If someone were to tell you at the beginning of the season that Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez combined for four of the Yankees eight hits, and the only run batted in, and that a rookie pitcher named Chad Green threw 6 shutout innings while striking out 11. You would probably think it was September and the Yankees are out of it. Instead, the Yankees are rallying around a group of young rookies that helped the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders get to a whopping 31 games over .500.
Chad Green is the most recent Yankee rookie to take center stage and contribute to a big Yankee victory. The Yankees have flirted with the .500 mark since March. Never being able to get much above, or below .500 which resulted in the Yankees trading their two best bullpen pitchers, their best hitter, and Ivan Nova. Plus, releasing Alex Rodriguez. Many Yankee fans embraced the change and embraced the youth movement and prepared for the worst; however, so far what they have gotten is more than they could have imagined.
Chad Green dominated AAA all season. It had been a mystery as to why his minuscule 1.52ERA in the minors wasn’t lining up to his disastrous starts in the majors, but now with the feeling of a little bit of job security and a new found swagger and confidence on the mound, Chad Green racked up 11 strike outs versus a team that is 6th in baseball offensively. Green was hitting his spots with his fastball working all parts of the plate while dropping in nasty hooks and change ups that left batters scratching their heads.
Now, with about a month and a half of the season left the Yankees youth movement could actually propel them into the playoffs, but they will have to continue to adjust as the majors will try to exploit their weaknesses.
Aaron Judge has obviously been the most stand out Yankee so far, and that’s not just for his 6 foot 7 build, or for his towering 450 foot home runs. The most impressive thing we’ve seen from him is his patience at the dish. Also, his ability to hit to all parts of the field is encouraging. For only playing in three major league games he shows a good steady approach, not swinging at bad pitches, and a willingness to hit the ball where it’s pitched. He went 2-3 last night with a walk while driving in the games only run.
Gary Sanchez was the other young rookie stand out in last nights game. Going two for three. He also shows a poised approach at the plate and will make you pay for missing your spot! He has significant power and hits to all parts of the field. He has a swagger about himself like he has been in the majors for 15 years. He appears very confident and has a very patient approach.
Lastly, though Tyler Austin didn’t play last night he has hit safely in both games that he has played. Austin, who beat cancer in high school has had a bounce back season this year. His ability to go to the other side of the field is great, and he has some pop in his bat as well. He appears to be a grind it out type of player who is focused on winning. He is very versatile and gives the Yankees an ability to play four different positions.
These are your 2016 Yankees and though no one thought they had a chance at a legitimate run to the playoffs they have proven if their youth continues to produce they have a real chance to make a serious run at the playoffs this season and give some of their young players the experience of competing down the stretch.