In my last article I took a look back at the old guard of the New York Yankees: Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte.
Then I realized that New York might have a new core four of players: Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain.
All of them won their first World Series together last year and are shaping into quite a nice quartet of players.
Everyone in the world of baseball now knows who Cano is and what he is capable of doing with the bat. As of June 17 he has the highest batting average in MLB at .370 and also leads the Yankees with 14 home runs and 48 RBI.
Cano is off to a great start to his still very young career, being only 27, and will definitely continue to be a force for the Yanks down the road.
By far the biggest surprise on the Yankees this year has been the 26-year-old out fielder Gardner, who continues to impress even here in mid June so you can't say he just started hot.
Gardner has hit three home runs and driven in 22 runs, but you can't simply look at those stats when it comes to him. He has hit .317 for the Bombers, with a .401 on base percentage, and stolen 22 bases so far.
Gardner looks to be coming into his own this season, and is proving to be a tough out at the plate for any pitcher, lefty or righty. If he keeps this up all year, he might just be calling left field in the Bronx home for a long time.
Now to the pitching side, where the Yankees seem to be happy with Chamberlain in the bullpen and in the set up role right now.
Being just 24 years old, Chamberlain has seen time in the rotation and now back again in the bullpen, where I believe he is best suited for. He has struggled at times this season, as evident in his 4.76 ERA, but most of that came from a few bumps in the road and he has settled down some recently.
Chamberlain has also picked up some saves this year when Rivera couldn't go, and it looks like he might be the heir apparent to the great closer. Who knows what the future holds for Chamberlain, but if he can be half as good as Rivera, then it will be a bright one.
That brings me to Hughes who has firmly planted himself into the starting rotation for years to come this season.
The future ace of the Yankees, has gone 9-1 with a 3.11 ERA this year, after beating out Chamberlain for the fifth starter spot in the rotation.
Many thought that Chamberlain was built more like a starter than Hughes and that he should be in the rotation. Well I think the Yankees made the correct choice, and are extremely pleased with what they are getting out of him right now.
Only time will tell if this new core four will be better than the last, but so far they are off to a great start, and will be the faces of a new Yankee era.
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