The New York Yankees had the type of season most franchises would love to have. The Bronx Bombers would finish the season with a record of 100-62. And would make it to the ALDS before ultimately being defeat by the eventual World Champions. But this is the New York Yankees and that wasn’t good enough. But some of the players did their part this season while others weren’t able to contribute quite so much. So we look at those players now.
1 Up: Aaron Judge
We start with the obvious case involving the Judge, Aaron Judge. Aaron has a remarkably consistent 2018. Especially when considering the volatility that was his 2017 campaign. And even though Judge would miss about 6 weeks of the second half, his overall production has him ranked top on this list. Judge would end the season with 27 home runs, 67 rbi’s and a WAR of 5.5 (according to Baseball Reference.)
1 Down: Jacoby Ellsbury
Alright, so I understand the question becomes how can a guy who didn’t play have a down year. Well, there lies your answer. Jacoby Ellsbury was sidelined with injury after injury all season long. And while his “super” agent Scott Boras says he will be primed and ready to go for Spring Training that doesn’t negate the fact that Jacoby cashed in a $20 plus million salary to sit in the doctor’s office. And for that very reason, it was a downright awful season for Jacoby as a New York Yankee.
2 Up: Aaron Hicks
The second Aaron in our countdown had a career year in nearly every category. Aaron Hicks was arguably the best centerfielder in baseball not named Mike Trout. That career offensive season combined with his usual stellar defensive abilities and it propelled Hicks to a career-high WAR of 4.7 (according to Baseball Reference.) Hicks would go on to total career highs in hits, runs, home runs, rbi’s, and even walks. Along with tying his career high marks in doubles and triples as well. With back to back outstanding seasons under his belt, and also seemingly be able to maintain his health, Hicks should be able to build upon that in 2019.
2 Down: Sonny Gray
What was supposed to be a fresh start and a clearing of the mind was Sonny Gray’s 2018 season. The mid-season trade of 2017 saw Sonny struggle. So going into 2018 it was a believed that a full offseason under his belt would allow Gray to get comfortable and pitch productively for the Pinstripes. However, that was not the case. Gray would find himself seemingly out of it from his first pitch.
The entire 2018 season for “Pickles” was a crimson stain of his once impressive career. Gray would pitch to an ERA of nearly 5 and would have an ERA+ of 89 (league average is 100.) Gray was a below average pitcher for the Yankees and the experiment seems to be heading towards a conclusion. As during the closing press conference, Yankees GM Brian Cashman was asked and answered the question of Sonny Gray. Paraphrasing Cashman, he said that Gray would probably be better off somewhere else. So look for Sonny Gray to be somewhere else.
3 Up: Luis Severino
Despite a somewhat rocky second half and rough ALDS start Luis Severino was the Yankees best pitcher as a whole. During the first half, Sevvy was well on his way to winning his first Cy Young. Many ideas were given out about his second-half struggles. Most of which fall back on Sevvy tipping his pitches. A point that will surely be addressed this offseason. And if Luis is able to regain control over his control it is only a matter of time before the Yankee Ace wins the coveted AL Cy Young Award.
3 Down: Tommy Kahnle
Tommy Kahnle was once the most valuable piece of the 2017 trading deadline for the Yankees. However, 2018 was not the same story. As in 2018 Kahnle would spend a majority of the season in the Minor Leagues. What was at first thought to be able his service time manipulation quickly turned into questioning if the “stuff” was still there? Tommy would pitch only 23.1 innings. But it was to the tune of an ERA of 6.56, surrendering nearly a run an inning pitched (22 runs allowed.)
B.O.L.O: Didi Gregorius
In what has been one of the best-underrated moves in the history of the New York Yankees Didi Gregorius has gotten better and better with each passing season. And 2018 was no exception. Despite missing time with injury and going through a month-long dry spell in May. Didi would end the season with career highs in runs scored (89), walks (48), stolen bases (10), and home runs (27.) Didi had to undergo Tommy John Surgery and it is currently unknown when he will return exactly. But a returning Gregorius could be a jolt in the arm of the 2019 New York Yankees.