New York Yankees Spring Training: Ranking The Top 5 Early Standouts

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New York Yankees Spring Training: Ranking the Top 5 Early Standouts

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

The Yankees have gotten back to their big spending ways this offseason by inking several high-profile players to long-term deals. After missing the playoffs a season ago, the Bronx Bombers have their eyes set once again on the postseason. Even though they have plenty of veteran players on the roster, the Yankees will need contributions from their young, up and coming players to be successful this season as well.

It is unusual that the Yankees will need contributions from their young guys, but in the few Spring Training games they've had so far, their young guys and a couple big name free agents have already started making names for themselves. Encouraging signs have been all around the Yankees' Spring Training complex this spring as they've seen contributions made from all types of players up and down the organization. If spring training were a true measure of the success to come in the regular season, the Yankees would be in pretty good shape.

Especially for determining who will make the team on the Opening Day 25-man roster, performance in ?Spring Training is key. For stars, Spring Training is just a time to get into shape and work off the rust from the offseason as they prepare for another regular season. However, for players fighting for roster spots, there is plenty of meaning in each and every game of Spring Training. They are quite literally fighting for a job. That competition can get fierce and all other things being equal, Spring Training performance is often the tiebreaker in a position battle in a coach's mind.

For the Yankees, there aren't a whole lot of positions up for grabs in Spring Training, but there are some bench spots that are anyone's for the taking. It's also a time for the Yankees to see what the future of their organization holds. Even youngsters with no chance of making the team out of Spring Training this season are encouraging to the future of the organization when they play well. No matter their likely eventual role with the club, here are the five Yankees who are the early standouts of Spring Training.

Jacob Kornhauser is a baseball writer for RantSports.com. "Like" him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or add him to your Google+ network.

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5. C Brian McCann

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

McCann, whom the Yankees signed over the offseason, has big expectations in his first season in New York. He's already showing the Yankees what he can do in spring training as he's gone a combined 4-for-10 with a home run and two RBI. It is the hope of the Yankees that he can provide some pop to the lineup while also playing solid defense behind the dish.

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4. OF Brett Gardner

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Longtime Yankee Brett Gardner is showing that there is little rust on him from this offseason. He has hit the ground running this spring by going 4-for-10 with a double and two RBI. Gardner has yet to display his speed, but as the spring rolls on, expect Gardner to be featured in more steals and hit-and-run scenarios.

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3. OF Adonis Garcia

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Garcia played 50 games in Triple-A last season while batting .256 with three home runs and 10 RBI. Given that he played a substantial amount of time in Triple-A, he could spend most of the season there again this season with a chance for an eventual call-up. Garcia, who is 5-for-10 with three runs scored this spring, is tempting the Yankees to get him with the major league squad a little bit sooner.

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2. C Francisco Cervelli

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

It's possible that Cervelli could either start in Triple-A or on the major league squad to back up McCann. He's making a compelling case for the latter. This spring, Cervelli is 5-for-9 with four runs scored, a home run and two RBI. Cervelli has spent little time in the major leagues and is showing early on that he wants to make that his home for good.

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1. OF Yangervis Solarte

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

After playing his last two full seasons in Triple-A, the 26-year old Solarte is making it clear to the Yankees that he doesn't want to spend 2014 there. This spring training, he is 8-for-12 with five runs, two home runs and six RBI. Those numbers will grab any organization's attention and as Solarte should be entering his prime, the Yankees will have to decide whether or not to let him spend a third season in a row in Triple-A.

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