MLB Network has released its Top 100 Right Now list, and of the eight Yankees who make an appearance, it's their newest, high-priced acquisition leading the way.
Gerrit Cole signed the richest contract of any starting pitcher in the history of baseball when he signed with the Yankeesin the offseason, and with good reason. He ranks No. 7 on MLB Network's list, the highest of any pitcher and one spot ahead of Mets' ace Jacob deGrom. Cole was the runner-up to then-Astros teammate Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young voting, despite leading the league with a 2.50 ERA and all of baseball with 326 strikeouts.
Aaron Judge has missed 50-plus games in each of the last two seasons, but still earns the No. 16 spot on the list. Judge missed 60 games and had just 447 plate appearances in 2019, but still hit 27 homers and slashed .272/.381/.540. He'll enter his fourth full season in the big leagues hoping that it's more like his rookie year than the previous two. All Judge did in his first season was mash 52 homers, win AL Rookie of the Year and finish second in AL MVP voting.
Baseball is ripe with elite shortstops, and in 2019 Gleyber Torres announced that he belongs in that category. MLB Network rewarded his breakout season by placing him at No. 31 on their list. There's no shortage of power in the Yankee lineup, but Torres led all Bombers with 38 home runs in 2019. An injury-plagued season for the Yankee lineup no doubt played a part in that, but Torres is just 23 and proved he's a threat to go deep any time he steps into the box.
Those aforementioned injuries gave opportunities for some other Yankees to get their in the spotlight, and no one did more with that chance than DJ LeMahieu, who slots in at No. 37. LeMahieu was a model of consitency in seven seasons with the Rockies, but set career highs in homers (26) and RBIs (102) with Yankees last season, all while slashing /.327/.375/.518. The 31-year-old finished fourth in AL MVP voting in 2019.
Though a host of injuries limited Giancarlo Stanton to just 18 games and 72 plate appearances in 2019, the slugger still managed to make the list, coming in at No. 63. The Yankees traded for Stanton following an MVP season with the Marlins in 2017, when he hit 59 homers and knocked in 132 runs. He has just 41 home runs in his first two seasons with the Yankees combined, however.
Aroldis Chapman hit a bump in the road in July last season, when he posted an 8.31 ERA in 8 2/3 innings pitched, but was dominant throughout most of the rest of the season and comes into 2020 ranked at No. 75. The left-hander struck out 85 hitters in 57 innings pitched and had 37 saves in 42 opportunities.
Gary Sanchez hit a career-high 34 home runs in 2019 and is ranked No. 80 on MLB Network's list heading into 2020. The catcher was an All-Star for the second time in his career last year, and despite him signing with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2009, is still just 27 years old.
Thanks to shoulder problems, Luis Severino didn't throw in a big league game until Sept. 17 last season and tossed just 12 innings, but back-to-back All-Star appearances in the previous two seasons were enough to earn him the No. 83 spot on the list. Fully healthy coming into the season, a 1-2 punch of Cole and Severino is about as electric as it gets at the top of a starting rotation.
Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout tops the overall list, and is followed by reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, and Alex Bregman.