The first few games of the Grapefruit League spring season have been played and the Yankees have played well. Truly there aren’t really many spots open on this 2018 New York Yankees team. There is a real battle for the second base job and to a much lesser extent after the trade for Brandon Drury the third base starting spot (though publicly a “battle” is still to be had). The Yankees also have a semi-sorta spot open in the bullpen however, lefty reliever Chasen Shreve is out of minor league options and it is doubtful that the Yankees would DFA (Designate for Assignment) him and risk losing Shreve. Shreve will provide an additional lefty in a very right heavy bullpen. So as is with Brandon Drury and the third base job, the final spot in the bullpen is Shreve’s to lose.
- Clint Frazier is determined to make the opening roster. Frazier has been aggressive on the bases and in the field. Red Thunder has also used the aggression in a much more controlled way, having made a noticeable change in his swing.
- Tyler Wade much like Clint Frazier is hungry and working very hard to make the ball club right out of Spring Training. Now box score stats during Spring Training mean nothing but what does mean something is the approach the players take. The drive and passion is evident on a hustle double by Wade in game 1 of Spring Training.
- Greg Bird is finally healthy and has shown that ability. We have gotten brief cameos at the end of 2015 and 2017. Bird has played in 2 of the first 3 games in the Spring.
- Jorge Saez a non 40 man roster catching prospect is trying to make an impression so that if a couple of the backups to Gary Sanchez goes down that his number will be called.
- Tyler Austin has seemingly been donned the backup first baseman. Yet Austin hasn’t been able to stay healthy either. So this spring Tyler Austin will need to make a real impression himself.
- Estevan Florial has some unreal upside. The upside is being spoken of a lot so far this Spring and rightfully so. Florial’s speed is real and he also has some impressive bat to ball skills than will serve him well in his development.
- Gleyber Torres has not skipped a beat. Torres has excelled throughout every level of the minor leagues. The questions were asked where Torres would be in the development process after suffering an injury on his non throwing elbow last season. However Gleyber has been answering the questions with a resounding “I’m Ready for the Bronx”.
- Danny Espinosa is making it clear he is a defensive stalwart but it seems that he has made some strides in the offensive category as well. Espinosa had a big bases clearing double in the game Sunday in Clearwater against the Phillies (He was also thrown out easily trying to stretch it into a triple).
- Jacoby Ellsbury has a long way to go if he’s going to win back the starting center field job, but he is making strides to try to make it a competition.
- Jordan Montgomery is showing the Yankee decision makers that he is here to stay. He had a strong outing against the Phillies in Clearwater on Sunday. Throwing only 24 pitches with 2 strikeouts surrendering only 1 hit across 2 innings of work.
- Justus Sheffield has the kind of “Stuff” in his left arm that you wish to have a fastball that can reach 96mph and a devastating late breaking Slider. Sheffield was dominate in his first inning of work against the Phils, but made some mistakes with location in his second inning but overall a very impressive showing in his first Spring outing.
- The Yankees will be bringing back Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui as special instructors during Spring Training camp.
The Yankees are 3-0 in Spring Training and while these games mean nothing statistically speaking having the team playing at a high level. Having pitchers who are hitting there spots having hitters who are having good at bats bodes well form the Yankees. Also games won this early in Spring Training are usually won by the guys that will be spending most if not all of the year in the minors. Winning games this early in Spring means that the New York Yankees have a farm system that is loaded with a lot of talent. Which isn’t a surprise as Brian Cashman and his team have done a great job restocking and retooling the Yankees farm system that not to long ago truly was not impressive at all. The Yankees are set to have a very good season at the Major and Minor League levels.