While many of the New York Yankees young stars had mixed results in 2016, fans should expect some big steps forward by these players next season.
For the first time in their recent history, the New York Yankees can reasonably expect to improve the following season just by standing pat. Since the end of the late 90’s dynasty, New York has consistently had one of the oldest clubs in baseball.
Each winter, they have attempted to offset the steady decline of their aging core by signing yet another former star on the wrong side of 30 who inevitably would become part of the problem within a few seasons (if not sooner).
The team’s disastrous collapses in 2013 and 2014 seemingly served as a wake up call to the front office that this couldn’t go on forever. Since then, general manager Brian Cashman has convinced ownership to begin to take the long view.
By hugging their draft picks and prospects tight the last two years, the Yankees have accumulated arguably the best collection of young talent in all of baseball. Fans got their first taste of what this group could do with the promotions of Luis Severino and Greg Bird in the second half of 2015, but the floodgates really opened following this year’s trade deadline.
The 2016 class of Baby Bombers definitely had its moments, but beyond valedictorian Gary Sanchez, there were few who solidified themselves as no-doubt MLB regulars going into next season.
During his recent end of season press conference, Cashman made it pretty clear that, aside from adding some pitching depth, the team will continue to lean heavily on its farm next year rather than looking for big name upgrades on the free agent or trade market.
So if the Yankees are going to make a run next season, it will be on the strength of breakouts from one or more of the following youngsters.