Monday, February 1, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the New York Yankees?

You didn’t think we would go all offseason talking fantasy baseball and not talk about the New York Yankees, did you? Well if you did you were wrong because today we focus on the Yankees specifically and some of their players that can help you win your fantasy leagues. I know that if you’re reading this you’re probably already pretty well versed in Yankees baseball so we decided to throw a little bit of a twist into this post. It is Prospects Month after all so we decided to look at what Yankees prospects and young guys could potentially help you win your league either now or around June or July when they are ready to come up to the Major Leagues.

Aaron Hicks is not a prospect by any means but he is a young guy and a former top prospect out of the Minnesota Twins organization. While Hicks is penciled into the Yankees bench role you have to think that he will get plenty of at bats this season. Injuries happen and the Yankees have three potentially injury prone outfielders out there in their starting lineup. Manager Joe Girardi is also known for mixing and matching and is not afraid to “give a guy a day” for rest giving Hicks plenty of opportunities. Hicks is available at all three outfield positions and should see an uptick in production as a platoon hitter against left-handed pitching and especially from Yankee Stadium. In deeper leagues he may get you enough at bats and produce enough to warrant him on your bench, in leagues with 10 players or less there may be too much talent left on the board to justify taking a chance on him.

Luis Severino may not be a prospect either but in my eyes he is a legitimate fantasy player that comes with a bit of risk. Severino enters the 2016 season with just half a season of MLB pitching under his belt and a presumed innings limit of some kind. While the Yankees are unlikely to hold Severino under 150 innings barring any injuries or setbacks next season they likely won’t let him see 200 innings either which may limit his fantasy value. While I want to think Severino will be the Yankees ace in 2016 I have to be realistic and think that he may regress a bit from his 2.89 ERA from last season. Severino did struggle with his command and walks a bit in his small sample size in 2015 and I believe that may become a bit more of a problem in 2016. That doesn’t mean he won’t give you 10-15 wins and an ERA in the mid-to-high three’s though.

Finally I want to lump both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge together because their cases for next season are quite comparable in my opinion. While all signs seem to point to Sanchez being on the Yankees bench on Opening Day 2016 it is all the more possible that he could also join Judge in Scranton to start the 2016 season as well. These two storylines are comparable because they are both one injury away from forcing the hand of Brian Cashman much like Severino and first baseman Greg Bird did in 2015. Judge seems to be a right fielder only in the Major Leagues, although yes he has played some center field in Triple-A, meaning that an injury to Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner may lead to his name being called next on the Scranton Shuttle. Meanwhile Sanchez could start on the bench and get ample at bats relieving both Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann (and possibly Mark Teixeira if they ask him to learn first base like they did John Ryan Murphy) or he could be in Scranton with someone like Austin Romine or Carlos Corporan backing up McCann. Either way he likely won’t be a serious option out of spring training but may be more suited for your watch list that you can reevaluate around June or July of 2016.

Also an honorable mention goes to James Kaprielian, the Yankees first pick in the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft. Kaprielian was deemed MLB ready out of the draft and did nothing to make anyone think otherwise in his first professional season. Kaprielian could be up by July or earlier if injuries and ineffectiveness hit the club so keep an eye out on him as well. He’s likely starting in the minor leagues but could be done with Double-A within a month or two and could be in Triple-A by early June if the Yankees get aggressive enough just in time for your late season fantasy push.

So there you have it, a few Yankees young guys and prospects that could help you win your fantasy league or could help you for the future if you have a keeper league. There was a reason we covered most every other team and kept the Yankees out of the loop until now and now you know, we saved New York for the first day of Prospects Month. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoyed. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)