Taking the top three slots were MVP caliber players, Mike Trout, Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger. The Yankees were represented by Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino.
Cole, at No. 7 overall, was the top-ranked pitcher on the list, edging out crosstown rival Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets at No. 8. Cole paced the junior circuit in K’s and ERA last season and probably should’ve gotten the Cy Young nod. His record contract and ace status on the highest-profile team in the sport also likely helped vault him to the top of the pitching ranks, after rating No. 42 last year.
For some lowkey redemption, Judge ranked No. 16 or ahead of Jose Altuve. While it was a four-spot drop from last year for Judge, Altuve dropped like a rock. We all know a healthy Judge has all the tools to mash and make a top 10 jump when all is said and done in 2020.
Torres had a nice rank of No. 69 in 2019 but this season he hops to No. 31. Given his age (he’s only 23 now!), FanGraphs power projections and the cache of playing shortstop, his value should only rise.
At No. 37, LeMahieu’s rank seems a bit low but solid considering he wasn’t ranked last year. The versatile Yankees team MVP in 2019 is only a few spots behind guys like Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant. One would like to believe his stock goes up in a contract year and being acclimated atop the order in the Bronx.
Stanton dropped from No. 19 to No. 63. It’s kind of incredible he’s still that high given he played about two weeks last season. Of course, there’s a respect level because we all know if he’s right, Big G will mash.
Chapman dropped a couple of spots to No. 75. I’m somewhat surprised he’s not the top closer or reliever. Kirby Yates and Josh Hader are nasty but do they pitch in the pressure cooker of the Bronx? Yes, there are more guys hitting triple digits on the gun but Chapman can still bring it with intimidation.
At No. 80, Sanchez jumped from No. 93. I’m surprised he’s that low. Sanchez was the best power-hitting backstop in the sport, broke his own franchise record for homers by a catcher in a single-season in 2019. He was probably the first half Yankee MVP and his blocking improved.
Severino dropped from No. 43 to No. 83, which is understandable considering he made three starts in 2019. Severino should jump up and a healthy season of 200 innings and 200 K’s would go a long way toward that leap.