Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across Major League Baseball. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in New York Yankees fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
The start of 2023 has been positive for the Yankees. They are second in the AL East with a 4-2 record, trailing only the immaculate Tampa Bay Rays.
Both MLB-wide fans and Yankees supporters have been following the young campaign, and many of them voted on particular questions presented to them by SB Nation Reacts. From Anthony Volpe’s total stolen base output to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s ability to hit the ball a mile, fans were not afraid to weigh in and offer their vote. A few postseason prediction questions were also asked, and we have the results for you.
Here’s what fans decreed:
Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe opened the season with a bang, stealing three bases in the first three games. He hasn’t been able to add to that total in recent games, but despite his lack of 80-grade speed, he can run and he has effective technique and timing. The numbers speak for themselves: Volpe stole 33 bases in 2021 and 50 last year, across various levels. He has never been shy about stealing bags, and the Yanks haven’t had such a threat in a while.
The question is, how many bases will Volpe swipe when everything is said and done? Well, the people have spoken. 36 percent of the voters believe Volpe will finish somewhere between 31 and 40 stolen bases, and that sounds like a reasonable prediction. The last three contests have shown that he won’t run in every game, but recent minor league performance does tell us that there is a high floor here.
A bold group of people - 16 percent to be exact - think he is going to be between 51 and 60. 12 percent of the people voting have him at 30 or fewer, which is frankly a bit shocking considering it’s a plausible scenario. Only six percent of the people think he will exceed 60, though.
In the first series of the season against the San Francisco Giants, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton sent a ball to the moon. It traveled a projected 485 feet on a chilly April day, which is absolutely nuts.
We asked whether Aaron Judge had what it takes to hit a ball even further than that one. The results favored Stanton, though: only 32 percent of the voters think the reigning MVP will outdrive that 485-feet homer.
Judge is the one closer to his prime and he just hit 62 long balls in 2022. He is the MVP. However, and as hard to believe as it might sound, Stanton’s raw power is half a tier above.
As good as the Yankees are when fully healthy, the Astros’ core is still amazing and a cut above everyone else in the American League. Fans recognize this and the majority - 28 percent in this case - says they are the ALCS favorites.
Yes, they lost Justin Verlander, but have Cristian Javier developing as an ace, Framber Valdez, and a boatload of quality arms. Their lineup is also deep and potent, having added Jose Abreu to an amazing group. The Yankees, who checked in second with 20 percent, might need to make an addition before the deadline if they want to hurdle the Astros in these rankings.
Other powerhouses are emerging in the junior circuit, such as the Toronto Blue Jays (who got 14 percent of the votes) and the Tampa Bay Rays (13 percent). However, Houston is still the clear top dog according to fans.
Now this is a shocking one. Not because the Atlanta Braves, who are the NLCS favorites with 29 percent of the votes according to fans, are bad. They are elite. But the New York Mets spent millions of dollars on their roster, the Los Angeles Dodgers won 111 games in 2022, the San Diego Padres are the trendiest team in baseball, and the Philadelphia Phillies won the pennant last year.
The Padres are second in this exercise with 23 percent of the votes, followed by the Dodgers (16 percent), Mets (nine percent), the St. Louis Cardinals (six percent) and the Milwaukee Brewers (five percent). Only the top vote-getters are shown, so no Phillies.
20 percent of the fans believe the Braves have what it takes to repeat their 2021 achievement and win the Fall Classic. It’s a close race for second, though, with the Astros, Padres and Yankees separated by just two percentage points.
The Dodgers and Rays are fifth and sixth, respectively. LA lost a lot of talent in the offseason and doesn’t look as strong as they were in 2022, but the Rays are going to be a problem.