Some may call it insane, but the 2017 New York Yankees had a season to remember. No, they didn’t win their division; no, they did not make it to the World Series, but they did a lot of positives that many didn’t think they would achieve. Going into the 2017 campaign, the Yankees had many question marks as far as their team as a whole. Their starting pitching was a big question mark. Led by their star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, the rotation did not look like a playoff-caliber-like pitching staff. After a roller coaster season Tanaka had, another pitcher stepped up in 23-year-old Luis Severino. Last year, Severino went 0-8 as a starter, but seemed to have found his mojo when he was placed in the bullpen. This year, he was arguably the most consistent pitcher for the team. On offense this year, it was all about the “Baby Bronx Bombers” featuring rookie Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious. Judge set a single-season rookie record for home runs with 52. Sanchez picked up right where he left off last year, this time having a full Major League season to put up sensational numbers. Shortstop Gregorious was probably the most consistent hitter for the Yankees all year long. Known more for his impeccable glove on defense, Didi had a breakout year offensively, breaking the Captain Derek Jeter’s record for most home runs by a Yankee shortstop. Gregorious hit 25 of them this year, a career high for him. All and all, the Yankees won 90 games this year, which was good enough for a surprising second-place finish.
After not making the playoffs last year, the Yankees returned to the postseason as a Wild Card. Their first task towards the road to the World Series was a Wild Card game against the Twins. The Yankees were down early, but found a way to put up good at-bats and seal a win. The team then came face-to-face in an American League Divisional matchup against the Cleveland Indians, one of the best teams in the AL. The Yankees dropped the first two games, but was able to rally facing elimination to defeat the Indians winning three straight games. The Yankees then faced off against the Houston Astros, arguably the best team in the American League. Once again, the Yankees dropped the first two games in a hostile crowd in Houston. Manager Joe Girardi was able to rally his team as the Yankees won three in a row in front of their home crowd. The team headed back to Houston needing one win for their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 2009. Unfortunately, the Yankees ran into a better ball club as they were unable to win a road game and ultimately lost the series in seven games.
For the Yankee fans out there, be proud of this 2017 team. They were supposed to be in a “rebuilding mode” this season for 2018. It is safe to say, the team overachieved as far as how far they were able to go. Joe Girardi, whose contract ends this season, should be back as the team’s skipper. Judge, Sanchez, Gregorious and Greg Bird will only get better with the team’s youth movement. The bullpen is one of the team’s strengths and will be again next year. Not to mention, the Yankees minor league system is one of the best in baseball. It is safe to say that the Yankees will only get better and with the moves that General Manager Brian Cashman has made, this Yankee current core is set up to win for the foreseeable future!