Over the last week the Yankees have traded away all of the best performers that the 2016 team had, and built the farm system in the league. This is unlike any season in the last 25 years but the idea of having a strong farm system got us all excited for 2018 and beyond. As Yankee fans though, waiting 2 years to see what we have coming in the future just wouldn’t be enough, so thankfully The Yankees are going to show us what the future looks like sooner rather than later.
The first move looks to be Gary Sanchez coming up tomorrow to DH against the Mets. Sanchez has been in the minors for the last 5 years and has been hyped as the catcher of the future for that entire time after signing for $3mil. Sanchez brings a strong arm and power bat but struggles defensively behind the plate. We’ve already seen Sanchez called up once to DH this year so you can see that the Yankees still see merit in McCann and Romine taking most of the innings behind the plate but Gary will get a chance to show whether or not he can stick behind the plate at the big league level.
Judge will likely be the next guy called up once he is taken off the AAA DL today. The plan is to let him get a few more games under his belt to knock off some of the rust, and then turn RF over to him to begin his big league career. Judge has hit .261 with 16 homers, and 54 RBIs so far this season. On the flip side though he has 86 strikeouts in 318 at-bats. Judge has been on the DL since July 9th so he has a little bit of work to do, but getting him up and getting to see big league pitching will help him find ways to cut down on chasing pitches and be ready to go for 2017.
With Tex having an expiring contract all signs point towards the job at first base being handed to Greg Bird, but while Bird has been on the shelf this year Tyler Austin has been tearing up AAA and will get a look as well in the bigs. In just 49 games at AAA Austin leads the team with a .312 average with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs. It’s often said that the guys who will be great big league players don’t spend much time in AAA and with Austin having started the season at AA and earning his way to in the same year, the team must see something special in him. Oh yeah he also beat cancer in high school so he’s a tough son of a bitch too.
Ben Heller appears to be the 4th guy that will get called up this year and by many was viewed as a throw in when we got Clint Frazier from Cleveland. Heller was a 22nd round pick so it’s easy to think he is just an extra piece, but extra pieces don’t hit 100mph on the gun. Mix in a power slider and it’s easy to see how he could become a huge piece of our bullpen, and the numbers match. Since being called up to AAA before the trade, Heller was 2-2 with 2.49 era and 5 saves. Scouts say he’s matured since being drafted and could be a closer, but most importantly, he knows what Saturday is.
Who knows what the rest of the season has in store for us in terms of wins and losses, but at least we’re going to get a peak at what the future holds this year and will have that to be excited about. Plus we may end up seeing on of the all time greats in the game, Alex Rodriguez, released because there just aren’t at-bats for him within this youth movement.