10 ‘Ifs’ That Can Turn The 2017 New York Yankees Into Champions

7. If … Gary Sanchez Avoids The Sophomore Slump

There’s no ignoring it: Gary Sanchez made history in his first go-around in the Bronx.

In the month of August, the 23-year old slashed .389/.458/.832 with an OPS of 1.290 and 11 home runs en route to winning the American League Player Of The Month award.

Then, on September 21, Sanchez became the fastest player in baseball history (45 games) to reach the 18 home run mark and later tied Wally Berger as the fastest to reach 20.

Despite going just 23-for-102 (.225) in the final month of the year, expectations are sky-high for this kid as he enters his second season.

Some called him the next Babe Ruth, some say he’s the Yankees “savior,” and some have no words to describe it yet, heading into 2017, however, at least a portion of that magic needs to come back next season.

When he’s hot, he’s shown he can carry an offense and even a team.

Take Sept. 10- Aug. 10 for example. In 27 games played Sanchez batted .373 and smashed 13 of his 20 home runs. During that span, the Yankees went 18-9 and jolted themselves back into relevancy.

It’s completely unfair to think that those numbers will carry through to 2017, but to see such a professional hitter with that kind of potential is ensuring that you have a superstar, to say the least.

Even if New York only gets 25-30 homers and a .280 batting average, they’ll take it. What they won’t, however, is Kevin Maas 2.0.