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Astros' Beltran, McCann glad for young Yanks

From ESPN - October 12, 2017

HOUSTON -- Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann spent most of the previous three seasons as teammates with the New York Yankees, and while there got to see the birth of those baby Bronx Bombers they will now face in the AL Championship Series.

"It is a little crazy," said McCann, the 33-year-old catcher who was traded by the Yankees to Houston last winter. "But when I was behind the scenes and got to see these young guys play, perform and the way (Aaron) Judge came out this year, it's no surprise they are in the position they are in."

Beltran and McCann are now two of the old guys for another team with plenty of talented youth -- the Astros. Both veterans hope for another shot to finally win a World Series ring.

Game 1 of the best-of-7 ALCS is Friday night in Houston.

Much of the reason that New York was able to let go of McCann was another young slugger, 24-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez (33 homers this season, 53 in 177 career games). Judge, the 6-foot-7 rookie right fielder, hit an AL-best 52 homers this year.

Beltran, the 40-year-old designated hitter in his 20th big league season, admits that he was a bit surprised at how quickly the youngsters developed.

"It's good to watch, it's very refreshing to watch," said Beltran, who was sent from New York to Texas at the trade deadline last summer and then returned to Houston in free agency.

Many have credited Beltran with having a big impact on Didi Gregorius, the shortstop who succeeded Derek Jeter and homered twice in the ALDS clincher, the Yankees' 5-2 Game 5 victory Wednesday night after losing the first two games of that series to Cleveland.

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