New York Giants: Eagles Loss Shows Complete Coaching Failure

New York Giants, James Bettcher

If the New York Giants had a competent coaching staff, they wouldn’t have lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s as simple as that.

The first half of the game told a very different story from the second. Offense didn’t come too often for either side early on but the Giants did manage to pull away and a well-rested Eli Manning looked a bit more like his old self, connecting with Darius Slayton for multiple big plays and helping the Giants to build up the lead they’d take into the half.

And then the second half happened, and the Eagles started working their way back.

Unlike the Giants, the Eagles didn’t find themselves out coached and overmatched going into the second half. They produced more offense after adjusting their game plan, and it didn’t seem like the Giants had much of a counter to it. The secondary hadn’t given up points in the first quarter, and they only gave up three points in the second quarter – in the third and fourth, however, Carson Wentz started to pick the defense apart and there was little the Giants could do.

At least, there was little they could do with the coaching staff on hand. It’s easy to just say that the players aren’t talented and that the loss falls on their shoulders for not closing out the game well and finishing the job. While some of the blame does fall on them, though, it’s clear that the Giants can be a competitive team when their pieces are used correctly.

The defense did hold the Eagles to three points earlier in the game, after all. Their failure to adapt and to continue the good performance, which only required them to hold on to  a decent sized lead. That nearly happened, but in a somewhat typical fashion, the Giants just couldn’t hold on through the end of the fourth quarter and things ended up going to overtime.

It was Zach Ertz that had the winning touchdown. A player that the Giants failed to game plan against in the second half, who helped turn around the fates of the Eagles in the offensive department.

The pieces were all there for the Giants to put on a good performance, even when it came to defending. This was practically demonstrated in the earlier part of the game.

But while the Eagles staff moved around their proverbial chess pieces and adjusted at halftime, and during the second half itself, James Bettcher and his defense failed to compensate. There were failures on offense, of course, as the Giants couldn’t extend their lead for the entire second half. But the ones on defense were more glaring. They directly cost the team the game.

There possibly hasn’t been a better argument yet than this game, when it comes to the reasons why the Giants should have new coordinators next season. Really, though, the two win record the Giants possess right now shows that, while James Bettcher’s defense is a problem that needs to be solved before next season, the team would likely be better off with a larger reset than just firing the coordinators.

New York Yankees: Focus Is Fully On Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees entered the offseason with the goal of signing either Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. However, those two options have now gotten cut down to just one as Strasburg has been resigned by the Washington Nationals.

Strasburg, 31, resigns with his day one, the team that drafted him 1st overall in 2009. He was dominant in 2019 and led the team to a championship, also winning the World Series MVP. He was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA in the regular season.

The Nationals deal with Strasburg will be for seven years and $245 million.

Focus Is Solely Cole

With Strasburg now off the free agent market, the Yankees are now shifting their focus to solely Gerrit Cole. With high interest and now Strasburg signed, it appears that offers for Cole will be closer to eight or nine years for around $300 or more. They were originally expected to be about the same as Strasburg’s deal.

There were rumors about a potential offer that the Yankees submitted yesterday, but It was found that the Yankees didn’t submit it. The plan is for them to submit their first and likely only offer to Cole on Monday night. The growing expectation is that Cole will sign with a team by the end of the week.

The Yankees need to give Cole an offer that he can’t pass up. He was born and raised a Yankee fan, and was drafted by the team in 2008 before returning to school.

But, that likely won’t matter as he will probably take the highest offer outright. It’s expected that the Angels and the Dodgers will each give him highly competitive offers.

The Yankees need to lock in on getting this deal done with Cole as soon as possible before another team can submit a higher offer.

Yankees fighting to hold on to veteran OF Brett Gardner, other teams interested

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

When you spend 12 seasons with any given team, you pick up a few tendencies and traditional values along the way. New York Yankees veteran outfielder Brett Gardner has been a staple in the organization for over a decade, playing through the tough days and watching the development of younger players while being productive on his own.

This off-season, the Yankees have a decision to make on the outfielder. Re-signing Gardner on a one-year deal makes the most sense, considering his efficiency last year.

The New York Yankees made the right move one year ago, will they make it again?

General manager Brian Cashman inked him for a one year, $7.5 million contract which ended up being the right move in 2019. With Aaron Hicks scheduled to miss 8 to 10 months after having Tommy John surgery in late October, bringing back Gardner is justifiable. His numbers only help his case, as he had career highs in home runs with 28, 74 RBIs, and a .829 OPS.

MLB insider Jon Heyman stated that several other teams are interested in Gardner’s services, but the veteran is keen on remaining with the Yankees for a 13th season.

With owner Hal Steinbrenner giving Cashman the green light to offer star pitcher of Gerrit Cole a record-breaking contract, it takes away from how much they can offer Gardner on a one year deal. Considering his production last season, he could earn upwards of $7.5 million. I estimate he will land in the $8.5-9 million range, which is undoubtedly deserved after his increase in power.

Alternatively, the Yankees could offer him a multi-year deal as a utility outfield, similar to the role he played in 2019, shuffling around to compensate for injuries. The Yankees must be cautious with players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, which makes keeping Brett, a leader in the clubhouse and the epitome of Yankee baseball, a necessity.

Five New York Mets pitching prospects that can help in 2020

New York Mets

Trading Anthony Kay, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Justin Dunn over the last year left the New York Mets‘ system a little thin when it comes to pitching prospects.

However, these arms are talented and close enough that they can reach the majors in 2020 with more consistency and a few improvements:

Five New York Mets‘ pitching prospects that can contribute next year

David Peterson, LHP

The 24-year old left-hander is arguably the Mets‘ best pitching prospect. Also, he is the closest one to making an impact in the majors as a starter.

According to Brodie Van Wagenen, the expectation is that the Mets’ 2017 first-round selection starts next season in Triple-A Syracuse, and from there, he can contribute “early in the season in 2020 potentially.”

Peterson spent the whole 2019 season in Double-A, where he had a 4.19 ERA but a much stronger 3.19 FIP. He started 24 games and pitched 116.0 frames, with a 9.47 K/9 and a 2.87 BB/9.

The young lefty will throw four pitches for strikes: a low-90s fastball, a good slider, an above-average changeup, and an average curveball. He does a fantastic job at getting grounders, which is a desirable treat for future major league success.

Franklyn Kilome, RHP

Kilome, the Mets‘ return in the 2018 Asdrubal Cabrera trade, lost all 2019 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He will, most likely, be ready to roll in 2020, however, and the Mets could benefit from his talented arm.

His contributions may come as a reliever if the Mets have a need, and he can shake off the rust over the spring. If he does end up in the bullpen, his fastball-curveball combo will slot nicely there. He is certainly capable of starting, though.

His last minor-league action was in 2018 when he had 26 starts in Double-A: 19 with the Philadelphia Phillies and seven with the Mets. With New York, he registered a 4.03 ERA (3.17 FIP) in 38 frames, with a K/9 of 9.95 and a BB/9 of 2.37.

Kilome boasts a mid-90s fastball and an excellent hook. His changeup lags in development, but it has potential. His 6’6” frame often leads to command issues, but he has been successful in the past. It remains to be seen if the 24-year old can regain his stuff after surgery.

Kevin Smith, LHP

Kevin Smith is an outstanding left-handed starting pitching prospect. He dominated in Class A-Advanced ball this year (3.05 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 10.72 K/9, 2.52 BB/9) in 17 games started before a six-start stint in Double-A.

There, he was still thriving, but not dominant, as his BB/9 climbed to 4.31 and his K/9 fell to 8.04. If he manages to master the level, he will be able to jump to Triple-A over the summer, and after that, he can be a contributor to the New York Mets‘ 2020 playoffs hopes.

He has starting pitcher’s length at 6’5”. Stuff-wise, the package is enticing albeit not elite: he has a low-90s fastball, with a high spin rate, as our own Kyle Newman recently explained. The slider is the best offering, with a late bite that stifles lefties. There is also an average changeup in the repertoire.

Ryley Gilliam, RHP (reliever)

Ryley Gilliam is a flame-throwing, right-handed relief prospect that can be in Flushing come 2020. Drafted in 2018, the 23-year old already reached Triple-A in 2019 but didn’t fare too well there with a 13.50 ERA and 8.68 BB/9 in 9.1 innings.

He breezed through Class A-Advanced (2.53 ERA, 0.87 FIP in 10.2 frames with 13.50 K/9) and Double-A (4.34 ERA, 2.15 FIP, and 13.50 K/9.) He also had a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League, with a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 IP (seven games) and 11 strikeouts.

If he manages to solve Triple-A, which is a strong possibility, he will help the Mets‘ bullpen over the summer.
His upside is that of a set-up man. To help him realize it, he uses a 96-97 mph fastball and a nice curveball.

Stephen Villines, RHP (reliever)

He is barely in the Mets’ top 30 prospects list, but Stephen Villines could contribute to the New York Mets in 2020 and offer another weapon to the bullpen. He has a funky low-arm slot that makes him very difficult to square up.

Villines already mastered the Double-A level this year. There, he went 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA in 28 games (45 frames.) He fanned 42 batters and held hitters to a .209 average.

However, he only passed the Double-A test because he was demoted after such a dismal showing in Triple-A. With Syracuse, he had a 6.75 ERA and an ugly 1.94 WHIP, with an 8:12 BB:K ratio.

If he is to make a splash with the Mets in 2020, he needs to do well in Triple-A first. However, there is a strong possibility he makes it.

Villines throws an upper-80s fastball that plays up because of his arm slot. The slider is effective, but the changeup is better. The most important thing is that he can throw all of them for strikes, which bodes well both for him and for the Mets.

What the New York Yankees starting pitching rotation could look like

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

With the New York Yankees preparing to blow past the luxury tax threshold in a record-breaking scenario involving the best free-agent pitcher on the market, Gerrit Cole, it’s only fair to assume the starting rotation is going to be excellent.

A realistic contract for Cole would land in the seven-year, $250 million range, breaking $35 million per season and making him the most wealthy pitcher in all of baseball. However, owner Hal Steinbrenner believed his starting unit didn’t need the extra support — fast forward several weeks, and there’s a blank check sitting on Scott Boras’ desk waiting to be filled in.

The Yankees have been after Cole since 2008 when he was initially drafted in the MLB Draft, but elected to attend UCLA instead. He was then traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros in 2017, despite the Bombers’ interest.

Now, Cashman has a third shot at reeling him in, and it seems as if they are finally ready to put him in Pinstripes, which would bolster an already solid pitching rotation.

What would the New York Yankees starting unit look like?

The Yanks went a majority of 2019 without Luis Severino, their ace, and Jordan Montgomery, which forced them to depend more on Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, and others. The starters struggled for a majority of the season, needing ample help from the bullpen to smooth over rough outings.

Both Chad Green and Nestor Cortes Jr. were frequently featured in multi-inning roles to supplement the lack of capable starters. Factor in J.A Happ’s awful season and German being suspended just before the start of the postseason, and the perfect storm was brewing.

However, they’re in a position to piece together a stimulating rotation that’s preparing to welcome the best arm in baseball.

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Luis Severino
  3. James Paxton
  4. Masahiro Tanaka
  5. Domingo German
  6. Jordan Montgomery
  7. J.A. Happ
  8. Michael King/Deivi Garcia

This is an intimidating rotation for any opposing team. The first six pitchers are all capable of sub-4.00 ERA seasons and can dominate in postseason play. Steinbrenner has made reinforcing the unit a priority, despite blaming a lack of run production on the Yankees early exit from the playoffs this year. Nonetheless, with this grouping, the Yankees might only need to score 1-2 runs per game to edge out a victory.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Should Benefit From Eli Manning vs. Eagles

The New York Giants will face off with the division-rival Eagles tonight on prime time. The Giants are on the road for today’s Monday Night Football matchup. The 2-10 Giants will have a tall task against the 5-7 Eagles, especially with their starting quarterback Daniel Jones out with injury.

Filling in for Jones on Monday night is a guy you might have heard of before, Eli Manning. The 16-year veteran is making his return after being benched for the rookie in Week 3. Tonight could very well be the last game in Eli’s legendary career with the Giants, so cherish every moment of it!

Losing Daniel Jones this week might not be all bad news, however. There are things Manning brings to the table that could give the Giants a better chance to win. Most importantly, Eli Manning elevates running back Saquon Barkley’s game. Barkley has struggled tremendously this season. Maybe Eli Manning is precisely what he needs to get out of his slump.

How Eli Manning Elevates Saquon Barkley’s Game

One area where Saquon Barkley has struggled this season in pass protection. The explosive running back has had a few whiffs as a blocker. In the Giants’ previous matchup against the New York Jets, Saquon was responsible for giving up multiple sacks that led to fumbles.

One thing to consider when looking at Saquon Barkley’s struggles in pass protection is the change at quarterback. Last year, Barkley was helping protect Eli Manning. Manning is a veteran quarterback who has been in the league for over a decade and knows how to read a defense and call the right protections. Eli is also better at calling audibles and switching between run and pass plays. Daniel Jones is still learning this aspect of the professional game.

Saquon Barkley was lucky to step into a system last season that was highly favorable for a rookie running back. Playing with Eli Manning helped Saquon Barkley be up to speed and learn the offense and protections sooner. Eli Manning also helped Saquon get more involved with the offense.

Eli Manning received much criticism for his high volume of check-downs, but it was an efficient way to keep Saquon Barkley involved in the offense. Last year, with Eli Manning at quarterback, Saquon Barkley received an astonishing 121 total targets. He caught 91 of those passes for 721 yards and 4 touchdowns. Barkley had a 75.2% catch rate, and his receiving stats were all significantly better than this year with Daniel Jones.

In 2019, Saquon Barkley is averaging only 4.2 receptions per game compared to 5.7 in 2018. His catch rate has also dropped to 67.9%. Barkley has not been as involved in the passing game this season as he was last season. With Eli Manning back at quarterback, Barkley should receive an influx of targets tonight, leading to a strong performance on prime time.

New York Giants: How well is Eli Manning’s chemistry with his receivers?

New York Giants, Eli Manning

Legendary New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will start Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Manning career appeared likely to be over when he was benched for the rookie Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in last week’s contest against the Green Bay Packers which will hold him out of the game.

Manning will get his first action since week two of this season when the team lost to the Buffalo Bills at home. It will be interesting to watch the chemistry between Eli and two of his receivers. Those being rookie Darius Slayton and veteran Golden Tate. Tate who missed the first four games of the season with a suspension has never played on the field with Eli. A similar situation follows for Darius Slayton who missed the first two games, those being the two Eli had started with a hamstring injury. Eli had not been getting first-team snaps all practice during the season. Manning has a much weaker connection with the two receivers compared to Daniel Jones.

On the other hand, Eli will be back playing with receiver Sterling Shepard. Shepard is familiar with Manning because the two of them had been playing together since the start of Sterling’s career until Jones took over as the starter. Manning may rely on Shepard more than his other two receivers due to their stronger connection.

I wouldn’t expect there to be any communication difficulties between Manning and Barkley, as Saquon played his entire rookie season alongside Eli. There shouldn’t be any mishaps between the two.

It will be interesting to watch Eli Manning play on Monday as he will try and avoid a ninth straight loss for the New York Giants.

Eli Manning could finish out the season as Giants’ starter

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is suffering from a high ankle sprain, which is an injury that usually takes a few weeks to recover from. He’ll miss his first game tonight against the Eagles in Philadelphia, and with four games remaining, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that his season is over.

There is no need to rush Jones back before he is ready, regardless of what Jones and head coach and Pat Shurmur are saying. With Eli Manning still in the building and this team going nowhere fast, cooler heads should prevail here and Jones should be be given the proper amount of time to heal before taking the field again. If that means Week 1 of the 2020 season, so be it.

Eli Manning needs to be sent off with a bang, anyway. The Jones injury solves an awkward situation for the Giants. Eli can start the remaining four games of this season and then the soon to be 39 year-old can decide if and where he wants to continue his career.

The Giants have two home games remaining – next week against the Miami Dolphins and Week 17 agains the Eagles. Ownership owes it to Manning – and their fans – to allow him to play these games out and ride into the sunset with dignity.

Jones is out of the walking boot his foot was placed in last week after doctors diagnosed his ankle to be more ethan just a tweak, but the Giants have ruled him out and it is uncertain the he can resume football activities.

Until then, Manning reassumes his old job under center. Shurmur said this week that Manning was not rusty after standing on the sidelines for the last 10 games.

“He is a model of consistency. He has been for a very long time,” said Shurmur. “No matter what his role has been, he’s been the same every day. Same energy level, and he’s had a great week of practice. I look forward to seeing him perform on Monday night.”

And maybe the nest three weeks, too.

Do the New York Yankees or Red Sox have better positional prospects?

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge

In my previous article, I compared the top three pitchers within the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox Farm systems.

For this piece, I elected to jump right into it and compare two of the most offensive powerhouses in all of baseball and look at the top 3 positional players within both organizations’ minor leagues.

The Top 3 Positional Players (New York Yankees)

The New York Yankees over the past couple of years have been one of the most offensive-minded teams across baseball. While in the last article, I talked about how talented the Yankees’ pitching is and how they’ve put time and effort into producing quality arms that can translate to the Major Leagues, which is no different for the positional players within the Yankees system. Having produced entire cargo-ships worth of talent in years past, Cashman and Co. know how to invest and spend their time, money, and resources properly, within the minor leagues.

I remember vividly coming off the 2016 season — in which Gary Sanchez single-handedly made the Yankees competitive, after tearing the cover off the baseball during his rookie year — I found myself on the fence about the future of the team. However, despite my doubts, seeing the “Baby Bombers” begin to take form gave me hope for the future. While Aaron Judge and New York Yankee at the time, Tyler Austin, both had lackluster debut seasons, the point was made by Cashman that he was finally beginning to tear down the old guard and allow the new guys to come up and play.

What makes any organization successful is the ability to admit when something isn’t working and changing it. The Yankees struggled in 2016, missing the Postseason, and in 2017 would make one of them — at the time — most shocking moves in New York Yankees history, relieving long-time manager Joe Girardi. The move to dismiss Girardi had come on the heels of a cinderella-Esque postseason run that included coming back from 2-0 down to the Indians, and sweeping them. While at the time it seemed as if the Yankees were going through a crisis, the team that was put out there in 2017 had competed and proved to everyone that you can win with internal options.

Now, a few years after the changing of the guard, the New York Yankees don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Having both Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman focusing on the development of the young guys as well as trying to bring a title back to The Bronx is all you can ask for in a GM/Manager combo. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are two cornerstones any franchise would love to get their hands on, and the offensive talent that’s brewing in the minor leagues gives reason to believe that the foundation is virtually unbreakable.

1. JASSON DOMINGUEZ (POS: CF/OF, BATS: S / THROWS: R, 16, ETA: 2021+, Fangraphs FV: N/A)

Jasson Dominguez has taken the world by storm. The Yankees spent virtually all of their international signing pool money on him, a hefty $5,100,000. Now, spending that kind of money on a 16-year-old may sound outlandish and extremely risky, which of course, it is. However, when analyzing the risk vs. reward in this circumstance, Dominguez is well worth the gamble. At 5’11 and 190 lbs, he’s already reaching exit velocities of Major League players (recorded Exit Velocities of 110+ MPH from both the Right and Left side of the plate), and he is still growing. Dubbed “The Martian” for his other-worldly tools and talent, Dominguez — even with Estevan Florial in the system — is without a doubt the Yankees CF’er of the future.

When the international signing period was over, MLB’s Jesse Sanchez wrote an article describing Jasson Dominguez as the most talented international prospect potentially ever seen and referred to him as a “teenage Mike Trout.” While I think it may be detrimental to the well-being of a young player to set them up to reach such HIGH standards, there is no ceiling for The Martian. His Baseball Prospectus report blew away virtually everybody, from the GM’s to the casual readers.

  • At 16 YO, this is what his report looked like on the 20-80 Scale: Hit: 60, Raw Power: 70, Run: 70, Fielding: 60, Arm: 60. Those numbers are STAGGERING, and not to mention his 60 yard dash time (6.30) was just a tick slower than renown speedster Billy Hamilton (6.20).

For Jasson Dominguez, there is no telling what this kid can accomplish during his career. With all the tools, hype, and one of the best developmental systems in the league, there is a very high chance that he excels and does so for years to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dominguez, by 18, is pushing for a Major League spot, especially with Hicks’ injury concerns, Florial’s inconsistencies and freak injuries, and general lack of CF depth within the Yankees system. Not to mention he’s named after Yankee great, Jason Giambi.

2. ESTEVAN FLORIAL (POS: CF/OF, BATS: L / THROWS: R, 21, ETA: 2020/2021, 2019 Fangraphs FV: 45+)

Everyone that has been a New York Yankees fan for the last four or so seasons should know who Estevan Florial is. Having been a staple in the New York Yankees farm for the past few seasons, Florial was — for a while at least — considered one of the best outfield prospects in all of baseball. What Florial brings to the table is very similar to Dominguez, and that is the belief that he is a legitimate 5-Tool player. For Florial, the most important thing for him is staying healthy and staying on the field. Having suffered a freak wrist fracture when running into the wall in Spring Training of 2019 caused him to miss a lot of time that season. That injury came on the heels of an already shortened 2018 season, where he missed a lot of time with a broken hamate bone in his right hand/wrist.

The upside to Florial is tremendous, and in the 2019 Grapefruit League, he showed out before getting injured, as he knocked an HR, stole four bases, and bat .368 across a small sample of eight games. If he can stay on the field, and put together consistent playtime, Florial should most definitely regain that confidence, and play great baseball.

  • His Fangraphs tool grades are extremely reassuring as well (20-80 scale): Hit: 40, Raw Power: 60, Run: 60, Fielding: 50, Arm: 80. For Florial, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to eventually move over to a corner OF spot, as his range, arm strength, and overall health can play a part in his longevity in CF.

What Flo does so well is that he can take walks, as well as hit the baseball with power. A legitimate 20/20 threat throughout his potential MLB career, Florial looks to build back his reputation, and build up his value, after back-to-back injury ruined seasons. In both 2018 and 2019, he failed to bat above .260 (bat above that benchmark for the three seasons prior), and in 2019 he showed less discipline (8.3% BB Rate to a 32.6% K Rate) than he had in any of the years past (13% BB Rate to a 25.6% K Rate in 2018). The worries and caution flags have been raised around Florial, so 2020 is a huge season for him.

3. ANTHONY VOLPE (POS: SS, BATS: R / THROWS: R, 18, ETA: 2022+, 2019 Fangraphs FV: 45)

When drafted by the New York Yankees just last year, Volpe said he was “living a childhood dream.” At only 18 years old, Volpe had one of the most unique seasons last year in the Yankees Pulaski league. In 34 Games, across 150 PA’s, he managed to record a triple slash of .215/.349/.355 (OPS of .704). Now, the triple slash has one glaring discrepancy, and that is the OBP. Despite only managing to get 26 Hits that year, Volpe was still able to walk 15.3% of the time (23 BB’s). Essentially, Volpe was able to get on base at a remarkable amount, despite seeing such a terrible year hitting the ball.

While Volpe practically didn’t hit the ball all year, out of those 26 Hits, 11 of them were for extra bases (7 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 2 HR’s), so there is a reason to believe that Volpe can continue to work and develop that hitting tool. The only way for him to ever get consistent playing time in the future is if he does so, as Fangraphs viewed his current value hitting ability as a 25 on the 20-80 scale. That 25 wasn’t undeserved, for someone who did not hit the ball, but he’s only 18 years old and can work out those kinks within his swing and approach. However, possessing that discipline is one of the most challenging things to master, especially at such a young age.

  • Here is what Fangraphs gave Volpe on the 20-80 scale for Future Value: Hit: 55, Raw Power: 45, Run: 50, Fielding: 55, Arm: 55. If Volpe can even bring that average up to the .250 mark, and slap a few more doubles, he would be a fantastic utility player, similar to Ben Zobrist.

Having someone with such a great eye is crucial, as the SS position primarily features low discipline bats (only two players finished with a BB% over 10.0% for SS’s last season).

The Top 3 Positional Players (BRS)

As mentioned in the introduction for this article, Boston has one of the most lethal offensive lineups in all of baseball — or so it seems. While Boston’s top half of their LU is — in a word, destructive, after the number 5 man in the LU sees his AB, the production drops heavily.

Over the last three years specifically, Boston has been one of the best offensive teams in baseball. Since 2017, Boston has scored the third-most runs in the entire league (2,562), and having the sixth-highest team WRC+ (103). With that being said, of those 2,562 runs scored, 1,331 of them came from the top of their LU. That may seem like a dead-even split, but when you take into account that JD Martinez has 209 of those runs (good for 5th), despite not even being on the team in 2017, Boston’s biggest offensive problem is getting the “other guys” involved.

Take 2018, for example, the year that Boston won it all and demolished opponents en route. That year they scored the most runs in baseball (876), having three players with over 100 Runs (Mookie – 129, JD- 111, Benintendi- 103), which is good for roughly 39% of all their runs. For reference, the Yankees had 851 runs that year, and they had only one player over 100 runs (Stanton- 103). Any time your team is that reliant on three players, there will be a brutal regression coming — and that’s precisely what happened in 2019. Betts and JD both had great years once again, but Boston as a team struggled far more than in 2018 (despite Devers’ resurgence) and missed the playoffs entirely.

Coming into this season, Boston will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season, and all eyes will be on what they decide to do with Mookie Betts and other current pieces on their team. If they don’t put more focus into their farm system and put genuine effort into developing their players, they could very well find themselves in 4th place in the AL East for years to come. This season is more likely than not going to be featuring one of these guys, as Boston’s depth and uncertainty over their IF may hurt them, and thus lead to them making some call-ups.

1. TRISTON CASAS (POS: 1B/3B, BATS: L / THROWS: R, 19, ETA: 2022+, 2020 Fangraphs FV: 50)

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about what Casas could potentially become. A pure brute when swinging the baseball bat, and a bulky 6’4, 238 lbs, Casas has all the tools to become an anchor in Boston’s lineup in the future. Triston Casas is ahead of his time and developing rapidly, as he was able to reclassify his draft class and get drafted a year earlier than expected. With that, Casas saw pitchers in his same class begin to pitch around him and practically ignore him entirely. He was essentially the Barry Bonds of High School baseball at American Heritage, as he barely got to lift the bat off his shoulder, and instead walked almost exclusively that year.

  • His Fangraphs tool grades are as follows: Hit: 55, Raw Power: 70, Run: 20, Fielding: 55, Arm: 60. While Casas can barely round the bases and is about as slow as you can get, he is most definitely an impact bat and has a solid enough glove and arm to play either of the corners IF spots. Boston is set at 3B longterm with Devers, so Casas will likely be playing 1B in his minor league career but could see the split time.

Boston believed in his abilities and drafted him with the highest regards and expectations, and he has delivered thus far. In 2019, across A baseball, Casas clubbed 19 HR and 25 2B’s in 493 PAs. His BB% was 11.5% to his 23.5% K Rate. Essentially, Casas’s 2019 BB and K rates were replicas of JD Martinez’s (11.0% BB rate to a 21.0% K rate). Now, there’s an obvious difference in the level of competition, but Boston believes they have JD Martinez 2.0 in Casas and hope that when he comes up, he can be that anchor in their lineup for the 2020s and beyond.

2. BOBBY DALBEC (POS: 3B/1B, BATS: R / THROWS: R, 24, ETA: 2020, 2020 Fangraphs FV: 45)

Bobby Dalbec is an older version of Triston Casas, but with a lower ceiling. At 6’4, 225 lbs, Dalbec is a towering force when he steps up to the plate. While Dalbec possesses immense power, the rest of his game isn’t as refined — offensively speaking. Across 105 games in AA last year, Dalbec carried a .825 OPS and hit 20 HR. He also managed a 15.5% BB Rate, to a 25.1% K Rate. However, as strikeouts are becoming less and less of a reason to judge or diminish a baseball player, Dalbec could be that number 3 guy in the LU, if needed.

The bad that comes with Dalbec is, well, really bad. A streaky hitter and Chris Davis-Esque uppercut swing may not translate well to the Major Leagues. With that in mind, Dalbec failed to post a K% under 31.0% in both 2017 and 2018, across A, High A, and AA ball. I view Dalbec as an “all-or-nothing” type of player, where it is very likely that he can hit 35+ HR across a full season, he will also likely see his K% in the ’30s, and struggle to find consistency with his swing and high leg kick.

  • The Fangraphs tool grades for Dalbec: Hit: 35, Raw Power: 70, Run: 40, Fielding: 55, Arm: 70. Dalbec will more than likely start the year with Boston’s AAA affiliate the Pawtucket Red Sox, but there is an excellent chance that he gets called up as soon as Boston can call him up without having to lose a full season’s worth of control on him. Similar to Casas, Dalbec can play either of the corners IF spots.

3. GILBERTO JIMENEZ (POS: CF/OF, BATS: R / THROWS: R, 19, ETA: 2022, 2020 Fangraphs FV: 45)

Gilberto Jimenez is one of the quickest prospects in all of baseball, and his 80 Run tool is a testament to that. Having stolen 30 bases over 126 Games last season (comes out to roughly 39 SB’s across 162), Jimenez possesses the speed and talent on the base paths that Boston may be looking for come 2022 when he is expected to come up. Boston, as of now, is one of the more interesting teams on the base paths, as they have quick players with the ability to steal, but don’t have that Trea Turner type. Over the last three seasons, Boston stole 299 bases. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, however, are the only two players with over 50 SB’s total across those three years.

What Gimenez would bring to Boston, when they do decide to call him up, is a potentially game-changing leadoff hitter. In 59 Games last year across Low A baseball, Gimenez slashed: .359/.393/.470 and only struck out 15.0% of the time. When it comes to Gimenez, he is one of the best at getting good contact on the ball and using his speed and excellent base-running mentality, to leg out extra-base hits. Think of Gimenez like Ichiro Suzuki, where a single could very easily turn into a double in the blink of an eye.

  • Gimenez’s tools’ FV according to Fangraphs: Hit: 55, Raw Power: 45, Run: 80, Fielding: 60, Arm: 60. While he certainly won’t light up the scoreboard or crush jaw-dropping homers like Dalbec and Casas, Gimenez could very easily make a more significant impact long-term. A consistent hitter that can bat leadoff, or even last in the LU to flip it around, is one of the most essential roles in all of baseball.

Gimenez needs to show that his hit tool is the real deal when it comes time to play in higher levels of competition, but the overall lack of power will drastically hurt him if he cannot figure something out. The difference between him and a career potentially like that of Johnny Damon’s, vs. that of Mallex Smith or Delino DeShields Jr, is separated by a very thin line.

The End Verdict

There is no denying that the three specific prospects talked about for Boston are all three potential game-changing players. However, the same can be said about the New York Yankees’ array of talent as well. When it comes down to it, there are so many factors to take into account that it is challenging to gauge which team will have better output in the future. With that being said, the most crucial thing for Yankees prospects this season (especially Florial) is staying on the field, and putting together consistent playing time.

I believe that from a pure talent perspective, the 3 New York Yankees prospects outweigh the 3 Red Sox prospects, as the way I look at it is the New York Yankees have two potential 5-tool players, whereas the Red Sox have none in the three covered today. While Dalbec and Casas both have immense power and scream 40 HR potential, the power hitters within the MLB come and go, and with the uncertainty to how the juiced balls could affect hitters come 2020 and later, the list of players with 30+ HR potential may keep expanding.

In 2018 26 players hit at least 30 HR (down from 37 in 2017), but in 2019 there were 53. If the league keeps changing, and the balls stay juiced, the value for a boom-or-bust power hitter may continue falling. For Dominguez and Florial, I genuinely believe both have 30+ HR potential, but both could also add to that a + triple slash, fantastic plate discipline, quality speed, and great defense. I view Volpe and Gimenez on a similar playing field, with Gimenez being more proven and having extraordinary Trea Turner like speed, but with Volpe showing the signs of being a very disciplined big-league hitter.

It is difficult to judge a team’s Farm System on just their Top 3 players alone, but in this case — as much as it may taste like vinegar to admit it — Boston has a solid top of their crop. The Yankees, however, to me, edge out their Northeastern counterparts, as I believe that both Dominguez and Florial have superstar potential written all over them.

If the Yankees land Cole, they’ll have the best rotation in the MLB

Could the Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?

The New York Yankees reportedly offered Gerrit Cole a seven-year, $245 million dollar deal. They are the heavy favorites to land him however the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels are expected to extend big contracts too. If the Yankees end up to be the one to sign Cole, they’ll immediately be one of the most dangerous rotations in all of Major League Baseball.

The rotation could look something like this if Cole ends up in pinstripes:

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Luis Severino
  3. James Paxton
  4. Masahiro Tanaka
  5. Domingo German (Given that he avoids suspension)

It’s always said that a team really using seven starters, so those would be the core five and Michael King and Deivi Garcia would be the remaining two.

Gerrit Cole is clearly the best pitcher in the Major Leagues, so having him as the ace would be monumental. But Luis Severino is also considered to be an ace when healthy. So it’s not really a one starter and two starter, it’s more like a 1A and 1B scenario, just like Cole and Verlander on the Houston Astros last season.

If James Paxton can pitch the way he did in the second half of last season, those first three starters are already dangerous. These are three guys that have high strikeout rates and could be the aces on most of the teams in the MLB.

Come postseason time, having Cole, Paxton, Severino, and postseason Tanaka is a huge gamechanger. This is something the New York Yankees didn’t have the past few seasons. These are all guys that fans and the team know will put up six or seven strong innings and it’s a good chance they’ll secure the win.

In my opinion, this is the last puzzle piece for the Yankees. It evident that the lack of starting pitching wasn’t getting the job done, so this is crucial for the Yankees as they continue to seek the number 28.