New York Giants: Grim Prediction Comes In About Next Three Seasons

New York Giants, Eli Manning

There’s not one dominant take about the New York Giants. Some think that the team made the right choice by drafting Daniel Jones and think that Eli Manning still has something left in the tank while others would argue that the team moving on from some of their best players and sticking with an aging quarterback while taking a big risk in the draft on a prospect such as Jones means that the team is headed for some losing years soon.

We won’t be able to find out which side is more accurate in the Giants debate but it’s clear that ESPN stands on the less than optimistic side when it comes to predictions. In their article making future projections for the next three years, three ESPN writers placed the Giants at the second worse spot in the entire league.

Their reasons for pessimism are some of the same worries that have been repeated by Giants fans ever since the draft and the team’s decision to go with a massive underdog with the sixth overall pick. This is what ESPN said that the biggest worry is for the Giants:

Has Gettleman made the right decision concerning the future performance of Eli Manning, the future performance of rookie first-round QB Jones and how well these two can perform without the services of one of the most explosive, naturally gifted WRs we have seen come into the NFL in as long time in Beckham? If he is right and this team will be able to win in both the short and long term, then he will look like a genius. I see the end approaching quickly for Manning, and have been on record as saying Dwayne Haskins was the best QB in the 2019 draft, but the Giants decided on Jones when Haskins was still on the board. I would not have gone that route.

As these predictions are for the next three years, it’s important to consider Daniel Jones much more than one would when considering this season in isolation. The future of the team is riding on the shoulders of the rookie, and a number of teams have ended up stuck in lengthy transition periods in the past after moving on from a franchise quarterback and finding the wrong player in the draft to act as a replacement.

Could the Giants end up in that kind of spot? It’s definitely a possibility, but things could still go either way right now depending on whether or not Jones shows the traits of a player that can quickly learn and prepare for an eventual starting role in the next couple of seasons.

Either way, most fans will be hoping to find out just how good or bad this team is soon rather than being stuck playing the waiting game to find out the quality of the team, which has been the case all offseason.

Could the New York Mets trade for Yankees Young Pitcher Deivi Garcia

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

2019 has been a major disappointment for the New York Mets, but potentially making a big trade before July 31 could brighten the Mets future.

The Mets sent their top talent evaluator, Omar Minaya, to scout Yankees’ top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia.

Garcia recently played in the future’s game and is the #4 prospect in the Yankees organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

He started the year in High-A and he made four starts and posted a 3.06 ERA. Garcia had the same success in Double-A, with a 3.00 ERA in 51 innings with 81 strikeouts. He has become known for his strikeout ability even though he is only 5-feet 9 inches.

Garcia made his Triple-A debut last night and was solid in his first start. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs while striking out six. Garcia certainly could be a big piece of a trade involving Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler.

There still is a lot of time for Garcia to reach his potential. He is only 20 years old and became the youngest player currently in Triple-A. Before he becomes the centerpiece of the deal, an important part of his growth needs on getting deep into ball games.

Over his first four seasons in professional baseball he has only pitched into the seven innings twice. In a trade for a one-year rental, like Zack Wheeler, Garcia is certainly acceptable as a piece in return. Given his level of talent right now, he still is at least another full season away from getting an opportunity to make an impact on a good team.

In a trade for Noah Syndergaard, Garcia has to be packaged with other big league ready prospects. This includes guys like Clint Frazier or Estevan Florial. Even though the Mets seem out of it, they are only 5.5 out of the second Wild Card spot and the Mets still have control of Syndergaard after this season.

Garcia has a lot of promise and has flown up the ranks of the Yankees system very quickly. If the Mets do not take the risk on trading for him, there are certainly many teams lining up for his services.

New York Giants: Jabrill Peppers Is A True Swiss-Army Knife On Defense

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants‘ secondary underwent major changes in the 2019 NFL offseason. These changes were very much necessary as New York’s secondary has been one of the league’s worst the past two seasons.

In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

The Giants’ secondary should be improved in 2019. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). The secondary has been completely rebuilt.

One key addition in the Giants’ secondary is Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is listed as a strong safety, but he is much more than that. Peppers has the ability to line up and make plays all over the defense.

Jabrill Peppers Stats And Highlights

Jabrill Peppers’s most valuable attribute is his ability to play multiple positions. The Cleveland Browns lined him up all over their defense in 2018 and saw him make plays everywhere he lined up.

In 2018, most of Peppers’s snaps were played at safety (281 snaps), but he played a lot of snaps at linebacker (172 snaps), edge (133 snaps), and slot cornerback (108 snaps), too, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jabrill was a serious playmaker last season. He played all 16 games and finished with 79 combined tackles, 1 interception, 5 passes defended, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.

Jabrill’s ability to play in multiple positions on defense make him a Swiss-Army Knife, a true weapon, on the Giants’ young defense.

But Peppers is not limited to playing just defense. The true jack-of-all-trades can be a solid contributor on special teams, too.

Peppers was an excellent return man in college. He averaged 26.8 yards per return on 18 returns for 483 yards on kickoffs but 0 touchdowns in two seasons as Michigan’s kick returner. As a punt returner, Peppers averaged 13.1 yards per return on 39 returns for 510 yards and 1 touchdown.

Jabrill Peppers did also return kicks during his two seasons with Cleveland. He was not spectacular, but he was decent. He averaged 22 yards per return on 33 returns for 726 yards. Peppers has big-play ability and will be a great addition to the Giants’ special teams unit.

The Giants’ secondary lacked a versatile safety in 2018. Landon Collins was an excellent run-defending safety, however, his shortcomings in coverage became an obvious issue. Jabrill Peppers is an improvement in coverage and is just as good in run defense.

According to Pro Football Focus, Landon Collins posted a coverage grade of only 68.2 in 2018, ranked 45th out of all safeties in the NFL. Peppers recorded a coverage grade of 77.3.

Jabrill Peppers is a truly versatile safety with tons of talent in many different aspects of the game. He will make an instant impact on the Giants’ defense, and maybe even their special teams.

New York Yankees: Encarnacion Producing, Even Though The Average Isn’t There

New York Yankees acquire Edwin Encarnacion.

Edwin Encarnacion has been a major pickup for the New York Yankees, and has been producing a lot of runs even though his batting average is sinking.

In Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Encarnacion hit two home runs and drove in three runs. In Friday’s 4-0 win over the Blue Jays, he had a three run double to lead the way.

He’s been batting .158 in pinstripes, but has six home runs and 13 RBIs, along with six walks. Nine of his 12 Yankee hits have been for extra bases. He had 21 home runs and 49 RBIs with a .241 average in Seattle this season.

If the team can get him to adjust to raise his average, that would be fantastic. A higher average would likely mean a greater run production.

The team also needs to be cautious about how often he plays. He is 36, and has had some injury problems in the past. It’s crucial that a slugger like him can be healthy for the postseason. Encarnacion has a .239 career postseason average.

Hopefully, Edwin Encarnacion can find a way to raise his average a bit. If he can get it even to where it was before he was a Yankee, hat will help benefit the team a lot more.

Travis D’Arnaud Single Handedly Beats The New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Monday’s game for the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays is one that fans would like to forget.

The Yankees only lost 5-4, but it came in the ugliest way possible. Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis D’Arnaud went 3-for-3 with three home runs, driving in all five runs for the Rays.

He hit solo homers that looked almost identical in the first and the third, then hit a three run bomb off of Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth, down to the Rays final strike.

Monday alone was a third of D’Arnaud’s home runs of the season. It isn’t like he is a power hitter, or much of a hitter at all.

And, Chapman blowing the save wasn’t pretty. He hasn’t pitched well over the last few weeks, and it was bound to happen to him. But, no closer is perfect by any means.

It sucks that Tuesday’s game ended like it did, but all the Yankees can do now is refocus. They still have a five game lead, and each win extends the lead by a game during this series. They also can’t worry about what Boston is doing. If they continue to play their own game, they will be fine and there is no reason to worry about one sour loss.

Brooklyn Nets: What does David Nwaba bring to the team in 2019?

Brooklyn Nets sign David Nwaba.

On Sunday, Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets brass quietly added David Nwaba to the roster. With that signing, it seems the off-season is over for Marks as far as signings. The established 15 seem to be signed and Nwaba makes the cut last second, signing a two year deal with a team option in the second year.

This will be Nwaba’s fourth team in as many years. His first three years were spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in that order. He had his career high against the Nets so I’m sure he is hoping to find a home in Brooklyn.

What Does He Bring?

David Nwaba, despite only being 6’4″, has built somewhat of a reputation as being a good defender. As far as defensive rating goes, last year the Brooklyn Nets were middle of the pack. Coach Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks definitely would like to change this.

Nwaba helps them step in the right direction of defense. His 7’0″ wingspan allows Nwaba to contest shots, get steals, and play the passing lanes. He also is a strong statured player who can get physical with his assignment. There isn’t a worry of him being overpowered by most players at his position. He will be able to hold his own and will be able to cover point guards as well as shooting guards. On occasion, we may see him guard some small forwards.

On offense, David Nwaba is an overall efficient scorer. Most of his shots come inside the arch, specifically in the paint. His first year in college, Nwaba shot 53% from the field his first year and 47% from the field throughout his three years.

Although these are good shooting percentages, Nwaba was putrid from beyond, shooting below 17% from out there. He didn’t venture out there too often which is the good thing, but when he did it wasn’t pretty. The same goes from his shooting at the foul line which was below 70% each of his three years.

In the NBA, Nwaba has been much improved from behind the arch, starting at a putrid  20% and now for his short career shooting around a half-way decent 33%. The problems from the line persist, but his touch at and around the rim hasn’t dissipated.

His first year in the league, albeit only a 20 game sample, he shot 58% from the floor. For his career total, he averages 49% from the floor. He uses that same 7’0″ wingspan that makes him a pesky defender to get high floaters up over the outstretched arms of opposing rim protectors and then to shoot over defenders smaller or who don’t jump with him.

Nwaba also has some bounce and hang time, which allows him to better change his shot while in the air. His powerful frame is good for drawing and absorbing contact that he historically has shown he finishes through. And lastly, as a player with a decent enough handle and passing ability, he could be one of the players who Kenny Atkinson allows to handle the rock in that third point guard role.

Where Can He Improve?

So I brought this up just now, but the main things David probably needs to improve are his free throw shooting and catch and shoot ability. In about 22 minutes a game for his career, he averages a little more than two free throws a game. With his heavy attack the basket style and mentality, he’ll need to improve in that area of his game.

Not even being able to hit 69% of your free throws in college or the league as a guard is unacceptable and he should work to at least get it up to a respectable 75%. He’s already shown great improvement on his three balls and he should keep trending in that direction.

Most players who play under Kenny Atkinson have career years from beyond and with the Nets development staff, there shouldn’t be much worry that Nwaba will do just that. Improving both these things will help Nwaba stay on the floor in case he’s needed in big moments. Welcome to Brooklyn David! Work hard and ball out.

New York Mets: Who Can Step Up with Zack Wheeler Heading to the IL

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets put Zack Wheeler on the 10-day IL today with right shoulder fatigue. This season has been an ongoing struggle for Wheeler after he seemingly had it all together in 2018. He is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 119 innings.

Wheeler falls in line with Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz as Mets starters who just have not been able to consistently pitch well. While healthy, all signs pointed towards the Mets potentially trading Wheeler at the trade deadline.

At first, many people look at the situation as the Mets killing their opportunity to move Wheeler at the deadline. He will have the opportunity to make two starts before July 31, should he stay healthy.

No matter how awful this season has seemed, the Mets are somehow 5.5 games out of the second wild card with plenty of time to catch up. Looking at it from the perspective of the Mets trying to get back in the race, someone needs to step up in Wheeler’s spot for the meantime.

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Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could be possible candidates, but neither of them has started a game this season which makes them unlikely. Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt would be next in line considering the Mets have to replace Wheeler’s spot on the roster. Both have experience starting at the major league level, but neither has been able to pitch to any success.

The best option would be giving Chris Mazza an opportunity to start. He has only allowed one run in the 5.2 innings he has thrown so far. Mazza is obviously no Jacob deGrom, but has been a career minor leaguer who has grinded to get this opportunity. No matter what, he is better than two guys with career ERAs over six and over 10.

New York Knicks could still find trade partner for Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks, Frnak Ntilikina

Where will Frank Ntilikina end up after a busy offseason for the New York Knicks?

The Knicks didn’t hold back this offseason from bringing in a plethora of new talent to help supplement the failure of missing out on Kevin Durant and others. Players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris headline the free agent grabs, but the roster has gotten awfully crowded at certain positions.

Specifically, the point guard spot is now flush full of options — Dennis Smith Jr., Kadeem Allen, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina.

The Frenchman has struggled to reach his potential after two seasons in the NBA. His defense is solid but his offensive production has lacked. Averaging just 5.9 points per game after two seasons is disappointing, and despite the offseason videos of him heaving up shots, Ntilikina seems to falter every time he featured on an NBA court.

Frank’s name floated around in the rumor mill prior to the start of free agency this year, and while he’s emerged unscathed, there’s still reason to believe he could be traded. Whether or not he has a future with the Knicks is undetermined, but considering he’s likely a third-stringer at this point, they might be better off trading him for draft value.

A team looking for a talented defender with promise could be a trade target, but convincing them of this would be the hurdle.

Smith Jr. and Payton offer the most value at the point guard position, as both are offensively fueled. Kadeem Allen has also shown he can provide value in short bursts. A two-way contract put the Knicks in an advantageous position.

What else could the New York Knicks do with Frank Ntilikina?

Alternatively, the Knicks could try and move Ntilikina to a different position, but the reality is, there’s nowhere to really put him. With the drafting of RJ Barrett, signing of Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock, finding a spot for Frank beyond the PG position is nearly impossible.

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Head coach David Fizdale used the Frenchman in the 3 at times, utilizing his defense primarily, trying to take the ball out of his hands. That’s the role I anticipate he will feature in more and more as his offense dwindles. What Ntilikina offers simply isn’t enough to garner starting minutes, but a team looking for an above-average defender might be willing to part ways with a second-round pick — in that case, the Knicks should send him on his way before it’s too late.

New York Giants: BJ Hill Preparing to take major leap in 2019

New York Giants, BJ Hill

After an inconsistent but impressive rookie campaign, New York Giants defensive lineman BJ Hill is preparing to take his game to the next level in year two.

Tallying 48 combined tackles with 5.5 sacks and 6 tackles for a loss, Hill showed his versatility and ability to get after the quarterback from a down lineman position. Featuring on the three-man line in the 3-4 system defensive coordinator James Bettcher prefers, Hill is developing into a quality run-stopper and pass-rusher.

While Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez collected most of the headlines being the Giants’ first and second-round picks, Hill quietly made an impact on the defense. His influence was quiet but influential, ranking third in the NFC East in run stops with 22. His partner, Dalvin Tomlinson, finished with 26, ranking first in the division.

The chemistry they inevitably built will prove to be beneficial in 2019, and the addition of Dexter Lawrence on the line will also give the unit a nice boost.

The New York Giants are headed in the right direction:

Hill was an effective run defender last season, but his 5.5 sacks set a franchise record for rookie pass rushers. That not only attests to his array of skills but foreshadows what’s to come in his sophomore season. With the Giants passing on an elite pass rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft, they’re relying heavily on their interior lineman to make an impact and get after the passer.

They truly believe that Hill, Tomlinson, and Lawrence can play in all facets of the defense and leave their mark in different ways. Hopefully, that prayer is answered — the unit seems to be in good shape moving forward considering their youth and skill-sets.

Extracting the most value out of them and ensuring they remain healthy will be difficult. Utilizing them on an every-down role will be difficult given their size and ask. I expect there to be a minimal rotation occurring – look for the Giants to bring in a veteran lineman to help in the trenches.

However, the tandem of Hill, Lawrence, and Tomlinson should have fans excited for the future!

New York Yankees: What Aaron Judge has to say about Gio Urshela

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Just one year ago New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela was batting .233 for the Toronto Blue Jays. Fast forward to the present and he’s hitting an astounding .302 with seven homers and 41 RBIs.

When it comes to the Yankees, average players suddenly become stars. How? Only the baseball gods really know. My assumption is the history and expectation that comes with being a Yankee.

If you like to win and want to be around players that care, coming to the Bombers is the right choice. For Urshela, it ended up being a career-changing move.

Even star Aaron Judge knows how amazing the first-year Yankee has been, stating (NJ.com):

“We wouldn’t be in first place right now if we didn’t have Gio,” Judge said.

The emergence of not just Gio but DJ LeMaheiu has set the tone for the season. Sitting at 59-and-32 on the year, the Bombers are on pace for another 100-win season, on the backs of unexpected players due to injuries.

The fact that injuries haven’t derailed this team yet is beyond me and most fans, and it attests to the culture GM Brian Cashman has built and the methods he’s used to extract value out of his players.

In the Yankees’ latest victory, Urshela drove in two runs with a second-inning single and made another defensive gem at third. A great slide in the bottom of the fifth really stole the show, though, avoiding the tag in a matrix-style move.

Both teams were talking about the slide after the game:

“It was crazy good,” Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman said.

“I was trying to sneak around the glove,” Urshela said.

Struggling earlier in his career might have been a product of low confidence or misuse, but manager Aaron Boone knows why he’s succeeding:

“When he was coming up through the minor leagues, he was always a guy who made good contact, which can be a really good sign and sometimes take a while to blossom.,” Boone said. ”I’m sure that there were a lot of people that followed his minor-league career that aren’t surprised that he’s starting to swing the ball now at the major league level.”