Since moving to the new Yankee stadium in 2009, the New York Yankees have hardly set the world on fire. In fact, the most successful team in baseball history hasn’t made the World Series during the current decade. The Yankees have been subject of dozens of MLB trade rumors during the close season, and the loss of several big stars to retirement means that the Yankees need some new blood. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Yankees are still interested in White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana, but could the secret recipe for success be found among their own emerging stars and minor league talent?
The baseball season may still be months away, but the Yankees are in the middle of their 2017 “Winter Warm-up.” Yankees players are visiting senior centers, calling up season ticket holders to thank them for their support, and even serving up sandwiches. TheNew York Daily News reports that emerging Yankees star, Gary Sanchez, popped into the Bullpen Deli on Monday to serve up sandwiches to Yankees fans.
Baseball fans will be aware that Sanchez had a remarkable rookie season. In 53 games Sanchez managed to hit 20 home runs and 42 RBI. Sanchez was runner-up to Michael Fulmer for Rookie of the Year. There is little doubt that the Yankees have an emerging star in Sanchez, but if the Yankees are to progress as a team, then Sanchez must repeat and exceed the progress he made in 2016.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman clearly feels that Sanchez is a huge prospect, but he is trying to keep Sanchez’ feet on the ground. The Yankees feel that Sanchez can be a top-five hitting catcher in the 2017 American League. Sanchez will doubtless aim higher but says that his aims are “to stay healthy, help the team win and keep doing my job.”
Fansided argues that the NY Yankees have a huge prospect in 24-year-old Aaron Judge. Unlike Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge’s rookie season was not what he might have dreamed about. Judge struck out in 50 percent of his 84 games, and managed just four home runs and 10 RBI’s before his season ended prematurely due to injury. Judge is a huge man who can hit the ball for miles when he connects, but he will need to show a huge improvement if he is to help fire the Yankees to a world series.
New York Yankees Rumor Roundup: Choi Ji-man
We are still a month away from the beginning of the Yankees spring training schedule, so rumors are still flying, but the Yankees have one new signing to pin hopes on. Yonhap News report that South Korean free-agent Choi Ji-man has signed on for the Yankees spring training. The 25-year old opted to sign with the Yankees rather than join the minors in the Los Angeles Angels system. Of course, there is no guarantee that Choi Ji-man will make the Yankees Major League roster, but his signing does indicate that the Yankees are willing to put their trust in potential.
Choi Ji-man will join a long list of Yankees prospects that includes the likes of Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, as well as Judge and Sanchez. If the Yankees trust in youth is to take them to the World Series, they will need their big-name stars to play a major role.
Many Yankees fans will feel that 33-year-old Jacoby Ellsbury owes them a huge season. Ellsbury signed with the Yankees in 2014, and Fansided claims that he has been “an utter disaster.” If the rookies are to bring success to the Yankees, Ellsbury will need to have a great season, but many will question whether Ellsbury will have what it takes to bounce back from, what seems to be, a terminal decline since he joined the Yankees.
December signing Matt Holliday could have a huge role to play is supporting the Yankees emerging stars, the 37-year-old signed a $17 million, one-season deal with the Yankees, and his experience could help to stabilize and encourage the Yankees young players.
The 2017 Major League Baseball season looks to be a fascinating one for Yankees fans. If the season starts well for their rookies, the Yankees have huge potential. If it starts badly, and those rookies lose confidence, it could be a long season for New York Yankees fans.
[Featured Image by Kathy Willens/AP Photo]