New York Giants: Deandre Baker An Impact Player According to Kiper

New York Giants draft Georgia corner, Deandre Baker.

Aside from finding a quarterback and improving a defensive line that desperately needs help after finishing near the bottom of the league in sacks, one of the goals the New York Giants went into the 2019 NFL Draft with was finding help for the secondary which would enter the offseason looking quite thin. The Giants weren’t deep at cornerback last year and the departure of Landon Collin doesn’t help their case either.

But at the corner position, the team received significant help through the draft with the additions of Georgia corner Deandre Baker and Notre Dame DB Julian Love, both of whom are players that many think were undervalued by teams other than the Giants. The team thought high enough of Baker to trade back into the first round for him after spending their first two picks addressing other positions, and that move could pay off well if Baker is able to make an impact early in his career.

So far, all signs point to that being the case. Draft analyst Mel Kiper has a high opinion of Baker, stating so in a piece or ESPN. Here’s what Kiper had to say about the pick:

He is the most pro-ready of the top group of cornerbacks in this class, and he can be a legitimate No. 1 corner. He’s going to play early and often for a New York defense that allowed 61 receptions of at least 20 yards last season, the second-most such passes in the league.

Kiper also states that while Janoris Jenkins is the number one corner going into the year, there’s not yet a clear cut answer for the number two spot and that Sam Beal will likely compete for it along with Baker, Love, and Corey Ballentine. That youth in the secondary is something that could either turn out very well or very bad for the Giants depending on just how quickly the rookies adapt to the league.

However, they do have one thing that they didn’t have going into last year: a hopeful outlook and massive potential for the future.

New York Yankees’ Gio Urshela Saves the Day Again in 9th Inning Rally

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

The New York Yankees entered the 9th inning down 4-2 against the Seattle Mariners when Gleyber Torres stepped up to the plate with one out already on the board on a Clint Frazier fly out.

Torres singled to center and up came the Yankees’ hottest player, replacement third baseman, Gio Urshela. The reserve option has been playing out of his mind, hitting an astounding .347 and collecting his second homer of the season on a game-tying rope to center field.

The New York Yankees squeeze out another close one:

Urshela drove in Torres tying the game at 4 apiece. Cameron Maybin proceeded to single and steal second base. That left DJ LeMahieu with the opportunity to win the ball game, as Maybin’s speed allows him to score on a single. DJ did just that, driving in Maybin for the go-ahead run and ending the game.

In a match that was briefly delayed due to rain and saw Frazier drop a ball on the warning track, the Yanks managed to squeeze out a win against a solid Mariners team. Another testament to their fight and grit as they continue forward with a majority of the starting team out with injuries.

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But, the real hero once again was Urshela, who is reaching his potential at the exact right time. With Miguel Andujar returning from injury and featuring as the designated hitter, the Bombers have been able to utilize Gio’s fantastic defensive abilities at the hot corner and allow him to continue producing offensively. So far, this move has worked out perfectly.

At this point in the season, it’s fair to say manager Aaron Boone learned a thing or two from his error-riddled 2018 campaign.

New York Knicks: Kyrie To The Rival New York Team?

New York Knicks, Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

As New York Knicks and NBA fans continue to wait for the lottery, rumors continue to circulate.  With less than a week until the lottery, we are going to hear some wild stuff.

One player that could potentially be a topic of conversation is Kyrie Irving.  The rumor that may pick up some steam is Kyrie to the Brooklyn Nets over the New York Knicks?

A tiny snippet from Real GM suggests just that.

While this rumor would not come as a shock to many, one thing stands out.  How would De’Angelo Russell and Irving co-exist?  Do not get me wrong, I am not a Nets fans and do not watch their games, unless they’re playing the Knicks.

However, from seeing their styles and the big leap Russell took this year, it would be hard to imagine those two being compatible together.  Plus, that is Russell’s team.  He is the point guard.  Why would Irving want to go there when he would not be conducting the offense.

Despite the Nets making the playoffs, they are still not as big of a market that Kyrie would want.  The Knicks are.  The Knicks also do not have a true number one point guard running the show.  They went through, what, a handful of guys running point this past season?  The position is still up for grabs.

When you really look at it, Kyrie to the Knicks has a greater probability of occurring than him going to the Nets.  As much as fans, of both fan bases, will speculate band debate which New York team Irving might choose, deep down we all know the true answer.

The New York Giants Must Have Big Plans for First Round Pick Deandre Baker

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The most impressive player at rookie camp for the New York Giants has been first-round draft pick, Deandre Baker, out of Georgia.

The cornerback was physical and instinctual as he flashed serious potential in his first action with the Giants. The idea for Baker is to start alongside veteran Janoris Jenkins as the No. 2 option, but bigger plans are undoubtedly in his future.

The Giants also managed to grab star corner from Notre Dame, Julian Love, in the fourth round of the draft. This was a great value pick and a potential steal as general manager Dave Gettleman looks to change the narrative on a thin secondary.

Baker will need the experience at the professional level to take on a top-role, something he might find himself in after the 2020 season. Jenkins’ contract ends after 2020, and it’s unlikely the Giants elect to bring him back considering his age and inconsistency. In 2016, Jenkins was graded as a top-5 corner in the league, but the negative atmosphere in the locker room during the 2017 campaign saw his effectiveness plummet – he’s not much of a leader.

The New York Giants did a great job addressing the secondary in the draft:

Baker has the skill-set to emerge as the top corner for Big Blue, a team in need of significant help at the position.

“I just come in and play my game and just show them they haven’t made a mistake by coming to get me,’’ Baker said Friday at Giants rookie minicamp. “Just want to come in and help the team.’’

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The Giants brass valued Baker as a first-round talent, and they were right to move up from 37th to 30th to pluck him off the board. Multiple corners were snatched up following the pick including Byron Murphy and Greedy Williams. Gettleman sent his second-rounder, fourth and fifth-round picks to move up for the top-rated corner.

There’s a great expectation for the Georgia product in New York, as he enters the countrey’s biggest football market in hopes of upgrading the unit. Pairing him with Jenkins, though, should give him the leverage and necessary experience required to take his game to the next level.

New York Giants: Players Who Need To Be Great In 2019, Or Else…

The New York Giants are coming off of a 5-11 2018 season that was filled with disappointment. There were silver linings, like the incredible performance of the Offensive Rookie Of The Year, Saquon Barkley. Unfortunately, the amazing performances were matched by equally disappointing performances.

The players who disappointed in 2018 need to bounce back in 2019. General manager Dave Gettleman has shown that he is more than willing to move on from talented players if he has found their performance to be disappointing. So who needs to impress Gettleman in 2019 in order to stay with the Giants?

Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins was signed by the New York Giants in the 2016 offseason. Jenkins was a true shutdown cornerback in his 2016 campaign that saw the Giants’ defense carry the team into the postseason. Unfortunately, Jenkins has not been the same All-Pro caliber player since then.

Janoris has regressed mightily since 2016. In 2018, Jenkins allowed a passer rating of 109.3 in his coverage. He flashed some of his old high-level play on occasions last year, but his season lacked game-to-game consistency.

The Giants went out and drafted three cornerbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft, leading some to speculate that Jenkins might be on his way out of New York. However, Dave Gettleman stated to the media that Jenkins has “a bunch of puppies to train,” confirming that he will be around in a new veteran role this season.

How well Jenkins helps train those young defensive backs will be crucial for his future with the Giants. If the Giants choose to cut Jenkins after this season, they will save $11,250,000 in cap space. Janoris Jenkins needs to prove that he is worth the money and earn his 2020 roster spot.

Eli Manning

The franchise legend, Eli Manning, is heading into a career-defining season. It has been 7 years since Eli Manning lead the Giants to their last Super Bowl victory. In that time, Manning has endured a multitude of losing seasons.

In fact, since the 2011-2012 season, Manning has only had 2 winning seasons (2012 and 2016). Things were rough from 2013 to 2015, then seemed better in 2016. But then they got significantly worse in 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, Eli Manning was benched for Geno Smith. This was the moment where things went from bad to worse for Eli and the Giants. In 2018 the Giants went 5-11 in a season where Manning threw only 21 touchdown passes (his second season in a row with less than 25 touchdown passes). In 2019, Manning is in danger of being benched again.

The Giants drafted Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and he is set to be the team’s next franchise quarterback. This puts even more pressure on Eli Manning to step up in 2019.

Eli Manning needs to lead the Giants to win games in 2019, or else the Giants will move on and begin the Daniel Jones era. It is an era where 9 quarterbacks in the league throw for 30 or more touchdowns. But Eli Manning was only able to toss 21 touchdowns (17th in the NFL).

The Giants need more production out of Eli Manning in 2019. Giants fans should hope that they do not see Daniel Jones play in 2019, because if they do, it means the team is losing again and Eli Manning is on his way out of town.

New York Yankees: Adam Ottavino The Reliever The Yankees Hoped For

After several up-and-down years with the Rockies, the New York Yankees decided to take a chance on Adam Ottavino after one of his better years being 2018, and the risk is proving to be a reward. Through 18 and 1/3 innings, he boasts a 1.96 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Monday’s example of his greatness

During Monday’s 7-3 win over the Mariners, Yankee middle reliever Jonathan Holder loaded up the bases, only getting one out.

Enter Adam Ottavino. He got Mitch Haniger to fly out and Tim Beckham to groundout, getting out of the inning unscathed.

That inning was definitely a turning point in the game. CC Sabathia had just came out of the game after fighting through five innings, and Ottavino was able to clean up the mess that Holder made. If those runs scored, it would’ve been a totally different game.

Just one bad outing

Throughout 16 appearances in 2019, Adam Ottavino has only had one bad showing, giving up three of his four earned runs on the season.

The game was on Easter Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. Ottavino gave up three hits and three runs as the Yankees blew a 5-0 lead. He gave up two home-runs in the outing, but luckily the Yankees managed to win on a walkoff from the bat of Austin Romine.

Otherwise, he has been fantastic for the Yankees. The only other run he surrendered this season was on April 8th against Houston.

The Yankees will continue to rely on him to be their set-up man as the Yankees enter a stretch of must-win games to try and take the division lead over Tampa.

New York Yankees Most Underrated Player Of The Year So Far

New York Yankees, Thairo Estrada, Gio Urshela

Finding a player to advocate for is difficult when it comes to the New York Yankees, as a majority of the team is on the injured list and the starting lineup has been ever revolving this season.

However, one player that has stood out from the rest is third baseman, Gio Urshela. Some might argue that Gary Sanchez has been even more impressive, and they might be right, but what Urshela has done for the Bombers since taking over for Miguel Andujar has been nothing short of fantastic.

Boasting an astounding .338 batting average with 23 hits over 68 at-bats has helped the Yanks reach a 20-14 record despite losing most of their starting team.

The New York Yankees continue to struggle with injuries:

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Andujar have all been hit by the injury bug this season, forcing players like Urshela to step in and pick up the slack.

Besides Gio’s great hitting, he’s been a monster on the hot corner defensively. With a .959 fielding percentage at third and seven double plays to his name in just 18 games started, Urshela has proven to himself and the Yankees brass that he can start in the infield.

It makes the return of Andujar a bit tricky, but featuring him as the designated hitter should allow the Bombers to extract the most value out of the pair.

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Take a look at this clip of Urshela bare-handing the ball and whipping it over to first for the out. Plays like this are underrated and can be the difference between an earned run or not.

The Yankees went on to win this game 7-3 against the Seattle Mariners in the first of a four-game series. Now, if the clip above didn’t cut it for you, check out this outstanding effort to snag a ball going over Urshela’s head at third.

Reaching back and managing to secure this out prevents a good chance for the Mariners to make a comeback in the third inning. With no outs on the board, this would’ve been a base-hit with the opportunity for a run-producing inning.

The bottom line, gaining Andujar back is fantastic for the team’s offensive production, but they simply cannot replace Urshela at third with the way he’s been playing. Manager Aaron Boone must stick with the hot hand for the time being.

New York Jets: Can Robby Anderson Reach his Potential in 2019?

New York Jets, Robby Anderson

With one year left on his contract, New York Jets top wideout, Robby Anderson, will be looking to reach his potential and receive a nice pay-day in 2020.

Anderson racked up a solid 752 yards and 6 scores in 2018, all at the expense of rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold. A lack of weapons and a colorless offensive line helped limit Anderson’s production and capped Darnold’s effectiveness last season.

However, the team signed Kelechi Osemele to feature at left guard and will gain back Brandon Shell after he tore his ACL in week 15 against the Buffalo Bills last year. Osemele is a recent Pro Bowler and has the veteran experience to completely change the chemistry of the line.

This will give Darnold more time to operate the offense which will directly result in more opportunity for his play-makers, Anderson being one of them.

The New York Jets did the offense a favor in hiring Adam Gase:

The Jets’ new head coach, Adam Gase, will benefit the offense as a whole, especially Anderson.

“As a receiver, it’s like gold. It’s a blessing and it’s exciting because you know he has many great ideas and great things planned for me, and ways for me to execute and really show my talent,” Anderson said of Gase. “I’ve been labeled a ‘deep threat’, but everybody who knows what I can do knows that’s not the case. But he’s really going to make me a great player, he’s going to bring greatness out of me, and he’s going to let me do things I haven’t really been able to do and take me to that next level. And I’m confident in that.”

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Many think of Robby as a deep-threat with straightaway speed, but he has the ability to run the entire route-tree and collect yards as a possession receiver. The most difficult aspect of his game has been the lack of talent around him, allowing opposing defenses to blanket him with ease and take Darnold’s best weapon away.

Adding LeVeon Bell at the running back position and Jamison Crowder in the slot should help Anderson’s production increase, assisting him in a contract year.

New York Yankees: Domingo German Is Here To Stay

New York Yankees, Domingo German

When the New York Yankees put Domingo German in the starting rotation due to injuries, they had no idea that he would be this effective.

The 26 year old righty out of the Dominican Republic sits at 6-1 and is among AL leaders in wins and ERA. He’s got at a 2.35 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.

The Yankees are consistently getting six innings out of him per start, which helps reduce bullpen use.

Sunday proved that he can pitch against good teams

Believe it or not, Sunday’s start against the Twins was his first start against a team over .500, and you wouldn’t even know it.

German tore-up the red-hot Twins, currently one of the best teams in baseball.

Over 6 and 2/3 innings, German gave up just four hits and a run, but walked three while striking out seven. He got first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 27 batters he faced. He worked 10 fly-balls compared to just three ground-balls.

Though he has had a ton of success, the walk numbers are still a bit high, averaging about two a game.

German is also throwing a lot of strikes despite the highish walk numbers. 69 of his 108 pitches on Sunday were for strikes, and 10 were swings and misses.

What should happen once Severino comes back

Aaron Boone confirmed recently that Luis Severino wouldn’t return before the all-star break, meaning German will be in the rotation for a while longer. But once Sevy comes back, what will happen?

If German keeps throwing the way he is, he will stay in the rotation. A move to the bullpen would likely be between CC Sabathia and JA Happ.

If Happ keeps struggling, it could be him that goes to the bullpen. If he manages to turn it around, it could be CC due to his reduced stamina from age.

But either way, you would have two starters in the bullpen, the other being Luis Cessa. Remember, Cessa is out of options, meaning he would have to clear waivers to go to AAA.

Would the Yankees want to take that chance? I certainly would, but the front office really likes Cessa.

If they kept two starters in the bullpen, maybe you do something where Chad Green stays with Scranton until September, then call him up for the final month and the postseason. After CC retires, move Green back into a bullpen spot for 2020, with the rotation being: Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, German.

But then you would have a healthy Jordan Montgomery, but that’s a whole nother story.

German has been fantastic so far in 2019, and deserves a secure spot in the rotation now and in the future.

New York Knicks Back In The Championship Conversation?

The New York Knicks and their fans still have a long way to go to be relevant again.  The NBA lottery is a week away with the draft and free agency even farther.  However, that is not going to stop Knicks fans from celebrating this.

The New York Knicks are back in the NBA Championship conversation.  Las Vegas’ The Superbook at Westgate released the 2020 NBA Championship odds a few days ago and Knicks fans were smiling.  The New York Knicks opened at 16 to 1 to make it their next season.  If all depends on where Kevin Durant goes in free agency of course.

The New York Knicks odds are fourth behind the Milwaukee Bucks (9-2), Boston Celtics (7-1) and Philadelphia 76ers (10-1).

Las Vegas always seems to know things that others do not.  However,  every basketball fans has an inkling that Durant could land in New York.  Therefore, the Knicks getting the fourth best odds for a team out of the East next season comes as no surprise.

For now, this is just a tiny victory for the New York Knicks and their fans.  Just being back in the conversation to possibly represent the East in the finals is something to smile about.  Can the basketball gods being whispering this in the ears of the odd-makers in Las Vegas?  Only time will tell.