Let’s face it, the expectation every year for the New York Yankees and their fans is to compete for a championship. But in the past 2 season the Bronx Bombers have taken an unfamiliar yet realistic approach to returning to the top of the MLB mountain.
Building with youth.
With the aid of some smart trades and roster moves the Yankees boast one of the majors brightest young stars, Gary Sanchez, a plethora of young talent on the current roster and one of the major’s best farm system.
While the Yankees may be a little bit from reaching World Series championships, manager Joe Girardi, who is entering his 10th season, sees a foundation laid for a potential dynasty.
“We haven’t been this young in a long time, probably not since maybe 1996,” Girardi said. “It was a great mixture of youth and veteran players and guys that had a significant impact, guys that the fans recognized when they came up as homegrown and fell in love with players who did wonderful things. I think it’s going to be a very exciting year.”
“Gary Sanchez was as good as you could be for two months,” Girardi said. “Greg Bird played extremely well [in 2015]. We had Tyler Austin come up and do some big things for us, some big hits. Aaron Judge provided some excitement for us as a young player.
“You look at what [Luis] Cessa and [Chad] Green did. [Luis Severino] is a guy that we believe in a lot and we still envision him as a starter, but he did some really good things when he came out of the ‘pen for us. I’m optimistic, because I think there’s a good mixture and there’s a lot of talent in that room.”
While the number of young players has Girardi excited, he is also excited to have Chris Carter a part of the team.
“Here’s a guy that has big power and has RBI potential and is very good in the clubhouse,” Girardi said. “We look at his role; it could go a couple of different ways. It’s hard to turn down a guy that hits 40-plus home runs.”
Girardi knows first hand what a Yankees dynasty looks like. After all he was a part of a Yankees dynasty that dominated the majors in the mid-late 90s into the early 2000s. Girardi sees a lot of similarities with this team and the team from the last dynasty.
“You have some leaders in that clubhouse like the ’96 team did,” Girardi said. “There were new faces sprinkled in and there were young players and there was more talent that was coming. It was kind of the year that Jeter and Mo burst onto the scene, but Mr. Posada was coming and started to become a huge impact in ’97. And I feel that’s kind of what we have here.”
With a healthy infusion of youth coupled with a proven veteran presence, Girardi has plenty of reason to be excited for this season as do Yankee fans.