With, the Red Sox off to their slowest start in franchise history, pitching in the main area of concern. With Chris Sale struggling /850 ERa and Nathan Eovaldi on the 10_ day disabled list the team may have to look into the farm system for help as the season lingers on. In this post, we will review the organization’s top pitching prospects. Top Red Sox Pitching prospects for 2019 Jason Groome; Jason Groome has been in the Red Sox system for three years. Injuries have taken a toll on the young lefthander. Groome however, is still ranked highly by the teams scouting department. Gromme possesses a strong fastball _curveball to add fastball. Control has been his main issue as he does have a high strikeout ratio. If Groome can work on his command 2019 could be a realistic projection for him to make the rotation. Darwinian Hernandez: The lanky lefthander is perhaps the most likely prospect to be recalled this summer. Hernandez saw a substantial amount of innings in spring training. Look for Hernandez to start the season in Double_ A Portland this season. Hernandez best pitches are his fastball and changeup. If he can work on his command, he may be in the rotation sooner than expected. Bryan Mata: Only 18 years old Mata is one of the top_ ranked prospects in the system. Mata throws a strong fastball and curveball. Projected as a reliever he is rapidly rising through the system. If Mata can stay healthy, he should make the 40 man roster by 2020. TannerHouck: Tanner Houck is the 6th ranked prospect in the organization. A former first_ round draft pick last season Houck quickly climbed the ladder reaching Class A Salem. A strong fastball and curveball Houck needs to work on his control. In one stretch, last season Houck struck out 38 batters in40 innings. Despite an ugly 6.16 ERA Houck is projected to reach the big leagues in 2021. The Future: Despite a poor start the 2019 Red Sox do show some light with their farm system. The organization has resigned lefthander Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi to long term contracts. Also, shortstop Xander Boagaerts has also committed to a long_ term deal. With the team in dead last in the AL East do not be surprised if the organization starts recalling its prospects sooner than expected.
With the 2019 Major League Baseball season underway here is a projection of which teams will be fighting it out in October. The 2018 Boston Red Sox are frontrunners to repeat. In this post, we will examine which team’s will be standing in Oct
Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs
1st Place AL East Boston’ The World Champions had a relatively quiet offseason. General Manager Dave Dombrowski resigned World Series MVP Steve Pearce. and starter Nathan Eovaldi. As of last week, the organization rewarded ace Chris Sale with a five _year contract extension
Bullpen _wise, closer Craig Kimbrel still remains a free agent. As it stands now, the opening day closer remains veteran righthander Matt Barnes.
Offensively; Offensively the team will open the season with the same lineup as last season. Overall, in 2018 the team finished 6th in the league in home runs /208 and 1st in every other department. The only change in the lineup is catcher Sandy Leon who was released in spring training. Wild Card Yankees; The Yankees had a successful 2018 season winning 100 games. In 2018 the Yankees landed the biggest free agent fish n Giancarlo Stanton. Apparently, Stanton was not enough as the team lost to Boston in round one of the playoffs.
This offseason the Yankees were one of the busiest in baseball. The club acquired Seattle southpaw James Paxton. Resigned JA Haap and Zach Britton. Also coming to terms were infielder Troy Tulowitzki, Outfielder Andrew McCutcheon, Infielder DJ LaMahieu pitchers Lace Lynn and Gio Gonzalez. The Yankees will be serious challengers to the Red Sox as the club added depth to their 2019 roster. One thing is for certain they will be active at the trade deadline.
AL Central Minnesota; This may seem a long shot but the Twins are committed to winning. First_year manager Rocco Baldelli takes a team that finished in third place a year ago with visions of a championship.
In the offseason, the Twins added CJ Cron, Nelson Cruz, and infielder Johnathan Schoop. With an established pitching staff and deep bullpen look for the club to be the surprise of the American League.
Offensively the Twins have a talented group of Max Kepler, MIguel Sano, and outfielder Byron Buxton. Despite Joe Mauer, retiring Twins fans have high hopes for a serious championship run. AL West Houston Astros; The Astros won five games less than the Red Sox in2018 finishing 103-59 and a 636 winning percentage. Considering the fact that they lost starter Charlie Morton to Tampa Bay, they still have an intriguing pitching staff. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole give the Astros a reliable one and two punch. Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock round out the staff. As for depth, the club has two studs ready in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley should join the staff at some point
Peacock rounds out the staff. Depth_ wise, the team has two young studs in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley will be recalled at some point during the season.
The organization announced that they had resigned pitcher Justin Verlander and third baseman Alex Bregman to contract extensions. Despite losing Marwin Gonzalez in free agency, they still have plenty of punch with Jose Altuve and George Springer
Tuesday, March 12th marks the opening round of the 2019 Men’s College Basketball Championship. Otherwise known as March Madness. Like every year there are surprises. Last season, for example, Virginia lost in the first round to Wofford. This season the Cavaliers are ranked number one and hope to redeem themselves this season. In this post, we will examine the final eight team in this year’s tournament.
Sizing Up the 2019 Men’s March Madness Contenders
No. Eight Tennessee; The Volunteers have been one of the most surprising teams this season. Coming on strong the past two weeks they find themselves a number 2 seed in the East
The strengths of the Volunteers is their experience. The starters are mostly all upperclassman led by junior guard Admiral Schofield. Schofield’s strengths are his defense and three _point shooting. Other players to watch are Grant Williams, Jordan Bove, and Lamont Turner. Defensively and rebounding wise the Volunteers are one of the best in the country in these categories.
No.7 Virginia; Learning from experience may be the theme of this year’s Cavalier squad. Last season, the Cavaliers were out in the first round by Wofford after finishing 2018 at number one.
If the Cavaliers are going to make a statement, it will have to be done with their defense. Overall, the team was number one on defense give up 54 points per game. With a deep shooting group of De”Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome are one of the best three _point shooting groups in the nation. If the Cavaliers can hit the three_ pointer consistently, they will be in the fight.
No 6 Wisconsin: The Badgers have a history of getting out in front of the tournament early but fall to the stronger teams. This year’s team had a successful season finishing 21-9. Wisconsin is led by one of the best big men in the country in Ethan Happ. Another strong characteristic is their three_ point shooting.
Guards Brad Davison, Nate Reuvers, Brevin Prezi, and Tal Strickland are the best three_ point shooting group in the Tournament.
No 6 Texas Tech; Texas Tech 26-5 is another team that jumps out early and loses in the mid_ round. Outside of Guards Matt Mooney,Jarrett Clarke, Davide Marretti, Texas Tech will not make to much noise.
No. 5 Kansas State; Kansas State finished up the regular season with an impressive 69-58- win over Oklahoma St. Some argue that Oklahoma is the better team but the fact is Kansas State finished the year with a win.
A solid defensive team Kansas State is led by a strong group of Kamu Stoker, Xavier Speed, and Barry Brown. This team had a successful campaign finishing 14-4 in the competitive Big Ten.
No. 4 North Carolina; The Tar Heels finished the regular season at 25-5. Unlike, other team’s North Carolina is in it until the end. This season will be no exception. A young group led by guard Cameron Johnson, Colby White, and Luke Maye. Do not be surprised if they make it to the championship.
No 3 Kentucky; Despite an up and down season the Wildcats finished 26-5 and are a number one seed going into the tournament. One of the youngest team’s in the country we will see how serious they are.
No.2 Gonzaga; Like, every season the Zags are always in the competition. The29-2 Zags are a real threat to win the whole tournament This year the club is led by Rul Hachimura and his 46%three point shooting. Guards Brandon Clarke and Josh Perkins are outstanding shooters.
No 1 Duke; Even if All American Zion Williamson does not return because injury, they are loaded. The Blue Devils have one of the most talented backcourts in the nation in Tre’ Jones, RJ Barrett, Cameron Reddish, and Marques Bolden. Look for Duke to be National Champions for 2019.
With the Patriots recording their sixth Super Bowl title, the offseason frenzy officially begins. The Patriots who have plenty of cap space have a league _high 12 draft picks awarded to them. Overall, they have six picks in the first three rounds. One first, two seconds and three_ thirds. In this post, we will discuss three areas the team needs to focus on this offseason.
Patriots 2019 Offseason Needs
Draft A Quarterback; With Tom Brady getting better with age the organization has a four_ year window to develop Brady’s successor. The team’s best bet is to draft a quarterback and have him under team control for five years. Signing a free agent quarterback would be risky as long as Brady stays healthy.
Three quarterbacks who may be available at pick 31 are Brett Rypien of Boise State and Shea Patterson of Michigan. Rypien threw for 10,000 yards passing in four years at Boise State. Shea Patterson of Michigan may also be available at 31. Patterson impressed scouts as he 65 % of his passes in four years at Michigan. We all know the last quarterback the Patriots took from Michigan in 1999. Other possibilities may be Daniel Jones of Duke or Jake Browning of Washington. Jones ‘s stock may drop due to a knee injury he suffered in the second game last season.
Draft A Safety; Just after the Super Bowl veteran Devin McCourty considered retirement. In the past, the Patriots have drafted great safeties such as Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather. Some names to keep an eye on are Deionte Thompson of Alabama, Chauncey GardenJohnson of Florida, and Nasir Adderley of Delaware. Out of the three Adderley has the best skill set. Adderley is excellent in zone coverage and is a projected 1st round pick.
Edge Rusher; The Patriots defense ranked 15th in the NFL last year. They stopped the Rams run game in the Super Bowl. Adding another edge rusher can never hurt. The current linebacking group of Donta Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Trey Flowers, Johnathan Simon, and Elandon Roberts could use an extra body. Some names to keep an eye on are Josh Allen of Kentucky, Nick Bosa of Ohio State, Jachai Polite of Florida. Depending on who is available look for the Patriots to select Josh Allen of Kentucky. Allen finished his career with 224 tackles,15 forced fumbles, and 31 career sacks.
Free Agency; With free agency starting March 1st the Patriots will be searching for a tight end and Receiver help. Some players who could be available for the right price are Jesse James of the Steelers, Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Antonio Gates of the Chargers. Benjamin Watson of New Orleans is also a possibility. James can play both receiver and tight end. Depending on Rob Gronkowski’s decision on retirement look for Belichick to stockpile in this department.
As the second half of the 2019 NBA season approaches, the Boston Celtics need to focus on winning. With, rumors of Kyrie Irving leaving and Pelicans star Anthony Davis demanding to be traded winning is secondary. In this post, we will review three areas why the team needs to focus on winning rather than trade talk.
Celtics Need To Focus On Winning
Less Finger pointing; Since the start of the season, the Celtics have been at the center of finger _pointing. Guard Terry Rozier was complaining frequently regarding his lack of playing time. Forwards Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown were having a heated argument in a game just before the All_Star break Head coach, Brad Stevens has been criticized by the media for not being tough enough on his players. Last season at this time the Celtics were in first place without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Fans have been waiting patiently for Hayward to play at his full potential.
Team Lacks Leadership; At the midway point of the season, the Celtics find themselves tied in fourth place with Philadelphia in the NBA East. So far this season, it has all been Kyrie Irving. Irving has been averaging 25 30 points a game regularly forward Gordon Hayward has been mediocre since coming off a season _ending 2018 injury. If the Celtics expect to reach the finals, it will be done with teamwork and leadership rather than finger pointing. Balanced Attack; With the second half of the season about to start, the Celtics find themselves tied for fourth place in the NBA East with Philadelphia. Considering all the drama, the team has a well balanced_ attack. Outside of Kyrie Irving’s 25 points a game, the club has been getting valuable performances from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris. Jaylen Brown is improving while playing on the second unit. Overall, the club ranks ninth on offense and fifth on defense. Playing together is the only way they can reach the NBA finals.
Experienced Group; With three- quarters of the NHL season over, the team’s defence ranks second in the league in goals allowed. As the third-year coach, Bruce Cassidy rotates goalies Tuukka Rask, and Jaraslov Halak the Bruins have held onto fourth place in the NHL East.
The defensive group of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon, Carlo, John Moore Kevan Miller, Steven Kampfer, and Torey Rug.. have remained fairly healthy. Early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara the Bruins defence has been one of the best in hockey.
Except for John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the group has been together for five years or longer. At 42 years old Zdeno Chara is a valuable member of the clubs power play. Veteran Torey Krug is having a solid season by logging 44 games played and 5 goals and 33 assists. Krug is also an essential member of the Bruins power play. Sixty Minutes Of Hockey; One area the team needs to focus on is consistency. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the LA Kings the Bruins fell apart in the third period. Future Hall Of Fame winger Patrice Bergeron netted the game _winning goal in overtime to beat the Kings. It was also Bergeron’s 1,000 point as a Bruin.
The team has won and lost several close games this season because of a defensive breakdown. In a recent win over Washington, goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Capitals scoreless for three periods and earned his 253 wins as the organizations winningest goalie.
Staying Healthy; Despite early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins have one of the top five defensive units in the NHL. Outside of the Bruins Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minnesota have better defensive units.
Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes every night. If the rest of the defence can stay healthy, the team should be a serious contender going forward.
Looking Ahead; Head coach Bruce Cassidy continues to mix up his lines regularly. Keeping goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak fresh will be another factor for a successful Stanley Cup run
This Sunday the Patriots will be in pursuit of their sixth Super Bowl title. Only one other team the, Pittsburgh Steelers, have six Super Bowl wins. Last year, the decision not to play Malcolm Butler affected their performance. In this post, we will examine three areas that will bring the Lombardi trophy back to Foxborough. Three Strategies For the Patriots To achieve Their Sixth Super Title
Final prediction; If all goes according to plan the Patriots should win by a close margin 31-27. Brady should be able to throw against AqibTalib, Marcus Peters and John Johnson. Linebacker Dante Fowler is one of the games best.
The 2019 MLB Free Agency season is still very much alive. Thus far, teams have been focusing on pitching primarily relief pitching. Several examples are the Mets acquiring closer Edwin Diaz from Seattle. Relievers Zach Britton, Doug Robertson and Adam Octavio, are all signed for next season. In this article, we will discuss three pitchers still on the market who could bolster the Red Sox bullpen in 2019. Three Free Agent Pitchers Still Available Who Could Help The Red Sox In 2019
Ryan Madson; The nine-year veteran is still one of the most attractive pitchers left on the free agent market. With the loss of setup man, Joe Kelly to the Dodgers Madson is a perfect fit.
For seven million dollars per year, Madson brings a 7-1 postseason record to the table and 1 World Series win under his belt. The Red Sox are very familiar with Madson with his World Series appearances in 2018.
Sergio Romo; If the organization cannot come to terms with Craig Kimbrel the next logical solution maybe Sergio Romo. Romo the former San Francisco Giants pitcher has an impressive 30-31 career record and 109 lifetime saves. At, thirty- five years old Romo had an effective 2018 posting a 3-4 record and 25 saves. The price for Craig Kimbrel may be too high for the Red Sox to agree on. Look for Romo to stay in the AL East after spending the last two seasons with Tampa Bay.
Craig Kimbrel; As free agency approaches the end of January, Craig Kimbrel is still available on the open market. The eight_ year veteran compiled a 5-2 record last season plus, 42 saves. Although Kimbrel was inconsistent in the second half he still was a valuable contributor in the postseason.
At the beginning of free agency General Manager, Dave Dombrowski presented Kimbrel with an offer. With Kimbrel seeking a six _year offer, the real picture is a two-year deal. In eight years Kimbrel has a record of 31-19 and 333 career saves. At this stage of free agency look for Craig Kimbrel to sign elsewhere.
The Red Sox In 2019; So far, this offseason the only notable signings were pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Stephen Pearce,. and signed league MVP Mookie Betts to a one-year contract. With free agency waning down, look for the club to add a reliever or two.
Now that the first round of the 2018 NFL Divisional round is history, Patriot fans have a week to think about the upcoming AFC Championship. Sunday, the Patriots will meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City. Earlier in the season, the Patriots squeaked by the Chiefs43-40 in Foxborough, Mass Sunday’s 40-28 thrashing of the Chargers marked Bill Belichick’s 40th post _season game as a head coach. In this post, we will examine three reasons why The Patriots are a model organization. Three Reasons The Patriots Are A Model Organization
Surrounded By Great Players Since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000 the organization has a 5-3 Super Bowl record and nine AFC Tile wins. One of the main reasons for the Patriots success has been Tom Brady. Brady drafted number 199 in the 2000 draft has been calling the signals. In nineteen years Brady and Belichick have transformed the Patriots into one of the most successful organizations in professional sports. Outside of Brady, Belichick has drafted players such as Tedy Bruschi, Chandler Jones, Logan Mankins, Rob Gronkowski Vince Wilfork and most recently, running back Sony Michel. Belichick has often been critcized for his trading down method so the organization can receive a greater value for his pick. Throughout his tenure as Patriots head coach the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs ten years in a row
Superior Coaching; Since Belichick took over the team to the playoffs 2000 the team has seen a mass exodus of coaches leave to coach elsewhere. Notable names are Texans coach Bill O’Brien, Mike Vrabel of Tennessee Eric Mangini left to coach the New York Jets. Last season defensive coordinator Matt Patricia agreed to coach Detroit Also, last season offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels agreed to coach Indianapolis. Just after agreeing to coach the Colts McDaniels declined the offer and stayed with New England. The most recent coach to move on was longtime defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Flores agreed to coach Miami.
The Value Factor; Anyone who follows Belichick is familiar with his strategy of getting value. Throughout the years Belichick has traded First_ Round picks for middle round picks. The idea is to get the most out of a player for a reasonable price. Recent examples of this strategy are trading linebacker Chandler Jones was a First_ Round pick in 2012 who was dealt to the Browns for linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy has since been an integral part of the team’s defense.
The Future; After last year’s Super Bowl loss, many fans thought the regime was coming to an end. In 2018 Tom Brady threw for 4,355 yards 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. As long as Tom Brady can stay healthy the dynasty will continue. This coming Sunday will feature a rookie quarterback in Patrick Mahomes versus one on the greatest of all time.
The 2018/19 Boston Celtics have been a victim of inconsistency. Poor shooting from the field has the Celtics hovering in third place in the NBA East. Despite coming off an eight winning streak the team can’t find an identity. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics Need to Avoid any potential identity crisis.
Celtics Need To Avoid Any Potential Identity Crisis Dominant Kyrie Irving; Considering the fact that the Celtics rank 10th in the league the offensive category they still lack a balanced attack from both the first and second units. Irving has been averaging 16 points per game followed by Jayson Tatum 16points and Marcus Morris 15 points per game. Recently, head coach Brad Stevens announced that Jaylen Brown has been demoted to the second unit. Brown has also suffered injuries sustained from an early season concussion. Brown has been criticized heavily by the Boston media for not playing up to his potential. If the club expects to move ahead of Philadelphia and Toronto then Brown needs to step up his game. Inconsistency from the field; Anybody who has been watching the Celtics knows that they’ve been terribly inconsistent from the field. Some nights their either hot and other nights their ice cold. Especially from the three_ point area the Celtics have struggled and lost games due to poor shooting. Terry Rozier the team’s leader off the bench has only been averaging 10 points per game and has been complaining about his lack of minutes. Last season for, example Rozier took over for the injured Kyrie Irving and was a major factor in the teams post _ season success. A Rash of Injuries; One of the reasons that Brad Stevens is one of the leagues best coaches is how he utilizes his players. Injuries are part of every sport. This season the Celtics have seen their share. Injuries to Aron Baynes, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown. Gordon Hayward is still working his way back into form, from season_ ending last season. If the organization hopes to reach the finals a healthy Celtics team is a must. Looking Ahead; If the Celtics expect to make a run for the Finals they need to make a statement now. Third place in the East is a far cry from last seasons first_place finish. Before they have any hopes of the Finals they need to overcome Philadelphia and Toronto, first.