New York Giants sign offensive tackle Cam Fleming – everything you need to know

New York Giants, Cam Fleming

Another familiar face for the coaching staff, the New York Giants signed offensive tackle Cam Fleming to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Fleming, at 6-5, 320 pounds, is going into his seventh season in the NFL and has played the past two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He played under both Jason Garrett and Marc Colombo after spending his first four seasons in New England with Joe Judge.

his familiarity with the coaching staff makes him a solid add, and being that it’s only a one-year deal, the Giants can move on in a different direction next season if they so choose.

This move indicates that the Giants might not be looking to draft an offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, as standout defender Isaiah Simmons will likely be available with the 4th overall pick.

Are The New York Giants Setting Their Defense Up For Isaiah Simmons?

New York Giants looking at Isaiah Simmons in 2020 NFL Draft?

The New York Giants made a couple of big-splash signings on the first day of free agency. New York landed cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, both of which will be new starters on the defense making over $10 million per year.

What NFL teams do in free agency usually indicates what they are planning to do in the draft. The Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman once said, “You address issues with free agency so that you can set yourself up in the draft so you take the best player available.”

Who would be the best player available for the Giants with the fourth overall pick? Most likely, linebacker Isaiah Simmons. But the Giants just signed three linebackers: Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell, and David Mayo. Does this mean they will not be drafting Simmons? Well, it might actually indicate the opposite.

The Giants Did Not Improve Their Linebackers’ Coverage Ability

The biggest complaint Giants fans have with the Blake Martinez signing is not about the player’s actual talent level. Instead, it is about Martinez’s playing strengths and style. Blake Martinez is not a coverage linebacker. In 2019, Martinez allowed a completion percentage of 83.8% in his coverage. Giants fans will criticize this signing because Cory Littleton and Joe Schobert, linebackers who are known for being able to make plays in coverage, were signed to contracts similar in price to that of Martinez.

The Giants’ inability to guard athletic tight ends and receiving running backs has been the Achilles heel of the defense for years. Former Giants’ linebacker Alec Ogletree allowed a completion percentage of 83.0% in his coverage in 2019. The Blake Martinez signing (83.8%) does not exactly fix this error in the Giants’ defense. But there is another linebacker who will be available this season that could fix that error.

Isaiah Simmons’s top strength is his ability to make plays in coverage. Simmons, the Swiss-Army-Knife defender out of Clemson is the top linebacker prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is expected to be on the board when the Giants are picking fourth overall and he is expected to be the best defensive player available. Gettleman wants to take the best player available, but after investing heavily in the linebacker position in free agency, will he? Many fans believe Gettleman’s moves in free agency signal that he will be going offensive tackle in the first round of the draft. Here is why that might not be true:

Isaiah Simmons Would Mesh Perfectly With The Giants’ Linebackers

Blake Martinez and David Mayo are prototypical run-stuffing inside linebackers. Martinez racked up 144 tackles in 2017, 155 tackles in 2018, and 144 tackles in 2019. He is known for being a stalwart run-defender. But he is also known, as stated above, for struggling in pass-coverage.

In 2019, David Mayo totaled 82 combined tackles in 13 games. Additionally, Mayo had 5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. However, Mayo’s coverage was targeted 29 times and he allowed 19 completions, a 65.5% completion percentage. His poor performance in coverage makes it hard to imagine the Giants relying on him and Martinez as their primary inside linebackers. Neither Martinez nor Mayo are proficient in coverage. But Isaiah Simmons is.

According to Pro Football Focus, Isaiah Simmons has allowed only 6.0 yards per target and has earned a PFF coverage grade of 92.5. Isaiah Simmons is exceptional in man-coverage. He has the coverage-ability of a safety but has the size to play linebacker in the NFL. Simmons is no pushover in run-defense either, totaling 104 tackles in 2019 to go along with his 3 interceptions.

All of this falls perfectly in line with what head coach Joe Judge said during his introductory press conference:

Let them play to their strengths. Don’t sit in a meeting and tell me what you don’t have in a player. Don’t tell me they can’t do certain things, tell me what they can do and then we’ll figure out as coaches, because that’s our job, how we can use that. –Joe Judge, head coach of the New York Giants

The Giants’ new head coach plans to play his players to their strengths. If that holds true, do not expect to see Blake Martinez and David Mayo lined up in man coverage on tight ends and slot receivers very often. If the Giants do in fact draft Isaiah Simmons, he will be lining up in man coverage while Martinez plugs the gaps in run defense and blitzes on passing downs. Adding Simmons into the fold masks Martinez’s weaknesses and allows the defense to operate at an efficient level with the linebackers playing to their strengths.

New York Knicks Robinson wants to know if he beat Wilts record

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks second-year center Mitchell Robinson tweeted out a big question this past Sunday.  “Does this mean I broke the FG record the season? 👀

Robinson has been chasing Wilt Chamberlain’s field-goal record when he was with the Los Angles Lakers.  Chamberlain shot .727 for the Lakers in 1972-73.  Before the coronavirus swept the entire world, Robinson had a league best percentage of .742.  He has been one of the only bright spots for the Knicks this season.

The league minimum to be eligible the record is 300 attempts.  Robinson has 341 attempts while making 253 of them.  The Knicks have numerous highlights, blocks and jaw-dropping dunks from Robinson to get them through this non-basketball time.

It’s still unsure whether the NBA will return this season due to the worldwide pandemic.  But, if the season was to come to an end early, the numbers could be adjusted to follow the condensed season.  If so, the Knicks big-man could be the record holder.

Robinson certainly deserves a lot of credit for the big step forward he took this season.  He’s showed the Knicks organization why he was untouchable at the deadline.

Everything about his game has improved.  Blocking, field goals, obviously, but most of all his ability to control his fouling.  The New York Knicks have a great centerpiece to build upon for the future and Robinson is only going to get better.

New York Yankees: Five Interesting Facts About Aaron Judge

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees called up Aaron Judge in August of 2016, and his impact was felt immediately. Although he struggled on the field, he was quickly loved by the Yankee faithful. Here are five interesting facts about the 27-year-old outfielder.

1. Started With A Bang

In his first major league at-bat, Judge hit a home run to centerfield at Yankee Stadium. It was an absolute no-doubter, traveling well over 420 feet. Also, Tyler Austin hit a home run the at-bat before, also in his first game.

2. Adopted At Birth

Judge was adopted by his parents Patty and Wayne. He was taken home the day after he was born into a loving family. He also has an adoptive brother.

3. Three Sport Force

While at Linden High School in California, Judge played three sports and was a star at all of them. As a wide receiver in football, he set the school touchdown record. In basketball, he was the center for the team and was obviously a baseball player.

4. College Football Player?

In addition to baseball, Judge was recruited to play football at big schools such as Stanford and Notre Dame. He loved football but decided that he would instead pursue baseball professionally. It seems like that was the right choice.

5. Number 99

Judge wears a unique number on the field, that being 99. He was assigned that number in spring training as a minor leaguer, and kept is once he was called up. He considered changing it, but he liked it as did the fans. It helps make him a major staple in New York City.

New York Yankee Legends: Louisiana Lightning, Ron Guidry

New York Yankees

Ron Guidry, the early years

The New York Yankee Ron Guidry was born in Lafayette Louisiana on August 28, 1950, Ronald Ames Guidry spent his entire fourteen-year pitching career with the New York Yankees. This short for a pitcher, “this skinny kid was the fiercest competitor I have ever played with. He has more heart and more determination than anyone I have ever known,”  was said by former teammate Willie Randolph.

Guidry’s family is Cajun through and through. Ron Guidry grew up hunting and fishing on the bayous, as well as speaking Cajun French. One day, at the age of eight Ron told his mother that he was going to visit his grandmother, but instead took a detour by a park where some boys were playing baseball. When a ball got away and rolled towards Guidry, he threw it back with such velocity, that a man who was watching ran over to Guidry. The man was a coach of a Little League team and happened to be a friend of Roland Guidry Ron’s Father. Ron did not need too much convincing and joined his first organized baseball team at eight years of age. Like many players who showed plenty of ability, Guidry excelled and then graduated to American Legion baseball.

Guidry shows great promise as a pitcher

In high school, Guidry would excel in two sports, baseball and track and field. He showed great promise as a pitcher but it was sprinting that Ron was most noticed for. He was awarded scholarships for track, he choose a baseball scholarship close to home at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In his freshman year, he posted a 5-1 record with a 1.57 ERA. The next season he was 7-4, striking out 87 batters in 80 innings. Already he was recorded as throwing up to 95 miles per hour.

Upon the advice of a Yankee scout, the Yankees selected Guidry in the 1971 draft. Guidry began his professional career in 1971 with the Johnson City Yankees. He was able to blow his blazing fastball by most hitters in the low minors. Although he struck out many batters, he also walked quite a few. Guidry enlisted into the National Guard in 1971 and was active through 1977. On September 23, 1972, he married the former Bonnie Rutledge. They had three children: daughters Jamie and Danielle and son Brandon.

After Guidry was with the Yankees for four years, he hadn’t made a name for himself. He struck out a lot of batters, but he also walked a lot of them. In 1974 he was transferred to the West Haven Connecticut Yankees and made a reliever. This was a big mistake because the results were horrible. He went 2-4 with an ERA close to 6. In 1974 he was sent to Syracuse, where he was surrounded by good pitchers for the first time. Pitchers like Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, and Jim Beatie who all showed him the ropes. The club manager at the time was Bobby Cox, who Guidry greatly admired. He would make Guidry his closer, and Guidry racked up 14 saves in that role to go with a 6-5 record and a 2.90 ERA in 42 games.

Guidry makes his major league debut

He then earned a ticket to the Queens Shea Stadium as Yankee Stadium was being renovated. Guidry made his major league debut on July 27, 1975, in the second game of a doubleheader against Boston.  While there he met up with teammates Sparky Lyle, and Dick Tidrow. Tidrow gave Ron his nickname “Gator”. Sparky Lyle gave him something else, his slider pitch, and Ron became a two-pitch pitcher combined with his high-velocity fastball. Soon after, when the Yankees acquired Doc Ellis, Guidry was sent back to Syracuse, where he pitched very well. In 11 games, he posted a 3-1 record with a 1.37 ERA, fanning 25 batters in 20 innings.

The Yankees traded away a pitcher and Guidry would be called back up to replace him. New manager Billy Martin put him in a game on his first day back. just off the bus. Guidry would later say Billy Martin didn’t like me and was setting me up for failure. It worked, I got one out and gave up four runs. Both Martin and Steinbrenner wanted more experienced pitchers, so Ron sat in the bullpen for 47 games. At one point, George Steinbrenner, the “boss” would tell him you will never make a pitcher in the majors.

In 1977 both the “boss” and manager Billy Martin wanted to trade Guidry to the White Sox, but President Gabe Paul would have no part of it. 1977 also saw new players Reggie Jackson and Don Gullet. In 25 starts and six relief appearances, Guidry posted a 16-7 record with a 2.82 ERA. He threw a two-hitter against Texas on August 28. All the sudden Billy Martin liked Guidry and took credit for his new fame. The Yankees went 100-62 and won the east over the Baltimore Orioles. In the ALCS, Guidry pitched a complete-game win over the Kansas City Royals, but he was knocked out in game 5. In the 77 World Series, he got only one start and he won a complete game for the Yankees.

Guidry attains the best Yankee pitching record ever

In 1978 it would be Guidry’s best year, he would win 25 games while losing only three, the last Yankee pitcher to have a record that good to date. In 1978, the east title would come down to a playoff game for the title. In a now-famous conversation, Ron meets George Steinbrenner in the parking lot and noticed he looked dejected. Ron asked why, and George said because we have to go up there to Fenway and play those sons of bitches. Ron answered, “don’t worry boss. I’ll win it for us”. And indeed he did, he pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win of the division. Guidry would pitch one game against the Royals in the ALCS, and one in the World Series against the Dodgers, he would win won both games. The Yankees would win the World Series for the last time in the next eighteen years.

Guidry would go on to have seven more winning seasons for the Yankees. In 1986 he had his first losing season going 9-12, but still having an ERA below 4. As all fastball pitchers do when they age, they lose velocity and it was no different for Ron. He became more of a pitcher and less of a thrower. 1986-88 also saw a reduced number of starts as well. Guidry reported to spring training in 1989 but clashed with new manager Dallas Green. The Yankees sent him down to Columbus of the AAA International League. He posted a 1-5 record and made the decision to move on from baseball, and get on with the rest of his life. Guidry was 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA in his New York Yankee career.

Yankee’s number 49 shirt retired, and Guidry honored.

On August 23, 2003, Guidry’s number 49 was retired by the Yankees. He was the 16th player to be so honored. In addition, he was presented with a plaque that would be placed in Monument Park of Yankee Stadium. When he was asked to speak at the ceremony, he said:

“I have but one regret in baseball, and that is that I never got to say goodbye to you wonderful fans, and how much I appreciated you. When you would stand and clap on my second strike, I would hear you.”

In his career, Ron Guidry won five Gold Glove Awards, the Roberto Clemente Award, Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, Sporting News Major League Player of the Year Award, Baseball Digest and Associated Press Player of the Year Awards, and in 1978 the Cy Young Award.  Ron never achieved entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, to date, as many voters thought his career was too short, although he was one of the greatest pitchers of the late ’70s and ’80s.

New York Jets Resign CB Brian Poole (Report)

New York Jets, Brian Poole

The New York Jets secondary was very weak last year. They didn’t have a true number one or two corner. They continuously rotated guys in the spots to see who, if any, could cover on the outside. At nickel corner, however, the Jets were set. Brian Poole had a career year for the Jets and according to PFF, was ranked as one of the top 10 best corners in the league. This made him a priority on the Jets list this offseason. Now, the Jets locked Poole up, according to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes.

The Contract

Locking Poole up may be an understatement– the Jets inked Poole to a one year, $5 million dollar deal. The deal is actually a win-win for both sides. The Jets get stability at the slot corner position for another year on a very good value deal. Poole gets $5 million and another shot to cash in next offseason. The Jets likely used the fact that last year was his best year as a negotiating tactic for the 27-year-old corner. The Jets will now get him back on a team-friendly deal and Poole gets to prove his worth yet again.

What do the Jets do next?

The Jets made Poole a priority and got him back. Now the Jets can turn their attention to adding an outside corner to pair with Bless Austin. The Jets will likely sign one bigger name corner and maybe add a few lower-level guys with good potential. The Jets can now turn their focus to the edge rusher spot and outside corner spots as previously noted, as they await Robby Anderson’s decision. If Anderson doesn’t resign then expect the Jets to move quickly to ink another receiver like Phillip Dorsett and turn their attention towards the other side of the ball.

Brooklyn Saved the New York Islanders, But It Never Became Home

Islanders, New York Islanders

When historians look back on the New York Islanders’ stint in Kings County, they’ll see two words: Missed Opportunity.

Earlier this week, Isles g.m. Lou Lamoriello on a conference call with two news outlets revealed that if the NHL season were to resume sometime soon, the two home final home games scheduled for Barclays Center would no longer take place. Instead, they would be moved to the Nassau Coliseum.

With that, it marked the end of the franchise’s five-year run of playing games in Brooklyn.

But, to be blunt, the end of the Isles and their rocky relationship with Brooklyn had come well before Lamoriello spoke Monday. It actually was the moment the story broke that the Isles’ ownership group — Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky — were already exploring their options about a possible new home at Belmont Park back in July 2016.

The Islanders didn’t win the bid for Belmont that day — that would come several months later in December — but they made their intentions clear: they wanted out. They had wanted out for a long time before that too.

Nearly a decade ago, former Isles owner, the late Charles Wang, had exhausted every possible avenue to help build a brand new facility for the franchise in Nassau County. He schmoozed with Nassau County politicians and did everything in his fiber to get this organization and its fans the arena they deserved. Wang tried with the Lighthouse Project — which he would have paid for on his own — and that failed. Then came the Referendum, which was a plan to build a new arena from taxpayers’ money. That failed miserably.

It left him no other choice: Brooklyn. And that’s what Wang decided.

On October 24, 2012, Wang, former Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the team held a press conference outside Barclays Center and announced that the team would be starting play full-time there at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. The lease was “ironclad” for the next 25 years, and hence gave the notion that the Islanders were saved.

Three years passed by and the Isles were now a city team. As weird as that sounds, the fans were now taking the trains and subways to the games, and so were the players. The building was dark and dreary, but the retired numbers hung and so did a specific banner that showed all the division and conference titles the franchise won in its history.

The Isles were on the upswing too and their fans were feeling the same. They had just come off their best season since 2001-02 and had lost a physical, hard-fought seven-game series to the Washington Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs. Some of that good feeling was immediately tested when they released a new third jersey. A black and white concoction that literally showed no affiliation to the franchise whatsoever. The new threads didn’t receive much positive feedback and was the first hint that this partnership wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows.

Strike two was just as bad.

During one of the first preseason games in the building, a new goal horn blasted after the Islanders scored in the third period. Fans were furious and it forced Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment at the time, to go on the radio the next day and tell the fans they were reversing their decision, bringing back the old goal horn the fans were used to.

Things didn’t progress from there. Seats with the obstructed views, Yormark telling fans who can’t see at one end to download an app to watch the game, poor game presentation, and this unreal incident all just made for a worse look.

Mind you, this all took place the first three months since the team had arrived. After that things began to settle down and the Isles made the playoffs again. Barclays got its first chance to prove it could be a home-ice advantage, and it didn’t fail per se, but it was obviously different. The atmosphere, crowd, and overall advantage the building brought didn’t stack up to the Coliseum.

Following that first year with a postseason appearance, the building and team just never meshed well. The bad ice was never improved, the arena and its staff never truly embraced the fans and their passion, and even the former captain, John Tavares, nearly got seriously hurt because of poor playing conditions.

With the Isles still battling for a playoff spot with seven games left in the 2016-17 season, Tavares suffered a hamstring injury in a win over the New Jersey Devils due to a rut in the ice.

“You see a guy’s heel dig in like that, it doesn’t happen other places,” forward Cal Clutterbuck said after the game that night. “It’s something that doesn’t get addressed … It had been a little better the last few games, but not [Friday] night.”

Again, it was just one of those aspects of the team’s stint at Barclays that was an eyesore.

There were some good times though. Tavares and Thomas Hickey’s OT game-winners in the 2016 playoffs. The dramatic 7-6 comeback against the Red Wings in 2018. The team’s domination of the Rangers and Western Conference when they played. Their two-year run of barely losing in regulation from last year into this year. And the franchise’s first playoff series win in 23 years.

A lot of people will look to this era of Islander hockey and sigh, but it’s all a part of where the franchise is now.

The Belmont Arena will be here before you know it, and it will signify the new true home of the Islanders for generations to come.

Barclays Center could have been that. They saved the franchise from an unknown future. But they squandered a huge opportunity and didn’t get themselves any sympathy in the process.

The last Islander game in Brooklyn was supposed to be a Sunday evening four days from now against the Carolina Hurricanes. That won’t be the case. The last one will be remembered not just as a 6-2 throttling by the Montreal Canadiens but as the ending to a missed chance for possibly something special.

New York Yankees: Why J.A. Happ can be the dark knight for the Yankees in 2020

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

With the injury plague hitting the New York Yankees once again this off-season, they have begun to shift their hope in players that struggled or were absent in 2019. Options like Jordan Montgomery and JA Happ are both expected to play significant roles in the upcoming season, whenever that actually begins.

The MLB stated that Opening Day is at least eight weeks away and that the return date cannot be confirmed just yet. However, we can begin to evaluate the players on the roster and take a look at those that can rebound in 2020.

The New York Yankees need J.A. Happ to return to his former self:

The 37-year-old starter was atrocious in 2019, and he earned $17 million. He posted a 4.91 ERA with 140 strikeouts over 161.1 innings. Compared to his 2018 campaign, Happ saw a 1.30 increase in his ERA and allowed seven more home runs in 16 fewer innings. However, he has started off 2020 strong, posting a 1.38 ERA during spring training over 13 innings. He allowed just one home run and logged 16 strikeouts.

The Yankees desperately need him to return to his former self, especially with Luis Severino set to miss the entire 2020 campaign. Injuries have restricted the solidification of the starting rotation, but the pushback of Opening Day will give No. 2 starter James Paxton ample time to recover and hopefully be ready for the start of the regular season.

I anticipate Happ sliding in as the fourth man in the rotation, behind Gerrit Cole, Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka. Ultimately, this unit is far more durable than the Yankees’ group in 2019, considering they added Cole, on a nine-year, $324 million contract.

Having a healthy Ace is extremely important, as they progressed in 2019 without Severino for a majority of the season. He will now miss an entire year after succumbing to Tommy John surgery, which will force players like Happ and Montgomery to take a more stable and significant role.

Last off-season, the Yankees refrain from using Happ at all, as he was inconsistent and a liability as a starter. This is his chance to make the most of the final year on his contract with the Bombers.

How much cap space do the New York Giants have left over to spend?

New York Giants, James Bradberry

With free agency beginning on Wednesday, the New York Giants are able to sign their new players to finalized contracts. Per our free-agent tracker, here’s a comprehensive list of the Giants’ signings so far.

James Bradberry — $15.9M

Blake Martinez — $14M

Kyler Fackrell — $4.6M

Levine Toilolo — $3.25M

David Mayo — $3.5M

Cody Core — $1.95M

Aldrick Rosas — $3.3M

Leonard Williams — $16.1M

Before the start of free agency, the Giants had $72.7 million to spend on the open market (overthecap.com); however, they have already spent $62.6M on all of their signings, leaving about $10.1 million left over to spend on new players.

The most influential signing so far has been cornerback James Bradberry, who fills a massive void in the secondary after the departure of Janoris Jenkins in 2019. Bradberry brings No. 1 corner skills to the defense and man-marking ability that enables new coordinator Patrick Graham to depend on him to hold down opposing WR1s.

Bradberry’s stats from 2019 are solid, posting 12 passes defended, 3 interceptions, and 65 combined tackles. In 2018, he logged a 44.2% completion percentage against over 113 targets, his best season to date. Last year, he posted a 59.8% completion rate, which is a drastic increase but still an impressive number to work around. Considering he plays against some of the best receivers in the league with the Panthers, he should find the NFC East far less problematic in the future. Amari Cooper will present his biggest challenge.

What else do the New York Giants need?

Big Blue completely ignored the offensive tackle position this free agency period (so far), so we can assume they will address it through the NFL Draft. With the 4th overall pick, the Giants are in a great position to trade back and acquire more picks. With the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers staying out of the QB market this free agency period, they could be prime contenders to move up one spot and acquire the 4th overall pick to ensure they grab their guy. However, the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins could also be in the mix in a trade-back scenario.

For the Giants, though, there is a possibility they can still acquire more picks, land a top offensive prospect, and have ammo to lock up a quality talent in the second round (if not package picks and move back up into the first round).

New York Yankees Prospects: Estevan Florial

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial

A few years ago, the New York Yankees envisioned Estevan Florial as their star center fielder of the future. Florial had incredible speed, above-average power, and a very good arm from center. He had/has all the makeups of an all-star centerfielder. Many thought he would be on the fast track to the majors during his time in the minors. When the Yankees needed starting pitching over the last few years, Florial was often a prospect that many teams would ask for. However, New York never showed any interest in dealing with him. Brian Cashman has believed that Estevan Florial would live up to the hype. However, that has yet to happen.

Up & Down

Florial does in fact have all the tools, but he has had a lot of bad luck when it comes to injuries over the last few years. He’s broken bones in his wrist the last couple of years which has hindered his ability to play. Florial became one of the top prospects in the New York Yankees system after an incredible 2017 where he hit .298 and stole 23 bases. Florial also showed off his great defensive ability in 2017. The one big drawback to Florial in 2017 was pitch recognition. In 110 games, Florial struck out 148 times. I will say that those struggles are nothing out of the ordinary by a guy who is still cutting his teeth in the professional ranks. Many thought that Florial would be able to iron out those issues over the next couple of years. The problem is that Florial has had wrist issues that have caused him to miss significant chunks of the last couple of seasons. Florial played 84 games in 2018 then played 74 games in 2019. Last year was a very difficult year for Florial that still saw his strikeout numbers remain high, but his batting average dipped below .240. Florial really never seemed like he could get his timing right after the injury to his wrist. The last few years have been very frustrating for Estevan Florial, but maybe 2020 could be the time to turn the corner.

2020 Outlook

The 2020 season is going to be delayed to the COVID-19 breakout, but once the season starts, Florial should be a guy that all fans are looking at. He’s looking to bounce back and stay healthy after the last two rough seasons. Florial still has excellent speed and good pop for a centerfielder. What I’m looking for this year is his pitch recognition. I want to see if Florial is able to get those strikeout numbers down. The problem for Florial being a high strikeout guy, is he doesn’t counter those strikeouts with huge power like Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton. Florial has good power, but it’s nothing that is elite. If he can get the batting average back up, cut down on his strikeouts, and stay healthy, Florial has the talent to move through the system very quickly. Florial was considered the center fielder of the future for the Yankees just last year. That is no longer the case with the kid from Mars taking over that distinction. Florial can play with a chip on his shoulder this year, and I believe he can bounce back to prove that he is still one of the brightest prospects in the New York Yankees farm system.