Three key Yankees to watch in 2011

New York Yankees Mark Teixeira takes batting practice New York Yankees Mark Teixeira takes batting practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. (Feb. 23, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

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1. A.J. BURNETT

Though the spring brought mostly positive results, Yankee fans will likely hold their enthusiasm for a Burnett turnaround at least until the start of the regular season and probably for some time after that. One of the most forgotten statistics of last season was 4-0, 1.99 - Burnett's record and ERA after six starts. He finished a career-worst 10-15, 5.26.

2. DEREK JETER

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It's simple. Was last year the start of a decline that most players his age inevitably experience or can the future Hall of Famer recapture at least some of his youth? Jeter, working with hitting coach Kevin Long to try and eliminate the stride in his swing so he can see the ball a millisecond longer, experienced mostly positive results this spring.

3. MARK TEIXEIRA

The first baseman has made a career of slow starts before rebounding, particularly in the season's second half. But he never rebounded completely after a horrid start to 2010 - hitting a career-worst .256 - and he tweaked his offseason and then spring routines in order to start faster.

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