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

6. If … Castro/Didi Build On A Successful 2016

After failed attempts to replace the production of Robinson Cano with Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew, Brian Cashman bought low on Starlin Castro and promptly got his man.

With a career-high 21 home runs in his first year sporting Yankee pinstripes, Castro became one of just four Yankees’ second baseman to hit 20 home runs in a single season, joining Cano, Joe Gordon and Alfonso Soriano.

The Dominican-born righty also slashed .290/.310/.486 in the second half, solidifying his year as a successful one — despite the fact that he swung at pitches in the left-handed batters box.

Coming off a year in which he struggled to adjust to life as a Yankee but showed promising signs, shortstop Didi Gregorius ended his second year in the Bronx by becoming just the third shortstop Yankees history to hit at least 20 HR and bat over .275.

The only other two other two were Tom Tresh in 1962 and Derek Jeter in 1999, 2001, and 2004.

With a depressing offense that finished second-to-last in batting average with runners in scoring position, this double play duo was a consistent bright spot, helping the Yankees finish in the Top-10 in OPS among AL shortstops and second baseman.

With a year of Gary Sanchez on order, a Greg Bird return, and a hopeful breakout by Aaron Judge, if these two could build on this success in their second year together, New York’s lineup would be feared by all.

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