Yankees: Tinkering With 2017 Batting Order Possibilities

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 10, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; USA outfielder Clint Frazier hits a RBI double in the third inning during the All-Star Game Futures baseball game at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

End of season lineup

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS
  3. Gary Sanchez, C
  4. Matt Holliday, DH
  5. Greg Bird, 1B
  6. Aaron Judge, RF
  7. Starlin Castro, 2B
  8. Clint Frazier, LF
  9. Chase Headley, 3B

If you’re making a lineup without adding a few shake-ups and predictions, are you having any fun?

My guess is that Gardner gets dealt by the July 31 trade deadline, though that could depend on where the Yankees are in the standings. If Frazier, the highest praised piece acquired in last summer’s Andrew Miller deal with the Indians, plays well in Triple-A, moving Gardner clears a path for Frazier to receive big-league playing time. He already has energized New York’s fan base with tweets about his ginger locks, anxiousness to wear the pinstripes, and light-hearted, Yankees-endorsing exchanges with Nationals superstar Bryce Harper. At this point, the only thing left for Frazier to do is perform.

If Frazier cracks the starting nine, Girardi will ease him into the majors by giving him a low position in the batting order. Obviously, Frazier has a much higher ceiling than a No. 8 hitter.

If all goes as the Yankees hope, 2017’s lineup will have added thump and better balance. Sanchez will have performed exceptionally over a full season, and Bird and Judge will have taken strides in their development and slugged their way up the order. None of that, though, is guaranteed.

Next: Bryan Mitchell Envisions Himself in Yanks' Rotation

For the Yankees, this will be a year primarily dedicated to player development. By season’s end, they hope to have more answers than question marks. New York’s high-end prospects are the fruits of a transition that, best-case scenario, could lead to a new dynasty.