The Yankees are prepared to end their World Series drought. Here are five bold predictions for Aaron Boone’s squad for the 2021 season.
The goal for the Yankees’ 2021 season is crystal clear. Ownership expects Aaron Boone to pilot his team to a World Series title. There’s no doubt New York has the roster talent required to turn that dream into reality.
Of course, the Yankees need a lot of things to break right if they want to schedule a parade down the Canyon of Heroes later this year. Boone’s pitching rotation has a lot of upside, but it also carries significant injury risk heading into the regular season. In particular, the team’s No. 2 and 3 projected starters, Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon appear to be boom-or-bust players due to their injury histories.
The everyday batting order looks to be more stable. Re-signing DJ LeMahieu in free agency makes it very likely that every Yankees starter in 2021 will be a returnee from the 2021 roster. Gary Sanchez’s mental health is arguably the club’s only big question heading into the season that doesn’t involve pitching.
If the Yankees want to win a title they’ll need some unexpected contributions from players on the current roster. Fans in the Bronx should keep a close eye on the following five predictions as harbingers of postseason success for New York.
5. Giancarlo Stanton will play over 120 games
Stanton’s bat can be a deadly weapon for the Yankees when he’s healthy. That’s been a challenge for him during his time in New York. That’s a big reason why the organization is actively minimizing the time he’s going to spend in the outfield in 2021.
He won’t play an inning in the field during spring training and it’s very likely that trend will continue well into the regular season. That’s a decision clearly designed to keep him healthy for a full 162-game slate.
Yankees fans shouldn’t expect Stanton to avoid the Injured List all season, but he’s going to be available more often than not. Pencil in 120 games as the mark the outfield slugger needs to hit to achieve a productive campaign.