ESPN formed a panel of MLB writers, analysts and contributors to rank the top 100 players heading into 2016, and then also the top 10 players at each position. Yankees made the top 10 list for relievers, catchers, and left fielders.
Note that Aroldis Chapman is #1 in all of baseball; note that the panelists voting ended up placing Dellin Betances higher than Andrew Miller. Note also that all three moved up higher than their position last year. Nice to have 3 (THREE) of the top 10 relievers in baseball on the Yankees.
Note Brian McCann, who had a good year in 2015, moved back up from where he’d fallen to (#9) after his terrible 2014. He is now rated 6th best catcher in baseball — 2 slots behind former Yankee Russell Martin.
The Left Fielders:
Brett Gardner is ranked 8th best left fielder in baseball. We of course know that’s based on his great first half of 2015, not his horrible second half of season or playoff game. A terrific ranking and he’s moved up from his prior ranking, which was #10.
Of course left fielders are left fielders and one might argue there are right fielders who didn’t make the top 10 amongst right fielders who would be ranked higher than the highest left fielders — since teams traditionally put their guys with strong arms in right.
No Other Yankees in Top 10 At a Position
That’s it folks — the full article and list is here.
None of the Yankee starting pitchers made the top 10 amongst right handers or left handers.
Didi Gregorius did not make the top 10 shortstops, Mark Teixeira did not make it at 1st base, Jacoby Ellsbury did not make it in centerfield, and Starlin Castro, the Yanks new second baseman, did not make the top 10 at 2nd base (ps: Robinson Cano slid to #2 best second baseman after Jose Altuve). And Alex Rodriguez did not make the top 5 designated hitters (they only listed a top 5 at DH).
Would be good to see:
- Luis Severino make the list of top 10 right handers, along with Masahiro Tanaka
- Didi move into the top 10 amongst shortstops,
- Castro move back into the top 10 amongst 2nd basemen,
- Chase Headley move back into top 10 amongst 3rd basemen,
- Jacoby Ellsbury move back into top 10 amongst centerfielders, and
- Mark Teixeira move back into the top 10 at 1st base.
If some of that happens, Yanks will make the playoffs again in 2016.