Whether you like it or not, the Yankees are not going anywhere any time soon. Even after the retirements of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, the loss of Robinson Cano, and the decline of CC Sabathia, you would think they would fall into a steep decline right? Wrong. They have amazing young talent on the uprise that will bring them back to prominence very quickly. Now who are these young studs?
First off we have Gary Sanchez. The catcher for the Yankees who lit the baseball world on fire when he came up last year. He hit a remarkable 20 home runs in only 53 games played played. He tied the MLB record for fastest to reach 20 homers. It is easy to say a guy who would be on pace for 60+ homers over a full season will be a stud, but having that kind of pace just is not sustainable. He will more than likely hit somewhere between 25-35 in a season for many years to come. You have to factor in the position he plays and the regression that is to come once pitchers figure him out more. Catchers basically never play 162 games so you can say it is a virtual guarantee that Sanchez will not. Then the regression part is very likely because if you take a look at his minor league numbers, he had never even hit 20 home runs even after playing 117 games one year. Yankee stadium does indeed help players hit more homers because of how small the park is, but even park size cannot justify Sanchez’s ridiculous pace.
Greg Bird had originally come up in 2015 for the Yankees and showed then that his future as a Yankee was bright. He hit .261 with 11 homers in his 46 game stint with the team in 2015 also showing kind of the same shocking outbreak of production that Sanchez showed. Bird too, had hit 20 or less homers once in his pro career and when he did hit 20 on the nose, it was in 130 games. It is not to say that these two guys are not super talented in the first place, but nobody expected this production so fast. The hype took a halt in 2016 when he missed the entire season due to a shoulder injury he had that required surgery. Maybe that would slow him down and make him take time to develop now right? Well, he happens to have 7 homers this spring and looks like he will be just as good as advertised.
Some of the other notable young players with bright futures for the Yankees include Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, and Gleyber Torres. Judge has immense power and compares a lot to Giancarlo Stanton in both the power and the size. He came up in 2016 and cranked a home run in his very first at-bat. He would go on to only hit 4 in 27 games with a .179 average. So the guy with the most power in their entire system, faced a lot less success than two guys who were not big power hitters in their career. Interesting but goes to show Judge has a lot more to correct with his approach in the majors to reach his potential. Tyler Austin came up the same game that Judge did due to an injury to Mark Teixeira and also went deep his first at-bat. Austin is not a big time prospect but certainly talented enough to make it in the bigs. The problem is, he has been primarily first base, where Bird plays, and right field, where Judge plays. If Judge continues to struggle then Austin could get many more opportunities but for now, with the injury he now has and the log jam at his positions, it is gonna be hard to find playing time. Torres currently is the #5 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America and he has showed why this spring. The 20 year-old shortstop hit .448 with 6 doubles, a triple, and 2 homers before being optioned to Double-A Trenton. Right now there is a log jam of middle infielders for the Yankees but even wit the Didi Gregorious injury, they’re electing to keep Torres in the minors to develop.
Yeah the Yankees have some pretty damn good players primed for stardom in the very near future.