New York Giants: Joe Judge’s Offseason Prep Challenged By Pandemic

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants, and the rest of the NFL, are still preparing to play the 2020 season – that’s in spite of the current pandemic that’s affecting the entire country right now, and especially the New York-New Jersey area where the Giants are based. Seemingly everything is closed right now and the NFL isn’t an exception to that trend. The Giants have already felt the effects of this by missing out on face to face visits and workouts with prospects leading up to the Draft.

However, life goes on and the team is still getting ready for the season with the assumption that it will be played at the same time as previously expected. The hard part? All of the things that would normally be done face to face have to be done digitally.

It makes integrating new players, of which the Giants have a decent number of, even before the draft, a harder task.

“We’re going to take our time making sure that, first off, all of the players are sound and set up on how to use the software. Before we get into too much of the football, we’re going to make sure that everyone knows where to find all of the information,” Joe Judge said in a Wednesday conference call.

“As a staff right now, we want to make sure we get the installs in the way we want to and, whether our players get back to us this spring or not, they have a solid base on the knowledge of our program so when we start practicing competitively in training camp they have a good start,” Judge continued, stating that the staff will have to try to control what they can control – and at the moment, that isn’t everything.

“Eventually, we will talk as a team in terms of how we’re going to conduct the team, how we’re going to practice. It’s important the players not only know what you’re going to do, but how you’re going to do it. They have to understand where they’re going to fit in the puzzle,” Judge said about the Giants’ future plans for actually practicing.

Learning the playbook, after all, can be done digitally. But running through the plays themselves, on the other hand, can’t be. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean other teams will have an advantage over the Giants because of it – right now, no team in the league is able to practice the way that they want to. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, this is just one of the many branching effects of it, and something the Giants and every other NFL team will have to deal with.

New York Giants: Two LSU Defensive Prospects That Make Sense In A Trade-Down Scenario

The New York Giants hold the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. For now… And maybe forever. But the opportunity still exists for New York to trade back and grab extra draft capital. General manager Dave Gettleman stated in February that the Giants are “open for business.” He admitted that the team is open to trading down from fourth overall but he also indicated that they do not want to trade down too far.

Gettleman does not want to trade back and compromise the talent-level of his first selection in exchange for additional picks. He only wants to trade back if he can ensure himself a top-tier prospect. But there are two LSU defensive prospects available in the later parts of the first-round that could be home-run selections for the New York Giants if they do decide to trade down.

Patrick Queen, LB, LSU:

If the Giants do not take Isaiah Simmons at fourth overall, why not take the next best thing? Simmons is not the only linebacker in this class who excels in coverage- Patrick Queen out of LSU does, too. Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network described Queen as: “A highly adept zone cover defender who overlaps short zones with ease and makes high-quality plays accordingly.”

Patrick Queen is an athletic inside linebacker, considered by most to be the second-best in this class. He ran a 4.5s 40-yard-dash at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine to go along with his impressive 18 bench press reps. Queen might be a bit undersized at 6 feet tall and 229 pounds. But he more than makes up for his size with his intensity.

Patrick Queen has a high motor that never seems to turn off. He racked up 85 total tackles in 2019 including 3 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. He also added an interception against top-tier quarterback prospect Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama:

If New York selected Patrick Queen it would have to be after the first twenty-or-so picks. So they would have to be trading down pretty far to make Queen an option. There is a chance he slides into the second round but that is highly unlikely. A trade for Patrick Queen that makes sense: acquiring the ninth and twentieth overall selections from Jacksonville in exchange for fourth overall. The Giants would be moving back five spots, still able to draft an offensive tackle at ninth overall. Queen would then be a strong option at the twentieth overall selection.

K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU:

There is another Louisiana State product that could make sense if the Giants trade down. Dave Gettleman made it clear this week that the Giants are “not in position” to acquire a “25-sacks-a-year guys.” But he also pointed out that “we haven’t gone through the draft yet” and assured that the Giants “will just keep building it.”

Enter K’Lavon Chaisson: a 20-year-old athletic specimen out of LSU. He did not run the 40-yard-dash at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, but if he did he would have ranked amongst the fastest at his position. Chaisson made life difficult for opposing offensive tackles in the SEC with his explosive burst off the edge and quickness to get to the quarterback. He stands tall at 6 feet 3 inches and weighs in at 254 pounds with lanky 32 and 1/4 inch arms.

Most draft analysts regard K’Lavon as the second-best edge rusher in this draft class behind only Chase Young. The Giants desperately need a stud, primary pass-rusher off the edge and if they trade down, K’Lavon Chaisson could be that prospect. The LSU edge rusher put his athleticism to good use, dominating the competition for 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss en route to a National Championship.

K’Lavon Chaisson is projected to be a mid-first-round draft pick. He has been commonly mocked around the fifteenth or sixteenth overall selection so New York would have to trade back pretty far for Chaisson to become an option.

New York Yankees: A history of great Yankee 3rd baseman, find out the top 10 here

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

In the fifth installment of my top 10 New York Yankees series, I give my choices for the top 10 Yankee third baseman of all time.  The Yankees, in their glorious history, have many of the best players ever to play in their positions in the history of MLB.  Previous installments have featured the top ten pitchers, catchers, 1st, and 2nd baseman.

10. Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone was an average player and didn’t play but part of one season with the New York Yankees.  His claim to fame includes playing injury-free for two years of his career while racking up 322 games within the two years, but they weren’t with the Yankees.  The only reason he makes this list at all is that as a 3rd baseman for the Yankees, he had one of the most iconic moments in baseball history.  In 2003 his home run to left field at Fenway Park brought the Yankees to the 2003 World Series.  The walk-off home run in the eleventh inning is generally considered the ninth-best home run in baseball history by Baseball Tonight.

9. Joe Sewell

Sewell played 3rd base for the Yankees from 1931 to 1933.  He would likely be placed higher on the list if he had played longer with the Yankees.  Coming from the Cleveland Indians after the 1930 season, Sewell played excellent defense at third and hit .282 over the span.  The other factor is that the Hall of Famer played most of his career with the Indians at shortstop. He played his Yankee career at third and was an MVP candidate in 1932.

8. Frank “Homerun” Baker

Baker was a well known Yankee getting his nickname from his timely home runs as Phillie.  He got 96 home runs in his career, which is not a lot by today’s standards, but in his period of play from 1908 on, it was a lot.  More specifically, his home runs won a lot of games, including postseason games.  With the Yankees, he was an excellent .942 defender of the hot corner.  He also had a .288 average with the Yankees.

7. Clete Boyer

Clete Boyer as a Yankee fan-favorite between 1959-1966.  Boyer would have been a national star at third except that he played at the same time as Brooks Robinson on of MLB’s greatest third baseman.  He wasn’t as good a hitter as Boggs or Brosius be his defense was second only to Robinson. He had 25 home runs as a Yankee and batted .243

6. Gil McDougald

Gil would be rated considerably higher in this list if it wasn’t for manager Casey Stengel penchant for platooning players.  McDougald played much of his time at second base while with the Yankees and is in the top 10 in that position as well.  He won an All-Star nod in 1952 at third.  The reason he places lower than Scott Brosius is because of his World Series stats.  McDougald hit .237 in World Series play, and Brosius hit .314.

5. Scott Brosius

Scott Brosius was another New York Yankee fan favorite.  He played during the dynasty years from 1998 to 2001. During his four years with the Yankees, he hit 65 home runs and batted .267.  The Yankees reached the World Series all four years during his stint with the Yankees.  He was stellar at third, but his claim to fame is his postseason stats.  In the 1998 ALDS and ALCS, he hit .350.  But in the World Series that year, he hit .417 and was named most valuable player.  All tolled in postseason play, he hit eight home runs and drove in 30.

4. Red Rolfe

Red Rolfe was a product of the Ivy League Dartmouth College.  He was an All-Star four of his ten years with the New York Yankees. In 1939 he had 213 hits, 46 doubles while scoring 139 runs.  1939 was his best year with the Yankees when he batted .329, one of four seasons above .300.  He ended his career, all ten of which with the Yankees.  His career batting average was .289, with almost 1,000 runs scored.

3. Wade Boggs

Boggs might be at the top of this list, but he is known mostly as a Boston Red Sox.  He played only five of his 18 seasons with the Yankees.  Those five years were impactful not only for his defense at 3rd but for a .313 batting average as a Yankee. In his first four years with the Yankees, he hit over .300 and was an All-Star each of those years.  He also won two Gold Glove awards while he was a Yankee

In most of his years with the Yankees, he led off due to his hitting and walking abilities.  Like the present DJ LeMahieu, he found a way to get on base. To set the stage for the 1996 World Series, the Yankees had lost the first two games at Yankee Stadium, then won three in a row in Atlanta. Back at Yankee Stadium, the Yankee had two chances to win the World Series.  They didn’t need it as they won game six against the Braves.  Boggs walked in the three-run third inning, and that was all the Yankees needed.  During the Championship celebration, Boggs left the dogpile in one of the most iconic moments in Yankee history, jumped on the back of one of the police horses, and rounded the warning track in celebration of the victory.

2. Graig Nettles

Graig Nettles won of the finest defenders at the hot corner. He won two Gold Gloves at the position but was another player that was overshadowed by Brooks Robinson often considered the best 3rd baseman in all of baseball history.  Graig played an incredible 22 years, 11 with the New York Yankees.  Although not the best hitter on the club, he did hit 250 home runs as a Yankee.  Nettles’ Game Three defensive performance in the 1978 World Series was as good a post-season game as any fielder ever had.

Nettles sizzled in the 1981 American League Championship Series, going 6-for-12 with 9 RBI in just three games and being named MVP.  His defensive and offensive leadership brought the Yankees two world championships, two more A.L. championships and a fifth division title from 1976 to 1981.  He is a frequent participant in the Yankee Old Timers Day celebrations.

My number one pick for the best New York Yankee 3rd baseman will be somewhat controversial, but I can deal with that.  Many would exclude Alex Rodriguez as the top player or even exclude him from the list due to his involvement in performance-enhancing drugs.  I am not considering that and only looking at his performance at the hot corner while with the Yankees.

1. Alex Rodriguez

This writer had no trouble having Alex Rodriguez top the list of the best Yankees third baseman.  He is one of the top 20 baseball players to ever play the game of baseball and is number one or two as the best shortstop to play the game.  Rodriguez came from the Texas Rangers, where he has his best three years stat-wise.  They are also the years that he was accused of doping.  In this writer’s opinion, if he had not doped, he still would have had superstar status throughout his career.

Graig Nettles had far more appearances at 3rd than Rodriguez, but he had over 1000 games on 3rd and was by far more productive.  After being an eight-year All-Star at short for the Mariners, and the Rangers, A-Rod came to the Yankees and accepted a switch to 3rd base, as the Yankees already had a star shortstop in Derek Jeter.  To show what a universal talent Alex was, he then became a seven-year All-Star at 3rd while becoming a Yankee MVP twice and a Silver Slugger three times. At the close of his career, he was four runs short of 700 home runs 4th all-time behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

Many think that the Yankees got back at A-Rod for his suspension and somewhat bad relations by not letting him finish his 2016 season allowing him to reach 700 home runs.  The other punishment he will endure probably for the rest of his life is that his involvement in enhancing drugs will prevent one of the best players ever from having a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nearing the end of his 22-year career and after his suspension in 2014, he came back to the Yankees and made every effort to regain his reputation by becoming a mentor to younger players and being a leader in the clubhouse.  He finished his career with the Yankees with a .283 batting average and 351 home runs.

During the recent coronavirus, Rodriguez has been giving online baseball classes for children via his Instagram account.  He and Jennifer Lopez has partnered with their new meal-delivery company, Tiller & Hatch, and have donated an entire year’s food to the students of Jacksboro Elementary school and to stock their food pantry.

In selecting my top ten, I valued time with the club, performance as per Baseball-Reference.com.  Peak career performance and performance in postseason play was also a factor. Cheating by both A-Rod and Nettles was weighed.  Special situations like changing career positions were also a consideration.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Reseach.

 

 

New York Mets: Pete Alonso appears on Zoom high school class and you have to see it

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Since there is no baseball, major leaguers are quarantined in their homes. Most of them are doing some light workouts here, some throwing there to keep themselves in shape in case the season starts relatively soon, although that is looking unlikely because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the case of the New York Mets‘ first baseman Pete Alonso, he is finding ways to bring joy to people, and that is a gift in these times of uncertainty.

The Mets’ slugger recently appeared in class! Yes, that’s right: Alonso was an unannounced visitor in a Mr. Berry’s geometry class at Jericho High School on Long Island. The class’ platform was Zoom.

“Figured today we’d switch things up,” Gregory Berry, per SNY, said while introducing the mysterious guest. “Called in some reinforcements and I’m gonna have someone else introduce the lesson. So Pete, take it away.”

Enter Pete Alonso, the Mets’ bringer of joy. His appearance in the class was the result of a charitable donation Berry made.

“What’s up, y’all, it’s Pete Alonso here from the New York Mets,” the first baseman said. “I know you guys are in Mr. Berry’s class and I know he’s teaching geometry. I know he wants me to say something about ‘make sure to learn your cyclic quadrilaterals,’ but I don’t even know what the hell a cyclic quadrilateral is. I don’t even know how to say it right.”

The New York Mets’ star has problems pronouncing “cyclical quadrilateral”

He even joked about not knowing how to pronounce “cyclical quadrilateral” and encouraged the students to stay in school. After that, Alonso gave a shoutout to the school’s baseball team.

“I’m sorry about y’all’s season, boys,” Alonso said. “Quite frankly, this virus sucks. But I can’t wait for you guys to get back to playing again. We’re all gonna power through this together.”

We don’t need to tell you that the students were thrilled to see Pete Alonso on their class.

“Pete Alonso showed up on my geometry class,” one student told News 12. “It made my quarantine.”

“Called in some reinforcements for our Cyclic Quadrilateral lesson! Thank you @Pete_Alonso20 for the intro! Clearly, I am missing @NYMBaseball @SportsCenter #remotelearning #peoplehelpingpeople,” professor Berry wrote in his Twitter account.

New York Giants: Could Dave Gettleman really select Derrick Brown with the 4th overall pick?

New York Giants, Derrick Brown

Auburn DT Derrick Brown has been connected to the New York Giants, but is it realistic?

Whenever Gettleman or Joe Judge jumps on the phone to give the media their dose of smokescreen, everyone seems to forget Derrick Brown was once linked to the New York Giants earlier in the draft process.

Brown is a stud interior defender from Auburn, praised for his immense qualities in stopping the run and plugging holes in the trenches. His undeveloped pass rush is also a positive Gettleman is likely looking at. Still, the reality is, the Giants have far too many needs to allocate more resources toward a defensive tackle.

This offseason Big Blue franchise-tagged Leonard Williams for a nudge over $16 million and drafted Dexter Lawrence in 2019, suggesting that Brown is not in their plans, but is there a chance he could be?

Interior DTs have always enamored Gettleman, and Gettleman’s draft in 2013 attests to that, as he drafted Star Lotulelei and Kawaan Short back to back in the first two rounds. While that was a long time ago, it’s clear he prefers big bodies, which can also push the pocket and log sacks as the season progresses.

Brown is a unique prospect and one of the best players in the upcoming draft — his incredible combination of size and strength makes him a plug and play starter in the trenches. He’s quick off the LOS and fills holes with ferocity. His ability to draw double teams and use his massive arms to clear blockers allows linebackers to jump up and stop runners in their tracks.

Now, you can make the argument that Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Leonard Williams are all similar players and offer matching qualities, to a degree. That’s the primary reason Brown to the Giants makes little sense unless Gettleman is trying to sell high on one of those players.

Williams is on the franchise tag, so expecting any other team to want him at $16 million per season is blasphemous, so we can rule that out. Tomlinson had a stellar 2019 campaign against the run, and he’s a cheaper second-round selection going into a contract year. Replacing him would be ludicrous unless they extended him first to guarantee team control, and Dexter has immense potential as a sophomore in 2020.

From all angles, drafting Brown doesn’t make sense, and with a laundry list full of needs, Gettleman shouldn’t have any positions other than offensive tackle and linebacker on his mind.

Former Yankees and Mets pitcher LaTroy Hawkins has advice for pitchers on how to deal with uncertainty

The current coronavirus outbreak forced MLB to suspend the start of the season, and as of now, there is no timetable for baseball to return. It won’t be before mid-May, and that is looking highly unlikely. For pitchers, the uncertainty provides a difficult thing to navigate given that they won’t know when the league will start, but former Yankees and Mets pitcher LaTroy Hawkins has some interesting pieces of advice.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News interviewed the decorated pitcher, retired in 2015 after 21 seasons in the big show. He dealt with the uncertainty of Major League Baseball’s 1994 and 1995 strike when his career was starting and he was in his early twenties.

“I remember everything being so uncertain,” Hawkins recalled to Ackert. “So that was the toughest part, not knowing when it was going to be over. I didn’t know how much should I prepare. Should I prepare to the point where I’m game ready, which is impossible for me mentally. I think I was getting ready, but trying to keep my bullets and then try to ramp up when they said that we’re getting close.

“It was hard to know what to do,” he said.

The former Yankees and Mets reliever knows what he’s talking about

This year, the scenario is similar, but not quite the same. Either way, it is affecting pitchers greatly, because they are creatures of habits and routines, and this is disrupting their usual routine in the worst possible way: not knowing when they will take the field.

Hawkins, who played for the Yankees back in 2008 and with the Mets in 2013, is now a special assistant to the Twins, where he spent most of his career. His best suggestion for hurlers? Maintain your physical and mental health and keep the arm moving in some way.

“I think the key for those guys is trying to stay in shape, physically, not so much building up or maintaining where they were with their arm. Unless you’ve got a brother or cousin or somebody that you could really throw it and catch a really good fastball and catch all your pitches, it’s not going to help,” Hawkins said. “I just think physically staying in shape and keeping your arm moving. Just doing something to keep your arm moving. I’ve seen guys buy nets and play catch and throw into the net, that’s fine. So that’s possible to be done and can keep the arm loose. But most importantly, you have to stay physically and mentally in shape. You can’t really be locked in, because you don’t know when it’s going to be over.“

His stint with the Yankees (5.71 ERA in 41 innings) didn’t go quite as well as the one with the Mets, where he had a 2.93 ERA in 70.2 frames.

New York Yankees spear-head production of incredibly inspiring Covid-19 video

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees and teams across New York came together to create an inspirational video for citizens of the Big Apple.

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly strained the links of society and affected individuals and communities across New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a strong voice during these times, but the New York Yankees and sports teams across the state have banded together to inspire us while we wait for things to return to normal gradually.

Sports may return sooner than projections have indicated, as the MLB has considered starting up the regular season in Arizona with no fans in attendance. This would include the reworking of each division, but nothing is guaranteed in the coming weeks. New York has seen a steady decline in death tolls, but those numbers are severely delicate and require us to remain patient.

The video below shows clips from the past and inspiring moments that we’ve witnessed and are hungry to enjoy once more. Another positive thing the teams are doing together comes in the form of the ALL IN CHALLENGE. This challenge allows people to bid on incredible gifts, including Giants’ Eli Manning‘s Super Bowl-winning Corvette, batting practice with the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, working out with Saquon Barkley, and batting tips from Alex Rodriguez.

There are many more prizes you can win, but some of them can be expensive, but all of the funds go toward a similar cause, the fight against coronavirus.

What has seemed like a lifetime has actually only been five weeks without sports, which only tells us how influential and significant these games are in our daily lives. The NFL just announced their first case of the coronavirus, which is a problematic situation considering the NFL draft is just one week away. The MLB is taking all precautions and keeping their players safe while health professionals deal with a pandemic, but we could be weeks if not months away from seeing live sporting events. Hopefully, the short inspirational videos give you some solace in the meantime.

 

Gerrit Cole’s passion for wine and how the Yankees used that to their advantage

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees signed star pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract over the winter, securing their “white whale.” But behind that piece of news, there was a lot of hard work done by several members of the organization, including a lot of attention to detail.

Do you want to know one of those details? Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone presented Cole with a bottle of the same wine from his anniversary dinner when he met with the organization at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.

During the meeting, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Cole admired the bottles of 2004 and 2005 Masseto Merlot, which is considered one of the finest red wines in the planet and the same vintages that he and his wife, Amy, enjoyed during their trip to Florence, Italy.

Yankees paid attention to details

“They were the only team that did that,” Cole recalled at George M. Steinbrenner Field during Spring Training. “It was special. It wasn’t the end-all, be-all, but the tone was set that it was going to be more of a personal-touch meeting. I think it’s pretty fascinating; this is a big machine that we have working here, and the fact that they put that attention to detail was meaningful, for sure.”

Of course, the $324 million and the chance to win now and in the future were more important in Cole’s decision to sign with the Yankees. But the conversations that the team had with Lou Cucuzza Jr. about their shared Italian heritage and love for wine was a nice little detail. He recommended the 2004 and 2005 Masseto Merlot.

“To see the look on his and Amy’s face, it was great,” Boone said. “It was something that, I think, carried some sentimental meaning to them, so I think he was a little perplexed about how we figured that out. We give Lou Cucuzza all the credit for that.”

Cole has a family of wine aficionados

Cole’s parents are wine aficionados, too. His father is a certified sommelier and his mother hosts Italian dinners each week.

“My parents always had a glass of wine with dinner,” Cole said. “My dad would have my sister [Erin] and I cook with him on the weekends; we’d make some bigger meals. He was always into pairing wines and stuff. When I signed, I built them a wine room off the house and kind of accelerated his passion from there. I think the history of it is really fascinating in the sense that it’s just grape juice, and we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.”

Cole knows his wine. He can name world regions famous for their wine and recently visited a popular store near Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees’ camp. Looking for new bottles and flavors relaxes him.

“I’ve gotten to know a good handful of producers,” Cole said. “As technical as you can get with some of the ways we can grow grapes, especially in the U.S., some of the best wines in the world are still made by the hands of small organic farmers in the middle of Burgundy or in the middle of Bordeaux. It’s always a good topic of conversation. We’re always looking for something else to talk about other than just baseball.”

New York Yankees Prospects: Alexander Vargas

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Coming in as the 20th ranked prospect in the New York Yankees is a smooth shortstop from Cuba. That prospect would be young Alexander Vargas. Vargas who is just 18 years old, is a very good shortstop prospect who defected from Cuba back in 2018. There was a lot of hype behind him due to the fact that he was playing for Cuba’s 18 and under team at just 15 years old. There was smoke around him and the Reds, but the New York Yankees swooped in and gave him $2.5 million which tells you a lot about what the Yankees think of Vargas as a prospect. I’ve seen a lot of the infield prospects in the farm system, and Vargas might just be the best defending prospect the Yankees have. Combine his defensive ability with the fact that he’s a switch hitter and you have yourself a very quality prospect. Did I mention his plus speed as well? That might be his best attribute of all with his running ability grading out at a 65 on the 20-80 scale. There is a lot to like about Vargas who made his rookie ball debut for the Yankees last year.

2019 Debut

2019 was a big year for Vargas as he made his professional debut for the Yankees organization. Vargas played in 48 games in rookie ball for the Yankees. In those 48 games, Vargas batted .233 with an OBP of .313. One of the positives is that Vargas was able to swipe 15 bags in those 48 games. There is a lot of reason to believe that Vargas would be a 40+ steals man over the course of a full season. One of the biggest areas of weakness for Vargas at the moment is in the power department and that showed with Vargas only hitting one home run in 193 at-bats. Vargas needs to add a lot of strength and learn how to hit more with his legs. Right now there is not a lot of movement in his swing, but his swing is all in his upper body. There is no power that is being used from the waist down. Vargas is coming in at 5’11 but only weighing 148 LBS. I think the Yankees will focus on adding some weight to him and tweaking his swing over the next couple of years.

What to work on

Vargas was one of the prospects I really had my eye on going into the 2020 season. He’s such a dynamic prospect with his ability to run and his smoothness at the shortstop position. He makes a ton of contact with the bat and just has a great feel for the game overall. The Yankees need to have him add some strength and work on generating power from his legs. While he might never be a huge power guy, it will be important for him to at least threatening teams with the long ball. Vargas isn’t a prospect that you should expect to see anytime soon, but he will definitely be one to keep an eye on whenever the season kicks off in 2020.

Brooklyn Nets should look into bringing in another star to Brooklyn

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets currently stay at a 30-34 record, which has them ranked 7th in the relatively weaker Eastern Conference. With both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being out for the remainder of the season, no one really expected much for the remainder of the season from Brooklyn. But entering next year with what we hope would be a healthy Durant and Kyrie, you’ve got to believe there is going to be a championship mindset in the locker room.

For a long time now people have been speculating if the Nets would search for a third star to pair with the superstar duo in Brooklyn already. Even Kyrie Irving himself came out after a loss to the 76ers and stated, “I feel like we have great pieces, but it’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces”… “we’ll want about all the other stuff, in terms of moving pieces and everything else, as an organization down the line in the summer”.  Kyrie seems to be suggesting that he doesn’t believe there’s enough to win a championship with this already assembled team, and I agree. So it’s clear that the Nets front office may not be done making transactions.

Bradley Beal has been a name in numerous trade rumors, which the Nets have been linked to before. Recent reports suggest Utah might be looking into splitting ways with either Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell, due to a rift in their relationship. Nets don’t have the draft compensation they once did, but they do have a lot of pieces that some teams may find valuable and possibly can work a multi-team trade.

Players I personally believe can be moved around are Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and even Jarrett Allen. These players certainly do bring tons of value to Brooklyn now, but in a package consisting of some or even all these three; Brooklyn can bring in a third star to pair with the already power duo the Nets have. There will be other stars who will enter the trade market in the future, so the Nets should be prepared to have a package ready in hand. As recent history has shown, championship teams usually consist of a somewhat big 3.