Fantasy Baseball 2014: 5 Draftable New York Yankees
Fantasy Baseball 2014: 5 Draftable New York Yankees
Longtime New York Yankees fans will take one look at the 2014 lineup and recognize only a couple of names. There have been so many moving parts over the last couple of years that it's hard to keep track of who's still on the team. The Yankees lost a couple of key pieces like Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson to free agency. Alex Rodriguez will miss the whole season due to suspension and the game's best closer, Mariano Rivera, has retired. The only player still around from the late-1990s championship team is Derek Jeter, and he may be on his last legs.
However, to replace all of the missing pieces, the Yankees went back to their old ways and spent a lot of money for players. Brian McCann, Carlos Belton, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka will be the newest superstars to don a Yankees uniform.
Fantasy owners know there are certain teams to avoid drafting players from. The Yankees are not one of those teams. They have viable fantasy options at almost every position. Brett Gardner and Ellsbury are two outfielders that can get on base and swipe a few bags as well. As the DH, Alfonso Soriano will be relied on solely for power, which he proved he still has. David Robertson will take over as the closer and should have no problem racking up saves.
Listed here are three hitters that can give owners great power numbers from a late draft pick and a starting pitcher who is a great sleeper candidate in 2014. With that being said, here are five more Yankees players that fantasy owners should consider drafting this season.
The Yankees had a pretty solid outfield group after the 2013 season. Curtis Granderson left for the cross-town rival New York Mets. The Yankees were left with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Alfonso Soriano. Ichiro Suzuki is still signed as well. However, the Yankees needed to make a splash and were able to sign Carlos Beltran for three years.
Beltran had a very successful two years with the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .282 with 56 home runs and 181 RBI over the last two seasons. Known to be injury-prone, Beltran has been relatively durable over the last few years, only missing 28 games in the two years with the Cardinals.
Now with the Yankees, Beltran has the opportunity to hit at least 30 home runs. He's a switch hitter, but will hit primarily lefty, and with the short fence in right field, Beltran can be a top-20 outfielder. He should be drafted as an OF3, but can perform like a No. 2.
The Yankees signings didn't stop with Beltran. Brian McCann signed a $85 million, five-year deal. The Yankees were in dire need of a catcher and McCann was the best available option this offseason. As the longtime Atlanta Braves catcher, McCann had seven 20-home run seasons (six straight) and a .277 career average.
If you compete in a league that keeps track of errors, McCann is someone to make a note of. In the last three seasons, he had only 11 errors. However, he's been one of the best fielding catchers over the years. In his nine seasons with the Braves, he has a career 24 percent caught stealing percentage.
Entering 2014 with the Yankees, McCann will be a top-10 catcher. As a lefty hitter, the short right field fence is a big help. He can finish the season with a .250 average, 25 home runs and 80 RBI. He should be drafted in the mid-rounds.
2013 was a lost season for Mark Teixeira. He appeared in just 15 games before being shut down with a wrist injury. Teixeira hasn't played a full season since joining the New York Yankees. He has been one of the more consistent batters in the Yankees lineup. Over the last four seasons, he averaged 34 home runs per season.
Teixeira is known to be a slow starter at the beginning of each season. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Teixeira's lowest home run and RBI totals come in the months of March and April. With the wrist injury still around, expect another slow start for the first baseman. Once he gets going, Teixeira still has 30-home run power.
With the depth at first base, Teixeira falls to No. 18. Many fantasy baseball sites have Teixeira as the No. 4 hitter in the Yankees lineup. He is a risky player to draft as your 1B1. Teixeira is a good mid-to-late round option as a 1B/3B or utility option.
Two year removed from his excellent rookie season, Ivan Nova finished 2013 with a 9-6 record and a career-best 3.10 ERA. Nova was very inconsistent as far as strikeouts are concerned. His game totals range anywhere from two to 11 per game.
He was shaky early in the season as he bounced from starter to reliever. He was also demoted for a couple of starts. He made a comeback on mid-summer. From July 5 forward, he finished with a 2.59 ERA and seven wins.
As the New York Yankees No. 4 starter, Nova will be available in the very late rounds. He is listed as a top-70 pitcher. With some risk still surrounding Nova, his finish to the 2013 is encouraging to draft as a SP4.
The most recent New York Yankees signee was highly-sought after Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees needed a superstar pitcher to backup CC Sabathia in the rotation. The pitching free agency class wasn't as deep as years past, forcing the Yankees, and other teams, to look outside the United States.
The big number that has been floating around is the 1,315 innings pitched Tanaka has pitched since the age of 18. The wear and tear on Japanese pitchers tends to be greater than those here playing in the states. There is some concern of the longevity of his career as he signed a seven-year deal. He might make it through four or five years.
Even with all of the questions surrounding his arrival, a lot of fantasy baseball rankers have him in the top-30 starting pitchers. Some even have Tanaka in the top-20. It would be a safe to draft him as a SP3, but he will most likely be taken as an SP2.