Anticipation of the Yankees 2018 Quest for Number 28

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Last year many baseball writers and analysts projected the Yankees to finish 3rd in the AL East with a .500 record. In the spring Cashman even made a comment about how 2017 was a transition year. Then the season started and they came storming out of the gate. The pitching staff was better than expected, and even when they had rough starts the offense still helped propel them to wins.

Aaron Judge was one of the main guys to lead that charge while breaking records and having one of the best rookie seasons in baseball history. Judge won the 2017 homerun derby as a rookie and set the MLB rookie homerun record. He also won the AL Rookie of the Year easily. Judge finished the season with 155 games under his belt and 678 plate appearances (542 at bats). The season ended and he had a .284 batting avg, with 154 hits, 114 RBIs, 52 homeruns, .357 BABIP, .422 OBP, .627 SLG, 1.049 OPS, and a 173 +.

In addition to Judge there were many other young Yankees with the fire in their eyes. Sanchez had a solid season, and of course guys like Didi, Gardner, and Bird (when healthy) were important factors.

Didi has become one of the best, and most underrated shortstops in the game. He also had some added power last season, which we will most likely see again with all of the other bars that will be around him in the lineup. Bird has a swing built for Yankee stadium, and if he stays healthy should be a 30 HR guy. Gardner is a Yankee to the core, and a leader in the clubhouse. He is just a gritty hustler who leaves it all on the field every game.

Aaron Hicks had a solid half season when he was healthy, but his health is still the main concern many fans have. In the 88 games he was healthy for last year he had 361 plate appearances (301 at bats) with a batting avg of .266. He had 80 hits (47 singles, 18 doubles, 15 homeruns), he scored 54 runs with 52 RBIs and 51 walks. His OBP was .372, BABIP was .290, .475 SLG, 127 wRC+, and an .847 OPS.

The Yankees did lose a couple of key guys like Starlin Castro (Marlins) and Chase Headley (Padres), but they have prospects ready to step up with Tyler Wade, top prospect Gleyber Torres  (who many fans are excited about), and then they have Miguel Andujar who is just about ready.

The off season has been a good one for the Yankees as well since they made a huge splash by trading for NL homerun leader and MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

In terms of pitching they are bringing back the same staff, and last year were top 5 in the league with their starting rotation, and they had the best bullpen in baseball. There are also some young arms in the minors that are hungry and major league ready, especially Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield.

There is still the possibility that Cashman will make an additional move or two, including a possible bridge at 3rd if they are still unsure if Andujar is ready. There were talks about bringing Todd Frazier back, but he wants a longer deal than the Yankees are likely to give. The same goes for Moustakas whose name has come up in rumors. Overall they are pretty well rounded, and they have an option for 3rd base on the current roster with Torreyes as well.

This biggest question mark right now is the new coaching staff with Aaron Boone as the skipper. Larry Rothschild is the only member of the coaching staff that will be back,  and he will be a great mentor to help Boone through his first season as a manager since Larry has past management experience.

This team is ready to go on a tear, and in many ways is similar to the mid 90s Yankees where fans knew something special was brewing. The anticipation for the upcoming season is through the roof and fans are anxiously waiting for spring training. Hopefully in the coming years we see multiple championships!