Now that pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training in less than a month, it finally feels like the offseason is winding down. For the first time in a long time, the Yankees will enter the 2017 season with a team made up primarily of youngsters. Although several veteran players have departed over the past year, there are still many Yankees remaining who will be coming up on franchise and career milestones in 2017. Here is a look at some of the accomplishments that Yankees position players could reach this season.
Remember when Gardner swiped over 45 stolen bases two years in a row? Those days are long gone. In fact, Gardner managed a career-low of just 16 stolen bases last year. Gardner currently sits in sixth place in the franchise with 218 steals, and just needs 16 more to pass Roy White in the franchise standings. It is not difficult to imagine him passing both Hal Chase (248) and Willie Randolph (251) if he stays with the Yankees for the duration of his contract. Derek Jeter and Rickey Henderson appear to have a strong hold over first and second place, with 358 and 326 stolen bases, respectively.
Gardner will also enter the season just 50 away from reaching 1,000 hits, which would place him in the top 40 in the franchise. In terms of walks, Gardner is in 36th place with 424, but he could move into the top 30 this year.
2016 was a very interesting year for Ellsbury. He may not be quite the player the Yankees were hoping for when they signed him, but he sure has a knack for reaching because of catcher’s interference. Ellsbury reached by catcher’s interference a whopping TEN times last year. In 2015, it happened twice in one game, and the interference was charged to two different catchers. Pete Rose is the all-time leader of catcher interference with 29 instances, but Ellsbury sits in second place with 24. He could easily become the all-time leader this year.
There are also a few other milestones that Ellsbury should reach in 2017. He needs to hit just three more home runs to reach 100 in his career. Ellsbury is also just 27 away from 500 career RBI. As for franchise milestones, Ellsbury needs to swipe just 20 more bags to reach 100 stolen bases as a Yankee.
The Yankees have lost a lot of their veteran players over the past year through trades (Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann) and retirements (Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez). When the team signed Holliday earlier in the offseason, he became the oldest player on the roster. Holliday has been playing in the majors since 2004, so it makes sense that he is coming up on some MLB milestones.
Holliday will enter the season with 1995 hits, making him likely to move into the top 250 in MLB history. He has hit 448 doubles in his career, and just needs to hit six more to move into 100th all-time. Holliday is likely to hit his 300th home run this year, too, unless he experiences a repeat of his 2015 season with the Cardinals.
Check back later in the week for the milestones that Yankees pitchers could reach in 2017.