We made our first five bold predictions for the 2019 Yankees. Now, what about individual player awards? I believe the Yankees are going to have a great season and with that, they will have strong contributors throughout the roster, but who would be an all-star, who will be an MVP candidate, etc. Here are our predictions.
All-Stars (7): Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Zack Britton
The Yankees will be well represented in Cleveland this July. I think Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will all start in the mid-summer classic exhibition, while Torres will play well enough to earn a spot as a reserve. Severino, Betances, and Britton will leave American League manager Alex Cora with no choice but to include them in the festivities after posting historic first half numbers.
Most Valuable Player: Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton seems like he is a creature of habit. He’s also talented and hungry, which is a dangerous combination for opposing pitchers. After piecing together a very respectable debut season in pinstripes, fans seemed to be disappointed with Stanton. Granted he did strikeout a ton and failed to deliver in the postseason, but when was 38 home runs and 100+ RBI disappointing? Leaving the past behind us, I think Stanton will hit 45+ homers and lead the Yankees offensively this season.
Cy Young Winner: Luis Severino
Despite running into pitch tipping/mechanical issues and fatigue down the stretch, Severino had a pretty darn good season in 2018. Fresh off an extension this winter, Severino will cement his ‘ace’ status in 2019 by reaching new heights.
Reliever of the Year: Zack Britton
Admittedly this may be a reach, I am going to stick with my gut on this one. There is no shortage of star power in the Yankees bullpen, however, a healthy Britton provides just as much (or more) upside than any other reliever on the roster. His sinker is flat out nasty and Britton is American League East battle-tested which bodes well for his future.
Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Loaisiga
Yes, for those who are wondering Loaisiga is still considered a rookie and prospect due to his limited Major League service time. This pick is a no-brainer, the native of Nicaragua is the Yankees closest MLB ready and impact-type player. If he can stay healthy the future is uber-bright for the 24-year old as he has the upside of a number two starter.
Gold Glove: DJ LeMahieu
After signing a two-year pact to bring his talents to the Bronx, the Gold Glove second basemen will be asked to shift into unchartered territory in 2019. LeMahieu will play all over the infield as the Yankees shiny new utilityman. His glove, hands, and footwork are all elite tools so he should succeed as the Yankees version of Ben Zobrist or Marwin Gonzalez.
Comeback Player of the Year: Gary Sanchez
The early returns of Troy Tulowitzki are sure making this pick tougher than anticipated. Having said that, Sanchez entered camp in the best shape of his career and seems destined for a breakout season. Sanchez showed off his defensive capabilities in the postseason, playing superb behind the plate. Some still believe that he may just be the best hitter on the roster. That wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this ended up being true, as the sky is the limit for this kid.