Spring training is upon us, and baseball fans are glued to television, radio and the news about how players perform and produce every day.
Winter is almost over, and the excitement of Opening Day just around the corner has adrenaline pumping through the veins of every fan.
With the moves that the Yankees organization has made during the offseason, fans are energized knowing that the 2012 Yankees are set up to be a powerful force to contend with, having hitting, fielding and pitching that will be the toughest in the American League.
The starting lineup for the 2012 season looks to be one of the strongest and the most solid that the Yankees have had in quite a while.
The Yankees have always been the team that every other team wants and needs to beat. This season will present an intimidating lineup that is powerful, and most importantly, healthy.
Take a look at some predictions for the 2012 Yankees' starting lineup.
Derek Jeter began the 2011 season with a great deal of difficulty, but true to his form, he battled through it and had a huge second half of the season.
He ended 2011 with 162 hits, 24 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 61 RBI with a .297 batting average.
His final 2011 numbers: .297/.355/.388, .332 wOBA
Jeter is aging, but he still appears to be strong and solid. Assuming that he maintains his health and has no significant injuries, the 2012 season should be productive for him.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .291/.360/.393, .333 wOBA
Curtis Granderson had a giant 2011 season assisted by changes in his batting mechanics last year.
He put up great numbers with 153 hits, 26 doubles, 10 triples, 41 home runs and 119 RBI with a .262 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .262/.364/.552, .394 wOBA
Granderson is in the prime of his career, and nothing indicates that he has reached his plateau.
He said himself that there is always room to improve his game, no matter what.
Exceeding his numbers from last season would be an incredible feat. As much as we all would love to see that happen, and as great as he is, it isn't likely.
He will have a solid 2012 season, but I don't expect him to match his 2011 numbers.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .260/.348/.494, .364 wOBA
Robinson Cano is another Yankee who had a great 2011 season winning a Silver Slugger Award and being named an All-Star.
In 2011, he had 188 hits, 46 doubles, seven triples, 28 home runs and 118 RBI with a .302 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .302/.349/.533, .375 wOBA
Batting in the 2012 season between Granderson and Rodriguez, Cano is gearing up to do some damage and will probably exceed most projections and predictions.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .303/.350/.505, .366 wOBA
Alex Rodriguez had a difficult and disappointing 2011 season due to injuries.
With some treatment and procedures over the offseason, he appears to have rehabilitated and recovered very well.
In his shortened 2011 season because of injuries, he had 103 hits, 21 doubles, 16 home runs and 62 RBI with a .276 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .276/.362/.461, .361 wOBA
In the 2012 spring training so far, he seems to be strong and healthy. Assuming that he remains healthy with no recurrences of injuries, he should have a comeback season in 2012.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .277/.373/.497, .377 wOBA
Mark Texeira is a powerful hitter, but had a disappointing 2011 season. Expectations were high, but he fell below those expectations.
In 2011, he had 146 hits, 26 doubles, one triple, 39 home runs and 111 RBI with a .248 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .248/.341/.494, .361 wOBA
Texeira has worked on his batting mechanics during the offseason and will continue during spring training.
Watching him in 2011 was painful, but I think that he will bounce back in 2012. He may not have a stellar season, but he should have a stronger and more solid season.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .271/.370/.522, .383 wOBA
Nick Swisher is the energy of the Yankees organization. He livens up the team with his energy and sense of humor.
He had a good 2011 season, but he didn't produce as effectively as he should have.
In 2011, he had 137 hits, 37 doubles, 23 home runs and 85 RBI with a .260 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .260/.374/.449, .358 wOBA
Swisher should have the ability to increase his power a bit in 2012, but I don't see him having a phenomenal season. He'll do well, but we won't see anything stellar.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .255/.366/.461, .361 wOBA
One of the moves that the Yankees made during this offseason was signing Raul Ibanez as the DH.
In the 2011 season with the Phillies, Ibanez had 131 hits, 31 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs and 84 RBI with a .245 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .245/.289/.419, .306 wOBA
He'll be 40 years old in June. Most of his numbers slipped a bit in 2011 from his 2010 season, but utilizing him as the DH may place him in a productive spot.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .260/.325/.431, .328 wOBA
Catcher Russell Martin became a valuable defensive piece of the Yankees in 2011.
He'll be a free agent next year, and with catching prospects Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine in development, we may not see Martin in pinstripes for too much longer.
While he has been strong defensively, he has not been strong offensively.
In 2011, he had 99 hits, 17 doubles, 18 home runs and 65 RBI with a batting average of .237.
His 2011 numbers: .237/.324/.408, .325 wOBA
I would expect him to improve offensively this year and contribute more effectively.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .256/.355/.400, .355 wOBA
When Brett Gardner gets on base, tension builds in pitchers because they know that he has tremendous base-running speed and will steal bases successfully.
In addition to Gardner's 49 stolen bases in 2011, he had 132 hits, 19 doubles, eight triples, seven home runs and 36 RBI with a .259 batting average.
His 2011 numbers: .259/.345/.369, .330 wOBA
Gardner seemed to have a timing issue with his batting mechanics and has been working with batting coach Kevin Long to refine his mechanics.
He is one of the most valuable defensive players, but he needs to work on getting on base more often to utilize his base-running speed.
His 2012 predicted numbers: .273/.369/.372, .341 wOBA