There will be a lot of baseballs leaving the park with Giancarlo Stanton (left)and Aaron Judge (right) playing side by side in the Bronx. photo credit: Alex Trautwig MLB photos/getty images
For the first time in a very long time, the New York Yankees come into the 2018 season with championship caliber expectations. The team will also will have quite a new look to them. After 10 seasons as manager of the Yankees, the team decided not to bring back Joe Girardi. In comes the former Yankee player Aaron Boone. Boone who does not have any managerial experience will incorporate a team that have the potential to do great things this year. Around this time last year, the Yankees were in the “rebuilding stages” after trading away key players during last year’s campaign. The Yankees over-exceeded expectations, so much the team was just one game away from the World Series until falling to the eventual champs the Houston Astros in seven games.
This year, the Yankees did more trading and gathering youth to their ball club by making the biggest and most surprising splash throughout the winter meeting when they were able to trade for the reigning National League MVP in former Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton hit a franchise record 59 home runs for the Marlins and joins a lineup that already had some serious long-ball power. At 6-foot-6, and 245 pounds, Stanton will play alongside the American League rookie of the year in the 6-foot-7 282-pound Aaron Judge. In his first full year in the Majors, Judge hit 52 home runs. Those two behemoths in the lineup alone will give opposing pitchers nightmares. Judge, 25, and Stanton 28, are already being compared to the years of Micky Mantle and Roger Maris. In 1961, the Dynamic duo had their own home run derby as Maris went on to break Babe Ruth’s record at the time which stood 34 years when he hit 61 homers. Maris hit 54. The way Stanton and Judge hit, we could very well see the sequel of the M&M boys on the 1960s.
With a new manager in place, things do look promising for the New York Yankees if the team can stay healthy. Aside from Judge and Stanton, you have a lineup that features Didi Gregorius who have a career-high in-home runs last year and was probably the teams’ most consistent hitter despite missing a month of the season. Gary Sanchez hit 33 home runs despite missing some time as well. Greg Bird will play at first base full time and if he can say healthy, he too has 30-homerun power. There’s also more “Baby Bombers” expected to come up from the farm system. The teams’ top prospect 21-year old Gleyber Torres is expected to battle for the teams’ second base job after Starlin Castro was a piece that the Miami Marlins received in as a part of the Stanton trade. Although the Yankees appear to be the favorite in the AL, the Astros got better this offseason and it appears the American League this year will run through them. Will the Yankees be able to take another step and compete with the Astros? Stay tuned!