New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons the New Top Defensive Draft Prospect

The New York Giants came out victorious in a thrilling Week 16 overtime matchup on the road against the Washington Redskins. This game seemed quite meaningless, given that both teams were 3-11 heading into the contest. But in actuality, the game had extreme draft implications.

The Giants held the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft before Sunday’s contest. But after beating the Redskins, the Giants fell to the fourth pick, locking Washington in at number two. This draft order, of course, could change in Week 17, but it seems like the Giants will not be drafting in range of Chase Young anymore.

Have no fear, Giants fans. This is a loaded draft class. There will be plenty of defensive playmakers not named Chase Young available for New York with their top-five or top-ten pick. One prospect to keep an eye on is Clemson’s, Isaiah Simmons. 

Isaiah Simmons Stats and Highlights

Isaiah Simmons is the most versatile player in college football. This year, Simmons played 104 snaps on the defensive line, 203 snaps as a box linebacker, 230 snaps as a slot cornerback, 106 snaps at free safety, and he even played 6 snaps at wide cornerback (Pro Football Focus). Isaiah has the athletic ability to line up and make an impact anywhere on the defense.

He will be listed as a linebacker in this year’s draft, as that is his primary position, but Isaiah Simmons will make plays from any position. In his junior 2019 season, Clemson’s playmaking defender has totaled 93 tackles in 13 games. Additionally, Simmons has driven opposing offenses backward with 14.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. Isaiah has been a playmaker in coverage too, with 2 interceptions and 6 passes defended.

According to The Draft Network, “At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds with 4.4 speed, Simmons has the potential to be a centerpiece for a defensive game plan when it comes to man coverage roles. He is the kind of player who can allow a team to get aggressive in its scheme because of his range.”

The New York Giants have lacked talent at the linebacker position for years now. That could change this offseason. If the Giants are lucky enough to land Isaiah Simmons in the 2020 NFL Draft, they will get an instant-impact, playmaker on defense. He would boost New York’s pass-rush, run-defense, and pass-defense. Isaiah Simmons is the definition of versatility and would be a home-run selection for the New York Giants in 2020.

New York Yankees get Infielder in Trade With Royals, Sending Chance Adams to Kansas City

New York Yankees, Chance Adams

New York Yankees minor league pitcher Chance Adams has been sent to Kansas City in a trade with the Royals that brings Christian Perez to the Bronx.

Adams played out the 2019 season at Scranton Wilkes/Barre while making his major league debut he went 1-1 with a save and an ERA of 8.53.  Adams was a  two-time Baseball American minor league all-star.  In the trade, the Royals will send Christian Perez, a 21-year-old infielder that hit .252 last year with Class A Wilmington.

The Royals drafted Perez in 2015. The Venezuelan shortstop throws and bats right-handed.   He was activated today with the Tampa Tarpons so that the trade could take place. The Yankees sent him to the minor league Rail Riders.  The Yankees may look to use him at some point as a back up to Gleyber Torres at shortstop in addition to Thairo Estrada.

New York Yankees: Chance Adams Has Been Traded

Reliever Chance Adams has been traded from the New York Yankees to the Kansas City Royals. In return, the Yankees will be receiving infield prospect Christian Perez.

Adams, 25, was at one point a top 100 prospect. But, he hit a wall in AAA and never had much success there. He had a few stints in the major league, but they never went well. His ERA is well over eight in 16 appearances.

The righty from Scottsdale, Arizona and Dallas Baptist University now has an opportunity to get his career going back in the right direction with the Royals. He’s with a rebuilding team in a low pressure environment. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery.

The Return:

Christian Perez is a young infield prospect that mainly plays on the left side. He’s been in the minors for four years, and is just 21 years old out of Venezuela. Perez has played in a different level each year, and played high A ball in 2019.

With the Wilmington Blue Rocks, he hit .252 with 42 runs batted in. He has no power whatsoever, just four career minor league home runs. His on base percentage isn’t particularly high either, just .290.

His glove is pretty average, with a fielding percentage around 97% for his career at shortstop, his primary position. Perez is a Ronald Torreyes type player.

With Perez, I’m not sure if he’ll ever make an impact on the major league roster, but if he keeps improving then it could be a possibility in a few years. But, the Yankees used this trade to get rid of Adams and worst case scenario, Perez will just be minor league depth.

Michael Conforto, the New York Mets’ underappreciated slugger

New York Yankees, New York Mets

He may not be the flashiest or the most feared slugger of the team. He may not be a star defensively or in the basepaths. However, Michael Conforto is as consistent as they come, and his presence in the New York Mets’ lineup card is necessary as the team intends to make some noise and advance to postseason baseball.

Conforto is at least average or above in numerous facets of the game. While Fangraphs’ fielding runs had him at -6.0, he was in the 73rd percentile in Baseball Savant’s Out Above Average. According to UZR, UZR/150 and DRS, he was about average in the corners but below-average in center field.

Yet, he is at his best when he is on the batter’s box. His 126 wRC+ was third on the Mets among qualifiers, fourth if we include Dominic Smith. Being a lefty, he isn’t too vulnerable against fellow southpaws: he hit for a 90 wRC+ against them in 2019, which is slightly below-average but more than manageable. He mashed to the tune of 141 wRC+ versus righties, though. His career wRC+ is 90 and 136 against left-handed and right-handed hurlers, respectively. Consistency at its finest.

One of the Mets most stable producers

Conforto hit, at least, 25 home runs in each of his three full seasons in MLB. Additionally, he has a keen eye at the plate that allows him to walk at very good rates. Each year, except for his debut season, he managed to accumulate at least a 13.0 BB%.

In 2019, he slashed .257/.363/.494 in 648 plate appearances, with 33 home runs, 90 runs, 92 RBI, and 7 steals. He accrued 3.7 WAR, which was the ninth highest figure among National League outfielders.

Conforto delivered for the Mets through thick and thin, and has been a fixture in the lineup for years.

According to Statcast data, he had an expected batting average of .262 and an expected slugging percentage of .504 in 2019. His very solid .367 xwOBA put him in the 87th percentile.

He is expected, again, to be a very solid contributor to the 2020 New York Mets. His talented lefty bat is the perfect balance to Alonso, Davis, and Yoenis Cespedes, all righties. His ability to take walks is a very valuable asset, and his penchant for the home run and overall consistency make him one of the most underrated Mets.

While most fans and pundits talk about deGrom’s dominance, Syndergaard’s stuff, McNeil’s batting prowess or Alonso’s power, Conforto keeps producing. And that’s all the Mets need.

The Yankees Don’t Need Hader Or Lindor

New York Yankees, Mets, Francisco Lindor

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Wise words that Yankee fans should be keeping in mind as they clamor for more moves this offseason. Trade for Lindor, bring in Hader, and I even saw someone say they should trade for Wilson Ramos. Everyone needs to slow down, relax…maybe have some dip.

The Torre dynasty lost it’s way when the team started signing big name free agents and trading away the farm system for star players. Right now the club has a strong rotation, dominant bullpen, and an average to above average starter at every position.  They also have added depth with Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier who produced at borderline all-star levels when healthy, Mike Tauchman who could be this generations Brett Gardner from a productivity standpoint,  and Thairo Estrada who played well in the Ronald Torreyes role.

The bullpen is stacked and I would rather bring back Betances on a one year prove-it type of deal, then give away premium talent for Josh Hader to be the third or fourth option out of the pen. No player has been more overrated by Yankee fans then Austin Romine, and he will be exposed in Detroit this year. Kyke Higashioka will be just fine in a backup role. No trade for a reserve catcher is needed.  Ramos for Happ? With apologies to Jack Suhadolnik the Mets don’t need an 7th starter at 17 million a year (Degrom, Syndergaard,  Stroman, Porcello, Matz, Wacha) and the Yankees don’t need a back up with the same skill sets and defensive issues as Sanchez. Other than that, the trade sounds great.

The Lindor idea has merits, but the mechanics of that kind of deal would make it pointless. Deivi Garcia is the type of young,  cost controlled starter the Yankees will need to offset the Cole deal. Andujar and Frazier are talents in an area of need. I’m not ready to assume Gio Urshela is the player we saw last year rather than what every other year of his career says he is. Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton are never healthy and productive at the same time which makes dealing Frazier risky as well. Add in the fact the infield is where the Yankees are stacked with Lemahieu, Torres, Urshela, Andujar, Voit and maybe even Ford and Estrada and there is no reason to deal for Lindor.

Lindor is a great player but if he, Torres, and Urshela are going to play everyday then Lemahieu becomes the main first basemen if you want him in the line-up.  So really your replacing Luke Voit with Lindor. Right now Voit’s career 162 game average is .273 29 83. Lindor is .288 25 87. I get that Voits batting average would probably drop some if he actually played 162 games,  and Lindor hits a few more home runs than his average shows now but is it worth giving up your best prospects for the difference between them? I say no.

The Yankees can make these moves to upgrade what is probably the best team in the game already, but what’s the point? Three years from now the same fans screaming for these deals will be calling Cashman an idiot for having to cut payroll after giving up young all-stars while they were cheap.  Remember Jason Giambi, Javier Vazquez, Randy Johnson, and Kevin Brown ….or you will be doomed to repeat them.

 

What are the New York Yankees planning for Clint Frazier in 2020?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Building out the depth and foundational support is a priority after the signing of star pitcher Gerrit Coile for the New York Yankees. Ensuring the team can withstand another injury bug is essential for their prolonged success, and the outfield seems like the most probable unit to fall ill.

Last season, Giancarlo Stanton played in just 18 games, and Aaron Judge also missed significant time. Add in Aaron Hicks’ injuries and his recovery through Tommy John surgery, and the Yankees need supplemental players.

The Bombers have retained Brett Gardner on one-year, $12.5 million deal with a second-year option, and they have Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade, and “Red Lightning,” Clint Frazier available in the outfield.

Frazier, who has been the constant focal point in numerous trade proposals, remains a Yankee, despite all of the revolving speculations. Currently, it seems as if the Yankees hold Frazier to a higher value than the rest of the MLB, which means they could keep him active for the 2020 season.

Considering the firepower the Bombers already have in the outfield, it would take multiple player injuries for him to get another crack at playing significant time. Last season, he did hit .267 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs, proving his offensive worth. He also finished with a 6.5 BB% and a 28.5 K% in 246 plate appearances. His 108 wRC+ landed him in the average category. His defense, though, has been disappointing, as he logged a .963 fielding percentage through 53 games.

For now, he will remain behind Judge, Stanton, Tauchman, and Gardner. However, with Hicks working his way back, Frazier will slot in fifth until his return.

Could New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman trade Clint Frazier?

The Yankees continue to dive into the trade market, with Brewers’ Josh Hader leading the rumors. If Cashman is to offer Frazier in a trade, he likely wouldn’t be the focal point of the tentative deal, but he would be an obvious choice to include. His offensive efficiency at the top level holds merit.

I do not believe Frazier will be traded this offseason, but if they can get him some essential reps in 2020, he could be a moveable piece at the trade deadline.

New York Knicks: Mark Jackson could be a potential coach

New York Knicks, Mike Miller

Mark Jackson is beloved by New York Knicks fans because of how well he performed during his playing days. Jackson started his playing career with the Knicks and was one of the better point guards in the league during his tenure.

In his seven seasons with New York, Jackson averaged 11 points and eight assists. One of the more notable parts of Jackson’s game was his basketball IQ.

The former rookie of the year was a fantastic floor general and seemed to always be one of the smartest players on the floor during his nearly two-decade NBA career.

After his playing career, Jackson had a three-year stint as head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Today, Jackson is remembered as the coach who was removed for Steve Kerr, but the truth is the team would have never become a dynasty if Jackson had not coached them through a rebuild.

In Jackson’s first season as coach of the Warriors, the team regressed from 36 wins to 23, but that was season marred with injuries. Crucial players like David Lee, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry all missed at least 20 games, with Ellis and Curry missing more than half the season. The team leader in games played that season was an unrefined, rookie Klay Thompson with 66 games played.

In the next season, Jackson leads the Warriors to their first playoff appearance in six seasons. The team which saw Steph Curry blossom into one of the leagues best young point guards won 47 games before losing to the eventual Western Conference Champion, San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals.

In Jackson’s last season he navigated the Warriors to a 51-31 record. The Warriors lost a tough seven-game series to the Lob City Clippers that season.

The Warriors while, on the verge of greatness could not get past teams with veteran players and coaches, losing to the Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich Spurs along with the Chris Paul and Doc Rivers’ Clippers.

After the 51 win season, Bob Myers made a controversial choice in letting go of Mark Jackson in favor of Steve Kerr.

Since Jackson’s departure, the Warriors have become a dynasty, but it’s undeniable that without Jackson’s work the Warriors would not have been the playoff team and dynasty they are today.

The New York Knicks are currently in a situation somewhat similar to Jackson’s Warriors and could use Jackson to elevate them back to playoff status.

Jackson was a crucial part in developing both, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson into the superstars they are today.

It’s not inconceivable to think Jackson’s ability will translate into helping high potential players, like Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett, take their respective games to the next level.

The Knicks who are in the midst of a rebuild, need a coach like Jackson for the future. Jackson has a successful rebuild already on his resume, in addition, his past as a player for both St. John’s and as a Knick make him a hire New Yorkers would love.

The New York Yankees Catcher Conundrum Continues

New York Yankees, Zach Britton

The New York Yankees are in a precarious situation regarding their catcher position. Yes, Gary Sanchez is a boon for the team and will be the everyday catcher for the foreseeable future. Kyle Higashioka is a career minor league catcher, who’s a lackluster offensive player, is going to be our backup, even with the prospect of him filling in as the everyday catcher for a couple of weeks at a time. Of course, the Yankees are expecting Sanchez to stay healthy for 140 games, but we need to be prepared for this eventuality.

Why the Yankees WON’T Go After a Free Agent Catcher

Let’s remember, the Yankees are at the final tier of the luxury tax. Anyone they sign is going to be an extra 42.5% tax added on to that player’s salary.

The Yankees are ALL IN on Higashioka. If they weren’t they’d have resigned Austin Romine. Why? Because he’d cost less money than Romine (Maldonado signed for $7 million over two years, Romine signed for $4 million). The Yankees like the power potential they’ve seen from Higashioka. In Higashioka’s 146 at-bats, he has 24 hits, 6 of which are home runs, 7 are doubles. Not bad, but 24-146 is pretty awful all things considered.

Why The Yankees SHOULD Go After Another Catcher

Security, for obvious reasons. They don’t have the greatest of depth at this position. It’s essentially just Sanchez and Higashioka. They did resign Erik Kratz to a minor league deal, but a 40-year-old backup catcher isn’t the greatest insurance policy in the world, right? And, again, Higashioka’s offensive shortcomings make the prospect of Sanchez going down for an extended period all the less appealing.

There are some other catchers who the Yankees could acquire by the trade deadline that would be a greater insurance policy than Erik Kratz. Former Yankees Brian McCann, Chris Stewart, Russell Martin, and Fransisco Cervelli are all free agents on the backend of their careers. A minor-league deal for any of them isn’t a terrible option. And with Yankee fans clamoring for another lefty bat, Brian McCann would make the most sense and appease fan’s concerns.

So, there are options for the New York Yankees next season in the unlikely situation that the Yankees lose both Sanchez AND Higashioka.

New York Yankees: A look into the life of DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

One of the most beloved Yankees, DJ LeMahieu, is clearly one of the best players and specifically one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. I’ve noticed that LeMahieu isn’t your conventional ballplayer though, he has his own style. It’s quite admirable and also very interesting, which led me to find out more about the Yankee first basemen.

Obviously, LeMahieu’s numbers speak for themself. A three-time All-Star and gold-glover, LeMahieu holds a career .302 batting average. As this is all impressive, learning more about the social aspect and personalities of players is super interesting.

One thing that’s super appealing about LeMahieu is that he’s been a Yankee fan all his life. I always thought it was super cool to see a Major League player playing for his childhood favorite team.

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Blessed to be a part of another Opening Day!

A post shared by DJ LeMahieu (@dj_lemahieu) on

If you’ve ever just listened to LeMahieu in a postgame interview or any kind of public speaking you’ll know that he’s a man of very few words. This trait is something that separates him from other players.

Some may assume that LeMahieu is just not personable, but I think he’s just a focused and concentrated person. It seems that because of his ability to clear his head and separate himself from outside factors, he’s able to have so much success at the plate. Every time LeMahieu steps to the plate you can see how focused he is on hitting. This is something some players struggle with especially in the bright lights of New York City.

It’s also joked that DJ is a bit of a weird cat. Take a look at this photo of the team on a plane heading to a series, you can see LeMahieu in the background doing his own thing.

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West Coast 🛫 SAVAGES

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I just assumed that he’s watching film of the next opposing pitcher or googling how to have a higher bat speed or something.

One of my favorite interviews ever done by a player features LeMahieu. Reading this, you can get a clear understanding of how DJ is as a person.

Image result for dj lemahieu funny quotes

Fun facts

When researching more about LeMahieu, I learned that his boyhood idol is Derek Jeter. When asked why LeMahieu responded, “Shortstop … Captain … World Series. … As a kid, that’s kind of what you dream of.”

When asked about what pitcher in MLB history he’d like to face the most, LeMahieu said Nolan Ryan because, “He’s got the big heater, he’s a competitor, and I don’t think he feared anyone, so I’d like to face him.”

LeMahieu’s hobbies consist of playing video games, watching a lot of sports, spending time with family, and enjoying playing with his two dogs. For the dog lovers out there, DJ has a little Pomsky and a little Pomeranian mutt.

When asked about superstitions in an interview, LeMahieu said, “Yeah but … too many to count. Too many to go over.”

Just like many kids growing up loving the sport of baseball, DJ’s favorite movie is “The Sandlot.”

New York Yankees news, rumors: Josh Hader talks still going on, Miguel Andujar could be on his way out

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

As the offseason progresses and we continue to hear chatter through the grapevine, it’s only fair to assume New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not done making moves. After the behemoth signing of Gerrit Cole on a nine-year, $324 million deal, it was expected that the Yanks wouldn’t be looking to make any more significant moves unless it favored the salary cap.

However, they didn’t say anything about trading for players who are still under team control and on friendly deals.

This leads us into our Yankees rumors/news of the day:

Josh Hader:

Jon HeymanYankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B). Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.

The Yankees are still in search of Dellin Betances’ replacement, and Hader fits the bill for their retooling in the bullpen. The 25-year-old pitched lights out baseball last season, earning a 2.62 ERA and 0.806 WHIP over 75.2 innings pitched. His injection into the Yankees’ bullpen would not only upgrade the unit significantly, but it would create a balance unprecedented in baseball.

If the Bombers are serious about pursuing Hader, third baseman Miguel Andujar could be a focal point in a theoretical trade. The Brewers don’t have the hot corner spot locked up, which gives Andujar the additional value the Yankees are looking for.

It’s also possible outfielder Clint Frazier could be involved in a potential deal, considering his lack of value to a unit that’s stockpiled with talent and reserves. Frazier will start the season as the No. 5 outfielder behind Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman. Once Aaron Hicks returns at the midway point in 2020, Frazier will subsequently drop to the 6th spot, making his services virtually useless. Cashing in on his value now might be the best move for the Yankees, who could use more reinforcements at other positions.

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