What We Can Learn from the Early Yankees 2017 Steamer Projections
While things will change drastically throughout the offseason, FanGraphs gives us an early look at what New York Yankees fans can expect in 2017 with their updated projections.
The team at FanGraphs has recently updated their 30 team depth charts with how each club’s roster would look if the 2017 season were to start today. While the Yankees expected to add pitching depth and perhaps a veteran slugger this offseason, most of the team’s core for next season is probably in place, especially on the position player side, so these early projections from Steamer could provide a good estimate of how the 2017 Bombers might fare.
Here’s a look at a few of the more notable 2017 projections for New York:
Gary Sanchez: To the surprise of no one, Sanchez is expected to easily be the Yankees most valuable position player next season at 3.7 WAR. Steamer doesn’t have him breaking any home run records, but a .268/.328/.490 slash line with 26 home runs in 518 PA would be very solid from the three hole.
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Greg Bird: The good news is Steamer thinks Bird won’t miss a step from his 2015 performance, with a .263/.342/.485 slash and 17 home runs. Unfortunately, the system foresees Bird playing just a half-season in pinstripes next year, either because of injury or needing extra time in the minors to recover fully from his shoulder surgery.
Aaron Judge: Steamer thinks Judge will make significant progress in cutting down his strikeout rate (28.6%). I’d take the .248/.324/.445 batting line with 22 homers it projects for Judge in a second after his scary showing in the last two months of 2016. Definitely encouraging to see the faith the system has in him.
Didi Gregorius: While the power is expected to regress slightly, Steamer thinks Didi’s breakout this year was legit, anticipating a .262/.312/.402 line with 16 homers from the Yankees shortstop. He’s the second most valuable position player at 2.3 WAR.
Veterans: More of the same expected from guys like Chase Headley, Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner. No real change from their 2016 production.
Michael Pineda: Steamer is apparently a sucker, as it is buying in to Big Mike’s tantalizing potential once again, forecasting a 3.44 ERA in 152 IP with excellent peripherals, good for a grand total of 3.5 WAR, just shy of what Masahiro Tanaka is pegged for.
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Luis Severino: A 4.00 ERA in 119 IP and 1.9 WAR would be a huge step forward for Severino after his disastrous 2016 campaign. He doesn’t need to be the Yankees number two starter to be valuable. I’d definitely settle for him becoming a solid number four at this point as long as he doesn’t end up a reliever.