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New York Yankees 2022: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

A retooled Yankees lineup and rotation headlined by Gerrit Cole will try and end the franchise's championship drought

Every year, the Yankees have dreams of a deep October run, complete with a joyous hoisting of a World Series trophy. Lately, though, every winter seems to feature this refrain, or something similar, from owner Hal Steinbrenner: "We need to get better. Period." That the Yankees have been both contenders and disappointments in recent years speaks to the immense pressure that they are under as they pursue their first title since 2009. The 2022 season might bring the most heat of all, since some of their young stars have sputtered and the 2021 offense cratered. General manager Brian Cashman orchestrated a major trade with Minnesota right after the end of the lockout to try and bolster his lineup. Health, another recent Yankee bugaboo, always impacts contention, too.

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Yankees

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"With all their injuries and underperformance up and down the roster, the fact that they were able to get a wild card is pretty impressive in a tough division. They'll get a huge boost from a healthy Luis Severino, but while Gerrit Cole figured out a way to dominate again without sticky stuff, they have to hope that his problems at Fenway Park aren't real — the Red Sox aren't scared of him at all. Jameson Taillon is a stabilizer, but they thought they could mold him into a high-impact starter, and I just don't see it. Aroldis Chapman figured it out again down the stretch, but Jonathan Loáisiga is the best arm in the pen now — he is filthy. I'm shocked by what's happened with Gleyber Torres; he's incredibly talented but hasn't hit for power in two years. Aaron Judge needed that full, healthy season as he approaches free agency. They need to make him a career Yankee."

Beyond the Box Score

Stars out early Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo played on youth teams in his native Las Vegas with two other players who grew up to be MLB stars — Bryce Harper, the two-time NL MVP, and Kris Bryant, who also won that award. Bryant's father was one of Gallo's coaches. And at one point, Gallo's father, Tony, who pitched in the Montreal Expos' minor league system, worked as an instructor at batting cages owned by another former MVP — Jason Giambi. Gallo has done some offseason training with Giambi, the former Yankees slugger.

New York Yankees 2022 Baseball Cover

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Blast off Aaron Judge led MLB in average exit velocity (95.8 miles per hour) in 2021, according to Statcast. It is the fourth time in the last five years that Judge topped the big leagues in that category. He was also third in max exit velo — 119 mph.

Winning young The Yankees' seven minor-league affiliates combined for a .595 winning percentage in 2021, the second highest by any organization. Unfortunately, the affiliates of the division-rival Rays were first among all clubs (.623).

Family affair Aaron Boone's family was the first to have three generations of MLB players, including his father, Bob (1972-90) and his grandfather, Ray (1948-60). Boone's brother, Bret, played 14 seasons from 1992-2005, and the two were teammates with the Reds in 1997-98. Counting Bob and Aaron, there have been six father-son duos to manage in the big leagues, and Aaron and Bret Boone are one of seven brother combinations to each hit at least 100 home runs apiece in the majors.

Moving across town The Yankees hired Luis Rojas to be their third-base coach after Rojas was not retained as the Mets manager. The 40-year-old Rojas had a 103–119 record (.464) in 2020-21 while piloting the Mets. He had worked in the Mets organization for 16 years and brings a wealth of experience to the Bronx. "He understands the importance of relationships with players and the connection with the front office and analytics," Aaron Boone says.

Slow Joe Who? Rookie righthander Luis Gil set a Yankee record with 18.2 consecutive scoreless innings to start his career, snapping the mark of 18 set by Slow Joe Doyle in 1906. Gil, a 23-year-old righty, also became the first MLB pitcher since the mound was placed 60 feet, six inches from the plate in 1893 to throw at least 4.2 scoreless innings in each of his first three career appearances.

Projected Lineup

LINEUP

CF    Aaron Hicks (S)
1B    Anthony Rizzo (L)
RF    Aaron Judge (R)
DH   Giancarlo Stanton (R)
LF     Joey Gallo (L)
3B    Josh Donaldson (R)
2B    Gleyber Torres (R)
SS    Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
C     Ben Rortvedt (L)

BENCH

C      Kyle Higashioka (R)
UT    Marwin González (S)
IF      DJ LeMahieu (R)
UT    Miguel Andújar (R)

ROTATION

RHP    Gerrit Cole
RHP    Luis Severino
LHP    Jordan Montgomery
RHP    Jameson Taillon
LHP    Nestor Cortes Jr.

BULLPEN

LHP    Aroldis Chapman (C)
RHP    Chad Green
RHP    Jonathan Loáisiga
LHP    Lucas Luetge
RHP    Clay Holmes
LHP    Wandy Peralta
RHP    Miguel Castro
RHP    Michael King

2022 Prediction: 3rd in AL East