Someone recently asked me an excellent question, “Looking over the first four weeks of 2010, which Yankees players come to mind, as being the real difference makers?”
The usual New York Yankees April endings are filled with sighs of relief from both the team and fans. The Yankees are not known to be early birds from the start, as their cemented reputation has always been that of a second-half team.
Not true anymore, as this 2010 team are truly defending something close to their hearts. Watching this group meet every at-bat or pitch delivered as if it was game seven in the World Series, is every fan’s dream come true.
In 2010, there were seven players who stood out for me in the month of April:
Brett Gardner dazzles anyone watching him. What Gardner lacks in size, he makes up in the heart each time he steps on the field. Not only causing havoc when on the bases, already having 11 steals on the season, but his hitting has been consistent and in challenging spots too. As an outfielder, Gardner will literally do anything to get the out. This kid is going places.
To much dismay , Phil Hughes won the fifth starter job in Spring Training fair and square. Everyone was anxious for Hughes, regardless of his successful relief stint in 2009. The looming question was could he handle the spotlight this time or was he doomed forever? No way, this Phil Hughes is ready. He can handle all the attention because of behind his confidence came from life in the bullpen In three starts, Hughes has three wins, one was shy of a no hitter, 24 strike-outs, an ERA of 1.44 and a WHIP of 0.88. Looks like Hughes has found his home.
Robinson Cano has always been a darn good baseball player. Season after season, listening to endless discussions on Cano’s possible potential are finally coming a reality. Cano’s bat made the difference this April. He leads the league in batting average and continues looking unstoppable since opening day. IN 2010 Cano’s numbers include six doubles, nine home-runs, 21 RBIs, 12 strike-outs, a .433 OBP and an .387 batting average. Cano was just name the AL Player of the Month, my sincerest CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done!
Derek Jeter is about all that needs to be said. Our captain, who excels and expectation with the right attitude of humble leadership. Jeter is the best example of what defines a baseball player in the truest form.
Jorge Posada has been phenomenal, stepping it up by constantly hitting when everyone was struggling. In April Posada his five doubles, five home-runs, 12 RBIs in 60 at-bats and only 12 strikeouts. Hip Hip Jorge!
Nick Swisher‘s appealing attitude would bring a joy to any clubhouse and I can say he has played a critical piece in the Yankees puzzle. It’s not everyday you meet a person who is happier watching his teammates do well more ever than himself. Swisher works hard and put-up a decently strong April. Swisher is like a switch, when it is on, watch out but unfortunately this applies the other direction as well. Swish could work on lowering his strike-outs ratio, as he already has 18 just from April.
Marcus Thames has experience but is not everyday player anymore. Now with Granderson on the DL, Thames will see a lot of playing time. Thames, who is adjusting to not playing regularly, is always ready to take any position he given. Thames has almost done it to perfection this April. Expect to get to know Marcus Thames for the next six weeks, but think fans will enjoy it very much.
Let’s hope the Yankees keep this trend going in May!
YANKEES FANS ARE SO PROUD!