Yesterday, I posted about my Yankee Confidence for the immediate future. Now, let me discuss the future: 2011 and beyond.
For 2011, it’s hard not to be confident. The Yankees will likely be returning the same team as the 2010 team. There are still some holes that leave room for concern.
1. Derek Jeter and his aging process. This year’s been bad and how often do we see late 30′s shortstops improve? Then again, we can be pretty sure it won’t be worse than this year. This is about as bad as it can get for Jeter. And, like Moshe said yesterday, we can’t reasonably expect 2009 for him again, but even 2008 repeated would be a bit of an improvement.
2. Alex Rodriguez and his aging process. I’m more confident in Rodriguez bouncing back because he’s generally been a better player as well as his “old player” skills–on base ability/power–are more developed than Jeter’s. Health is more of a concern with Rodriguez, though.
3. Brett Gardner: can he repeat 2010 or come close to it? That remains to be seen. Until he does that, the Yankees shouldn’t even think about giving him any sort of extension. It’s best to go year to year with him.
4. A.J. Burnett is making, as he will, a lot of money. Hopefully his curveball bounces back and his strikeout rate comes back as well.
But, as always, there are some things to look forward to:
1. A full season of Curtis Granderson. I think he can put up 20-25 HRs in a full season. His fielding is great and the fact that he’s willing to tweak his game is encouraging. Go Curtis!
2. Phil Hughes is bound to improve. His offseason work should include sharpening his curve ball and actually using his changeup. I’m confident in Phil, as we all should be.
3. Robinson Cano is still Robinson Cano. We shouldn’t be disappointed if he doesn’t repeat 2010–that’ll be hard–but he’s still in his prime.
The Yankee farm system also had a fantastic year. We should see some of those guys in the Bronx next season. Now, here’s where I talk about Jesus Montero:
His incredible second half surge gives me great confidence in his ability to hit in the upper levels. While it’s hard to pin the hopes of a franchise on one dude, Montero can be a staple for the Yankees for many years to come, no matter what position he’s going to play.
Andrew Brackman was a great surprise this year and I think we should all be confident in his ability to (again) move up the ranks and improve with time. David Phelps impressed this year, and Graham Stoneburner (best name in the system?) blew us all away. For the first time in a while, I’m confident in the Yankees’ pitching future (just don’t screw it up, Yankees).
As it usually is, the future is bright for the Yankees. Their financial largess coupled with better front office thinking should keep them competitive for 2011 and beyond. Like always, we need to keep our confidence in this team.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees