10 Bold Yankees Predictions
As the Yankees gear up for the second half of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to make some bold predictions that would elicit response. Let me preface this by acknowledging most of these predictions will unfortunately not come true, however I thought it would be a fun exercise. Since I’m so accustomed to looking at the glass half empty, I decided to take the opposite approach with my conjecture. In fact, some of these predictions might contradict one another. Needless to say, I’d be ecstatic if even a few of them came to fruition.
#10: Alex Rodriguez will continue at his torrid pace and win Comeback Player of the Year.
I wish I had the patience to search through my old tweets and locate my predictions for A-Rod. I speculated that Rodriguez would hit .280 with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. At the pace he’s on right now, I fully expect him to reach these numbers. Following an injury plagued 2013 and sitting out the 2014 season due to his PED suspension, A-Rod has been one of baseball’s biggest surprises. If Rodriguez matches his first half numbers, he is unarguably, in my opinion, the Comeback Player of the Year. I mean who else would be a candidate, Prince Fielder?
#9: Rob Refsnyder will win the second base job from Stephen Drew and become a fixture in the Yankees lineup for years to come.
While my brain believes Refsnyder was only called up to serve as a showcase for trade talks, my heart wishes the Yankees would give him a legitimate shot. The Yankees haven’t had a stud position player come from the minors since Robinson Cano in 2005. Considering the horrendous season Stephen Drew has had, Refsnyder seems like an obvious internal upgrade. I predict that Refsnyder will absolutely rake with the bat, and be an average fielder, forcing Stephen Drew to the bench. Instead of trading him away for another washed up veteran, the Yankees will realize they have called up the first face of a new dynasty.
#8: Carlos Beltran will return and discover the fountain of youth (with the bat at least).
Despite a dreadful start to the first half of his Yankees career, I don’t want to completely lose faith in Carlos Beltran. Historically, Beltran has always performed best when it mattered most. This may be perhaps one of my boldest predictions, but I believe Beltran will come off the DL and absolutely rake. While he is a lost cause defensively, it’s hard to believe he just completely lost his offensive abilities. When the Yankees make the playoffs and win the World Series, in accordance with predictions #1 and #2, Beltran will be a huge reason why. His best days in pinstripes have yet to come! Mark it down folks.
#7: Mark Teixeira will win the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Count me amongst the many who doubted Mark Teixeira and his frailness at the beginning of the season. I can also be counted amongst those who will admit they were completely wrong. In my opinion, there is no doubt that Tex has been the first half MVP of the Yankees. I predict Teixeira will sustain his power numbers and production, along with raising his average into the respectable .270 territory. With Miguel Cabrera on the disabled list for an extended period this season, it’s a very real possibility that Teixeira could lead the league in homers and RBIs, although it will most likely end up being the ladder.
#6: Brian Cashman will make a trade at the deadline for a front line starting pitcher.
I read an article the other day which argued that the Yankees should acquire David Price at the trade deadline, and I cant get that idea out of my head. Hell, I’m practically drooling by just writing this. Considering the Tigers have had a disappointing season, and Price is a free agent at the end of year, they may be willing to deal him…for the right price, of course. Since I am making bold predictions this will be one. Since the Yankees are an older team, they must seize every opportunity to win a championship. This year, with the AL East as winnable as ever, may be the last opportunity this team gets for a while. I have a feeling Cashman will make a trade for a big time starting pitcher for the upcoming World Series run. You heard it here first folks, the Yankees will acquire David Price. Okay, it probably won’t happen, but I can hope right?!
#5: Michael Pineda will emerge as one of the best starting pitchers in the league.
Michael Pineda has been downright filthy at certain times this season; however just like the rest of the starting rotation he has also been inconsistent. Granted, Pineda has been the most consistent out of the consistently inconsistent bunch, but there is so much room for improvement. Most of Pineda’s bad starts were around when the Yankees decided it was a brilliant idea to give him 11 days off to prevent injury. I feel like Pineda is a competitor and he will thrive in a pennant race, therefore I predict a monster second half from him. With the type of stuff Pineda has, he can be a very intimidating pitcher come playoff time.
#4: Brett Gardner will continue his breakout season, and Jacoby Ellsbury will stay healthy, giving the Yankees the deadliest 1-2 combo at the top of the lineup in the league.
While this may be the least bold out of all my predictions, it still may be a stretch. I have no idea why it took Brett Gardner until his age 32 season to take the next step in his career and become a good all around baseball player. As streaky as Gardner is, I have not been completely sold on him as a consistent commodity. This is why I predict Gardner will continue where he left off at the conclusion of the first half, and rake in the second half. With Jacoby Ellsbury you never know what type of injury will surface. I am praying that Ellsbury got his yearly DL stint out of the way in May/June so the Yankees have him healthy for the playoff run. With both Ellsbury and Gardner on top of their games, this lineup can wreck havoc on opposing pitchers. The versatility provided by these two players is ideal for the playoffs as well.
#3: CC Sabathia will become a serviceable starting pitcher again.
Okay, this may be my boldest prediction yet because even I don’t believe it. Considering I am probably the blog’s most pessimistic writer, I’ve decided to give optimism a try. Due to my newly discovered optimistic attitude, I am predicting a second half resurgence from Sabathia. Say what you want about him, but CC is a competitor by all meanings of the word. He anchored the rotations of Yankees playoff teams from 2009 to 2012, and helped lead the team to its 27th World Championship in 2009. Maybe CC’s work with his good pal Andy Pettitte paid off, and he finally discovered how to reinvent himself as a pitcher with less velocity than he’s been accustomed to. If CC doesn’t get better then the Yankees are in trouble, due to their reluctance to remove him from the rotation. I was one of the first to count CC out, but hopefully my positive prediction will prevail this time around.
#2: The Yankees win will the AL East by at least five games.
Out of all the teams in the AL East, if they stay healthy, the Yankees are the team with the least flaws. The Bombers have one of the best offenses in the league, and a lock down bullpen. The obvious weak point on the team is the starting rotation, however even that is not so bad. It could use improvements, but they’ve performed okay thus far. The Rays have amazing pitching, but cant hit, the Blue Jays and Red Sox have explosive offenses, but cant pitch, and the Orioles just cant seem to put it all together. At the beginning of the season, I believed the Orioles would win the division, however they have not been able to consistently perform well. With the Yankees playing a majority of their remaining games at home, where they have played very well this season, and the ability to control their own destiny by playing 38 of the 77 games left against division opponents, they will have to step up. I predict the Yankees do this, and put distance between themselves and the rest of the mediocre division, giving them time to regroup at the end of September for a championship run.
#1: The Yankees will win the World Series.
Okay, so maybe my CC prediction wasn’t the boldest of them all. According to Fangraphs.com, the Yankees have a 78.6% chance of making the playoffs, a 63.5% chance of winning the AL East, and get this, an 11.9% chance of making it to the World Series. This percentage is the highest in the American League!! I’m not usually a betting man, but I’ll take those odds. If all of my bold predications become reality, or at least a few of them, then the Yankees should be locked and loaded for a championship season. The offense has table setters (Ellsbury and Gardner), run producers (Teixeira, A-Rod, and McCann), and some question marks (Beltran, Headley, and the rest of the crew). If either Beltran or Headley can have resurgent second halves, then the offense becomes that much better. Considering pitching wins championships, the Yankees are lucky to have a lock down bullpen. If everyone stays healthy, and Brian Cashman can improve the rotation at the trade deadline, then this can be a special year. You heard it here first folks, the Yankees will win the 2015 World Series against the Washington Nationals. Or at least I hope so…
Article by Steven Eareckson
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