The humble giant will enjoy his first spring training knowing he has a job waiting for him. I highly doubt it will affect his work ethic. Last year Judge came into spring training coming off a terrible first audition in 2016. He was battling to be the opening day right fielder and in all fairness to Hicks, it was a very close race.
I think the pressure this year will be much more intense. Rookie of the Year winner. MVP finalist. Rookie home run leader. He's got A LOT to live up to and prove he isn't just a flash in the pan.
My opinion, he's good. The Yankee fans who watched him day in and day out know that his work ethic and attitude is just as impressive as his home runs. BUT! It will be nearly impossible for him to start 2018 the same way he started 2017. Hitting for a .330 average with 30 home runs is some fairy tale shit. Hopefully, fans realize this and don't start saying "sophomore slump!" when he's not at that pace.
If Judge hits above .270 with 40 + home runs we're happy. I feel silly asking for only 40 home runs but asking for 50 feels rude. If he wants to cut down on the strikeouts and get himself a couple more base hits I wouldn't be against it but I don't really care.
Gardner has the gig as starting left fielder. There was a lot of mumbling and grumbling about him needing to be traded to make room for Clint. I think after the season ended it was VERY easy to say, okay, let Brett stay so Clint can work on some things.
Gardy is coming off his most productive season of his career. 96 runs (97 is career high), 157 hits (career high), 21 home runs (career high).
He also crushed it as a leadoff man. In his 1st at-bat of games, he hit .322 with a .410 OBP. Talk about setting the table for the big boppers behind him.
It's the first time in Gardner's career he will be playing for his future. He's never been a free agent. The Yankees have an option on him for the 2020 season and you have to think Gardners goal is to make them use it. With the stockpile of young outfielders in our system that seems very unlikely but ya never know. The dude is our pulse and not someone I'd want to trifle with.
Cash has already granted centerfield to Aaron Hicks. He said they ended the season with him in center because he was the best option and for that reason, they will be starting the next season the same way. Makes sense!
What would I like to see from Hicks? Well, for one, it would be cool if he didn't pull his oblique every other month. That would be nice. It seems to come with his style of play. He plays a good centerfield but his routes aren't always the best. They lead to him having to over correct and reach.
He's also a guess hitter, which leads to him taking GIANT hacks and nothing but air when he guesses wrong.
The combination led to two oblique injuries last year. So less of that. More of the home runs. More of the grand slam robberies. More of the 100 mph rocket arm.
Mr Boring! The highest paid 4th outfielder in the bigs.
The easy first wish for Ellsbury in 2018 is for him to be wearing a different uniform. It may be impossible but if the stars align. If Cashman swindles a team into taking Ellsbury off our hands and Jacoby agrees to be traded. That would be plan numero uno.
In reality, Ellsbury will start the season with the team as our 4th outfielder. If you take away the amount of money he is making and the fact he is blocking a young guy from getting experience, it's not that bad to have Jacobo as our 4th. He's got the speed. He's got the defense. He can still swing a decent stick when healthy. After the demotion to 4th outfielder last season, a fire was lit underneath him and he put together a solid campaign.
So... if you're not traded and you're not hurt, then you better bring your A game as a fourth outfielder Ells. Cause this situation kinda stinks.
Cashman said that Clint was blocked right now but still had a high ceiling. If Ellsbury wasn't around I think Clint might get the start with the team as the 4th outfielder. Most likely he will be back in AAA to work on some things.
I've said time and time again that I don't like his swing. Not having your back foot on the ground when you make contact doesn't seem like the best way to generate power. But then it was pointed out that Bryce Harper has that same thing going on in his swing. I'm also no expert.
Clint really needs to teach himself to slow things down. Every moment doesn't have to be the moment. You don't need to try and rob home run balls that are actually fly balls to the warning track.
He will be up in the MLB at some point during the season so he's gonna have to stay ready. Hopefully his second go around he won't feel such a need to press and impress. He's going to be an extra base hit machine once he sticks.
I've got three piece of advice for Billy.
1. Enjoy the twitter love while you've got it. The hive mind has decided to make you their next pet project. I don't know if you have fully replaced Andujar yet but the people who love calling prematurely for prospects have decided its your turn. Congrats!
2. Change your between pitch routine man. That shit takes forever. To quote Bull Durham, "Your [routine between pitches is too slow]. You'll never make it to the bigs with [such a slow routine]. Think classy, you'll be classy. Hit 30 in the show, you can let the [slow routine come] back and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you hit 30 in the show, however, it only means you are a [loon].
3. Keep grinding. Keep getting better. Barring a lot of injuries, I don't think you see MLB next year and thats okay. You're on your way.
Cave is pretty old for a prospect. Same age as Aaron Judge actually. His climb has been slow and steady.
Drafted in 2011
Missed 2012 with injur
2013 A Ball: .282 with 2 home runs
2014: A+ & AA: .294 with 7 home runs
2015 AA & AAA: .278 with 2 home runs
2016: AA & AAA: .268 with 8 home runs
2017: AA & AAA: .305 with 20 home runs
In 2016 the Yankees didn't protect him and the Reds grabbed him in the Rule 5 Draft. He didn't break camp with the club though so the Reds sent him back. This year the Yankees decided to protect him. In a plethora of outfield talent, who knows how Cave's future rolls out. I think he'd get the call as a temporary replacement before McKinney does.
I like the Yankees, watching TV shows and talking about stuff.
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