Yankees amazing and inconceivable season at the 40-game mark

May 6, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) congratulates second baseman Starlin Castro (14) for hitting a 2 RBI home run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) congratulates second baseman Starlin Castro (14) for hitting a 2 RBI home run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Report Card Reads: Has Shown Improvement

The 2016 Yankees started the season 18-22; the 2017 version is 24-16. That means a 20-game improvement year-to-year and a lot of improved play. Yankees fans will excuse Gary Sanchez from this category as there is no way he or anyone could do better than he did in 2016.

Sadly for poor lost 2016, there were a lot of players who finished the season needing to make this list. Fortunately for 2017, a lot of players have; here is the short version.

Michael Pineda. We have already sung his praises in the MVP category. His numbers look even better when we compare them to 2016 when he had a record of 6-12 and an ERA of 4.82. This year he has a winning record (4-2) and has shaved more than a full point off of his ERA. He is Big Mike maybe for the first time.

Aaron Judge. You have heard it a million times. Aaron struck out in 42 of his 84 AB’s—that’s a fifty percent rate—and finished with a .179 BA. This year he has cut that down to about thirty percent, with 44 SO’s in 136 AB’s, and owns a .331 BA. You wanna know how improved the Yankees are this year?

Aaron Judge did not win this award.