only 28 games while nursing injuries. This year in what will probably prove to be my most foolish prediction, I am saying he will play in at least 135 games and stay healthy for most of the season, hitting over 35 home runs.
5. Gleyber Torres will lead the Yankees in home runs
I made this same prediction last season and bombed out on that as much as Gleber Torres bombed out on his whole season. In 2019 Torres had 38 home runs, which I based my prediction on, as it turned out he only hit 3 homers. This year he is in much better shape and has been an outstanding player in spring training. He had 5 home runs in the spring. He will lead the Yankees with 45 home runs.
6. Domingo German will be the winningest pitcher
This prediction does not involve results from last year as German didn’t pitch at all in 2020 while serving his suspension for breaking the MLB’s domestic violence policy. But this year, after what I have seen in spring training, I predict he will be the Yankees’ winningest pitcher. He will have a 20 game winning season as he returns to his 2019 form.
7. Jonathan Loaisiga will be the Yankees’ best reliever
Loaisiga has been growing in Yankee importance for the last few years. This spring training, he has been just short of perfect. He didn’t allow a run in his first 6 games. He has a tiny 1.26. He will outshine all the other relievers and give up less than 30 earned runs in the 2021 season. I will add a caveat that that could be affected by the number of innings he throws.
8. Gary Sanchez will prove the Yankees wrong
Last year I predicted that Gary Sanchez would have the second-most home runs of any Yankee player. I was correct; he shared that stat with DJ LeMahieu. This year I am saying that the New York Yankees made a mistake in tendering him an offer to stay with the team. As much as I would like to see him prevail if his spring training performance is any indication, he will not. Gary gets into long slides that make him ineffective as a hitter. Although he got 10 homers last year, he batted a miserable .147. I predict he will have another poor season that may seal his fate with the Yankees.
9. The Yankees will win 108 games
Last season, a 60 games season, I said that the Yankees would win 48 games, they only won 33. I fell substantially short of my prediction. In 2018 and 2019, they won 100 and 103 games. This year with improved pitching, they will exceed that and win 108 games.
10. The Yankees will win their 28th World Championship
Last year I made this same prediction and was very wrong; they didn’t even win the East Division. However, this year I will stick with the same prediction for several reasons. One is that at least the beginning of the season, most all the Yankees are healthy. With their new pitching staff and the return of both Domingo German and Luis Severino, the New York Yankees will prevail over the greatly reduced Tampa Bay team, with the Toronto Blue Jays coming in second in the East. The Yankees will go on to beat the San Diego Padres in the World Series in seven games.
I made other predictions last year that Giancarlo Stanton would play similarly to how he played in 2017; I was totally wrong; he played in only 18 games. I also said Gio Urshela would show that his 2019 season wasn’t a fluke; I was correct. I said that Nick Nelson would end up in Aaron Boone’s circle of trust; I was correct. Finally, I said that Jordan Montgomery would be the second-best pitcher in WAR; I was wrong; he had the Yankee starters’ lowest.