The Epitome of Class:
When talking to anyone about the sport of baseball, bring up the New York Yankees and you will immediately have a topic to talk about (or argue about). The New York Yankees are the epitome of class and championships within Major League Baseball. In 115 total seasons (1903-2017) they have a combined record of 10084-7649. Along with all those wins they have tallied 52 total playoff appearances, 40 pennants, and the one everybody cares about, 27 World Series Championships.
Yes, you read that correctly, 27 rings for the New York Yankees franchise.
Along with this history of winning comes an argument that many people have with the Yankees, and that is that they “buy” their championships. They are known to pay huge money to big named free agents. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury just to name a few. We could go into that and it could take us years for everyone to get their opinion in on if they bought rings. I want to talk about a different type of Yankees this year, a young one.
Meet “The Baby Bombers”:
Many people have dubbed this Yanks team in 2017 “The Baby Bombers”. The name is pretty accurate as they have some pretty incredible young talent that is finally getting its opportunity to shine.
I would like to introduce you to Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge that make up this Baby Bombers squad. Bird and Judge were both drafted by the Yankees, and Sanchez was signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic. These three young core players are what has so many Yankees fans excited.
Greg Bird will be the first Baby Bomber I would like to introduce you to. He made his debut in 2015 while slashing a very respectable .261/.343/.529 with an .871 OPS in only 178 plate appearances. He also showed some glimpses of power with 11 bombs within that span. I know this is not a huge sample size when it comes to a full baseball season but again, his athletic ability and projection have many excited for him to be the starting first baseman for the Yanks for many years to come.
Aaron Judge is the second Baby Bomber I would like you to meet. He stands 6’7″ tall and weighs 282 pounds. Imagine seeing this guy step into the box ready to face Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays (who is 5’8″) and being eye level with him while he is standing on the mound. He is the biggest of the three as in stature, but has the smallest sample size with only 95 plate appearances. He only slashed .179/.263/.345 with an OPS of .608. He managed to hit 4 bombs within that span and they were all tape measure shots, showing is raw power. Being drafted in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft, a lot is expected out of him. He still has his rookie status intact through 2017 so we will see if he can make a push for the Rookie of the Year award, I think he will.
Finally we get to meet the third member of the Baby Bombers, Gary Sanchez. Sanchez had a monster start to his major league career in 2016 and found himself with all kinds of media attention. With a total of 229 PA he slashed .299/.376/.657 with a 1.032 OPS. He also managed to tally up 20 bombs and 24 walks during that span. Talk about an incredible start to a career. It was a pretty small sample size compared to a full season in the bigs but it earned him a second place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting.
The future for this Yankees franchise looks extremely bright. With all of this young talent coming through the farm system and getting its time to shine under those bright lights of Yankees Stadium, it is showing a different side to this franchise. Whether you believe that the Yankees buy their championships or not, if they win another ring within the next 3-5 years it is not because they bought it. Strong drafts and a strong farm system will be the reason for championship number 28 in the Bronx.
Sources: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/, https://www.mlb.com/yankees, twitter.com/yankees