New York Yankees: Analyzing the top three prospects for 2020

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankees are known for their strong farm league system. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and many more have emerged from the Minor Leagues to becoming Major League stars.

YES Network posted the New York Yankees Top-10 Prospects for 2020. There are a few names on this list that we could see coming up to the big leagues next season.

1. RHP Deivi Garcia

Unsurprisingly first on the list, Deivi Garcia is the top-rated prospect in the Yankees organization. At just 20 years old, there’s already talk that he could potentially make a jab at the Yankees’ starting rotation next season.

He finished his 2019 season with unimpressive numbers, but he holds a high impression on the Yankees. Throwing a fastball in the upper 90s, he also features a sharp curveball; and when I mean sharp, I mean he has a spin rate that’s comparable to some of the premier pitchers in the Major Leagues.

General manager Brian Cashman has already said that he’s willing to take a look at Garcia as a potential candidate for next season’s rotation. Even though this is a little bit of a long-shot, Garcia will definitely be considered for a bullpen role.

2. OF Jasson Dominguez

Even though the New York Yankees have one of the best, if not the best, outfields in all of Major League Baseball, 16-year-old Jasson Dominguez has put a though into Cashman’s and Boone’s head for the outfield of the future.

Reported by MLB Pipeline as the top-ranked international prospect in the MLB, Dominguez already looks the part. “Dominguez is the cream of the crop in this year’s class, and one of the best international prospects available in years,” said MLB Pipeline’s Jesse Sanchez. “The 16-year-old Dominican is strong and athletic and has a mature body for his age. Think a teenage Mike Trout.”

To be comparing a 16-year-old to Mike Trout is something serious, and the kid has some serious talent.

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3. RHP Albert Abreu

Finishing his 2019 season in double-A with the Trenton Thunder, Abreu remains one of the top pitching prospects in the Major Leagues. Credited to a 4.28 ERA in 23 games during 2019, Abreu still has a few things he needs to work out but is progressing nicely.

At 24-years-old, he’ll most likely find himself in triple-A next year if he does well.

How the New Rules Will Impact the 2020 New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees have been dead set in forming a team in a particular way. Backload the bullpen and keep minimal bench players. However, the new rules MLB will be implementing for 2020 will drastically affect the Yankees.

For starters, relief pitchers will now be required to face a minimum of 3 batters per appearance. Gone are the days of the lefty/righty specialist that… let’s face it, those guys were a waste of roster space. If you can’t get righty’s out as a pitcher, get your butt back to the minors. This will help strengthen our bullpen so that we only have the BEST pitchers on the roster.

However, the number of pitchers we can have on the roster will be capped. We have had more pitchers in the bullpen than position players in the last 5 years. Now, once the league and players association agree to terms, we will see more position players on the roster than pitchers. Which, after seeing the number of position players we saw on the IL last season… dear God, we need more position players on the active roster. This will result in several tough decisions on who we should keep, and who we’ll have to cut.

The rosters will also expand to 26 players during the regular season, expanding to 27 for doubleheaders. For September, we’ll see only 28 players on the roster.

Who wants to see the end of the 40 man rosters in September, right at the start of the playoff push? Look at the utter collapse we had this September, right at the time when we had to make a concerted push for the best record in baseball! Do you want to live through THAT again?!

So, we’ll have to strengthen our already strong bullpen by making sure we have pitchers who are capable of going MINIMUM one full inning every time. We’ll have to also ensure that the bullpen is ONLY comprised of our strongest pitchers when we cap the number of pitchers we can have on the roster. We’ll also have more room in the dugout for position players by seeing 26 men on the roster throughout the entire season. We’ll also have to make any trade deadline decisions by the summer trade deadline. That’s it! No more waiver trades toward the start of the fall.

I may be cheerfully optimistic, but these are all decisions we needed last year. Look at it this way, we will have more room to ensure Miguel Andujar, Mike Ford, and Clint Frazier are all on the roster as a bare minimum! No more juggling who can stay up or who spends time in the minors. This will reduce the probability we’ll lose someone due to them running out of options, which would result in us likely having to give up a guy like Frazier, Tauchman, or Higashioka.

Bring on the changes. The Yankees need them.

New York Giants: A Peek At The Giants’ 2020 Free Agent Linebacker Options

New York Giants, Kyle Van Noy

The New York Giants are in the second year of a rebuild and need to put an emphasis on fixing their linebacker corps. Rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly was having an excellent season before tearing his ACL, but outside of him, the linebackers have not displayed adequate talent.

Alec Ogletree is also injured and has not been performing up to his contract with the Giants. It is likely that New York will move on from him this offseason. The Giants’ week five matchup was a clear example of how badly they need to improve their linebacker group.

The Giants missed 16 tackles against the Vikings, most in the NFL in week five. Additionally, the Giants’ lowest graded player on defense according to Pro Football Focus was linebacker Nate Stupar with an abysmal 27.4 overall grade. This grade is due to multiple missed tackles and failures in coverage.

It is quite possible that the Giants will look to sign a veteran linebacker mid-season in order to bandage their broken group. There are a few options out there for the Giants to sign, but if they are thinking long-term, they will need to look ahead to the 2020 offseason. Here is a peek at some of the top linebackers that will be available in NFL free agency 2020:

Joe Schobert

Joe Schobert is a 26-year-old linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. He has been an underrated player throughout his career so far but is a definite top ten talent at his position. Joe is an excellent coverage linebacker and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016.

In 2018, Joe Schobert had the second-highest Pro Football Focus coverage grade of all linebackers at 87.7. Joe allowed only 92 yards after the catch in coverage and a 72.4 passer rating when targeted. These stats were both top ten in the NFL.

But Schobert is also a solid pass-rusher for a linebacker. He totaled 3 sacks and 6 quarterback hits in both 2017 and 2018.

Kyle Van Noy

This 29-year-old linebacker made a name for himself during the 2018 playoffs en route to the Patriots’ sixth Super Bowl. Van Noy is an excellent pass-rusher.

In 2018, Kyle Van Noy totaled 47 pressures. Mastermind Patriots coach Bill Belichick used Kyle Van Noy as a pass-rusher disguised as an off-ball linebacker. This allowed Van Noy to be a disruptive pass-rusher and total 3.5 sacks in the 2018 regular season and 4.5 sacks in the 2018 postseason.

According to Pro Football Focus, no off-ball linebacker rushed the passer more than Van Noy with his 275 pass-rush snaps in the regular season. So far in 2019, Van Noy has 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an elite 89.4 overall PFF grade.

Kyle Van Noy would be a perfect addition to the Giants’ defense and could fill two needs for them. The Giants need an off-ball linebacker badly with Alec Ogletree being overpaid and underperforming and Ryan Connelly suffering an ACL injury. Connelly proved he can be the Giants’ starting linebacker, but he and Van Noy would be a nice one-two punch.

Of course, Van Noy has proven to be an important piece of the Patriots’ defense, so it is unlikely they will let him walk in free agency. But if he does hit the open market, this is a productive veteran that the Giants should jump on immediately.

Cory Littleton

Cory Littleton is another young linebacker about to hit free agency. The 26-year-old linebacker is off to a hot start this season. In week one, Littleton made Pro Football Focus‘s Team of the Week after a performance that saw him finish the game with four tackles resulting in a defensive stop, a pass breakup, and an interception.

Pro Football Focus commended Cory for his performance in coverage, stating that Littleton faced a whopping 10 targets in Week 1 and allowed seven of them to be caught. However, it was for a mere 47 yards, and he notched an interception. His 94.1 coverage grade was tops at his position.

Littleton is another player unlikely to hit the open market, but the Rams have spent a lot of money on their talented roster, so they might have to cut ties with their linebacker this offseason. Cory Will receive a nice pay-day if he does hit the open market in 2020. But his coverage ability would sure go along way in fixing the Giants’ defense if they were able to sing him.