This is the time of baseball season that we've been waiting for. The Playoffs. Throughout this year, lots of teams were able to live up to their expectations, others regressed, but have still made it past the regular season, while some teams overachieved. With the defending champion Boston Red Sox out of the playoffs, lets see who this year's new champion will be.
1. Houston Astros 3
4. Oakland Athletics 2
4. Oakland Athletics over 2. New York Yankees 4
5. Tampa Bay Rays 3. Houston Astros 2
2. New York Yankees 3
3. Minnesota Twins 1
2. New York Yankees 4
1. Los Angeles Dodgers 2
1. Los Angeles Dodgers 3
4. Washington Nationals 2
4. Washington Nationals over 1. Los Angeles Dodgers 4
5. Milwaukee Brewers 2. Atlanta Braves 2
2. Atlanta Braves 3
3. St. Louis Cardinals 1
This season, the New York Yankees have been pretty good. Now I know that you readers are probably thinking I'm not surprised. According to your article in March, they were going to win the World Series, so why are you writing another article about how good they are? The reason why I'm writing another article about how good the Yankees are, is because they are playing really good considering that they have a whopping 14 players on the injured list. Yes 14 players. Amongst those players are Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Didi Gregorius, and Dellin Betances. And yet they are amongst the elite teams in the American League.
So while they are still waiting on their players to come back, how could they be doing this good?
The answer, is that these players have been waiting for an opportunity to contribute for what they, along with others believe is a championship team. So even though they are a bunch of guys who are prospects playing in the minor leagues or castoffs, they are the main reason why the Yankees are now 34-15 after starting 6-9. Unlikely heroes like Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, D.J. Lemahieu, Cameron Maybin, Thairo Estrada, and Domingo German, have emerged throughout this stretch. Frazier who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians in 2016, showed flashes in 2017, but sat out the conclusion of the season and most of 2018 with injuries. But this year, he is enjoying a healthy season in which his 11 home runs have filled in the void of the injured sluggers on the team. Gio Urshela played sparingly for the Seattle Mariners and Indians before landing with the Yankees last year in August. His slick fielding has made many highlight reels. Maybin has played on 8 teams before getting traded to New York in late April. His key hits and plays in the field may not go in highlight reels, but are essential to this winning stretch. Lemahieu spent most of his career with the Colorado Rockies before being picked up by the Yankees. His clutch hitting has prompted Gary Sanchez to call him "The Machine." Some of the well-known players such as Sanchez along with C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Aroldis Chapman, Luke Voit, and Gleyber Torres, have been playing really good baseball. Aaron Boone's growth has been evident in his sophomore season. Lots of the credit of the success of these little-known players goes to him. The Yankees' highlights include sweeping the Boston Red Sox in their first series since last year's ALDS defeat, beating the Twins who are currently one of the best teams in the A.L., and winning a huge division series against the Rays, and then winning an amazing 9th straight series against Boston. So the question, is how good will the be once their other stars who are out will come back?
The answer is very good.
They not only have a well talented roster of all stars, but a well balanced roster of players who have lots of experience playing for each other. As it is, they've already got some injured players back such as Sanchez and Sabathia who have been playing really good baseball while Aaron Hicks who recently returned, is already beginning to regain his old form. Other players may start out rusty, but will eventually regain their form before it's too late. As it already is, injured players during this stretch like Judge have been making lots of progress in their rehab, so by the time he returns, he'll go back to being the powerful hitter and athletic fielder the he already is. Shortstop Didi Gregorius who returned yesterday, is already playing like the consistent hitter and fielder that he is. Other guys like Severino and Stanton are now expected to be out for longer than expected, so they may be rusty, but their play will likely take a turn for the better once the season comes to an end. Once everyone is back and at full strength, the Yankees will probably be so dominant to the point here they can toy around with their lineups and still keep up the winning pace. But for now, there's a lot of reasons to be excited about this team, especially with Aaron Judge's return looming towards the end of the month.
So as they are right now in arguably their best winning stretch in franchise history, their A team is making great progress as their return off the I.L. is coming closer by the day. The only question would be how to take advantage of their maximum production. Chances are, that with lots of production already happening with their A team and B team stars, it will continue to happen even with the increase of their A team stars coming back. So with the Jets patching up their GM hole and the Knicks and Nets are primed to have big off-seasons, this summer should be fun for New York Sports fans.
After a few years of mediocrity, the New York Yankees have re-emerged as one of the MLB's elite. They have loads of talent, young core players, and good management. But it's their experience gained over the past two years that will be the key for what will probably be a memorable 2019 season.
The Yankees burst onto the scene, exceeding expectations by making the ALCS in 2017, and followed that up with a short playoff run last year. During these runs, the "Baby Bombers" have grown up, and are now primed to use their past experience for a 2019 run.
The talent that this team has, is crazy. As of now, their roster is filled with players that do lots of damage both at the plate and in the field such as:
Here's some information on some of these players! Aaron Judge in just 2 years, has been amazing to watch. At 6 foot 7, he has hit home runs as far as 495 ft. He has a cannon for an arm - base runners don't have a good chance to get any extra bases once a ball is hit to him. His height helps him to steal home runs with leaping grabs at the fence. Giancarlo Stanton, who was acquired in last year's offseason, struggled at first, but rebounded with 38 home runs, 100 RBIs, and batted .266. It is likely that he'll be even better next season, now that he has had a season to adjust to the American League. Gleyber Torres was one of baseball's top rookies last year, hitting 24 home runs and batting .271. He also has shown an ability to come up big in pressure moments, which has added an exciting element to his game. Miguel Andujar has emerged as a reliable hitter as well. While there was speculation about whether he might be traded if the Yankees signed Manny Machado, Machado signed with the San Diego Padres indicating that the Yankees truly trust Andujar to become a key piece of the team. Didi Gregorius has been very consistent and reliable for the Yankees throughout last season both in the field and at the plate. Aaron Hicks has emerged as the x-factor of the Yankees. With his ability to hit at the plate, fielding skills, and competitiveness, manager Aaron Boone called him, "The most underrated player in the game." It also got him a 7 year contract extension with the team. Pitcher Luis Severino, who had a hot start followed by an inconsistent second half of last season, has still emerged as the Yankees' pitching ace. Catcher Gary Sanchez did not have as good a year as expected, but rebounded with a strong postseason. His skills both at the plate and in the field will be essential for the Yankees in the years to come. And the bullpen, led by Aroldis Chapman who added a vicious slider to his arsenal, should ensure the Yankees don't lose many leads. All of these players are, without doubt, their core players now, and most will remain key players in the future. Unlike other teams with great players, management knows to lock in their good players.
During those 2 years, Brian Cashman went from making moves that only benefit the team short term, to making moves that will benefit them in the long term. Therefore, fans can thank him for all of the excellent drafts, smart trades, and carefully thought free agent signings. Judge, Severino, Sanchez, and Andujar? Drafted by the Yankees earlier this decade. Stanton, Hicks, Gregorius, and Torres were all traded to the Yankees. Chapman is the only member of this core group who was a free agent signing. The Yankees added to their core of players this offseason with the acquisitions of pitchers James Paxton, Adam Ottavino, Troy Tulowitzki, and Gio Gonzalez. Second year manager Aaron Boone will be more experienced this season and will look to manage a deep playoff run and possibly a championship.
The key that will probably help this team win the World Series, is experience. There are a lot of different areas of the team that will show tremendous growth. Stanton, Torres, and Andujar will be even more comfortable with the team as they enter their sophomore season as Yankees. Aaron Boone showed some flaws but should learn from some of his mistakes. As a whole, despite only 2 years of contending, the Yankees have had significant playoff experience - as well as the motivation that comes from losing early in the playoffs that they expected to win a championship. This playoff experience should give them the mentality that makes champions, not just in 2019, but for many other years in the future.
Three years ago, the Yankees had an uncertain future. They were average at best but weren't looking like a team that could compete in the years to come. Now, they look set to compete at the highest level. Before Yankees' fans know it, they could be in New York City celebrating a 28th World Series Championship