Jan. 12, 2019
Why the Yankees will make a run in the 2017 Postseason
While the New York Yankees have had their struggles in the past, things are looking up for the club this year. While Mark Texiera may have retired last year, young Greg Bird is ready to fill his shoes. Bird made his MLB debut in 2015 as a backup to Tex. A few days after Bird debuted, Texiera fractured his leg and Bird was promoted to starter. After tearing his labrum and being ruled out for the entire 2016 season, Bird is confident that he is back to his normal self. Throughout his minor league career, he hit .282, and maintained a .395 OBP. He really hit his stride in 2014 with the Scottsdale Scorpions where he finished the season with a .313 batting average and a .391 OBP, and a .988 fielding percentage. Yankees pro scouting manager, Will Kuntz says, "It blows my mind that he doesn't get more love" (via Grantland.com).
Not only does the club have young talent in Bird, but up-and-coming slugger Aaron Judge is simply a force to be reckoned with in the clubhouse. Rightfielder Aaron Judge caught fire as soon as he made it to the minors, batting .308 in 2014. He also boasted an OBP of .419, with a fielding percentage of .967. Judge, the Yankees number four prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, made his MLB debut in August of 2016. He went 2 for 4. After his debut performance Judge was asked what could be expected from him in the future. He commented, "just more wins, more consistency, and lets bring a World Series here."
And let's not forget Gary Sanchez, whose performance lit up the baseball world after hitting eight long balls in just 17 games. Sanchez maintained a .275 batting average over his six year Minor League career. He also managed a whopping .799 OBP. During his short stint in the Majors last season, he hit for .299 and jacked 20 homers along with 42 RBIs. When asked about his incredible performance following his debut with the Yanks he commented, "It's hard to explain. I go out there to put a good swing on the ball, and right now I'm just getting the results" (via nj.com).
As well as these two young stars, the Yankees added a healthy few additions to the bullpen during the offseason. The Yanks acquired Tyler Clippard and Aroldis Chapman (again). Seasoned veteran, Matt Holliday, was added to the roster in the DH spot to give the line-up some extra beef. Be on the lookout for other young names such as Ronald Torreyes, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Austin, and Miguel Andujar. The Yankees are rebuilding with young talent from the ground up, while preserving a strong base of veteran players. Watch out for this deadly club once the postseason rolls around.