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Yankee player Surprises of '06

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The Melky Man:

Melky Cabrera was so bad last year when he came up as a 20-year-old rookie that Yankee fans thought he'd be ruined forever. However, he came up when Matsui and Sheffield went down and added an element the Yankee thumpers have been missing these last three years. His love for the game oozes from his pours and it shows up in his unrelenting approach to the game. Melky hustles the moment he steps onto the field, has a great arm and plays a mean left field and is in the middle of many rallies. There was an outcry from fans that Sheffield should stay on the bench, Matsui DH ao that The Melky Man could start in left. He's a huge fan favorite.

Bernie Williams:

I thought his season would have been one where he totally lost it and retired in July so he could be showered with love from the fans. Bernie has rebounded from a terrible '05 and proved that he can still get a big hit and drive in a much needed run. Bernie goes Boom one more time and I hope he gets a chance to come up big in the small chances he'll have this post season.

.281  12 hr's 61 rbi's and 29 doubles

Brian Bruney:

He came over from Arizona late in the season due to Cashman's keen eye and has been lights out since he got here. His fastball is an electric 95-97 mph and he's shown incredible poise for a young man coming to the Bronx. He's been a little wild, but a good kinda crazy wild that keeps hitters on their toes.

0.87 era 1-1 20.2 IP 14 hits 15 BB 25 SO

Jorge Posada:

Another Yankee that I thought had seen his better days, but this might have been his all around best year. Tony Pena worked his magic on Jorge and he now has a much feared throwing arm --gunning down almost 40% of base-runners. He went into his usual mid season slump, but rebounded nicely to really top off a fine, fine season.

.277 BA 23 hr's 93 rbi's and 27 doubles.

How could I forget Scott Proctor.

He wasn't sure he'd make the team in spring training and they had aspirations to make him a starter. He led the league in appearances and really showed a toughness that no one thought he possessed when he came over for Robin Ventura. He's also the first Yankee reliever to pitch over 100 innings in a season out of the bullpen since Mariano did it in '96. He likely is the key to Rivera and you'll see him as many times as Joe thinks he needs him.