New York Giants: Red flags may affect top linebacker prospect’s odds

new york giants, micah parsons

If the New York Giants go for a defensive player with the number eleven overall pick, Micah Parsons is in the mix to be the one. Parsons, of course, has risen on draft boards off the back of his impressive 2019 season where he was a consensus All-American as well as a First Team All-Big Ten linebacker. But despite those impressive accomplishments, and his promising skillset, off the field concerns may hurt his chances of being taken by the Giants.

Parsons has been involved in incidents dating back to his high school days and was also one of the players named in the hazing controversy around Penn State’s football team, of which the truth is still unclear.

Last year, former PSU defensive back Isaiah Humphries came out accusing his former teammates of hazing him and the situation is apparently behind his transfer to California. In addition to current NFL defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Parsons was also among the players named.

Gross-Matos has found success in the league despite being named in the controversy. But will Parsons be able to do the same?

New York Post says Giants are cautious

According to the New York Post, the Giants have some concerns based on Parsons’ off the field history.

“The Giants are hoping another team takes him, so they don’t have to decide,” a talent evaluator told the outlet.

Another source, a scout, would go into more detail and compared Parsons to a past Giants player with a notorious reputation – Odell Beckham Jr. But overall, the scout had a positive outlook on the player.

“There’s some [concern] because he comes off like Odell Beckham with high-maintenance stuff – like a quarterback playing linebacker. But I’m not worried about Parsons like I was worried about [DeAndre] Baker… He’s going to be a rock star, like an LT. He’s going to play early, he’s going to have success, he’s going to be sitting court-side. Nothing is going to stand in the way of football for Micah.”

The scout said that the red flags shouldn’t stop a team from drafting Parsons.

A bad history for the Giants

The Giants have had a bad track record during the second half of the 2010s when it comes to picking players that will keep their head down and not cause problems. The team released previous first round pick DeAndre Baker due to his off the field legal problems, though that looks like a mistake in hindsight due to Baker being cleared of wrongdoing. They also picked up Aldrick Rosas as a free agent and watched him turn into the starting kicker, only to end up letting him go after his own legal troubles.

Considering personality problems also played into high draft picks Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers not panning out, it’s understandable that the Giants might be nervous when it comes to the character of their pick this year.

With that being said, the Giants shouldn’t rule out Parsons completely. There are, after all, other reports coming out of Penn State that the character issues are overblown. And having already addressed some spots on the offense, the Giants might find Parsons is the best available talent on the defensive side by the time they make their first pick.

Yankees: Aaron Boone plans on using Cole and Higashioka ‘a lot’

New York Yankees, Kyle Higashioka, gerrit cole

The Yankees took down the Blue Jays in the series opener 3-1. A very good outing from Cole and the bullpen gave the Yankees the edge on Monday night. It was the second time we saw the pairing of Cole and Higashioka this season. This is something that has become more common since the end of last season. As it turns out, Higashioka getting the start ended up being the difference.

Higashioka was batting eighth in his second start of the year. He’s always been a catcher more known for his defense as opposed to his offense, but his bat showed up Monday night. He was responsible for all three runs that were batted in. His two-home run and three RBI effort was a much-needed spark for New York offensively. It was another game in which the offense couldn’t string any hits together. This made Higashioka’s presence in the lineup vital for the Yankees. 

Will the pair be used more often?

Aaron Boone was asked after the game about the plan regarding Cole and Higashioka moving forward. A duo that Yankee fans have seen a lot of in Cole’s recent starts. He responded by saying that Higashioka “is going to catch [Cole] a lot.” However, he also said that he still plans to match up Sanchez and Cole as well. A pair that we have seen a lot of in Cole’s time with New York. 

In starts with Sanchez catching, Cole’s line is: 69.1 IP, 53 H, 24 ER, 19 BB, 91 SO, with 14 home runs allowed.

In starts with Higashioka behind the dish, Cole’s line is: 38.1 IP, 25 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 59 SO, with 5 home runs allowed.

Throughout the year, expect Boone to mix things up. He will most likely try and use Higashioka more going forward, but it seems like Sanchez will get his fair share as well. It will be something fans talk about throughout the season. 

Stroman’s Six Shutout Innings Leads Mets to 4-0 Victory Over Phillies

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets carried over the momentum from their walk-off win in game one to a 4-0 victory and a doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Marcus Stroman was a man on a mission after his nine-pitch, rain ruined cameo on Sunday against the Miami Marlins. Stroman pitched six shutout innings but did not get the opportunity to finish the game after spending an extended period of time on the bases.

Stroman did not record as many groundouts as he did in his first start but barely allowed any hard contact. He struck out just three but did a tremendous job of pinpointing his sinker on the inside corner to right-handed hitters. Stroman also had impeccable control with no walks, and only two three-ball counts. In 12 innings to start the season, Stroman has allowed just one run equaling a 0.75 ERA.

Nola? No Problem

The Mets offense gave Phillies starter Aaron Nola fits again but this time managed to drive in the runners they put on base. All the scoring against Nola came in the fourth inning from Jonathan Villar‘s two-run double and Brandon Nimmo‘s first of two RBI singles. Nimmo recorded another two hits in the game to push his average above .400 and his on-base percentage over .500. On the other hand, Nola did strike out seven in five innings but allowed seven hits. His velocity also dipped from 91-92 to 89-90 during his second time through the order.

Believe it or not, the doubleheader sweep pushes the Mets into a first-place tie in the NL East. It certainly is a change in the feeling over the last 48 hours for Mets fans. It is a lesson to the pessimistic Mets fans who were already flailing in disappointment before they even put a digit in the tens column for games played. The Mets also went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position, moving their average in those situations to a respectable number.

The Mets face a familiar foe in Zack Wheeler for the third game of their four-game series. David Peterson looked to rebound from an awful first start of the season against the Phillies, where he allowed six runs in a losing effort. The first pitch from Citi Field is the usual 7:10 p.m. ET start.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees bats silent in 7-3 loss to the Jays

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

The New York Yankees met up with the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Dunedin, Florida, at TD Stadium. The Yankees went 1-2 in the first set that they played at Yankee Stadium. Last night the Yankees won the first game of this three-game set 3 to 1. Tonight the Yankees sent Jameson Taillon out to the mound to help the Yankees win another one. He faced the Jay’s ace Hyun Jin Ryu. In his first start of the season, Taillon had an ERA of 3.68 while striking out seven. Ryu, in his first start, struck out seven in a no-decision against the Texas Rangers.

Ryu faced in the first inning DJ LeMahieu pushed out a single. Giancarlo Stanton hit into the double play. Aaron Judge struck out to end the half for the Yankees. At the bottom, Jameson Taillon faced Marcus Semien ground out. Bo Bichette, with a nine-game hitting streak on the line, flew out to Judge in right. Vlad Guerrero Jr. ground out to Urshela for his second successful play at shortstop to end the scoreless inning. Taillon had an eight-pitch first inning.

The top of the second had Gary Sanchez at the plate leading off against Ryu. He struck out on a ball high out of the strike zone. Aaron Hicks struck out. Rougned Odor struck out, with Ryu striking out the side. Randal Grichuk led off the bottom against Taillon and singled. Cavan Biggio struck out. Gurriel Jr. was hit by a pitch moving Grichuk to second. Rowdy Tellez struck out for the second out. Danny Jansen walked to load the bases. Josh Palacios ground up the middle for a two-run single for Palacios.  Semien ground out to Odor to end the inning, but the Jays picked up two runs. Jays 2 New York Yankees 0.

Gio Urshela led off the third by grounding out. Clint Frazier flew out to third. Jay Bruce, who was manning first tonight, flew out to center for a 1-2-3 inning for Ryu. At the bottom, Bichette went to second on an errant throw from Urshela in another catch that Jay Bruce should have made.  Guerrero Jr. line drove to left. Men on the corners with no outs. Grichuk flew out to Judge, but Bichette scored. Biggio singled. Gurriel Jr. popped out to Urshela for the second out. Tellez grounded to Odor to end the inning. Jays 3 Yankees 0.

At the top of the fourth, DJ LeMahieu struck out. Stanton flew out to Grichuk on the warning track. Judge ground out to short. Ryu continued to dominate the Yankee hitters. At the bottom, Danny Jansen was called out on strikes. Palacios flew out to the wall in right, but Judge was there for the out. Semien got a home run into the right-field stands for the 4 run lead for the Jays. Bichette doubled to right-center. Guerrero Jr. at the plate Bichette made third on a wild pitch. Guerrero Jr. doubled to give Toronto the five-run lead and knocking Taillon out of the game. Lacus Luetge came in and got Grichuk to fly out. Jays 5 Yankees 0.

Ryu ground out Gary Sanchez at the top of the fifth. Hicks singled to left field. Odor hit into a double play to end the half. At the bottom of the fifth, with Luetge still on the mound, Baggio struck out swinging. Gurriel Jr. struck out. Tellez homered over the center-field wall for the 6 run Jays lead. Jansen struck out to end the inning, but the Jays picked up another run. Jays 6 Yankees 0.

Gio Urshela led off the sixth, striking out. Frazier was called out on an obvious ball, drawing shouts from the crowd. Bruce had a double to center with two outs. LeMahieu worked a walk for two on and two outs. Stanton chopped back to Ryu to end the half and strand two Yankees. Palacios struck out with Luis Cessa on the mound. Semien was called out on strikes. Bichette lined out to LeMahieu at third to end the inning. Jays 6 Yankees 0.

Aaron Judge ground out to start the seventh inning. Sanchez made it to first on an E5. Aaron hicks doubled to put two on base with only one out.  Odor ground out but got an RBI as the Yankees scored a run from third, and that was it for Ryu, who was dominant through 6.2 innings. He was replaced by David Phelps facing Urshela, who popped out for the final out, but the Yankees put a run on the board. Cessa still on the mound, Guerrero Jr. walked. Grichuk struck out. Biggio singled. Gurriel Jr. hit into the force out. Tellez ground out to end the inning. Jays 6 Yankees 1.

Leading off the eighth was Clint Frazier, and he singled past short. Jay Bruce struck out. LeMahieu reached, and Giancarlo Stanton drove in two for the 3 run Yankee deficit. Aaron Judge, with one on, flew out. Sanchez walked, causing another pitching change. Sanchez tried to get to second and was tagged out for a huge mistake, losing a great opportunity to tie the game up. Albert Abreu came out at the bottom, and Jensen ground out. Palacious walked. Semien walked. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance while Abreu seemed to have lost the way. Bichette had a sac fly driving in another Jays’ run. Geurrero Jr. struck out. Jays 7 Yankees 3.

With last licks on the line for the New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks singled. Odor hit into a double play. Urshela singled. The play was put under review, and the call was overturned to end the game—final score Toronto Blue Jays 7 and the New York Yankees 3. Hyun Jin Ryu was the winning pitcher, and Jameson Taillon the loser. The Yankees developed a pulse in the late innings, but there were mistakes, and it wasn’t enough.

Shesterkin’s First Career Shutout leads the New York Rangers to Victory

Igor Shesterkin recorded his first career NHL shutout in leading the New York Rangers past the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Shesterkin stopped all 27 shots that he faced.

Shesterkin came out ready to play as he stopped Jesper Bratt with his right pad on a breakaway attempt 22 seconds into the first. He later denied Miles Wood with his blocker on a breakaway attempt at 4:16 of the second period.

Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring for the Rangers with a goal at 7:02 of the first period. He has registered 12 goals since Mar. 17, which is the most in the NHL over that span. He also has scored 12 goals in his last 15 games.

Artemi Panarin scored the second goal, playing in his 100th game as a New York Ranger. That goal gives him 138 total points, passing Mark Messier for the most points by a player in their first 100 career games with the Blueshirts.

Adam Fox had assists on both the Panarin and Zibanejad goals. Not counting what Victor Hedman did tonight, Fox leads NHL defensemen in assists (33) and points (38) this season.

Pavel Buchnevich added an empty-net goal to round out the Ranger scoring. Buchnevich’s score was the 20,000th goal in New York Rangers history. They join the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings to reach the milestone.

Shesterkin was outstanding in goal for the New York Rangers

In his post-game interview, Jacob Trouba had nothing but praise for his goaltender. “He’s been good. Ever since he got here, he has been a top-of-the-line goalie. Every night he seems to make some saves that you don’t expect a goalie to make and usually that is the difference in a game.”

“Igor has been great,” Zibanejad added in his post-game Zoom conference. “It was unbelievable last year as well. I feel that he gives us a chance to win games every night. He comes up with big saves at the right time.”

Shesterkin was pleased and humbled by his first career shutout. “It obviously means a lot,” Shesterkin said in his Zoom conference.  “I want to thank all the players who played in front of me and blocked shots all game, especially at the end when it was so meaningful to me to get this win and the shutout. They did it for me and I’m thankful.”

The two teams will meet for the second game of their four-game series Thursday night at MSG.

 

 

 

 

Villar Caps Off Comeback With Walk-Off Single in 4-3 Victory

The New York Mets sleepwalking offense desperately needed something to wake themselves up, and they finally found it their 4-3 walk-off win. It looked like the Mets would play in another miserable doubleheader after the Philadelphia Phillies took the lead in the top half of the inning, but there was no quit in them. Against closer Hector Neris, Pete Alonso led off the eighth with a lined single to tie the game, and Jonathan Villar‘s bases-loaded single brought the Mets back to .500.

The eighth inning started ugly as Trevor May ran into tough luck. James McCann‘s passed ball led to runners on second and third, then Didi Gregorious’s squib single allowed the Phillies to take a 3-2 lead. Miguel Castro suffered a similar fate when he allowed an infield single to Jean Segura, which allowed the Phillies to tie the game in the sixth inning. Both May and Castro were dominant in their outings and are proving to be their best relievers early in the season.

Sky WalKKKKKKKKer

Taijuan Walker had the strikeout pitch working as he recorded eight in 4.1 innings pitched. Due to the urgency of a seven-inning game, manager Luis Rojas opted not to stretch him out. Walker continued to show a fastball in the mid-90s, and he featured a slider which became his best secondary pitch.

Dominic Smith also made an impact both with the bat and with his mouth. His 2-run home run provided all the offense against Phillies starter Chase Anderson. It was his second one off of Anderson this season, except this one came on a fastball that was actually in the strike zone. When Jose Alvarado threw two consecutive up and in pitches to Michael Conforto, the latter drilling him on the hand, Smith was vocal toward Alvarado to cut it out. No altercation resulted from it, but it was clear that Smith was not happy with Alvarado’s lack of control at 99-100 mph.

Game two of the doubleheader will begin at 8:05 p.m. and features a good pitching matchup. Marcus Stroman faces Aaron Nola in the nightcap.

New York Giants: Why trading down for an edge rusher in round one makes sense

The New York Giants are preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft. New York has set itself up nicely for the draft with a successful free agency period. The Giants made some splash signings, landing top-of-the-market wide receiver Kenny Golladay and solid tight end Kyle Rudolph, along with their new CB2 in Adoree’ Jackson.

The Giants addressed most of their needs in free agency and plugged those holes. But there is one glaring positional weakness on the defensive side of the ball that the Giants still have not fully addressed. New York does have a stable of solid edge rushers, but no singular standout option off the edge.

Many predict that New York will select an edge rusher with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, the fan base does not seem too warm to that idea. This year’s edge class is thin and filled with controversy. If the New York Giants really want to address the edge rusher position in round one, they should do so in a trade-down scenario.

Why trading down makes sense

There are talented edge rushers in this year’s draft class. However, there are not many edge prospects that are widely considered to be top-ten talents or even talents worthy of being selected eleventh overall. If New York takes an edge rusher at eleven, they’ll be “reaching” to address a significant need. But if the Giants were to trade down into the second half of the first round and select an edge rusher, they would be making a good-value selection.

There are copious amounts of benefits to trading down. If the Giant were to trade down, they would be able to select the player they are targeting at a sufficient value where the level of talent meets the overall selection. But the even greater benefit the Giants would gain by trading down is the addition of extra draft capital.

The Giants could potentially yield an extra second-round pick by trading down. The accumulation of extra draft capital could go a long way for the Giants as they fill out their roster and address any weaknesses entering the 2021 season. Trading down was instrumental for the rebuild of the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. The Giants were interested in trading down from four overall in 2020 but found no buyers. 2021 could be the year that Dave Gettleman finally trades down. And it would make sense for this to also be the year that the Giants invest heavily in the edge rusher position.

Which edge rushers could the Giants target?

There are a few intriguing edge rusher prospects in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Nearly all of these players have draft projections that land them past the first twenty picks. But they are still talented, first-round prospects that would make an instant impact on the Giants’ defense.

Azeez Ojulari

Azeez Ojulari out of Georgia is a draft prospect whose stock has been steadily rising in the past month. The Giants also reportedly have a particular interest in Ojulari. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, New York sent Chris Pettit, their director of college scouting, to scout Ojulari’s Pro Day. Raanan also reports that the Giants are “high on” Ojulari.

Kwity Paye

Jordan Raanan also reports that the Giants are interested in Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye. Raanan was quoted saying this about Paye and Ojulari: “Those two guys I think in particular pique their interest the most… They fit what the Giants are trying to do.”

Gregory Rousseau

There is also a pair of Miami edge rushers to keep an eye on in this year’s draft. Gregory Rousseau is a prospect that has been connected to the Giants frequently. He could have been a legitimate option at eleven overall, but his disappointing Pro Day has caused his draft stock to tumble to the back end of the first round or maybe even the early second round.

Jaelan Phillips

Rousseau’s counterpart, Jaelan Phillips, is looked at by many as the best pure pass-rusher in this draft class. Many view him as a top-ten talent. However, his lengthy and significant injury history is a major red flag that caused most analysts to view Phillips as a round-two prospect. That was until his dominant Pro Day that sent him back to being a first-round prospect. If he stays healthy, Jaelan Phillips could be the steal of the draft for the Giants in a trade-down scenario.

Mets’ Francisco Lindor wants the organization to extend Michael Conforto

New York Mets

The New York Mets acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor back in January, knowing that it would have taken a huge financial commitment to lock him up to a long-term contract. One day before Opening Day, however, both sides were able to hammer out a deal.

The Mets inked the All-Star infielder to a 10-year, $341 million contract extension that will kick in next year. That way, the organization has a new face for, at least, the next decade.

That face, however, wants a teammate to join him among Mets’ players who signed a contract extension in 2021. Outfielder Michael Conforto, like Lindor, has only one year remaining on his commitment with the team. But he hasn’t signed a long-term pact yet.

Will the Mets sign Conforto?

Lindor had told the Mets he wouldn’t negotiate during the regular season. Conforto preferred not to do that, but has been more open to talking even though the 2021 MLB campaign is already under way.

“He’s a good ball player. I told him ‘you’re a good ball player.’ He’s gonna put the numbers up,” Lindor told reporters via Zoom (link to SNY article.) “At the end of the year the numbers will be there no matter what, if he continues to stay healthy, the numbers will be there for sure.

“Enjoy this process, don’t worry about what’s gonna happen. He’s one of the leaders in the Mets organization, so he’s gonna get paid at some point. He’s gonna get what he desires and what he deserves and what God has for him.

“Enjoy every single day. We’re early in the season — there’s a lot of things that can happen. Looking forward to the day he actually — God willing he does sign here, I can say he’s gonna be a teammate of mine for a very long time.”

Before the Mets game on Tuesday, Conforto was mired in an ugly slump. He is hitting .143/.250/.190 with no home runs or RBI.

College teammates the New York Jets should consider for their new QB

The New York Jets are likely set to take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick this month. Adding one of his teammates could work wonders.

For the New York Jets, the easy part ends on draft day.

With the trade of Sam Darnold, it’s all but assured that Gang Green and general manager Joe Douglas will choose a quarterback with the second overall pick of April 29’s NFL Draft proceedings. But then comes the dirty work: grooming him and developing him into a reliable franchise man.

That’s something the Jets have had major trouble with. Their quarterback problems have been well-documented, the franchise slot changing hands more often than the roundball at a New York Knicks game. Darnold joins a list of endless false saviors, a list grown through injuries (Chad Pennington), age (Brett Favre), or simply general inconsistency (too many examples to list). It’s great that Douglas has yielded an embarrassment of draft riches, but he knows that it’s imperative that the right choices are made in those slots.

“We have a lot of opportunity in front of us, 21 picks in the next two drafts, including 10 in the first 3 rounds,” Douglas said of the Jets’ draft future, per notes from the team. “But with that opportunity, we know we have to make the most of it and hit on these picks.”

One way the Jets can smooth out the transition to a new quarterback is to perhaps find some of his teammates, familiar faces in a strange new locale. Though the general consensus appears that the Jets will choose Zach Wilson with their top pick, ESM goes over some of the top throwers and their alma maters to find perfect matches…

If they draft Zach Wilson from BYU

T Brady Christensen

BYU’s offensive fireworks were allowed to commence thanks to stellar protection. Three of their starting blockers, including Christensen, Chandon Herring, and Tristan Hodge, each opted for early entry. Christensen, a consensus 2020 All-American, worked primarily as a left tackle, a spot the Jets did fill in reasonably well with Mekhi Becton, but has been complemented for a strong football IQ that could allow him to make the shift to right. If the Jets don’t address their blocking woes with their extra first-rounder, Christensen could be worth looking into during the Friday session.

TE Matt Bushman

Adding Bushman, whose 2020 was washed away after an injury, would not only put some hit on the current crop of tight ends (namely starter Chris Herndon) but provided a familiar target for Wilson. Their last collaboration came in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve 2019, uniting for 91 yards on six hook-ups. Though lack of his speed and aggressiveness has attracted criticism, Bushman could wind up becoming a serviceable day three find, be it through the draft or free agency afterward.

WR Dax Milne 

Wilson’s favorite 2020 target was Milne by far, a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy (awarded to the nation’s most outstanding walk-on). Milne burst onto the scene with a stellar junior year, respectively ranking seventh and fourth in FBS play with 70 receptions for 1,188 yards. He probably would’ve been better off with an extra year in Provo, but a friendly face could help Wilson learn the offense more quickly, which could prove vital in a shortened preseason (down to three exhibitions after the addition of a 17th regular season game).

If they draft Justin Fields from Ohio State

G Wyatt Davis

Another unanimous All-American (in a season he nearly missed out on, originally declaring for the 2020 draft before the Big Ten opted-in to football antics), Davis should be a target for the Jets at Nos. 23 or 34 whether they draft Fields or not. No matter which thrower the Jets draft at No. 2, he’s going to need protection. A dominant, smart mind like Davis, who brings forth a lot of upside, can help that transition. Davis knows what it’s like to be called upon in unusual situations. His Big Ten debut came in the conference’s 2019 title game and he later partook in the ensuing Rose Bowl win over Washington over his first two collegiate starts.

RB Trey Sermon

In the rare cases that Fields struggled, perhaps the most notable instance coming in December’s conference title game, Sermon had his back. The rusher surged up draft boards during the collegiate postseason, torching Northwestern for a jaw-dropping 331 yards before earning 193 in the Sugar Bowl upset win over Clemson. If the Jets draft Fields, they could look to create some further heat in their running back room, joining fellow young projects like La’mical Perine, Ty Johnson, and Josh Adams.

If they draft Mac Jones from Alabama

C Landon Dickerson

One (of many) thing(s) Sam Darnold was never blessed with in New York was a truly reliable center, often working veteran castaways from elsewhere (I.e. Spencer Long/Jonotthan Harrison). Should the Jets go with the surging Jones (ranked third to San Francisco in Mel Kiper’s latest mock), Dickerson can help him avoid such a conundrum while putting some heat on incumbent Connor McGovern. He hauls a sizable trophy case to his professional destination, including the Rimington Trophy as the best center in college football.

G Deonte Brown

While the Crimson Tide’s skill players may be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock, they have valuable blocking assets that Jones or another can work with. Known for his power and strong run blocking, Brown might have to wait until day three due to length issues and mobility. But he has been know to open holes for the Crimson Tide’s run game and earned rave reviews for his in-line blocking, which would make him invaluable as a goal-line escort.

If they draft Trey Lance from North Dakota State

OL Dillon Radunz

Don’t let the small-school nominee Radunz get lost in a tackle noticeably sized in talent. Radunz got an opportunity to impress amongst elite talent at Mobile’s Senior Bowl. Some scouts have questioned his work ethic, though having a steady leader like Lance to potentially help him out could prove to be grounding. His strength and initial burst have earned positive reviews, and his raw power and talent could propel him to day two status.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankee Top 10’s: Is your favorite one of the 10 best Yankee second baseman? (video)

In the New York Yankees’ rich history of great players, are names like Babe Ruth, Micky Mantle, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jeter, and dozens more.  Over the years, there have been standouts at every position.  2nd base is the one position that deciding the best ever, is the most difficult, because any one of the top four, you could call as number one for varying reasons.  For instance, Tony Lazzeri had the most hits and RBIs.  Robinson Cano had the most power.  Willie Randolph had the most plate appearances and the best WAR.  You get the idea, each had something about them that could be called the best.

The following is this humble writer’s picks for the top ten New York Yankees 2nd baseman:

10. Billy Martin

Martin played six years at second base for the Yankees while hitting .262 with only 30 home runs.  Martin was known more for his managerial career than his playing days.

9. Alfonso Soriano

Soriano had two stints with the Yankees, five years from 1999 to 2003, and from 2013 and 2014 when he retired as a Yankee.  Like so many Yankees, he was not an exclusive second baseman he spent time in the left field. While with the Yankees he batted .276 with 121 home runs

8. Mark Koenig

Mark Koenig is another New York Yankee that played more than one position, he played both second and third base.  He played for the Yankees for six years from 1925.  He had a .285 batting average during those years.  Although he played for twelve years his best years were with the Yankees.

7. Snuffy Stirnweiss

Stirnweiss was a Yankee second baseman from 1943-1949.  Stirnweiss like McDougald shared his stellar defense with short and 3rd base.  He was on three World Series-winning teams and won the batting title in 1945 with 197 hits.

6. Gil McDougald

McDougald would be higher on this list, but he shared duty at shortstop and at 3rd base.  He did spend a considerable amount of time at second and was a good defender.  McDougald spent all ten years of his career with the Yankees being an All-Star five of those years. Gil was Rookie of the Year in 1951.

5. Bobby Richardson

Richardson was probably the second most popular Yankee second baseman behind Willie Randolph.  Bobby was an eight-time All-Star during his entire career playing with the Yankees from 1955-1966.  He was also a Gold Glover five times proving his excellent defense of second base. During 1962 he had 209 hits which is amazing.  The hole in his career that puts him behind Joe Gordon is his inability to hit home runs, only 34 in twelve years.

4. Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon is a bit controversial as he only played for the Yankees for seven years between 1938 and 1946, less than two years while in the military.  The only reason that Gordon scores so highly on this list is his superlative play at 2nd and his home run power.  He managed 153, which is the highest per year of any other Yankee first baseman.

3. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano could have been number one on this list if he had remained with the Yankees for a few more years.  Although he wasn’t the best defender of all time, his power was greater than any other New York Yankee second baseman.  Over his nine years with the Yankees, he had 204 home runs. He also had the highest OPS of Yankee second baseman at .860.  He was a double-hitting machine with 375 in his nine years between 2005-2013.  He was a five-time All-Star and received five Silver Slugger awards.

2. Willie Randolph

Willie Randolph played 13 years at second base for the New York Yankees and had the most runs scored and the second-most most hits of 2nd baseman.  During his years he almost doubled the number of drawn bases on balls of other Yankees.  He drew 119 walks in 1980. Willie manned second base from 1975 to 1988. The only hole in his record that kept me from placing him first, is his low home run count.  Randolph was a six-time All-Star for the Yankees.

1. Tony Lazzeri:

Tony Lazzeri is the second longest-tenured  Yankee 2nd baseman.  Tony played 12 years for the Yankees from 1926 to 1937.  Tony’s defense at 2nd was stellar.  He had more hits than Willie Randolph and had the second-most home runs behind Robinson Cano.  Because he played so long ago, most Yankees fans never saw play.  He had 100 or more RBIs across seven years.  He scored 100 or more runs twice, and he had a batting average over .300 in five of his years.  He is my pick for number one.  It should be noted that All-Star games did not start until 1933, Lazzeri was an All-Star in the first-ever All-Star game.

Honorable mentions

Scott Brosius (1998-2001) Brosius just missed the list due to his short playing time with the New York Yankees, Mike Pagliarulo, a good defender but had a poor batting average, he did hit 60 home runs between 1986-7.  Joe Pepitone shared his play between second and first base. He was a top first baseman. DJ LeMahieu is a two year veteran with the Yankees, but if his play continues as his 2019 Silver Slugger campaign, he will surely find himself on this list in the years to come.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society For American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam