The 2017 New York Yankees have been an incredibly interesting team to watch throughout this season. I was very excited coming into the season, not because I thought the Yanks were going to be overly successful, but because I believed this year to be a year of growth and fans could begin to see how all the young prospects would begin to mature into their Major League roles.
Many questions were left in fans head after last season including whether Gary Sanchez could continue his dominance into a full season and if Luis Severino and Aaron Judge would form into the the young studs they were supposed to be.
The Yankees seemed to be on top of the world heading into the All-Star break, the three men with question marks coming into the season were all, All-Stars, plus Starlin Castro and Dellin Betances, to give the Yanks a total of five All-Stars.
Since the All Star break the Yankees have come back down to Earth. Aaron Judge has started to show signs of his old self, and since the break is almost unrecognizable from first half Aaron Judge. Before the break Judge could not be stopped, he seemed to be hitting everything he touched to the moon at a million MPH, also hitting an astounding .330.
Since the break, not so much. He is hitting under .200 and he has accompanied that with the all-time consecutive game strike out record. However, his teammates have been there to pick up where he has slacked off. Gary Sanchez continues to show off his power, Didi Gregorius has become the Yankees’ best player using his bat and his glove to keep the Yanks in the hunt, and even the unlikely Chase Headley, that’s right, Chase Headley is quietly batting .278
The Yanks have the wild card all but wrapped up at this point and it is time to think about the Wildcard Game and beyond. As I say the Yanks have the Wild Card all but wrapped up, that doesn’t mean there aren’t question marks on the team. Questions still exist such as whether Gary Sanchez will learn to catch a baseball and if, arguably the most talented bullpen in baseball, will start to get people out?
In a bullpen that includes perennial All-Stars such as Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson, the person I have the most confidence in is Chad Green, and I suppose that is a good problem to have.
Enough with the negatives, now let’s look at the positives. In the inevitable wild card game, there is not a pitcher on any team in the race that I feel can out-duel Luis Severino. Sevy has been put to the test in recent weeks, and has passed with flying colors, competing with the likes of Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. If you think he’ll struggle going against the Twins, Angles, or Orioles, you are crazy. Ervin Santana and Dylan Bundy couldn’t tie Sevy’s cleats on their best day.
Looking further into the playoffs, the Yanks are built to make some noise. A team with talent the Yankees do, that can hit from top to bottom in the order, can be very scary. Not to mention their deep pitching staff of Severino, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, and even C.C. Sabathia, if necessary. Put that together with an equally as deep bullpen, assuming they can figure it out, and teams will have a tough time keeping up with this team. The New York Yankees are primed to return to October and to cause a stir among other American League teams.