With Spring Training coming to an end, there are a few things that Yankees fans may be able to take away from the past month of camp.
There are quite a few things that stood out during Spring Training for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton’s first spring with the Bombers, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar competing for a spot on the roster, and the way the young guys in general performed were all intriguing stories this spring. However, those didn’t make the cut for the top stories this spring.
Here are the top three takeaways…
The Yankees Love Tyler Wade:
The emergence of Tyler Wade is undoubtedly the biggest takeaway from this spring.
After an abysmal 2017 stint in the majors where he hit just .155 in 58 at-bats, it was hard to imagine Wade beating out top prospect, Gleyber Torres to become the Yankees starting second baseman.
Wade worked on his swing with future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols during the offseason and it showed. He put up some impressive numbers at the plate hitting .283 and sporting an OBP of .404 with an OPS of .795. Add that to his stellar defense and above average speed, and it’s easy to see why new Yankees manager Aaron Boone has fallen in love with Wade.
“He’s so athletic. The speed, the range that he has in the field. It seems like every day he’s in, there’s something he’s done that’s been special that impacts the game,” said Boone about his second baseman.
Wade’s versatility and athleticism can be a key component to the Yankees success in 2018.
The Yankees have a ton of Depth:
The acquisitions of Brandon Drury and Neil Walker this spring made the Yankees one of the deepest teams in all of baseball. Drury is slated to start the season at third with Walker platooning at first, second and third.
Even with Greg Bird out 6-8 weeks with yet another foot injury, the Yankees can just slide Walker and Tyler Austin in there for the meantime. Miguel Andujar is getting some reps at first in the minors as well while Billy McKinney has also emerged as a viable option with a very impressive spring that had fans buzzing.
The outfield depth speaks for itself showcasing four former All-Stars, a Rookie of the Year, and an MVP with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Aaron Hicks. You also can’t forget about Clint Frazier and that Wade can also step in and play some outfield if needed.
On the mound, the Yankees have some young talent to turn to if need be. Domingo German and Justus Sheffield opened some eyes as well and appear ready to step in if for a spot start if necessary. Chance Adams has also been on the cusp of making the big leagues, despite a very rough spring.
It’s worth noting the Yankees are also under the luxury tax and sitting on a loaded farm system. If they need to make a move they have more than enough flexibility to do so.
Do NOT sleep on Gary Sanchez:
Lost in the hype of Judge and Stanton is arguably the bombers best hitter, Gary Sanchez.
It’s easy to overlook Sanchez with Judge and Stanton literally towering over him, but I wouldn’t advise it. Sanchez wound up having the best spring of anyone in Murderer’s Row 2.0 hitting .286 4 10 with an OPS of .967. Sanchez had a phenomenal 2017 season where he hit 33 home runs and drove in 90 runs despite missing a month and getting off to a slow start. You can only expect these numbers to go up which is ridiculous for a full-time catcher.
Sanchez also looked light years better behind the plate this spring. After struggling mightily behind the dish last year where he led the AL in passed balls (16) and tied for the lead in all of baseball (Yasmani Grandal, LAD), Sanchez got to work and corrected his defensive woes. We have seen a big improvement in Sanchez blocking and well, just catching the ball more often than he did last year
With added protection, some improvements defensively, and a full season, Sanchez may emerge as a serious MVP candidate and the Yankees best player.
Let the Chase for 28 begin.