New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez among Yankees players with the most to prove in 2019

New York Yankees. Gary Sanchez (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York Yankees. Gary Sanchez (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

While the 2018 season could be seen as a success for the New York Yankees, certain players, like Gary Sanchez, had a year to forget. Other home-grown products like Greg Bird and Luis Severino were also disappointing.

While the New York Yankees seemed to have had a successful season in 2018, players like Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Luis Severino underwhelmed at times. Even Giancarlo Stanton had a rather polarizing season instead of a straight-up spectacular one.

So with all this considered, let’s take a look at which Yankees have the most to prove to the fans and the organization this year.

Greg Bird

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There was a time when Greg Bird was the golden boy of the Yankees. He hit 11 home runs in just 46 games as a rookie and was looked at as a future cornerstone player for the franchise. Now, fast-fast-foward three years and Bird hit an underwhelming 31 home runs and 97 RBI’s in three big league seasons. Even with a somewhat healthy year for Bird (82 games) last year, he struggled at the plate and eventually lost his starting job to Luke Voit.

The bright side is, we may finally get to see a healthy Bird on Opening Day. There are even reports of a rejuvenated player in the first few weeks of Spring Training.

Bird is a young player and still has room to grow if he can stay healthy. However, 2019 is a ‘prove it’ year for the struggling first baseman. We’ll see how he responds.

Gary Sanchez

Another player plagued by injures last season, Gary Sanchez is poised for a big bounce back after a  dismal year at the plate and at the backstop. Sanchez hit below the Mendoza line at .186 and led the league in passed balls with 18. The Kraken had two separate stints on the DL – or IL –  and just never found his groove.

The truth is, Sanchez is just too good of a hitter to repeat his clunker of a season from last year. Barring more injury problems, Sanchez should solidify himself, once again, as a dangerous middle-of-the-order weapon. This is the year we find what kind of player Gary Sanchez can be.

Luis Severino

Calling Luis Severino’s All-Star season a failure would be a mistake. The ace finished March and April with a 2.61 ERA which improved to 2.03 in May, then to 1.60 in June. Severino looked like a realistic candidate for the Cy Young. That was until the second half started. Through Severino’s  final 81 games of the season, his ERA ballooned to 5.57 and his confidence faded. Of course, Sevy also gave up six runs in the ALCS against Boston, which left fans stunned.

Despite the late season struggles, The Yankees still gave Severino a 4-year, $40 million extension. It’s clear management still believes in him and his teammates believe in him.

Now it’s time for Severino to put a full season together and prove he can be a legitimate number one option for a playoff team.