Why Yankees Fans Should Be Excited for 2021
By Patrick Gunn
The Yankees are just weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training. This comes after a long offseason filled with both inaction and more moves than fans can count on one hand.
Most fans would agree that the 2021 Yankees are World Series contenders, and PECOTA would agree. With that said, I get the sense that Yankees fans are excited to see Major League Baseball again but not the complete prospect of watching the Yankees’ roster play, even amongst our own writers.
Regardless, the Bombers have a roster that should be considered one of the best units in MLB and most definitely a contender to win the Fall Classic. Here are a few reasons why Yankees fans should be excited.
Yes, the Yankees have very little left-handed depth. They also have two of the best power hitting players in the game in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, rising stars in Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, and Gio Urshela, and steady cogs in D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks.
The Yankees need help from the left side, but Brian Cashman is always looking to tinker with the Yankees’ roster and could find that bat during the season. As it is, the Yankees have a fantastic lineup that underachieved last season because a majority of the roster got injured last season, and Torres and Gary Sanchez had duds. Keep in mind, Torres still produced 106 WRC+ even in a weaker season, per FanGraphs, and he’s just 23 years old. Also, Sanchez still an exit velocity of 91.8 mph.
I feel confident that those two will hit better than they did last season and the Yankees’ lineup in general is going to be a pleasure to watch day in and day out.
GERRIT COLE RACKING UP STRIKEOUTS:
The Bomber’s ace had an up and down first season in New York, giving up a high home run rate leading to a 3.89 FIP. With that said, Cole still finished with 11/6 K/9 and an xFIP of 3.38 per FanGraphs, and all of their projections have Cole improving. He is going to be a delight to watch take the mound every fifth day.
THE RETURN OF LUIS SEVERINO:
Sevy has been out for most of the last two seasons with arm injuries, but hopefully by the summer, he will finally return to the mound. Severino dominated in 2017 and 2018, his last two healthy seasons, with a strikeout rate above 10 K/9 both years, a walk rate below 2.4 both years, a ground ball to fly ball ratio above 1.45 both seasons, and FIPS around 3 both years. He may need time to get back to that level, but Severino’s return is definitely a cause for celebration.
THE YANKEE DEBUTS OF JAMESON TAILLON AND COREY KLUBER:
Taillon and Kluber have both put together some fantastic seasons and have both seen their careers halted because of injuries. The two are healthy now and ready to contribute to a championship run. Taillon has reshaped his delivery and feels like he’s turned a corner, and Kluber has a positive attitude and appears to be healthy. Both of these pitchers are fantastic talents, and I can’t wait to see them both take the mound in Yankees Pinstripes soon.
YOUNG PITCHERS COMING TO THE BRONX:
Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt have a great chance of cracking the Yankees’ 2021 rotation, either at the start of the season or at some point during the year. Luis Medina – who has an admirer at SSTN – is on the rise. Luis Gill has an elite fastball that could get him close to the Bronx. Jonathan Loaisiga, Nick Nelson, and Michael King have all gotten a taste of pitching in the majors in the bullpen. The Yankees have a lot of young pitchers approaching the majors.
These are just five reasons to be excited about the Yankees’ next year. What are you looking forward to most about next year?