The Yankees, who many believed would not be in contention for the World Series this year, have surprised the league by beginning the season 21-11, and are currently sitting only 0.5 games behind Baltimore for the lead in the AL East.
After talking with several MLB insiders and coaches from around the league, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post lists six reasons why the Yankees are legitimate contenders this season.
The first reason is the blooming of some of New York's young players. Guys such as Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino, and Jordan Montgomery have developed faster than many scouts believed they would, finding great success thus far.
The next reason is the veteran presence on the roster. While New York has many talented young players on the team, they are mixed in with older players like Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner.
Another reason is the back-end of New York's bullpen, consisting of Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. As one scout put it, "When you're playing the Yankees, you're playing a seven-inning game."
The fourth reason is the team's chemistry. The addition of veteran Matt Holliday has helped both the younger and older players on the team really focus when it's time to get to work.
The next reason is their AL East opponents. Toronto has gotten off to a bad start, Boston is having difficulties scoring runs, and Baltimore faces some serious starting-pitching issues.
The final reason is New York's stockpiling of talented prospects. When the trade deadline is near and the Yankees are still in contention, they will be in a great position to add more players because of the depth of talent the team has in their minor league system.