New York Yankees: Prediction for Each 2012 Yankees Starter

Rob ElmanContributor IIIJanuary 26, 2012

New York Yankees: Prediction for Each 2012 Yankees Starter

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    Like most other years, the Yankees will be among the top teams in the AL. With stars up and down the lineup, it should be an exciting year once again.

    The Yankees will look to add to their trophy case in the upcoming season, and with the recent offseason shake-ups, they should be in the mix as usual.

    In the following slides, I will predict the stats for each Yankees starter during the 2012 season.

1. Brett Gardner, LF

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    2011 Season: .259 AVG, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 87 R, 49 SB

    While Gardner's average dipped below his career mark during the 2011 season, he still had a productive year for the Bombers.

    His job is not to hit the ball out of the park or drive runs in. It is to get on base and steal bases, and he did just that. Gardner has an amazing .353 career on-base percentage. I expect it to remain there or potentially rise after the 2012 season.

    I think this could and should be the year where Gardner is permanently placed at the top of the order. Though the numbers don't show it, Gardner plays a huge part in the Yankees offense—not to mention his underrated defense.

    2012 Prediction: .268 AVG, 5 HR, 44 RBI, 94 R, 54 SB

2. Derek Jeter, SS

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    2011 Season: .297 AVG, 6 HR, 61 RBI, 84 R, 16 SB

    Although many fans were giving up on the captain—using terms such as "washed up" and "past his prime"—he really heated up once July rolled around. He hit .331 in the final three months of the season.

    The Yankee great proved that he still has what it takes to be a key piece to this championship-contending team.

    With a seemingly healthy A-Rod back into the lineup for good, Jeter's runs should go up. Jeter will be back in 2012 looking to put together a complete season to show the world he still is among the best shortstops around.

    2012 Prediction: .308 AVG, 9 HR, 64 RBI, 93 R, 14 SB

3. Robinson Cano, 2B

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    2011 Season: .302 AVG, 28 HR, 118 RBI, 104 R, 8 SB

    Robinson Cano is the best second basemen in baseball, bottom line.

    Watching his fluidity with everything he does, from his glove to his swing, is very exciting for a baseball fan. Cano is improving in something every year, and although he has had seasons where he "put everything together," I think 2012 will be his best yet.

    Being inserted in the middle of this All-Star lineup will give him the opportunity and confidence to be mentioned with the best in the game.

    2012 Prediction: .326 AVG, 33 HR, 126 RBI, 108 R, 11 SB & 2012 AL MVP

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

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    2011 Season: .276 AVG, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 67 R, 4 SB

    Alex Rodriguez will surely play the role of DH quite often, but he will be the primary third baseman for the Yankees in 2012.

    A-Rod has been fighting a hip injury for the past few seasons, but I think given his time off to recover, he will come back rejuvenated in 2012.

    It's no doubt that Rodriguez is one of the best baseball players of all time, but he is not finished yet. If he can stay on the field, he will be in the hunt to break Barry Bonds' all-time home run record.

    If Alex Rodriguez can play an entire season, there won't be a tougher lineup to face in baseball.

    2012 Predictions: .293 AVG, 32 HR, 111 RBI, 97 R, 10 SB

5. Mark Teixeira, 1B

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    2011 Season: .248 AVG, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 90 R, 4 SB

    Throughout his career, Teixeira's problem has been inconsistency during the season. Usually, he has an abysmal April. However, in 2012 he came out hot.

    I'm sure Teixeira will struggle at some point during the season, like all great hitters do, but he should still put up great numbers hitting behind two dangerous hitters like Cano and Rodriguez. Teixeira should have a bounce-back season and get that average up.

    While Tex's bat is always a pleasure, his glove is much overlooked. I don't know if there is a better defensive first baseman in the game.

    2012 Predictions: .275 AVG, 35 HR, 114 RBI, 94 R, 3 SB

6. Curtin Granderson, CF

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    2011 Season: .262 AVG, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 136 R, 25 SB

    Curtis Granderson's play during the 2011 season was one of the best storylines in all of baseball. A speed guy with some known pop in the bat goes on to finish second in the league with 41 home runs, trailing only Toronto slugger Jose Bautista.

    His ability to get the bat through the zone within a blink of an eye made him one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.

    Granderson's 2011 will be extremely difficult to repeat, but I do believe he will put together another wonderful season in the Bronx.

    2012 Predictions: .266 AVG, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 99 R, 28 SB

7. Nick Swisher, RF

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    2011 Season: .260 AVG, 23 HR, 85 RBI, 81 R 2 SB

    For Yankee fans: How can you not love this guy? Swisher is one of the best guys a team could possibly have in their clubhouse. Every day, he brings a passion and a personality like none other to the ballpark.

    But that's not the only thing he has going for him. He's not too bad at baseball, either.

    Swisher had another good year for the Yanks. 2012 will be his fourth season with the team, and he will look to have another good season that can help the Yankees get back to the World Series.

    2012 Predictions: .265 AVG, 19 HR, 77 RBI, 78 R, 4 SB

8. Russell Martin, C

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    2011 Season: .237 AVG, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 57 R, 8 SB

    In 2011, Russell Martin came out playing like the All-Star he once was for the Dodgers. His play was certainly a surprise to most fans, and a pleasant one at that. 

    I expect Martin to have a more balanced 2012 season. Hitting behind so many great players, he will have a chance to drive in a lot of runs. Martin will again be mentioned as a premier catcher in the MLB.

    2012 Predictions: .268 AVG, 15 HR, 69 RBI, 55 R, 8 SB

9. Eduardo Nunez, DH

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    2011 Season: .265 AVG, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 38 R, 22 SB

    Nunez played well while filling in for injured Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. In 2012, I think he will get a crack to really showcase his ability.

    Yankee fans are very optimistic that Nunez can be an excellent hitter with a little more experience. His glove was somewhat shaky last year, but being the DH will give him an opportunity to focus at the plate.

    Depending on the matchup, there will be days where Andruw Jones or Chris Dickerson play, but Nunez should get over 400 at-bats this year.

    2012 Prediction: .277 AVG, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 52 R, 26 SB