Yankees: Replace the “Core Four” with “The Magnificent Seven”

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Judge
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Judge /

In 1998, the Yankees began their run of seven consecutive AL East Division Titles with the historic “Core Four.” Now begins 2018 with seven players either signed or drafted into the farm system, who I dub: “The Magnificent Seven.”

Let’s say hello to the new, New York Yankees.

Catcher: Gary (The Kraken or The Sanchize) Sanchez — age 25, was signed by the Yanks out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. He was a first-time All-Star and Silver Slugger winner in 2017. In 2016, Sánchez hit 20 home runs in just 53 games. Last year, he returned to belt 33 HR and 90 RBI in his first full season in the big leagues — breaking the record for most homers in a single campaign by a Yankees’ catcher, formerly held by Yogi Berra. (Core player)

First Base: Greg (Bird Dog) Bird — age 25, drafted by the Yankees in 2011. He showed promise in 2015 before getting injured with 11 HR and 31 RBI in only 46 games. Upon returning in 2017 from the DL, Bird nearly duplicated his ’15 numbers, although his batting average dropped significantly. The Yanks look forward to a full healthy season from Bird this time around. (Core Player)

Right Field: Aaron (The Judge or All Rise) Judge — age 25, was a first-round draft pick by the Yankees in 2013. He was a 2017 All-Star, Silver Slugger, a unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year and winner of the Home Run Derby. He is widely considered to be the new face of Major League Baseball. Judge’s .284 batting average with 127 RBI and 52 HR — along with an incredible .422 OBP, .627 SLG and 1.049 OPS may be the greatest rookie season of all time. (Core player)

Starting Pitcher: Luis (Sevvy) Severino — age 24, was signed in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. He had originally agreed to terms with the Colorado Rockies, but a Yankees’ scout matched their offer and convinced Severino to play for the team he had grown up a fan of. A 2017 All-Star, Sevvy went 14-6 for the Yanks and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting. (Core player)

Starting Pitcher: Jordan (Gumby or Monty) Montgomery — age 23, was drafted by the Yanks in 2014 and went 9-7 in his rookie season with a 3.88 ERA. Following manager Aaron Boone’s recent proclimation that he had nailed down the No. 5 spot in the 2018 rotation, Monty has great promise to move up to the front end of the staff after posting an 8.2 Rookie WAR. (Core player)

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Relief Pitcher: David (Houdini or D-Rob) Robertson — age 32, drafted by Yankees in 2006. He was a 2011 All-Star and former setup man turned closer before he left the Yanks in free agency after the 2014 campaign. Now Robertson is back and is still considered one of the best relievers in the game highlighted by his 2.83 career ERA. (Core player)

Relief Pitcher: Dellin Betances (DDawg) — age 29, drafted by Yanks in 2006. Betances is a four-time All-Star that has been one of the games best relief pitchers since 2014. Untouchable prior to control struggles in 2017, if he can regain his original form, he will be the centerpiece of this year’s bullpen. I still consider Betances a core member, hoping he and the Yankees will resolve whatever it is that ails him.

Two other players that I do not consider core members but were drafted by the Yankees and came up through the farm include:

Left Field: Brett (Gardy) Gardner — age 34, drafted by the Yanks in 2005. He was a 2015 All-Star and 2016 Gold Glove winner during the span of his 10-year career in the Bronx and it ain’t over yet. Gardy has a lifetime (.264) BA and (.347) on-base percentage while bringing speed, defensive ability and veteran leadership to the table.

Relief Pitcher: Adam (Rocket) Warren — age 30, drafted by Yankees in 2009, generally used as a spot starter and sometimes underappreciated long reliever.

I believe Tyler Wade will make the 2018 roster, but it is far too early to include him on this list.

Next: Aaron Judge vows not to be a one-hit wonder

Well, there you have it. “The Mag 7.” How will this group, joined by the duo of Didi Gregorius and reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton fare in comparison to the 1998-2005 Yankees?

We’re yet to find out; however, right now, this collection of talent certainly look the part of “The Magnificent Seven.”