2018 NEW YORK YANKEES CAPSULE

MANAGER: Aaron Boone

2017 RECORD: 91-71

HOME RECORD: 51-30

ROAD RECORD: 40-41

2018 PREDICTION: 1st AL EAST

 

TEAM INFO:

Yankee Stadium

OPENED: 2009

CAPACITY: 50, 287

LEFT: 318

CENTER: 399

RIGHT: 314

 

SEASON OPENER: March 28, at Toronto

FIVE YEAR WINNING TREND:

2013: 85

2014: 84

2015: 87

2016: 84

2017: 91

 

2018 PLAYERS TO WATCH ( 2017 NUMBERS)

C Gary Sanchez, 33 HR, 90 RBI

SS Didi Gregorious, 25 HR, 87 RBI

OF Brett Gardner, 21 HR, 23 SB

OF Aaron Judge, 52 HR, 114 RBI

OF Giancarlo Stanton, 59 HR 132 RBI (with Miami)

P CC Sabathia, 14 – 5, 3.69 ERA

P Luis Severino, 14 – 6, 2.98 ERA, 230 K

P Mashario Tanaka, 13 – 12, 190 4K

P Aroldis Chapman, 22 SV

 

2018 TOP PROSPECTS

SS Gleyber Torres

OF Estevan Florial

LHP Justus Sheffield

RHP Chance Adams

RHP Albert Abreu

RHP Domingo Acevado

3B Miguel Andujar

 

NEW YORK BY THE NUMBERS

3 – members of this year’s projected bullpen who were drafted by the Yankees, went to another team, then re – acquired by the Yankees via trade.

 

5 – New York relievers with at least 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

 

9 – members of the 2017 opening-day roster who are no longer members of this organization.

 

21 – career – high home run total for outfielder Brett Gardner. He has hit 16 homeruns in three of the last four years.

 

169 – the combined home run total by Stanton, Judge, Sanchez and Gregorious.

 

44 – division wins in 2017, the most against the American League East since they won 45 in 2009. That year the Yankees won their last world series title.

 

95.3 – Aaron Judge’s miles per hour average exit velocity…. Leading all major league hitters.

 

20– Jacob Ellsbury and Jarrod Dyson are the only two players with at least 20 steals while being caught fewer than 10 times in each of the last five seasons.

 

21.2 – Masahiro Tanaka gave up a home run/fly ball 21.2% of the time. He was the only pitcher with a HR/Fly ball rate over 20%.

 

16.9 – Dellin Betances’ walk rate was the highest for a qualified reliever since 2013.

 

28.915 – their average age on opening day last season. It was 29.097 in 2016. The 2017 opening-day roster was the youngest in 25 years.

 

35.2 – according to baseball – reference.com, Brett Gardner has a WAR of 35.2, 24th all-time in New York.

 

41 – the Yankees had 41 come-from-behind wins and five walkoff wins last season.

 

Yankees boast power, depth in their outfield

Aaron Boone was walking the hallways of Yankee Stadium this past December, preparing to interview a potential member of his coaching staff, when general manager Brian Cashman summoned the rookie manager to his office. The latest gossip was too juicy not to share.

“‘I think we might be getting Giancarlo. Something came together overnight,'” Boone recalled Cashman saying. “You add the National League MVP to what we feel like is already a very strong lineup, the possibilities start to run through your head of what that could look like.”

Of course, Boone was referring to Giancarlo Stanton, who paced the Majors with 59 home runs, 132 RBIs and a .632 slugging percentage last season. Though Stanton never experienced a winning season with the Marlins, the 28-year-old slugger understands he now will be measured by his ability to lead the Yankees to a championship.

“This has been quite the experience, quite the road to get here,” Stanton said. “I’m very excited to be here and to be a part of the Yankees, and I’m just looking forward to stepping up and being with this winning environment and winning culture.”

A power-hitting right fielder was not on Cashman’s wish list at the opening of the offseason, not with unanimous American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Aaron Judge in place there, but the organization pivoted once Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani ruled out every club east of the Mississippi River.

Stanton’s addition created the dilemma of how best to utilize the two leading home run hitters in the Majors last season, and Boone is not complaining. The 25-year-old Judge led the AL in runs (128), homers (52) and walks (127), while pacing the Majors with 8.2 WAR.

“It’s a really good problem that we have,” Boone said. “I think the one thing that makes it workable is both Giancarlo and Aaron are great people, and I think are open to doing what we need to do to make this the best we can.”

Both Judge and Stanton are expected to see time in left field this spring, allowing Boone and coach Reggie Willits to gauge their respective comfort levels. Boone also has discussed rotating his DH spot between Judge, Stanton and catcher Gary Sanchez during the season, so as to keep the trio fresh.

Cashman has suggested that though the Yankees might use Judge or Stanton in left field to counter a tough left-hander such as Chris Sale of the Red Sox, 34-year-old Brett Gardner remains the starter. The longest-tenured Yankee, Gardner hit .264/.350/.428 with a career-high 21 homers and 23 steals in 2017.

Aaron Hicks is projected as the starting center fielder, having garnered the starting nod in each of the Yanks’ 13 postseason games last year. Hicks hit .266/.372/.475 last year, setting career highs in runs (54), doubles (18), homers (15), RBIs (52) and walks (51) despite two stints on the DL.

Jacoby Ellsbury will report to camp looking to reclaim his starting job. Slowed by a May 24 concussion, Ellsbury returned to form as one of the Yanks’ hottest hitters in September. Cashman shopped Ellsbury over the winter, but found no takers, as the veteran is owed $68.5 million over the next three years and has a full no-trade clause.

“We look at Ells as a valuable player still,” Cashman said. “He has a chance to be impactful for us. He has an interest, as the competitor that he is, in taking that job back from Hicks.”

With first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and utilityman Tyler Wade also solid candidates to make the Opening Day roster, New York’s crowded outfield mix could mean that promising 23-year-old Clint Frazier is among those who will begin the season in the Minors.

“The one thing that we’re thankful for is we have a lot of choices,” Cashman said.

 

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE YANKEES:

This is a team that is primed to make a deep run in this year’s playoffs. There isn’t a hitter in their entire lineup opposing pitchers can take a breath against. Everyone in the lineup will benefit from adding Stanton. Judge, Bird and Gregorius are only getting better and they will continue to thrive in complementary roles. Brett Gardner has a great eye, and he will get a ton of fastballs to hit at the top of the order. Stanton and Judge can be pitched to; and like most big guys, they have a hole up and in. The problem is only the best pictures have the command to consistently exploit their weaknesses. You make a mistake against this lineup and you will get hammered. Luis Severino has found his footing and should be one of the best pitchers in the game for the next decade. Bringing back CC Sabathia was a great move. He has learned to do more with less, changing speeds and pitching to both sides. Their bullpen continues to be one of the best in major league baseball. Look for Sunny Gray to flourish after coming over from Oakland last season. The Yankees may not be the World Series favorite, but they are a World Series contender. They were better than expected in 2017, and they should be better this season.

 

2018 ROSTER

Pitchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

87                          Albert Abreu       R/R        6’2″        175lbs   9/26/95

88                          Domingo Acevedo           R/R        6’7″        250lbs   3/6/94

68                          Dellin Betances  R/R        6’8″        265lbs   3/23/88

85                          Luis Cessa           R/R        6’0″        205lbs   4/25/92

54                          Aroldis Chapman              L/L         6’4″        212lbs   2/28/88

62                          Giovanny Gallegos           R/R        6’2″        210lbs   8/14/91

63                          Domingo German             R/R        6’2″        175lbs   8/4/92

55                          Sonny Gray         R/R        5’10”      190lbs   11/7/89

57                          Chad Green         L/R         6’3″        210lbs   5/24/91

61                          Ben Heller           R/R        6’3″        205lbs   8/5/91

65                          Jonathan Holder               R/R        6’2″        235lbs   6/9/93

48                          Tommy Kahnle   R/R        6’1″        235lbs   8/7/89

89                          Jonathan Loaisiga            R/R        5’11”      165lbs   11/2/94

47                          Jordan Montgomery        L/L         6’6″        225lbs   12/27/92

30                          David Robertson               R/R        5’11”      195lbs   4/9/85

52                          CC Sabathia        L/L         6’6″        300lbs   7/21/80

40                          Luis Severino      R/R        6’2″        215lbs   2/20/94

45                          Chasen Shreve   L/L         6’4″        195lbs   7/12/90

19                          Masahiro Tanaka             R/R        6’3″        215lbs   11/1/88

43                          Adam Warren    R/R        6’1″        224lbs   8/25/87

Catchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

38                          Kyle Higashioka R/R        6’1″        200lbs   4/20/90

28                          Austin Romine   R/R        6’1″        220lbs   11/22/88

24                          Gary Sanchez      R/R        6’2″        230lbs   12/2/92

Infield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

67                          Miguel Andujar  R/R        6’0″        215lbs   3/2/95

26                          Tyler Austin         R/R        6’2″        220lbs   9/6/91

33                          Greg Bird             L/R         6’4″        220lbs   11/9/92

90                          Thairo Estrada   R/R        5’10”      185lbs   2/22/96

18                          Didi Gregorius    L/R         6’3″        205lbs   2/18/90

81                          Gleyber Torres   R/R        6’1″        175lbs   12/13/96

74                          Ronald Torreyes               R/R        5’8″        151lbs   9/2/92

39                          Tyler Wade         L/R         6’1″        185lbs   11/23/94

Outfield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

66                          Jabari Blash        R/R        6’5″        235lbs   7/4/89

70                          Jake Cave            L/L         6’0″        200lbs   12/4/92

22                          Jacoby Ellsbury   L/L         6’1″        195lbs   9/11/83

77                          Clint Frazier        R/R        6’1″        190lbs   9/6/94

11                          Brett Gardner     L/L         5’11”      195lbs   8/24/83

31                          Aaron Hicks        S/R         6’1″        202lbs   10/2/89

99                          Aaron Judge       R/R        6’7″        282lbs   4/26/92

71                          Billy McKinney    L/L         6’1″        205lbs   8/23/94

27                          Giancarlo Stanton            R/R        6’6″        245lbs   11/8/89