30 Teams in 30 Days - New York Yankees

Overview - The Yankees are in rebuilding mode. If they could find takers for Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley they would go with an even more youthful team. The talent is there to make a difference. Last year they didn’t do a lot well, finishing near the bottom in most of the offensive, fielding and pitching categories. They also have to hope the arm of Masahiro Tanaka stays together. Starting pitching is where their depth gets dicey. The Yankees also had Gary Sanchez hit 20 homeruns in 52 games and hope he does not become another Shane Spencer. They also had Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge become the first rookies to hit back to back homeruns in their first at bats.

Strengths - The Yankees traded Brain McCann to the Braves after Gary Sanchez hit 20 homeruns in 52 games. His homerun production will probably not be as great next year but he has the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. He also has a strong arm for controlling a running game. Didi Gregorius is making Yankees fans forget Derek Jeter. The shortstop is not noted for his power but last year hit 20 homeruns and slugged .447. Didi is also a good defensive shortstop, committing just 15 errors and showing Yankee fans what a rangy shortstop looks like. The bullpen will be strong with Dellin Betances setting up Aroldis Chapman. Dellin was not comfortable in the closers role last year for the Yankees but he is now in his more comfortable set up role. Tyler Clippard will take over the seventh inning role. The Yankees need their bullpen to give them about three innings each game to make up for a young pitching staff.

Weakness - They are relying on talented rookies to fill two positions. Aaron Judge could hit 30 plus homeruns but he also could strikeout 170 times and bat .210. The Yankees have Aaron Hicks they can use to protect Judge if he struggles. Greg Bird was supposed to take over the first base position last year but missed the whole season because of injury. He is healthy now and will take over first base. The Yankees signed Chris Carter as a backup should Bird falter. Despite their stellar bullpen last year their pitching was 15th in ERA. That is the fault of the starting rotation. Masahiro Tanaka is the ace but he has been troubled by a balky elbow that could need surgery. C.C. Sabathia had a decent season last year but he will be 37 years old and his stuff is not as good as it once was. Michael Pineda continues to tease, but the repertoire is there for him to become a top of the rotation pitcher. After those three it will be a battle between rookie and second year pitchers. Chase Headley will put up no more than vanilla offensive numbers at third base. Last year he slugged 14 homeruns and drove in 51.

Impact Prospects - Aaron Judge is expected to be the starting rightfielder. At 25 he does not have much to prove in the minor leagues. His power can be 30 plus but he needs to improve on his ability to make contact. Clint Frazier is another outfielder who could see time in centerfield if Jacoby Ellsbury misses significant time due to injury. Ideally the Yankees would like to see him play most of his season in AAA. He has the potential to be a 20/20 player. Chance Adams and Jordan Montgomery have a chance to see some time in the rotation. Adams limited the opposition to a .145 average in 12 starts at AA. Montgomery finished with an ERA of 0.97 in six AAA starts. Chad Green dominated in AAA last year but when called up to the Yankees coughed up 12 homeruns in just 46 innings.

Prospects to Watch - Gleyber Torres is the Yankees top prospect. With Didi Gregorius at shortstop the Yankees can be patient with him. The shortstop with all five tools should start the season in AA. Blake Rutherford was the Yankees first round pick in 2016. He hit .389 in a short 89 at bat trial in the rookie league. The Yankees could start the outfielder in Low A this year where a below average arm could relegate him to left field. Jorge Mateo may have to move to second with the arrival of Torres. The main asset for Mateo is his speed though his stolen base numbers dropped from 82 to 36 last year. Jorge showed some deceptive power, but also some character flaws, suspended for objecting to no promotion to AA after the All star break. Dustin Fowler is an 18th round pick that broke out last year. He shows speed for centerfield and enough power to hit 12 homeruns. His speed gives him excellent range in centerfield. The Yankees are waiting for Miguel Andujar to show he is ready for third base. The power is there but the defense is still in question. The Yankees would prefer not to move him to first since they have Greg Bird as a fixture there. From the pitching stand point James Kaprielian is a 2015 first round pick out of UCLA who could be moved up quickly. Injuries last year limited him to three starts. Justus Sheffield is a high profile left hander who throws in the mid-90s who was acquired from the Indians in the Aroldis Chapman trade.

Expected Finish - Myworld anticipates the starting pitching will hold up and Aaron Judge and Greg Bird will hit for power. This will get them a finish of third place in their division, missing any playoff opportunity.

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