Five reasons to be excited for the 2017 Yankees

The 2016 season was a very bipolar season for the Yankees. For the first four months, they were not good. The players were old and not producing, the pitching staff was not going deep into games, and it was rare that someone in the bullpen not named Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, or Aroldis Chapman had a scoreless outing. The team was not exciting, and the playoffs seemed like a distant dream by the time July came. It wasn’t a fun time to be a Yankees fan.
Clint Frazier Photo Credit: Jeff Irizarry | The Syracuse Chiefs

Then came the miracle day: July 25th, 2016. Aroldis Chapman was traded to the Cubs for Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, Billy Mckinney, and Rashad Crawford, and suddenly everyone had hope, with Torres being the Cubs #1 prospect. Then on July 31st, the day before the trade deadline, the Yankees acquired Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, J.P. Feyereisen, and Ben Heller for Miller. The farm system was all of the sudden loaded with elite prospects, and with the debuts of Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Aaron Judge, the Yankees suddenly became more exciting. Sanchez began to smash his way into the baseball record books, while Judge and Austin showed glimpses of their potential.

The final couple months of the season were by far the best. However, 2017 is going to be a full season of that. The Yankees will be younger, with more potential, and the beginning of the next era for the team will begin. Here are five reasons why we should be excited for this:

1) The first full season for The Kraken
Everyone knows Gary Sanchez now. Everyone knows what he did last year, hitting more home runs for the Yankees in the final 52 games than everyone but Starlin Castro and Carlos Beltran. Obviously, he’s not going to continue this pace; he did struggle towards the end of the season when pitchers started figuring out how to pitch to him. But Sanchez is a potential superstar, and watching him hit will be fun. He also has a rocket for an arm, throwing out 41% of attempted base stealers, including this one against the Red Sox.

I agree with John Flaherty; I want to see people try and steal on Sanchez just to see the cannon.

2) The debut of Red Thunder
Acquired in the deal for Andrew Miller, Yankees top prospect Clint Frazier has the potential to become an absolute force. As many people have heard Brian Cashman say, he possesses “legendary” bat speed, and has the potential to be another impact, middle of the order power bat for the Yankees. Take a look at his first home run as a Yankee, for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. 

Wow. His swing really does remind you of Mike Trout, huh? Frazier should mash at Yankee Stadium, and bring some much needed excitement to a team that has been pretty boring the last few years.

3) The return of Bird is the Word
Man, the 2015 season seems so long ago. It’s surprising that a year and a half ago, before Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird gave Yankees fans the young exciting player that they’ve needed for years. Bird hit .261 with 11 homers in his first 46 career games, filling in for an injured Mark Teixeira. However, a torn labrum resulted in season ending shoulder surgery last offseason. But Bird will be back, and with some luck, he will eventually be able to regain his old form, such as these bombs that he hit for his first two career home runs.

4) The Cuban Missile is back
Personally, I was not a fan of the Yankees acquisition of Aroldis Chapman last year. Using a domestic violence scandal to buy low on an impact player was something I personally was not a fan of. I could go on for a while, but I’ll leave it at that. From a purely baseball perspective, Chapman can be a lot of fun to watch. Who wouldn’t be excited to have a 105 mph flamethrower as their closer? The pair of Chapman and Dellin Betances will be incredibly exciting, as long as you aren’t the batter facing them. The back end of the bullpen is once again one of the Yankees’ biggest strengths, which is something they lacked at the end of last year.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports
5) The incredible depth of the Yanks’ farm system
The Yanks don’t have one of, if not the best farm system in baseball just because of blue chip prospects such as Frazier, Torres, and Jorge Mateo. They have a boatload of players who project to be solid contributors at the major league level, such as James Kaprielain, Chance Adams, Tyler Wade, Jordan Montgomery, Dustin Fowler, and Domingo Acevedo, among others. They also have a lot of young pitching depth, with Luis Severino, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Adam Warren, and Bryan Mitchell ready to compete for the fourth and fifth rotation spots for the coming season. There are so many more young players that will have a chance to contribute to this team in 2017, and it should be one of the most exciting years in a while.

Article by: Alex Weir


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