Top five takeaways from 2017
- Pitching far exceeded expectations – especially the starters
Besides an uncharacteristically poor season from Masahiro Tanaka, Yankee starters performed exceptionally well. Luis Severino was named an All-Star, former Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray was acquired, CC Sabathia looked like his old incredible self, and Jordan Montgomery impressed in his rookie campaign.
The bullpen was merely one of the best in all of baseball. David Robertson had a career year, Chad Green pitched to a historic rookie season, and Tommy Khanle was nothing short of dominant after he came over from the White Sox with Robertson. Despite struggles at various times throughout the season, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances did pitch well also.
- Luis Severino proved himself as a bonafide ace
Severino pitched to a sub 3.00 ERA in 2017 after an abysmal 2016. He tossed 193.1 innings across 31 starts, which was the most out of any Yankee last season. ‘Sevy’ was also tied with Sabathia for the team lead in wins with 14.
- Aaron Judge showed just how good he could be
Judge had incredible, historic rookie season. He was an All-Star, Rookie of the Year, Home Run Derby champion, and one of the most popular players in the major leagues. He smacked 52 home runs, drove in 114 runs, had a batting average of .284 and an OPS of 1.049.
- Aaron Hicks proved he is worthy of a starting role
Hicks spelled Jacoby Ellsbury of a starting role in 2017. Former manager Joe Girardi started him in place of the high-paid Ellsbury in every single playoff game. While showing he can play an above average center field, he displayed an excellent hitting ability at the plate. He hit .266 with 15 homers last season.
- This team is fun to watch, works well together, and has a very high ceiling
As we entered the season just a short year ago, there were many question marks attached to the team. Would Judge start in right/last a full season? Can Severino be a major league starter? Who is going to be the fifth starter? Can the Yankees return to playoffs contention?
After a 91-73 regular season and falling one win short of advancing to the World Series, all of these questions were answered in an extremely positive fashion. The Yankees crushed their TV ratings of 2016 and seemingly re-gained their wavering popularity throughout the world. Last years team was a lovable underdog that seemed to take the sports world by storm.