Spring training is well under way, and after a week and a half of baseball, we've seen 14 Yankee games, giving us an ample look at the current stars and the studs of tomorrow. While it's obviously early and a small sample size, lets take a look at who's gotten off to a good start, and who's still waiting to find their groove.
Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder can flat out hit
Many of us here at PSA were hoping Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder would get a chance to be the starting second baseman when the 2015 season opened, but the signing of Stephen Drew all but ended that dream. Still, these two figure to see some time in the big leagues this season, and they've done everything they can this spring to prove that their bats are ready for the majors. Pirela is hitting .444 this spring (8-for-18) with two doubles and a triple, while Refsnyder is hitting .375 (6-for-16). Both need some more time to work on their defense (especially Refsnyder), but they've done a lot this spring to give Yankee fans hope that they can stick at the major league level.
Slow start for the bounce back candidates
A lot of the Yankees success this season will depend on some of their more expensive players having back bounce campaigns after ugly years last season. Unfortunately, these players - the likes of Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran, mainly - are standing out, but not in a good way. Between them, they're hitting a combined .157 (just 8-for-51) this spring. Only McCann has managed an extra-base hit (a double), while Beltran has notched the second highest amount of strikeouts on the roster (Beltran has seven, behind only Kyle Roller's 8). While Tex has been a notoriously slow starter, and of course this is based off a small sample, it's not a good sign seeing all three of these veterans struggle at the plate. The Yankees simply won't have much of a chance if they don't get more production out of this group in 2015 than they did in 2014.
Headley's hot start
Unlike Tex and Beltran, Chase Headley - the Yankees biggest offseason signing - has gotten going so far in March. Headley is second on the team in hits (behind Pirela), and he's hit .368/.400/.474 in 19 at bats this spring. While it's his combination of offensive skill with a slick glove that makes him so valuable, if Headley could get anywhere close to his 2011 and 2012 hitting numbers (when he posted a 121 wRC+ and a 145 wRC+, respectively), he could do a lot to stabilize the Yankee lineup. This would be even more valuable if the likes of McCann and Teixeira aren't able to bounce back this season. Let's hope he looks this dangerous with the bat in September as he has this spring.
There's a lot more baseball left in March before the season gets underway on April 6th, and a lot more storylines to follow. We didn't even touch on the pitchers in this article, and the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation is going to be one of the most interesting stories of the spring. It's going to be an exciting couple of weeks as the Yankees head towards Opening Day.
What about spring training has gotten you most excited for this season?