The Yankees have an extremely talented roster as they head into the 2020 season, but which players enter with the most pressure?
The New York Yankees did exactly what they were supposed to do this offseason. That was to sign star pitcher, Gerrit Cole. With one of the game’s best pitchers now on the Yankees and their talented offense, the expectations have increased even more.
Surely, for Yankees fans it is World Series or bust for the 2020 season. General Manager Brian Cashman proved to the Yankees fan base that they are able to go all in on one player, as long as it is seen to be necessary. That one player was Cole as Cashman inked him to a nine-year, $324 million contract.
The journey to a championship starts on February 12 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The spotlight will turn to a few players specifically, as all eyes are on them to have a successful 2020 season.
First and foremost, no player has the most pressure on the Yankees than Gerrit Cole. After signing a record deal, he is expected to have another outstanding season. However, his 2019 season was historic and almost video game like.
It is almost unlikely for Cole to repeat that kind of year, but he should be putting up some of the games best numbers for the next several years. Cole left a perfect first impression for the Yankees and their fans when he brought the sign he made when he was a kid saying, “Yankee fan today, tomorrow, forevert,” to the introductory news conference. All eyes are locked on the Yankees new ace to carry his success from last season into 2020.
Another Yankee that will have an enormous amount of pressure on them this spring training is Miguel Andujar. Gio Urshela came out of nowhere and had a phenomenal season for the Yankees. Filling in for the injured Andujar was a lot to handle and he did it perfectly.
Urshela was one of the games best defenders in 2019 and he put up great offensive numbers, hitting over .300. So, how does Andujar fit on the roster? It almost feels like he will need to play a near perfect third and hit like he did in 2018 to get the starting job. The Yankees will try him at left field and first base as well, because he has a big bat that should not be wasted. As the rosters are expanding to 26, Andujar would be a great fit because of his versatility.
Last but not least is Yankees slugger, Giancarlo Stanton. It feels as if half the Yankees fan base are Stanton supporters and the other half want him traded. If Stanton is able to stay healthy, he should be one of the best hitters in baseball. Stanton’s 2017 season with the Miami Marlins was historic, so fans automatically think he is capable of putting up those kinds of numbers each year. Even though his numbers were not quite as sexy in 2018 as it was in 2017, he still put up a great season and played 158 games. Any team would take a player with 38 home runs, 100 RBI, and a .266 batting average.
However, 2019 Stanton did not work out so well as he only played in 11 regular season games and got injured twice. Stanton was unable to play when the Yanks needed him the most in the American League Championship when their offense completely depleted against the Houston Astros. The Yankees need a productive Stanton this year, or else the fans will not let him hear the end of it.