The Yankees will ride a wave of optimism into 2019, but there are still several questions that could have unsavory answers for Bombers fans.
There’s a roster already full of reasons to be excited for the 2019 New York Yankees and even more could be added soon. If the Bombers splurge on Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, or if they pull off a blockbuster deal for Corey Kluber, the media will dub them unbeatable.
But don’t start saving up for World Series tickets just yet.
The sports world has seen plenty of paper tiger teams that were locks to win a championship but caved under the pressure. The 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 games and lost in the ALCS; the 2012-2013 Lakers added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol but squeaked into the playoffs with the seventh spot and lost in the first round.
Of course, there are teams that lived up to the hype as well—see the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, or, if I must find an even more relevant example, the 2018 Red Sox. (I nearly lost my lunch as I typed that.)
There’s really no way to know what will happen, so predicting Yankees domination in the coming season requires a few major assumptions.
Assumption one: The rookies will progress
Rookie sensations Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres were a huge part of the Bombers’ 2018 success. They combined for 51 home runs and 169 RBIs, and they both posted on-base percentages well over .300.
The two youngsters finished second (Andujar) and third (Torres) behind aberrational two-way talent Shohei Ohtani in the Rookie of the Year voting.