With the All-Star Game emanating from Washington DC tonight, that signifies that the first half of the MLB season has completed. The New York Yankees finished the first half with a record of 62-33. They also find themselves with four Pinstripers in the festivities tonight. For this countdown, we will take a look at three players who had phenomenal first half. And others who are looking to put their first half behind them. And check out previous installments of this countdown to see who has been “Up and Down” all season.
1 Up- Luis Severino
A representative for the New York Yankees in the All-Star Game Luis Severino has had a tremendous season. He finds himself with a 14-2 record at the break, to go along with 144 strikeouts in just 128.1 innings. Sevvy has truly solidified himself as the “ACE” of the New York Yankees pitching staff.
1 Down- Sonny Gray
For as amazing as Luis Severino has been, Sonny Gray has gone the opposite route. Gray has pitched to a 6-7 record with a 5.46 ERA in 18 games. Sonny has struggled since donning the Pinstripes last trade deadline. With that being said, Yankee fans can take solace in the fact that Gray’s last start was a very good outing. Sonny pitched 6 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits with 8 strikeouts. Hopefully, he can continue that trend after the All-Star Break.
2 Up- Aaron Judge
The starting “Left?!” Fielder in the All-Star Game Aaron Judge has been a steady contributor this season for the Bronx Bombers. Currently, Judge has 25 home runs with 60 rbi’s and a .276 batting average. Aaron Judge has also provided the Yankees with superb defense in Right Field this season. Coming out of the All-Star Break last season Judge struggled. So it will be interesting to see this season how he gets out of the gate in the second half. Since he has chosen to forgo the Home Run Derby.
2 Down- Gary Sanchez
While currently on the DL, Gary Sanchez has been stricken with ineffectiveness all season. During his time healthy he struggled to the tune of a .190 batting average. Now when examining the numbers Gary has still been somewhat productive with 14 home runs and 41 rbi’s. But with the talent, he possesses it has still been a down first half. Sanchez is expected to make his return off the DL coming out of the All-Star Break against the New York Mets. If Gary can put the first half behind him and approach the second half with a reset in his mindset. He will end up in a better position at the end of the second half.
3 Up- Giancarlo Stanton
Following his usual, Giancarlo Stanton has picked up the pace. Stanton found himself at the mercy of the boo birds in the early part of the season. However, since that time Stanton has turned it around. Giancarlo finds himself batting .278 with 23 home runs and 55 rbi’s. Giancarlo went on a historic pace last season to hit 59 home runs. It will be fun watching the second half to see if he can find that same pace.
3 Down- Jacoby Ellsbury
Now I know the question is why Ellsbury? He hasn’t played. And that is the reason why. Ellsbury has spent the entire season on the DL. Jacoby has one of the most expensive contracts on the team and has been a waste of 20 plus million dollars this season. Now Yankees GM Brian Cashman has done an incredible job with assembling this roster and staying under the luxury tax threshold. However, a wasted $20 million does hurt the roster.
B.O.L.O.- Aaron Hicks
Aaron Hicks has already hit a career-best 16 home runs and will have an entire second half to add to it. Hicks is currently the best center fielder in baseball (not named Mike Trout.) If Hicks can keep up his current pace the Yankees have another tremendous asset in the outfield.