New York Yankees New Core Four

Are We Witnessing The Making Of The New York Yankees New Core Four?

The Yankees are established as one of the greatest franchises in the history of sports. They produced a dynasty in the lates 90s into the early 2000s, including a group of players known as the “Core Four”. This core consisted of captain and shortstop Derek Jeter, left handed hurler Andy Pettitte, catcher Jorge Posada and closer Mariano Rivera. All of these players had one thing in common, they came up through the Yankees farm system as young players and played their entire careers with the Yankees (aside from Pettitte, who played 3 seasons with the Astros before returning to the Yankees in 2007).

The Yankees now have been one of baseballs best teams, being in the playoffs the last 2 years and winning at least 90 games, An integral part of the Yankees newfound success has been their young talent. With the way this team has been playing, its fair to wonder if the Yankees have found a new core four, the four players listed below have the best shot at replicating a new core of players.

#1 Aaron Judge, Right Fielder

Aaron Judge has arguably become the face of baseball, having been drafted in 2013 by the Yankees and tearing it up through their minor league system and was one of their most highly touted prospects. One can’t forget his debut in August of 2016 when he hit a home run in his first major league at bat against the Rays. Despite finishing his rookie season with a .179 batting average and 42 strikeouts in 84 at bats, Judge adjusted his mechanics and came into 2017 hot, arguably spending his true rookie season as the hottest player in baseball, hitting a putrid 52 home runs, 127 walks, and 114 rbis, winning the home run derby, being named an all star, finishing second in the AL MVP voting and taking home the rookie of the year award for 2017 while also setting the record for most walks and home runs by a rookie in history. Judge missed time due to a chip fracture in his wrist, but still had an all star campaign in 2018 smacking 27 home runs and hitting .278 in 112 games. Judge has battled injuries like many players in major league baseball, but theres no doubt he is an incredible asset to the Yankees and has arguably become their face of the franchise, Judges chambers in right field is a prime example of this, to have a section named after you at Yankee Stadium speaks volumes about how valuable you are to the organization.

#2 Gary Sanchez, Catcher

Gary Sanchez is without a doubt a fantastic catcher, his defense has been somewhat questionable in recent years, allowing the most past balls in 2017 and 2018 despite missing significant time due to a groin injury. Nonetheless, Sanchez is still a clutch hitter, it was only a few seasons ago Sanchez hit 20 home runs and drove in 42 runs in 53 games as a rookie, leading to him finishing second in rookie of the year voting only behind Detroit right hander Michael Fulmer. In 2017, Sanchez had arguably his best season to date, hitting 33 home runs and driving in 90 runs in 122 games with a stat line of .278, .345, .531 earning him an all star nod and a silver slugger award. Sanchez’s 2018 struggles both offensively and defensively show he needs improvement, but theres no doubt his outstanding performance helped the Yankees get back to postseason contention, with Josh Bard as the bench coach being a former catcher himself, Sanchez has all the tools necessary to get back to form.

#3 Luis Severino, Starting Pitcher

Luis Severino has been the Yankees ace for quite some time now, his rookie season saw him show glimpses of brilliance, pitching to a 2.86 ERA and winning 5 of the 11 games he started. His 2016 campaign was rocky as he was demoted to triple a in August of that year. Since his sophomore season, Severino has completely turned it around, not only overtaking Masahiro Tanaka as the ace, but winning 14 and 19 games in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He pitched to a 2.98 ERA and struck out 230 batters in 2017 and had a higher but respectable 3.39 ERA and 220 strike outs in 2018. He has finished in the top 10 for Cy Young voting each of the last 2 seasons. Severinos grit and stellar performance, especially in 2018s wild card game against the A’s in which he pitched 4 innings and struck out 7 without giving up a run earned him a 4 year extension worth $40 million. If he can stay consistant and perform as well as he has in recent years, theres no doubt Severino will go down as a core member of the Yankees new dynasty.

#4 Miguel Andujar, 3rd Baseman

Perhaps one of the most underrated Yankees players, Miguel Andujar, a player who wasn’t even supposed to play at the Major League level this past season was called up and instantly made an impact at the hot corner. Andujar often takes heat for his “poor” defense as he ranked 18th in the league for 3rds basemans fielding percentage at .948 which led to him being benched in game 4 of the ALDS due to the contact inducing C.C. Sabathia taking the hill, a game in which the Yankees were eliminated. Despite his struggles on defense, he still is a young player at only 21 years of age, and his offense more then makes up for it. Andujar was clutch to say the least for the Yankees, hitting .297 with 27 home runs and 97 RBIS. Andujars walkoff single against the Indians in May also proves that Andujar can come up big when necessary. With regard to games played, batting average, home run total and WAR , Andujar was the Yankees second best player in 2018, only behind Giancarlo Stanton. Andujar has lots of room to grow, and being homegrown and coming up through the minors with the Yanks, its only a matter of time until he gets even better.

Judge, Sanchez, Severino and Andujar all have something in common that the core four before them did, they all came up through the Yankees system. With Sanchez being signed in 2009, Severino and Andujar being signed in 2011 and Judge being drafted in 2013. With the way these baby bombers are playing, its not unrealistic to think this could be the start of a new core four.

MLB Awards Recap

MLB News; Rookies of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP

This past week was awards week in Major League Baseball, with the winners of the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards being announced. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) determines the winners each year, and the winners are announced on MLB Network.

Rookie of the year

The week began with the Rookie of the Year announcement, with the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. taking home the hardware. Ohtani finished ahead of the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, while Acuna Jr. topped Washington’s Juan Soto and the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler.

Manager of the year

Tuesday saw the announcement of the Managers of the Year, with Oakland’s Bob Melvin and Atlanta’s Brian Snitker winning the award. Melvin defeating Boston’s Alex Cora and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash. Snitker edged out Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell (17 points) and Colorado’s Bud Black.

Cy Young Winner

The Cy Young winners were announced Wednesday, with Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom receiving the honors. Snell topped Houston’s Justin Verlander by 15 points, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber finished third. deGrom was almost an unanimous decision in the National League, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to Washington’s Max Scherzer, and Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola finished third.

Most Valuable Player

Awards week ended on Thursday with the announcement of the MVPs for each league. Boston’s Mookie Betts and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich won the awards, capping off amazing seasons for both. Betts became the first American League player ever to win a World Series, an MVP, a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season. Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt is the only other player to accomplish the feat. Betts received 28 of 30 first-place votes, with the other two going to the Angels’ Mike Trout and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth. Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez finishing third. Yelich was almost a unanimous selection the the NL, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes. NL Cy Young Jacob deGrom received the other first-place vote, finishing fifth. The Cubs’ Javier Baez and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado rounded out the top three.

Game 7: ALCS-New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

Game Seven – The Best Two Words in Sports

If you’re one to say baseball is boring, I suggest you tune into tonight’s game, because it will be the farthest thing from boring. The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will face off in a win-or-go-home contest tonight at Minute Maid Park. Game Seven’s are already unpredictable enough, but the way this series has been going, it is even harder to predict.

The series has taken multiple twists and turns. Houston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to stellar performances from Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. The Yankees, once again, fought back from down two games to zero.

The Yanks bats got red hot in New York, and found themselves up 3-2, going into a game 6. With Houston’s back against the wall, fighting to stay alive, Justin Verlander answered the call. Verlander was superb again, throwing seven shutout innings which led Houston  to win 7-1. Young guys like Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, and Gary Sanchez will have to step up and show they can perform in big time October baseball games.

The Yankees will send C.C. Sabathia to the bump. Last time out, Sabathia threw six innings of great shutout baseball. There have been a handful of times, over the last couple of years when it seemed like there was no way Sabathia would get another shot to throw in a playoff baseball game, let alone game seven of the ALCS. But here he is, and it seems like the Yankees would not want anyone else to take the hill tonight.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox

This isn’t Sabathia’s first rodeo – he has started in two elimination games in his career, and his team won both of them. In 2012, he threw a complete game to beat the Baltimore Orioles in game five of the ALDS. More recently, he outlasted Indians ace Corey Kluber, giving up two runs and striking out nine in 4 ⅓. Sabathia hopes to continue his good play tonight against a strong Houston lineup.

Jose Altuve and the Astros will look to end the Yankees exciting playoff run tonight, and advance to the World Series to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. Altuve played like an MVP last night, hitting his fourth homerun of the postseason, and tallying up three big time RBIs. Houston’s offense finally seemed to come back alive last night, we’ll see if they can keep the foot on the gas pedal against C.C. Sabathia.

jose-altuve-triThe Houston Astros will send Charlie Morton to the mound tonight – on a very, very short leash. Don’t be surprised if you see Houston ace Dallas Keuchel come out of the bullpen early. It may sound ridiculous, but don’t be surprised if you see the Astros throw Justin Verlander for an inning.

In Game Seven’s, situations are dire. If Houston thinks their best chance to advance to the World Series is to rely on Justin Verlander on no days rest, they will do it – no questions asked. Nonetheless, you will see Houston using their bullpen early and often.  

Analysts and baseball experts can look at stats and crunch numbers all they want, it will have no effect on this game. Take all of the numbers and throw them out the window. Game Seven’s are won by the teams who make the right plays at the right time, they’re won by teams whose veterans and all stars step up in big spots, and they’re won by teams who want it more. One thing is for certain, Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS is going to be a battle, we’ll see who comes out on top.

MLB: ALCS Game 6-New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

Yanks Look to Punch Their Ticket to World Series

Well, it’s official. The New York Yankees are back to being a contender for the World Series. Up 3-2 in the ALCS against the Houston Astros, they seem to be the favorite to represent the American League in this year’s World Series. This young, exciting Yankee team is looking to make some noise in the league for years to come.

The Yankees will send their best pitcher to the bump, Luis Severino. Severino has performed a lot better since not making it out of the first inning of the Wild Card game. The last outing, in game two, Severino surrendered one run on two hits in just four innings.

The Yankees have used their bullpen as many times as they can. So far, it has worked to their advantage, as the bullpen (led by Chapman, Robertson, & Betances) seems almost un-hittable at times. The Houston Astros will certainly have their hands full, dealing with New York’s ace and their great bullpen.


The Yankees lineup will have to put runners on base early and get Verlander’s pitch count up if they want to score runs. During Game five, the Yankees beat up on Houston’s bullpen and look to do the same tonight.

Aaron Judge can be the league’s best hitter at times, but he can also be one of the worst. Although Judge is a top power hitter in the league, he strikes out A LOT. He seems to struggle on the road, and completely dominate at home. Last time in Houston, against Verlander, he went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. He will need to have better at-bats if the Yankees want to score runs early on Verlander. When Judge is hot, he can be a huge spark in the lineup and is always a threat to have a game-changing at-bat.   

636402621254951685-verlander0905Justin Verlander is one of the few things standing in the way of the Yankees winning the pennant. Verlander was outstanding in game two, throwing 124 pitches over 9 innings, striking out thirteen, walking just one, and surrendering only one run. The Yankees looked lost against one of the league’s best, and they will definitely have to have better at-bats tonight.

The Astros lineup have looked too great itself for a majority of the series – with the exception of guys like Carlos Correa and AL MVP favorite Jose Altuve. Besides these two stars and a few others, their lineup has been nowhere to be found. They will need to get it started early on if they want to win this game, and back Verlander.

If the Yankees can put together solid at-bats, and get Verlander’s pitch count up early, they can take home the pennant and win tonight. If Verlander comes out and dominates again, we’ll be back in Houston for a game 7.