Before they were postseason bound: Yankees

September 22nd, 2017

The Yankees' young core is all grown up, and New York is returning to the postseason earlier than expected. Here is the skinny on every member of the Yankees' roster.

, RP

Born: New York, N.Y.

DOB: 3/23/1988

HS: Grand Street Campus (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 

Minors: Yankees (Rk), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Betances is the rare player who was born and raised in New York City, rooted for the Yankees, then went on to play for them. He was a teenage prodigy within the five boroughs, first at Grand Street and then in the summer for the elite Youth Service travel program. At 6-foot-8, Betanes is the tallest -- and one of the most intimidating -- full time relievers in baseball.

Greg Bird, 1B

Born: Aurora, Colo.

DOB: 11/9/1992

HS: Grandview (Aurora, CO) High School

Minors: Yankees (R), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) 

• Before he was a sweet-swinging first baseman, Bird was a catcher in high school in Colorado, where he formed a battery with Orioles starter . Now in the Majors, Bird is hitless in five career plate appearances against his old teammate. Off the field, Bird owns a hairless cat that he says is related to the cat owned by Mike Myers' character Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. Bird's parents drove him to Yankee Stadium for his MLB debut in 2015.

, 2B

Born: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

DOB: 3/24/1990 

Minors: Cubs (Rk), Daytona (A+), Tennessee (AA) 

• Castro is a veteran on this team, but he knows what it's like to be a young player in the big leagues. He was the youngest player to debut with the Cubs in 41 years when he did so at age 20 in 2010, and he's been a productive, if underrated, player since. Only five right-handed hitters have more hits since Castro's debut, which was one of the most dramatic in baseball history. Castro drove in six runs in his first MLB game, the all-time record for a debut.

, RP

Born: Holguin, Cuba

DOB: 2/28/1988

Minors: Louisville (AAA)

• Quite possibly the hardest thrower in Major League history, Chapman owns most of the 100 hardest pitches every tracked by Statcast™, including the hardest recorded-- a 105.7 mph fastball in 2016. After struggles this summer sent him briefly from the closer's role, the richest closer in baseball history finished the year strong and back in the ninth inning.

, CF

Born: Madras, Ore.

DOB: 9/11/1983

HS: Madras (Ore.) High School

College: Oregon State

Minors: Lowell (A-), Wilmington (A+), Portland (AA), Pawtucket (AAA)

• Ellsbury became the first player of Navajo Native American descent to reach the Majors, when he debuted in 2007. Ellsbury, whose mother is Navejo and father is German, lettered in five sports in high school before enrolling at Oregon State, where he led the school to its first College World Series appearance in 53 years. He's stolen at least 20 bases in each of his eight full big league seasons, and owns the third-most steals in the Majors since his debut in 2007.

, OF

Born: Decatur, Ga.

DOB: 9/6/1994

HS: Loganville (Ga.) High School

Minors: Indians (Rk), Lake County (A), Lynchburg (A+), Akron (AA), Columbus (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Frazier won several high school National Player of the Year honors after his senior year at Loganville, where he regularly competed against Pirates farmhand Austin Meadows. Once a big leaguer, Frazier chose to wear No.77 for two reasons: first, it's kinship to Mickey Mantle's No.7, and second, it's similarlties to Aaron Judge's No.99. His outsized personality -- both in person and on social media -- had Frazier making headlines well before his MLB debut in July. Then he backed up the hype, driving in 16 runs over his first 20 career games.

, 3B

Born: Point Pleasant, N.J.

DOB: 2/12/1986

HS: Toms River South (N.J.) High School

College: Rutgers

Minors: Billings (R), Dayton (A), Sarasota (A+), Carolina (AA), Louisville (AAA)

• Frazier commuted to Yankee Stadium from his family home in Toms River, N.J., after being acquired from the White Sox in July. Nicknamed "The Toddfather," Frazier wears his Jersey roots on his sleeve and wears them proudly. As a youngster, he starred on the Toms River team that captured the 1998 Little League World Series championship. As a result, young Frazier was invited to take the field at Yankee Stadium before a game that summer. He stood next to Derek Jeter, who was also born in New Jersey.

, SP

Born: Reynosa, Mexico

DOB: 7/8/1986

HS: Sharyland (Texas) High School

Minors: Quad Cities (A), Palm Beach (A+), Springfield (AA), Memphis (AAA) 

• The veteran lefty was in high demand this season, his ninth in the big leagues. Garcia was traded twice in a span of a week before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July, from the Braves to the Twins, then to the Yankees. He made just one start in Minnesota ("He'll go down as one of the few undefeated pitchers in Twins history," Twins manager Paul Molitor joked) before the Yankees acquired him for two Minor Leaguers. In total, Garcia has been traded three times -- from the Cardinals to the Braves, Twins and Yankees -- in a span of eight months.

, OF

Born: Holly Hill, S.C.

DOB: 8/24/1983

HS: Holly Hill-Roberts (S.C.) High School

College: College of Charleston

Minors: Staten Island (A-), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA),Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) 

• The longest tenured Yankees player has won a World Series (2009), a Gold Glove (2016), a stolen-base crown (2011) and been named an All-Star (2015) in what began as an unlikely career for a player lightly recruited out of high school. Gardner learned the game from his father, Jerry, who played in the Phillies Minor League system in the 1970s. He returns to a rural farm in South Carolina in the offseason, just like his dad did.

, SP

Born: Nashville, Tenn.

DOB: 11/7/1989

HS: Smyrna (Tenn.) High School

College: Vanderbilt

Minors: AZL Athletics (R), Midland (AA), Sacramento (AAA)

• Gray technically throws four pitches -- a fastball, changeup, slider and curve. But his ability to throw them all with different grips and velocity variations really gives him a repertoire of more than 10 different offerings. Gray uses them all, mixing and matching mid-game like a mad scientist, often inventing pitches on the fly. It's a habit Gray learned at Vanderbilt, where he lead the Commodores to their first College World Series appearance in 2011.

, RP

Born: Greenville, S.C.

DOB: 5/24/1991

HS: Effingham (Ill.) High School

College: Louisville

Minors: Lakeland (A+), Tigers (R), West Michigan (A), Erie (AA), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Green struck out hitters at a higher rate than Andrew Miller this season, which speaks to how dominant the second-year righty has been. Green is one of four Louisville alumni in the Major Leagues, and still ranks as the school's all-time leader in ERA (2.36).

Didi Gregorius, SS

Born: Amsterdam, Netherlands

DOB: 2/18/1990

Minors: Reds (GULF), Billings (Rk), Dayton (A), Lynchburg (A+), Bakersfield (A+), Carolina (AA), Louisville (AAA), Reno (AAA) 

• Born Mariekson Julius, the Yankees shortstop goes by "Didi," a nickname his father and brother also use. Gregorius was raised in Curacao and comes from a long line of accomplished international baseball players. He speaks four languages, and in the offseason spends his time drawing and practicing photography. On the field, Gregorius blossomed in 2017, setting a Yankees franchise record for home runs as a shortstop.

, 3B/1B

Born: Fountain, Colo.

DOB: 5/9/1984

HS: Fountain-Fort Carson (Colo.) High School

College: Tennessee

Minors: Fort Wayne (A), Eugene (A-), Lake Elsinore (A+), Peoria Saquaros (AZFL), San Antonio (AA), Portland (AAA)

• Headley was the valedictorian of his high school, and he's consistently been one of the most well-spoken players in the Yankees clubhouse since coming to New York in 2014. He was one of the team's most productive players in the second half of this season.

, OF

Born: San Pedro, Calif.

DOB: 10/2/1989

HS: Woodrow Wilson (Calif.) High School

Minors: Twins (GULF), Beloit (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA), Scranton/Wilks-Barre (AAA)

• Hicks could reach 98 mph from the mound coming out of high school, leaving many teams conflicted about whether to draft him as a pitcher or a hitter. Now, he shows that arm off from the outfield, where Hicks reached a Statcast-record 105.5 mph on a throw last season. He came into his own at the plate in 2017 as well, notching career-highs in nearly every offensive category despite losing significant time to injury.

, DH

Born: Stillwater, Okla.

DOB: 1/15/1980

HS: Stillwater (Okla) High School

Minors: Rockies (R), Asheville (A), Salem (A+), Carolina (AA), Tulsa (AA), Colorado Springs (AAA)  

• Holliday grew up around the game, shadowing his father, Tom, who coached at Oklahoma State University. He grew to be so much larger and more skilled than his friends, that the young Holliday had to hit three home runs during pickup games to score one run. He was recruited to play quarterback at Oklahoma State but chose baseball after the Rockies drafted him in the seventh round in 1998. Holliday was the NL MVP runner-up and reached the World Series in 2007 with Colorado, won a ring with St. Louis in 2011, and ranks fourth among active right-handed hitters in hits.

, RF

Born: Linden, Calif.

DOB: 4/26/1992

HS: Linden (Calif.) High School

College: California State University, Fresno

Minors: Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• The 6-foot-7, 282-pound phenom captured the sport's attention this season thanks to one of the best rookie starts in Major League history. Judge became an instant superstar on the back of the five-tool ability and titanic home runs he sent flying across much of the first half of the season. Even with surpassing his home run total, Judge still owns the four hardest home runs tracked by Statcast™, and six of the seven hardest. He's also hit the longest, a 495-foot blast June 11 against the Orioles, and broke the Yankees franchise rookie home run mark, held for 81 years by Joe DiMaggio, before the All-Star break.

Tommy Kahnle, RP

Born: Latham, N.Y.

DOB: 8/7/1989

HS: Shaker (N.Y,) High School

College: Lynn University

Minors: Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Trenton (AA), Tampa (A+), Albuquerque (AAA) ,Charlotte (AAA)

• Kahnle has developed into a valuable bullpen piece thanks in large part to a fastball that can reach triple digits. Off the field, Kahnle loves power too. He's a huge pro wrestling fan who keeps a championship belt in his locker. He's also a big Phildelphia Eagles and Notre Dame football fan.

, RP

Born: Birmingham, Ala.

DOB: 4/9/1985

HS: Paul W. Bryant (Ala.) High School

College: Alabama

Minors: Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Robertson may be in his second stint in New York, but he still reps his native Alabama whenever he can. That's clear every time he jogs out to the Yankee Stadium mound, the stadium public address system basting "Sweet Home Alabama" into the Bronx. Robertson was raised around the University of Alabama and attended it. When tornadoes pummeled the campus in 2011, Robertson and his family raised thousands of dollars to aid in the relief.

, C

Born: Lake Forest, Calif.

DOB: 11/22/1988

HS: El Toro (Calif.) High School

Minors: Yankees (R), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Phoenix (AZFL), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA).

• Austin and his older brother Andrew are one of just two pairs of brothers in the Majors, along with Corey and . Austin and Andrew learned the game as boys in Southern California from their father, Kevin, who played seven seasons with the Red Sox before embarking on a career in law enforcement.

, SP

Born: Vallejo, Calif.

DOB: 7/21/1980

HS: Vallejo (Calif.) High School

Minors: Burlington (R), Columbus (A), Mahoning Valley (A-), Kinston (A+), Akron (AA)

• One of the most successful players to ever come from the MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) initiative, Sabathia grew into one of his era's most dominant pitchers. He leads all active left-handed pitchers in wins, starts, complete games, innings and strikeouts, and was the highest-paid pitcher ever when he signed with the Yankees in 2009. Sabathia chose baseball over basketball and football, which he could have played at Hawaii or UCLA, among other major programs.

, C

Born: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

DOB: 12/2/1992

Minors: Yankees (R), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Sanchez burst onto the scene last season -- hitting 20 home runs over his first 53 games -- and hasn't stopped hitting since. The 24-year-old couples one of the game's best defensive arms with a bat that produced 50 home runs over his first 162 games. Off the field, he entertains with an affable social media presence, which sparked the hashtag #IAmGary to great fanfare.

, SP

Born: Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic

DOB: 2/20/1994

Minors: Yankees (R), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• The Yankees knew they had a rare talent when they signed Severino for just $225,000 as a teenager in 2012. He was throwing 97 mph the next year, as a 19-year-old. Now 23 and the Yankees ace, he's proven explosive and durable, with the ability to hit triple digits well into the late innings. Heading into the final week of the season, Severino had thrown nine 100-plus mph fastballs after the seventh inning this season according to Statcast™, more than every other starter in Major League Baseball combined.

, RP

Born: Las Vegas

DOB: 7/12/1990

HS: Bonanza (Nev.) High School

College: College of Southern Nevada

Minors: Danville (R), Rome (A), Lynchburg (A+), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

• Shreve grew up playing with Nationals star in Nevada, both in high school and college. Shreve pitched to Harper, who was a catcher at the time. Shreve also played amateur ball with Mets reliever . The two are the only players named "Chasen" in Major League history, and earlier this season, they pitched in the same game.

, SP

Born: Itami, Japan

DOB: 11/1/1988

HS: Komadai Tomakimai High School 

• Tanaka grew up in western Japan, but chose to attend high school at a elite baseball program in the north, where shoveling snow off the field during winter was a vital part of the training regime, meant to teach discipline. He became a superstar in Japan as a teenager for excelling in Koshien, a March Madness-style high school baseball tournament that's nationally televised. Then as a professional, Tanaka won a record 28 consecutive decisions before signing with the Yankees for $153 million in 2014.


Born: Libertador, Venezuela

DOB: 9/2/1992 

Minors: Reds (R), Dayton (A), Daytona (A+), Tennessee (AA), Corpus Christi (AA), Oklahoma City (AAA), Fresno (AAA), Tulsa (AA), New Hampshire (AA)

• Torreyes is listed at 5-foot-8, 151 pounds, making him the lightest player in baseball and one of the shortest. But what he lacks in size he makes up for in work ethic. Torreyes says he developed his speed running up hills, on sand and in rivers as a boy in his native Venezuela.

, RP

Born: Birmingham, Ala.

DOB: 8/25/1987

HS: New Bern (N.C.) High School

College: University of North Carolina

Minors: Staten Island (A-), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), Iowa (AAA)

• Warren comes from a split family -- in terms of sports loyalties. While Warren became one of the best pitchers in the country at UNC-Chapel Hill, his father had played football at in-state rival North Carolina State. As a professional, the younger Warren once set a Double-A Trenton record with 15 strikeouts in a seven-inning start. He now has the odd distinction of being current teammates with two players (Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman) he was recently traded for.