Scouting report: New York Yankees

Originally Published: October 1, 2006
By Keith Law | Scouts Inc.
The Yankees aren't perfect, but they're the best team in baseball right now. Their offense is potent, with power, patience and some very tough outs; their top three starting pitchers are capable; and they have the closer by whom all others are measured. They enter the playoffs as the team most likely to win the World Series.

Strengths

The Yankees bring the best offense in baseball into the postseason, with an extremely strong lineup and, uncharacteristically for the Yanks, a solid bench. They finished the season with 930 runs and have a shot to score 1,000 in 2007 if they have better luck on the health front.

The Yanks' ideal lineup offers opposing pitchers very little chance for a breather. Their top two hitters, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter, both take long at-bats and have good power for hitters in the typical table-setting lineup spots. Damon struggles a bit against lefties with good breaking balls -- but so do a lot of very good left-handed hitters. Jeter, meanwhile, is probably the best two-strike hitter in baseball and is also among the toughest major league hitters to pitch to because he can adjust so well to where the ball is pitched. Both guys are also plus runners with good instincts on the bases.