New York Yankees: The organization reveals its player development plan in times of COVID-19

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

For months, many of us focused on whether major league baseball games would be played or not. The season ended up happening, thankfully. However, minor league baseball suffered a different fate. High officials concluded that the conditions, because of the coronavirus and the labor dispute, just weren’t there to play. As a result, the New York Yankees, and all the other organizations, had to get creative.

That resulted in a lost season for many, many prospects, from a development standpoint. And, for others, it meant a rushed promotion to the major leagues. We saw players with no Triple-A or even Double-A experience get some reps in the bigs in an attempt to develop and hone skills.

Since COVID-19 is still among us, what will the New York Yankees do to ensure that their prospects keep themselves crisp during the offseason?

Around this time of the year, the Yankees would invite some of their best young players to their minor league training complex in Tampa, Fla. There, they would receive additional instruction before the winter. But that won’t be the case thanks to COVID-19.

The Yankees are getting creative

“There’s no leagues, currently. Winter ball will be existing in some countries,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday. “Some players will play winter ball and we will do as much remote coaching as we possibly can despite COVID-19 obviously spiking throughout the country it seems like now. But we’re not going to have an instructional league and our plan is to deploy our coaches throughout the country and stay connected, whether it’s remote or in person on an individual basis throughout the winter.”

It won’t be easy, but the Yankees, at least, appear to have a plan in place to keep developing their young players, even if they won’t be able to given them all at-bats or live innings.

This season, several top Yankees prospects were invited to the alternate training site, to keep themselves fresh and surrounded by baseball. Some of them, including Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia, and Estevan Florial made their big league debut.

Those who weren’t invited to the alternate site had their workouts and progress tracked by coaches via shared documents and video, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media.

Here is the New York Yankees’ plan with Giancarlo Stanton moving forward

Despite being held to one run in the deciding Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees have a formidable offense. Let’s not overreact: they are one of the most explosive batting groups in the big leagues, and they boast top-notch talent almost from top to bottom in the lineup.

And, whenever he was on the field, Giancarlo Stanton was one of the main driving factors behind the Yankees’ offensive excellence. This was evident both in the regular season (.250/.387/.500, .379 wOBA, 143 wRC+) and, especially, in the playoffs (.308/.387/1.038, .542 wOBA, 254 wRC+.)

Stanton put the New York Yankees on his back come postseason time and, in the process, silenced some critics. In just seven games, he hit six home runs and had a .731 isolated power (ISO) mark.

He did it almost exclusively from the designated hitter position. In the last few years, the slugger has been rather injury-prone and the team has elected to protect him. This season, he lost several games due to a hamstring strain, and in the last couple of season, he has been affected by a lot of lower-body ailments.

The Yankees want to protect their slugger

“Given the injuries that we’ve experienced with him thus far, I think it would be a safe bet to focus with him at the DH level,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said according to NJ.com regarding the future position of the powerful slugger.

Stanton, when healthy, is capable of playing a passable left field. However, Cashman and the Yankees’ organization in general don’t want to take any more chances and want him to stay off the field, but in the lineup, as much as possible. The most logical path to achieve that is to make him an everyday designated hitter.

“I don’t think he’s not capable of playing the outfield,” Cashman said. “He’s very athletic and can clearly handle that position. The workload and maintaining his lower-body injuries I would think would be at risk. I would think that our best strategy would be to deploy him on an everyday basis in the DH role like we’ve been doing.”

The Islanders are the perfect place to help Cory Schneider resurrect himself

There seems to be a common theme now when people think about the New York Islanders now — they’ve turned into a goalie factory.

Cory Schneider must see it too.

It’s probably the biggest reason why Schneider, who was bought out by the New Jersey Devils last Thursday, is soon expected to be the newest member of the Isles organization. The veteran goaltender is trying to resurrect his career following a rough couple of years in New Jersey.

At one point, Schneider was one of most reliable goaltenders in the league. He helped get the Devils to the postseason in 2018 and was between the pipes for the team’s only playoff win in the last eight years. But playing behind non-competitive teams, injuries and several demotions to the AHL all played a part in his downfall and led to him becoming a free agent for the first time in his career.

“Obviously it is up to me, you know,” the 34-year-old Schneider said while talking with Corey Masisak of The Athletic NYC.

Choosing the Isles might have been Schneider’s only choice. As reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, his contract only has him making the league minimum $700K.

“I’ve got to go there and play well. It doesn’t just happen because Mitch Korn is there and they’re the Islanders. You have to go do it. If there is an environment that would be good for me as a goalie, I think that is it, so I’m excited.”

Schneider picking Long Island, he might have made the best decision possible for a litany of reasons. For one, he’ll get the opportunity to work with the best of the best.

Goaltending guru Mitch Korn and consultant Piero Greco have earned the reputation around the league as two of the best to not just turn goalies careers around but elevate them to new heights. Just look at what they did with Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss.

Lehner, who spent the 2018-19 season with learning from those two, became a top-5 goalie in the NHL under their and was a Vezina Trophy finalist. Lehner was just awarded a brand new long-term deal with Vegas. Greiss, now with Detroit after he signed over there over weekend, had the worst year of his career in 2017-18. Working with Korn and Greco, they fixed his game and he once again became one of the top 1A-1B guys in the sport.

Some of Semyon Varlamov’s success this past year too can also be contributed to Korn and Greco’s tutelage.

“Yeah, that was obviously another draw,” the Schneider added. “The style they play, the way they play the game. The coaching from Barry Trotz down to Mitch. I think, for a goalie, it is a great place to work on your game and just get back to basics, feel good and play well.”

Schneider mentions the Isles’ style, and he’s not wrong. The structure and emphasis on defense has been their most important key to success. And even though Schneider will most likely be spending his time down in the AHL, that style resonates throughout the organization. He won’t have to worry about facing 40 shots a night like he did with the Devils.

The Islanders also provide the environment which Schneider can thrive in. Trotz and Lamoriello have instilled a family-like atmosphere and that everything is about the team. Schneider is already recognized as one of the true good guys in the NHL and was a pro’s pro even during his struggles in recent years. He has the exact demeanor the organization prides itself on.

We don’t need to mention his relationship g.m. Lou Lamoriello and teammate Andy Greene — who is probably going to be back for next season — but Schneider being a Lou disciple only furthers why he can find success again.

Then there’s this: Winning.

Schneider wants to win. Who doesn’t? The Islanders can help him do that again after her hasn’t experienced much of it in past years. That success can translate into him extending his career and possibly have teams take a shot on him next offseason.

The last few years have really not gone Cory Schneider’s way. But now that has a chance to change.

Joining the Islanders allows him to do that.

It’s the perfect spot for him to resurrect his career and find his game once again.

 

MLB News: Los Angeles Dodgers score record 11 runs in first inning in win over the Braves

The postseason is over after losing game five of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays for the New York Yankees, but there are still things going on in MLB. Last night the Los Angeles Dodgers, two games behind in the NLCS, in their quest for a World Series appearance, scored a record 11 runs in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves. No team has ever scored 11 runs in the first inning of postseason play.

The final score in the game was Dodgers 15 and the Braves 3. Before the Dodger win, the Dodgers were two games behind the Braves, now 1-2 in the seven-game NLCS. They got the win with 5 homers, 13 hits, and 15 runs scored, all in the game’s first 3 innings. The game was held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and was the first series of the year to have fans socially distanced in the stands. During the first inning, many Atlanta fans left for local restaurants.

On the MLB American League side, the Tampa Bay Rays may walk away with the America League Championship tonight as it will be an elimination game for the Houston Astros.  The Rays won the first game in San Diego at Petco Park 2-1. The Rays won game 2, 4-2, and the third game 5-2, putting the Astros in an elimination situation. But the Astros won last night’s game 4-3, starving off elimination, which they again face tonight. The Ray already won the ALCS series from the New York Yankees three games to two, with the Yankees losing the deciding game by just one run.

In other baseball news the Wall Street Journal reported that Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane will soon have a stake in the Boston Red Sox through his company RedBall Acquisition Corp. Since you can’t be involved in running two MLB teams at once, it appears Beane will instead leave baseball entirely — joining Red Sox owner John Henry’s business efforts across other sports (most notably soccer — Henry owns the Liverpool club). During Beane’s time with the Athletics he brought the team to seven division titles since 1998.

 

Did the Yankees already find their future starting catcher?

New York Yankees, Kyle Higashioka

The New York Yankees have plenty of off-season moves to make, but catcher is one that continues to be brought up after every season.

Gary Sanchez simply can’t remain consistent, as he finished the 2020 campaign with a .147 batting average. His slugging percentage and ability to change the game with the long ball has always been his saving grace, but now his defense has become a problem, and his inability to remain in the zone has bubbled to the surface more frequently than not.

He was so poor this past season that the Yankees had no choice but to elevate reserve catcher Kyle Higashioka. Sanchez’s back up eventually stole the starting gig and even became Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. This was evidently a breakout season for Higgy, who slashed .250/.250/.521 with four home runs and 10 RBIs over 16 games.

Management acknowledges that Sanchez struggled this year and that it is fair to ask about the catcher position moving forward.

“It was a struggle for him the first month of the season, just timing was off, chasing a lot, leaving the zone,” manager Aaron Boone stated.

“The loss of playing time [for Sanchez] to a large degree there at the end was more a result of what Higgy was doing,” Boone further explained. “Higgy kept earning more and more opportunities with the way he was swinging the bat and obviously what he brings behind the plate.

The question is, do the Yankees have their future at catcher in Higashioka, and can they continue to rely on Sanchez as an everyday player? Higgy’s fantastic season was only composed of 16 regular-season games, which doesn’t represent a large enough sample size to fully commit.

“So, right now, in what we have with Gary and Higgy is two quality major league catchers and I do still feel like, in Gary’s case, I do feel like his ceiling is really, really special.”

“I think it’s certainly a fair question obviously the way Gary Sanchez’ season transpired, and then the way it ended with Higashioka actually starting in the postseason as many games as he did,” GM Brian Cashman said. “I think it’s one of the discussion points we’re going to have to focus on.”

Cashman fully acknowledged that catcher is a position that needs some attention. They could make a dramatic change and sign JT Realmuto, electing to trade Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez was rumored to be on the trade block during the deadline this past August, and if they still see him as a movable piece, they could target Realmuto on a record deal. While I don’t think the Yankees are too keen on spending that much money, considering they have two catchers they can ride the hot hand with, nothing is impossible.

UFC booking Marvin Vettori – Jacare Souza

The Italian Dream will finally get a big time name in his next UFC contest. Marvin Vettori (15-4-1) is riding a three fight winning streak since fighting to a split decision loss to the current champion, Israel Adesanya. Vettori has looked very solid inside the octagon.

We last saw Vettori when he took on Karl Roberson back at UFC on ESPN 10. That night, Vettori submitted Roberson in the first round of their fight. Since that victory, Vettori has been calling for a big time name in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

However, the promotion struggled to get him a fight. Recently, it was thought that Vettori would be taking on Omari Akhmedov, however those plans have seemingly changed. Vettori’s coach said that the current plan is to take on the legend Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (26-8, 1 NC) at UFC 256.

For Jacare, the fight with Vettori will mark the first fight for him in 2020. The last we saw of Jacare in the UFC was last November when he took on current light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz. That night, Souza lost by split decision.

Solid middleweight clash at UFC 256

Souza will walk into the cage on December 12th at 41 years old. It is pretty clear that he doesn’t have many fight left in his UFC career. However, he can still hang with the best of them as he showed in his last UFC contest.

He still possesses elite skills on the ground, and he can hold his own on the feet. This will be a big test for the Italian Dream. Vettori has been looking for that UFC win that will put him on the map when it comes to the MMA casuals.

He’s been searching for that signature UFC victory. If he can pick up his fourth consecutive win in the UFC and do it against a guy like Jacare, it will say a lot about the path Vettori is on. Who knows, maybe one day he could run it back with the champion.

How the New York Giants can overcome the Washington Football Team in week 6

New York Giants, Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants are heading into a competitive matchup against the Washington Football Team in week six of the 2020 regular season.

After falling to the Dallas Cowboys, led by Andy Dalton in the second half of the game, Big Blue is trying to come back from an embarrassing loss. Their defense allowed 37 points, and the offense was carried by kicker Graham Gano, as he landed three field goals for 50+ yards, an NFL single-game record since the start of the Super Bowl Era.

Washington represents a below-average team on most fronts. On defense, they are the 22nd overall team in scoring allowed, allowing an average of 28.4 points per game. In total yards, they rank 14th, allowing 356.4 yards. They have a similar problem to the Giants, though, as their offense has struggled so badly and suffered three and outs so frequently, their time of possession is vastly lopsided. Despite being blown out by Dallas, the Giants’ defense ranks eighth in total yards allowed and 18th in points allowed, dropping five spots from 13th after week 4.

However, the Giants have a mercurial defense, capable of much more. Their offense was unable to get going in the second half, giving Dallas way too much time with the football. In addition, the referees blew multiple calls, which put them in a hole later on.

How can the New York Giants overcome the Washington Football Team?

Washington’s strengths lie in its defensive line. Composed of Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, and several other talented interior defenders, the unit is deadly.

The Giants’ offensive line must step up and perform well against this group. Of course, the biggest position battle will be between Thomas and Young, who are both mocked to the Giants on numerous occasions before Washington eventually took the Ohio State pass rusher.

According to PFF, Thomas currently averages a 47.4 pass-blocking grade and 56.9 run-blocking grade to give you a deeper look into this matchup. He has allowed four sacks, 21 hurries, and 28 pressures through five weeks.

Against Dallas in week five, he allowed one sack, eight hurries, and nine pressures. Premier pass rushers have had their way with Thomas this year, which is undoubtedly a bad sign for his development with the Giants.

On the other hand, Young has an overall grade of 72.6, performing well as a pass rusher and run defender. While he only has two sacks this year, he has made nine stops and caused six hurries. He also missed his week four contest and has been dealing with an injury this season. This will be an exciting battle to watch, and the offensive line remains the biggest catalyst for the Giants to walk away with a victory. If they can hold up and do their jobs adequately, Daniel Jones will have the time in the pocket to get the ball to his receivers.

As an added bonus, the Giants’ defensive line must also show up to play. With Washington benching Dwayne Haskins and looking to trade him prior to the deadline, they are set to roll with Kyle Allen.

Washington’s offensive line is also a mess, as Allen went down two times in week five over just 46% of offensive snaps before leaving with a head injury. As long as the pass rushers can get to him and put him on the ground, the Giants will have a great chance of walking away with a victory.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Yankee blame game is in overdrive, fans want answers

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees have lost in the postseason, again! That in itself is not horrific, but the operative word is again. It’s become again and again, and Yankee fans want to know why.  After all, it’s the New York Yankees; expectations are high. The Yankees are supposed to win the division, go to the ALDS and ALCS, and go on to a World Championship in the World Series. For Yankee fans, that hasn’t happened since 2009.

Now that the Yankees have lost again, the blame game’s wheels are rolling at full speed, as fans try to nail down what happened and what went wrong and who or what to blame. The most significant question fans have; is how does a team with one of the lowest payrolls beat the Yankees at every stage of the season.

  • Injuries:  Injuries have played a big part in the New York Yankees’ recent woes. In 2019 they had 38 injuries to 30 players. In this coronavirus shorted season, it was almost as bad, with several key players going on the IL for short periods. In the case of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton long periods make them miss substantial field time.  Add to that the team went the whole season without co-ace Luis Severino and last year’s winningness pitcher Domingo German who was out all season on a domestic violence suspension.
  • Gleyber Torres: After the 2019 season, the Yankees failed to re-sign free agent Didi Gregorius. They instead, decided to go with the young Gleyber Torres, knowing that his defense at short was suspect. That turned out to be true, as Torres committed the second-most errors in baseball. Add to that the 2019 home run leader just didn’t perform at the plate.
  • Aaron Judge: Slugger Aaron Judge is the most recognizable star on the team and for the most part was a no show, particularly late in the season and in the postseason. This is not the first year that the big hulking body of Judge just can’t stay free of injuries. He started out the season, okay hitting 9 home runs. But when he came back from injury, he never hit another home run from August 11 to the end of the season. In the postseason ALDS, he hit .143 in the ALDS, even worse in the ALCS at .111, not exactly superstar numbers. If you really wanted to blame Judge, you could say he was useless, which wouldn’t be far from wrong.
  • Gary Sanchez: Gary Sanchez was another player that was a waste of space in the lineup, and his defense at backstop wasn’t stellar either. Unfortunately for Sanchez, he has taken most of the flack for the team’s poor performance. He did hit 10 home runs, most early in the season, but his play was so bad he ended up getting sat several times as the postseason ended.  The front office brass is now questioning if he will be the New York Yankee catcher next year.
  • Aaron Boone: When you have the highest payroll in baseball, do you hire a manager with absolutely no managerial experience at any level in baseball.  Yes, if you are the Yankees, you do. Although Aaron Boone brought the Yankees to the postseason every year, he has failed in each of those postseason contests. Many fans wonder what Joe Girardi or a Buck Showalter could have done with this team full of stars. There is no question that Boone has made some questionable decisions, especially in the postseason. Is he to blame? The Yankees have made it known that they have no plans on replacing Boone.
  • Brian Cashman: Everyone likes to blame Brian Cashman because he, for the most part, put this team together. The only problem with blaming Cashman is, yes, he hires, but he doesn’t hit or pitch for the team; the players do.
  • Hal Steinbrenner: The final person to blame is the owner; after all, he is responsible for everything. You can’t say he doesn’t spend money to make the team better.  The Yankees have the highest payroll in all of baseball. This past offseason, he put out for the highest-paid baseball pitcher in history.  Yesterday he addressed the Yankee fans.
  • “I’m very disappointed, obviously,” Steinbrenner said during a radio interview. “We invested a lot of time, energy, money into the team last offseason, and we all felt that we had a team that could win a championship, and we failed to do that. We didn’t even come close. So right now, at this point in time, all I can do is apologize to our fans. They deserved a better outcome than they got. Period. I mean, they just did.”

  • Team philosophy: Everyone knows that the New York Yankee is a team built on the home run. The only problem with that is that when they don’t hit home runs, they usually lose.  That is what happened in the ALCS. The Yankees only had 10 home runs in the five-game series, four of them in the first game that they won. But the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the teams with the lowest payroll in baseball, manufactured runs all season long. The Rays beat the pants off the Yankees in the regular season, then took the division from them and, ultimately, the postseason as well.

It’s tough to dissect what is wrong with the Yankees. They spend the money to win a championship. So is it the players, the coaches, or the management? Like most things, it’s probably a combination of flaws. For a team with probably the best lineup in baseball, maybe the team needs a new hitting coach. As far as the players’ health, the Yankees completely revamped that department, hopefully, they will see the fruits of that change this coming season. Probably, the biggest issue that must be addressed in this offseason is that the Yankees must fix their pitching.

The Yankees want no more of this blame game, they just want a 28th World Championship for their club and fans. They will work diligently this offseason, to make that a reality.

Dustin Poirier on UFC’s offer to fight Michael Chandler: ‘That’s a slap in the face’

Currently, the UFC is working on booking Conor McGregor (22-4) against Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) for January of next year. The rematch is expected to headline the promotion’s first PPV event of 2021 after McGregor agreed to the date yesterday.

However, McGregor wasn’t the first or even second opponent the UFC offered Dustin Poirier recently. Originally, Poirier was supposed to fight Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 254. However, the UFC and Poirier couldn’t come to terms financially. 

After that fight fell through, the promotion pivoted to try and book Ferguson against the newly signed Michael Chandler. That fight was not able to be made, and that caused the UFC to come back to Poirier with an offer to fight Michael Chandler.

In an interview yesterday with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Poirier shed some light on why he wasn’t willing to accept the offer on the table to fight Michael Chandler. It appears that Poirier was not going to receive the highest paycheck in the proposed Poirier – Chandler fight.

“I’ve been in the UFC for ten years. I’ve been in eight main events and two PPV main events. This guys gonna come in here and make more money than me. I understand it’s business, but if you want me to fight that fight, you have to step it up. That’s a slap in the face to me,” Poirier told Helwani.

UFC and Poirier were not far apart

Poirier did say earlier in the interview that he didn’t believe the two sides were far apart in their negotiations. He felt confident originally that something would get done between himself and the UFC. However, nothing has materialized to this point.

In Poirier’s last UFC contest, he had a disclosed paycheck of $150,000 to show and $150,000 to win. After winning the fight and winning fight of the night, Poirier walked away with $350,000 the night that he beat Dan Hooker.

Poirier’s comments have given us some insight into the new Michael Chandler deal with the UFC. Poirier is saying that Chandler would be making more money which tells us that the UFC is giving Chandler a higher guarantee to show up to fight.

The UFC and Poirier have not come to terms on a new contract. Fighters sign deals, but the UFC normally adjusts the deals throughout to bump up the pay of their fighters. However, this kind of thing created the situations with Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal earlier this year.

The UFC is within their rights to keep Poirier where he’s at because he signed that deal. However, Poirier is also within his rights to present his case for more money. It’s a tough situation, but with Poirier appearing set to fight Conor McGregor, I’m expecting his next check to be much higher.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: First Base/Left Field Dominic Smith

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

There once was a time where the New York Mets opted to keep Dominic Smith on the bench during the early part of the 2020 season. With Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes clogging potential lineup spots, they could not find playing time for him. Thankfully, Cespedes decided to abandon the team, and Smith became the Mets’ most productive offensive player.

The 2019 season was a sneak preview of what Smith was truly capable of at the big league level. In 2020, he put it all together, hitting .316/.377/.616 with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs, and 21 doubles. Smith’s ability to drive in runs made him a staple in the fourth spot of the order. He hit .333 w/RISP and put the same batting average up with two outs and RISP.

Much like his teammate, Michael Conforto, Smith benefitted from a decrease in launch angle to produce more line drives. Smith’s average launch angle dropped from 15.1 degrees last year to 10.8. This allowed Smith to have a 46.7% hard-hit rate, 13.3% barrel rate, and have 39.3% of his batted balls result in line drives.

Complete Hitter

All of those factors equal a hitter who will put himself in a position to hit for average and for power. Smith also became a hitter who forced pitchers to get him out with the fastball. He batted .388 and .351 on breaking balls and offspeed pitches, respectively. Smith had his lowest average and slugging percentage against the fastball, but it was not enough for pitchers to survive by only throwing the hard stuff.

What made Smith such a successful hitter against the secondary pitches is his ability to let it travel in the zone. Smith’s ability to keep his weight back allowed his barrel to remain in the zone to make solid contact no matter how early or late he was. When a hitter does that, he gives himself the best chance to succeed because he can hit the ball in multiple different locations with that one swing.

Defensive Questions

With the two power-hitting first basemen, Smith and Alonso, it is tough to fit them in the lineup. Smith saw some time in left field and was an expected liability there. He had a -5 fielding runs above average and a negative ultimate zone rating. The numbers are much better at first base, and Smith played his natural position more often during the season’s final month. This was when Alonso had issues with his fielding, and the Mets wanted better outfield defense.

It is impossible to mention Smith’s year without mentioning his leadership on and off the field. He helped lead a walk-off between the Mets and Marlins following the protest going on throughout sports. Smith also spilled his emotions, telling his stories and opinions on what was going on in the country. He is one of the most colorful and genuine personalities on the Mets and one of the best teammates they could ask for.

Smith had a fringe-MVP caliber year, would have been an All-Star, and was named a finalist for the Hank Aaron award. Among NL leaders, he finished second in doubles (21), fourth in slugging percentage (.616), fourth in OPS (.993), tied for fifth in RBIs (42), and eighth in batting average (.316). The toughest part for the Mets comes in finding a position for him to settle into for the 2021 season.

 

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 80 (70), Cannot get much better than what he produced.

Power: 70 (70), Legitimate power to all fields, and it comes with 40+ double capability.

Run: 30 (30), Not fast but certainly quicker than you would expect.

Arm: 45 (45), Great for first base, but the accuracy surpassed the arm strength in the outfield.

Field: 50 (55), Fields what he gets to in the outfield but has gold glove capability at first base.

Overall: 80 (75), It was an unbelievable season, but doing it for a full year is the final test in his growth.