2017 Season Intro:
3 weeks and counting until the 2017 MLB Season kicks off. Teams around the country have gathered i their respective Spring Training locations and are preparing for the season ahead of them. Each team is drastically different from the other; some being in rebuild mode (ex:Cincinnati Reds), some in boom or bust mode (ex:Boston Red Sox), and some in underdog mode (ex:Houston Astros).
The long and very cold offseason is just about to wrap up as teams are making final additions and cuts to their rosters for Opening Day. Some teams got younger, some got older, some got faster and some actually got injured. But I’m not writing this to give a recap of each teams chances to the World Series or to talk about the offseason. I’m writing this to inform readers about the 2017 New York Yankees. They are young, hungry, and are not a joke. And in November, there is a very good possibility that they’ll be parading through the streets of Manhattan.
Last year’s season for the Yanks was a very confusing one. Naturally, being the Yankees and being in New York, there is always a bright light on shining on the team. The fans always hope for a championship year in and year out and expect their team to compete with every single game.
The first half of last season was a horrific one for Yankees fans, to say the least. They were exactly .500 at the All-Start break (44-44), and many fans were debating whether or not they should be in buy or sell mode. They soon found out, and the Yankees were selling like crazy before the trade deadline.
The Yanks top players would depart via (Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman), and the Yankees would receive a ton of prospects in return. This is where the season, and potentially the next decade or so changed for the fate of the Yankees organization.
The Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, worked his magic at the deadline and shaped the Yankees to be the team for the future, or so he thought. The Aroldis Chapman trade was a complete steal, as the Yankees received the Cubs #1 prospect in Gleyber Torres, outfielder’s Billy Mckinney and Rashad Crawford, and got pitcher Adam Warren back when they recently traded him for second basemen Starlin Castro.
Torres stepped in the Yankees organizations and immediately made an impact. Torres then became the Arizona Fall League MVP and is keeping the hype up all throughout Spring Training. McKinney, who started in AA ball but was invited to Spring Training, is lighting it up for the Yankees this spring. He’s batting .625 with an OBP of .727. He’s beginning to look a lot more than just a throw in for the Yankees, especially at 22 years old. These 2 Baby Bombers are more than just highly praised prospects, they are the future of this Yankees organization and showing that they might be ready to come up to the big leagues a lot sooner than later.
Another trade that was a big heartbreaker for many Yankees fans was getting rid of Andrew Miller. Miller was lights out all season and in my opinion was and still is the best closer in the league. But trading him didn’t come at a small price. Cashman worked his magic yet again and acquired the Indians top prospects as well. The Yanks acquired their #1 prospect in outfielder and red-headed monster Clint Frazier, and 3 top right handed pitching prospects in Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, and J.P. Feyereisen. Clint Frazier is already a fan favorite for the Yankees and is having himself an amazing Spring Training as well. Frazier, along with the pitchers are all young, talented guys who are getting very close to coming up to the bigs very soon and making the impact all Yankees fan are hoping for.
The last trade Cashman did before the deadline was trading All-Star Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers in exchange for 3 young pitching prodigies, of whom will try to work their way through the now stacked Yankees farm system in hopes of one day putting on pinstripes.
Now with the Yankees stacked farm system with the key additions of Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier, the Baby Bombers are ready to win a championship. Already on the roster is first baseman Greg Bird, coming off a shoulder surgery in which he missed the entire 2016 season. Bird, 24 years old, is starting spring by making a statement. He’s batting .462 with 3 homers. Bird also got a taste of the majors in 2015 as he stepped in for the injured Mark Texeira, the man he’s now replacing as the Yankees first baseman. It’ll be very exciting to watch him play this year and continue to grow as a player throughout his career.
The Yankees middle infield is one of the problems teams wished they had. Currently. shortstop Didi Gregorious ( who proved himself last year to be a legit replacement for Derek Jeter ) and second baseman Starlin Castro are the guys who are leading the show. They’re both very young, (Castro 26 and Didi 27) and are dynamic ball players al around the diamond. In the Yankees farm system, though, are middle infield prospects in Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade and Jorge Mateo, all of whom are primarily shortstops. Torres is 20 years old, Mateo is 21, and Wade is 22. As you can see the Yankees have a serious issue on their hands, as they desperately need to figure out who they’re keeping and whose playing where for the future. All drama aside, the farm system continues to grow and develop and make a case for these young ballplayers.
Third baseman Chase Headley is likely to have his time as a Yankee end soon as prospect Miguel Andujar (22 years old) is preparing to take that spot as well as the other prospects.
Catcher Gary Sanchez has already shown the baseball world what he’s capable of, hitting 20 home runs in less than half a season. Sanchez is arguably the best young catcher in the league, and if he stays healthy and smart, could have a once in a lifetime baseball career. Also making a name for himself last year was right fielder Aaron Judge, who seems like is going to be the starting right fielder for the Yankees this season. Judge also has immense power and is a gigantic human being.
Now with all these young prospects on the barrier of MLB stardom, the Yankees have a lot, and I mean a lot, of hope for what these players and this team is capable of. Not only do these Baby Bombers bring hope and depth to this team, they bring energy and chemistry. They’ve been all together for the past couple of years and are young and hungry.
The Yankees in the past recent years have added older players, veterans and haven’t brought the fire this team needs. The Yankees might’ve been in rebuild mode last year at the All-Star break, but they sure as hell rebuilt fast. They finished the season 40-34, and at one point were only 3 games out of a playoff spot. They missed the playoffs only because of a fall off at the end of the season, but manager Joe Girard deserved Manager of the Year awards after accomplishing what he did with the players he had.
The Yankees and Yankee fans should feel excitement and hope for this upcoming season. There will be a bunch of new faces, a lot younger guys and a whole lot more energy for this ball club. They’re young and still have developing to do, but that might not take long as we’ve seen fast adjustment from Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez. The 2017 Yankees are going to be a team that other teams will be afraid of. The Chase for 28 is on, and it might happen a whole lot sooner than some may think.