Who are the Youngest Players in the MLB


Professional baseball is inundated with youngsters. Due to its massive farm system of minor league teams, players can begin climbing their way up to the big league as teenagers (keep in mind players have to be at least 16 years old to try out for a major league organization). This leads to quite a few fresh faces hoping to make an MLB debut, and although the road to the majors can often take years, there is always a crop of “kids” making their major league debut every season.

Let’s take a look to see how young the youngest MLB players actually are.

Young Sluggers


The youngest player in MLB is Víctor Robles, who plays for the Washington Nationals. The 20-year-old hailed from the Dominican Republic and made his major league debut late in the season on Sept. 7, 2017. Ozzie Albies, also 20, is the second youngest. He plays for the Atlanta Braves and also made his majors debut during the 2017-18 season. The third youngest player is 21-year-old Rafael Devers, who plays for the Boston Red Sox. His big league debut was smack in the middle of summer 2017.

The rest of the 10 youngest MLB players are 21 – not babies, for sure, but not seasoned veterans either. Pitcher Julio Urías (Los Angeles Dodgers) is the fourth youngest player in the majors but hit the bigs in 2016 at age 19. Fifth on the list is Luis Torrens, a backup catcher for the San Diego Padres. Sixth is Magneuris Sierra, who made his debut for the St. Louis Cardinals in early 2017.

The final four are Franklin Barreto (Oakland Athletics), Richard Urena (Toronto Blue Jays), Francis Martes (Houston Astros) and Amed Rosario (New York Mets).

Rising Stars


The 2017 All-Star Game featured greats from both leagues. Here, we highlight the two youngest players on each team’s lineup.

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was the youngest player on the American squad at age 23. Correa earned Rookie of the Year honors after the 2015 season and watched his batting average soar, reaching over 0.300 during the 2016-17 season.

Bryce Harper gets the nod for the youngest player on the National team. Harper, 25, was just 19 when he made his MLB debut for the Washington Nationals. Since then, he’s earned a National League MVP award, and don’t forget that the 2017 All-Star Game wasn’t his first rodeo – he went during his rookie year and the year after and – after missing out in 2014 – went another three consecutive years.

Youngest of the Young


We took a look at the youngest players across the entire major leagues to discover the youngest player on each franchise’s roster. We outlined the top 10 earlier, but there are plenty of youth to go around the rest of the bigs. Raul Mondesi, 22, is one example. The Kansas City Royals player was the first to make his major league debut during the World Series when he was just 20 years old.

Ketel Marté is another youngster, and while he’s definitely not a rookie (the 24-year-old shortstop made his MLB debut in 2015 for the Mariners), the now Arizona Diamondback is still the youngest on his team. Joe Jiminéz, on the other hand, is still a rookie. The right-handed pitcher hurls for the Detroit Tigers and made his MLB debut in 2017.

Other young players include outfielder Nomar Mazara (22, Texas Rangers), who made his major league debut in April 2016, Yoan Moncada (22, Chicago White Sox), and Tyler Wade (22, New York Yankees).

It All Starts Here

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Oldest Players in Sports: NBA


In the NBA – as with most professional sports – time isn’t necessarily on the player’s side as he tears off a page on the calendar every year. While basketball, even at the professional level, doesn’t involve a ton of contact between players, the human body naturally starts to wear out as it ages.

This doesn’t mean, however, that NBA players don’t play into their late 30s and even into their 40s. Here, we checked the rosters of all 30 teams to see who made the list of the oldest players in the NBA.

Ageless Success


The oldest person currently in the league is Kings player Vince Carter. At 40 years old, he’s lived four decades, nearly two of which have been spent playing in the NBA. Carter was drafted by the Golden State Warriors fifth overall in 1998 and has spent time with six teams. He is an eight-time All-Star and was the Rookie of the Year for the 1998-99 season.

Coming in second is none other than San Antonio’s shooting guard Manu Ginóbili. Gino was selected in the second round of the 1999 draft by the Spurs and has remained a prominent player on the roster since.

Dirk Nowitzki is the third oldest NBA player at age 39. He was drafted ninth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998 and immediately traded to Dallas, where he’s remained for his entire 19-year career. Nowitzki is a 13-time All-Star, the 2006-07 MVP, and led the Mavericks to their sole NBA Finals in 2011.  

Fourth on the list is Richard Jefferson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s 37 years old and was also a high draft pick – going 13th overall to the Houston Rockets in 2001 – and similar to Nowitzki, was immediately traded to a new team right after the draft. His new team was the New Jersey Nets, where he spent seven seasons. He eventually made his way to the Cavaliers, where he helped the team grab its sole NBA Finals win in 2016.

The fifth oldest NBA player is Damien Wilkins, age 37. Wilkins was undrafted but was signed by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2004. The veteran player has actually been out of the league for four years (last playing for the Philadelphia 76ers) but was recently signed by the Indiana Pacers.  

No. 6 on our list is Udonis Haslem – suiting up for the Miami Heat at age 37. Haslem has three NBA Finals under his belt with the Heat but had to overcome a few obstacles in his career to get to that point, considering he went undrafted and spent a year playing for Élan Chalon in France.

Jamal Crawford, also age 37, is the seventh oldest NBA player. Crawford was drafted eighth overall in 2000 by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls. Crawford was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award three times and has played for six NBA teams.

The rest of the top 10 include David West (age 37, Golden State Warriors), Nick Collison (age 36, Oklahoma City Thunder), and Joe Johnson (age 36, Utah Jazz).

Aged All-Stars


While the oldest players in the last NBA All-Star Game weren’t that old, they also were not considered to be very young by professional sports standards. Carmelo Anthony, representing the Eastern Conference, was 32 (now age 33), and Marc Gasol, representing the Western Conference, was 32.

Carmelo Anthony, or Melo, has quite a few accolades. Including last year, he’s been selected to 10 All-Star Games over his 14-year career. He was also the NBA scoring champ during the 2012-13 season and was selected to the 2003-04 All-Rookie team. Drafted third overall in 2003 by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony spent the first chunk of his career in The Mile High City and is currently playing for the Knicks, where he’s been for the last seven seasons.

Marc Gasol is a Spanish-born player who has spent his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies (after a post-draft trade). In total, Gasol has appeared in three All-Star Games and was selected as the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected to the 2008-09 All-Rookie team and continues to make an impact in Memphis.

Professionals at Any Age


While some of the oldest players in the NBA aren’t really up there in years at all (yes, the list even includes a player in his 20s), we did look through each team’s roster to highlight the oldest player for each team.

Aside from the top 10 oldest players in the league, one name that stands out almost immediately is Dwyane Wade, the oldest baller on the Chicago Bulls at age 35. Wade played his first 13 seasons with the Miami Heat, where he was a part of three championship teams and was a nearly annual All-Star select with 12 appearances in a row. Wade now plays in Chicago for the Bulls.

Tyson Chandler, age 35, currently suits up for the Phoenix Suns. He was drafted No. 2 overall in 2001 by the Los Angeles Clippers, who subsequently traded him to the Chicago Bulls where he played for five seasons. Over his 16-season career, he’s played for several NBA teams, been an All-Star select in 2013, and an NBA Finals champion in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks.

The youngest “oldest” guy on an NBA team is Evan Turner of the Portland Trail Blazers. At 28, his age indicates that the Trail Blazers are a pretty young team overall. Turner was drafted second overall in 2010 by the 76ers and over his 7-year career has played for four teams.

Grab Some Gear

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Youngest Players in Sports: NFL


Every NFL team is made up of football players of many ages, from aspiring rookies to veterans in the midst of a legendary career. Each spring, the NFL draft adds over 250 hopeful players spread among 32 teams, many of which find themselves with a contract and a promising career. Of course, most rookies are youngsters. Among the NFL, who are the youngest players? Let’s find out.

The NFL’s Youngest Players


First, we’ll head up to the AFC North and the Pittsburgh Steelers to find the youngest player in the league – Juju Smith-Schuster, drafted in the second round (No. 62 overall) in 2017. He’s followed by Marcus Williams, drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2017 (No. 42 overall). Smith-Schuster has seen a little more game time than Williams and is already chasing history as a millennial football superstar.

As an Indianapolis Colts cornerback, Quincy Wilson is the third youngest NFL player. He was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft (No. 46 overall). Fourth is Carolina Panthers wide receiver, Curtis Samuel who was drafted No. 40 overall in 2017. Cincinnati drafted the fifth youngest NFL player, running back Joe Mixon, 48th overall in 2017, and the Browns drafted the sixth youngest player, David Njoku, 29th overall.

The seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th youngest players came in differing rounds in the 2017 draft, but they are all relative newbies in the NFL as they work their way up the depth charts.

Young Pro Bowlers


In 2016, the youngest player on each respective conference’s Pro Bowl team was quite young indeed. For the NFC, the youngest player was insta-star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who barreled his way through opposing teams’ defensive lines all the way to the rushing title in 2016 during his phenomenal rookie year.

On the AFC side, the youngest player in the 2016 Pro Bowl was Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams. In his second season that year, Williams racked up seven sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 68 tackles, and 11 tackles for a loss. Oh, and he also earned the Jets MVP award.

Fresh-Faced Rookies, Team by Team


Let’s step back and look at the youngest players team by team.

There are a couple of rookies on this list waiting for their debut, including Patrick Mahomes II, the youngest player on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, and although he has yet to play a snap in the regular season, he was also a high draft select (No. 10 overall) and is waiting in the wings for his future to unfold.   

The most electric rookie in the NFL right now isn’t on this list, but Kareem Hunt, also on the KC roster, is worth a mention. He leads the NFL in rushing yards (halfway to 1,000 in just four games) and has far outpaced any pre-draft expectations. Another rookie phenom running back worth mentioning is Leonard Fournette, who’s also getting big accolades out of Jacksonville.

Not all of the youngest players on each team are rookies, though – for example, defensive end Joey Bosa, age 22, is the youngest player on the Los Angeles Chargers roster, but he’s in his second season of blowing up blocks and collapsing the pocket. Bosa was a high draft pick in 2016 (3nd overall) and had 10 and a half sacks his debut season (he was also named Defensive Rookie of the Year).

A Promising Future

All of the NFL’s youngest players are enjoying the possibility of an amazing future. Whether they have outstanding rookie seasons or are saving their career seasons for a few years down the road, they have a lot to look forward to.

No matter which NFL team you’re rooting for (or which draft pick you’ve been following since his college playing days), you can find all the gear you need for this glorious fall season of football at Fanatics.com.


Fastball Dominance – MLB Pitching Analysis


The most common pitch thrown by a big league pitcher is a four-seam fastball. Although there are a few variations (two-seam, cutter, and so on), the fastball pitch is designed to blaze the ball by the batter before he can properly react to it, or sneak in some late movement to fool him.

We’re looking to analyze and conclude which pitchers are the most dominant when it comes to throwing specific types of pitches – in this case, the fastball.

Specifically, we’re looking at the statistic called “standardized runs by pitch” – in this case, the standardized runs by four-seam fastballs or wFA/C. This represents the amount of runs that the pitcher saved with their fastball over the course of 100 fastballs thrown.

We’re also using “dominance” as an abstract term to describe how well a pitcher has performed this season. This doesn’t mean they have the best or fastest fastball, but rather that their pitch has been the most difficult to hit.

Heaters and Dominance

Let’s take a look at PITCHf/x data for MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched through Aug. 27, 2017, and see who dominates the fastball pitch.


This scatterplot compares dominance against the percentage of time a pitcher throws a fastball. The ideal location here is the upper left quadrant – it represents pitchers who have had the best pitches and used them most often. As of August 27th, one of the notable pitchers here is Clayton Kershaw, the now 16-win pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who is leading the majors with a 1.95 ERA. Justin Verlander, now of the Houston Astros and Ariel Miranda of the Seattle Mariners are also in this ideal quadrant.

In the lower right quadrant, you’ll find pitchers who haven’t fared well with fastballs, and they’re also not throwing them frequently. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however – they may rely on other pitches. Jason Vargas from the Kansas City Royals, for example, is not known for his fastball, instead relying on other pitches to paint those corners, such as change-ups and sinkers. Masahiro Tanaka from the New York Yankees is in a similar boat – he prefers to throw sliders and splitters.

The upper right quadrant, interestingly, shows pitchers who use the fastball frequently but aren’t necessarily performing well with this pitch. Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles is one example of a high percentage of fastballs paired with results he’d rather not have. Matt Moore from the San Francisco Giants is another pitcher who uses fastballs frequently despite his lack of dominance with this particular pitch.


This chart incorporates the same data but may be a bit clearer to see which pitchers are more dominant with the fastball when compared to their peers. While the top two dominant pitchers have a fastball that reaches blazing speed (Michael Fulmer of the Tigers averages 95.7 mph, and Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox is just slightly behind him at 94.6 mph), not every dominant pitcher throws lightning fastballs, and not every nondominant pitcher has a slow fastball.

This is evident when we check out the third dominant pitcher on the list. R.A. Dickey of the Atlanta Braves is No. 3 here. His fastball average of 83 mph is the opposite of heat – however, Dickey’s favorite pitch is not a fastball. Instead, he relies on knuckleballs, which is understandable due to its deceptive nature and his mastery of the pitch itself.

Toeing the Slab

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MLB Immaculate Innings


There are a few baseball categories that only have a handful of entries – the 3,000 hit club, with 31 members, is one. Another rare feat is the “immaculate innings,” which means a nine-pitch, nine-strike inning. To date, there have only been 89 immaculate innings, and despite this low number, 2017’s had quite the run. Considering it only takes 10 regular baseball games to rack up 90 innings, getting an immaculate inning is extremely rare.

Let’s take a look at immaculate innings over the last century of baseball history so we can better understand how rare indeed they truly are.

Immaculate Innings on the Rise


As the years go by, there seems to be another trend aside from more guys clobbering homers. Glancing over this chart, you can see that the first three decades weren’t teeming with immaculate innings; in fact, there was only one immaculate inning in each decade in these early years.

In the ’20s, there were five immaculate nine-pitch, nine strike innings, the ’50s saw three, and the ’60s and ’70s each saw eight. The number went down in the ’80s (4) and jumped up dramatically in the ’90s (18) followed by 15 in the ’00s. Thus far in the ’10s, there have been 25 immaculate innings, far outpacing the decades of yesteryear.

Immaculate Teams


The National League, by the numbers, has more immaculate innings than the American League – 55 for the NL, compared to 34 for the AL (although the Astros currently play in the American League, they achieved 5 immaculate innings during their time in the National League). In fact, the top team overall with the most immaculate innings is the National League’s Dodgers, who have seven. The second most amount was at the hands of the American League’s Yankees with six.

Two teams are tied with five – the Astros and the Phillies. There are quite a few that have four, including the Brewers, who have one while they were still in the AL and three in the NL. Other teams include the defending World Series champs – the Chicago Cubs – and the Boston Red Sox.

There are also a number of teams with three immaculate innings, including the Royals, Rays, and Giants. Among those with two immaculate innings are the Blue Jays, Mets, Nationals and Tigers. And finally, there are a handful of teams with one immaculate inning, including old-timey teams like the Beaneaters (who are now the Atlanta Braves) as well as current teams like the Mariners and the White Sox.

Throwing Strikes

Immaculate Innings asset_3

Considering how rare an immaculate inning is, it’s not a stretch to realize that it’s difficult for a pitcher to get one at all, much less more than one. Sandy Koufax, flamethrowing southpaw for the Dodgers (both Brooklyn and Los Angeles), managed to throw three immaculate innings during his career.

Lefty Grove is another pitcher who managed to grab an immaculate inning more than once – he performed this feat twice in the same year (1928) for the same team (the Philadelphia Athletics, who are now located in Oakland and are better known as the A’s). Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson also achieved it two times – once for two different teams.

The rest of the players on our list threw an immaculate inning once, which, as we’ve established, is still impressive. Pitchers include Max Scherzer (Nationals), Danny Jackson (Royals), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Rick Porcello (Red Sox), Roger Clemens (Blue Jays), Orel Hershiser (Giants), and Pedro Martinez (Red Sox).

Strike Three, You’re Out!

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Coaching Tree: Ben McAdoo

Ben McAdoo Coaching Tree Header

Ben McAdoo – the current head coach for the New York Giants – hails from Pennsylvania, where he attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State University.

McAdoo’s first football coaching job was at the high school level. He continued to coach at Michigan State University, where he worked as a special teams coach and offensive assistant in 2001. He then worked his way into a position as the offensive line and tight ends coach at Fairfield University, eventually making the leap to the NFL in 2004 after a yearlong stint at the University of Pittsburgh as an offensive assistant.

Ben McAdoo Coaching Influences

Ben McAdoo Head Coaching Influences

Ben McAdoo has an impressive list of coaching credentials on his resume, but his current acumen may be due in part to the vast experience and expertise of the head coaches he coached under before his current position.

His first coaching experience was with the Saints under Jim Haslett, who worked his coaching magic and got the team to the playoffs his first year manning the helm.  

McAdoo also coached under Mike Nolan in 2005 when he was the head coach for the 49ers, but his longest stint with a single head coach was with Green Bay, where he worked under Mike McCarthy for eight seasons. McAdoo’s mentor, Mike McCarthy, finished up his 11th regular season as head honcho of the Packers and led the team to a Super Bowl championship in the 2010 season.

The last coach McAdoo worked under was the venerable Tom Coughlin, who was a longtime coach in the NFL and earned three Super Bowl rings during his tenure with the Giants (one as the wide receivers coach in 1990 and two as the head coach in 2007 and 2011).

Ben McAdoo Coaching Career

Ben McAdoo NFL Coaching Positions

In 2004, McAdoo entered the NFL as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the Saints. But after only one season, he left to work for San Francisco as an assistant offensive line and quality control coach.

McAdoo then left the West Coast after one season and headed to Lambeau Field, where he spent eight seasons with the Packers: six as the tight ends coach and two as the quarterbacks coach.

He joined the Giants staff in 2014 and called the plays as the team’s offensive coordinator. When the legendary Tom Coughlin stepped down as the head coach after 12 seasons and two Super Bowl titles, McAdoo was named the man in charge prior to the 2016 season.

Ben McAdoo Coaching Connections

Ben McAdoo NFL Coaching Connections

There are numerous coaching positions on any given NFL team. In addition to the head coach, the main coordinators (offensive and defensive), and the special teams coach, each respective team unit also tends to have a coach (such as quarterbacks, tight ends, receivers, running backs, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, and secondary). There are also strength and conditioning coaches, and teams may have coaching positions uniquely suited to their needs.

It’s no wonder then that many coaches cross paths professionally as they weave their way through 32 teams. This is certainly the case with McAdoo, who worked closely with his mentor Mike McCarthy as he made his way to his first head coaching job in the 2016 season.

McAdoo first met up with McCarthy during his NFL gig with the Saints. McAdoo was hired as an offensive quality control coach and worked with McCarthy, who was the offensive coordinator. He eventually followed McCarthy to the 49ers – McCarthy reprised his role as offensive coordinator and McAdoo worked as the assistant offensive line and quality control coach.

When McCarthy grabbed the head coaching job for Green Bay, he called on McAdoo yet again, installing him as the tight ends coach. McAdoo remained on staff with the Packers for eight seasons. His work was not overlooked when he left the organization for the New York Giants.

Ben McAdoo's Coaching Tree

It’s not unusual for coaches to cross paths. It’s also not unusual for them to coach against one another, as the 2016 Wild Card Weekend sees McAdoo leading his New York Giants against his mentor, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers.

If you’re a Giants fan, make sure to get all your gear from Fanatics.com, as they have exactly what you need to suit up for the playoffs and beyond.


Where Are They Now? Past Heisman Trophy Winners

The Heisman Trophy is awarded every year to the American college football player “whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” The trophy had a humble beginning, initially called the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy and awarded to its first recipient, Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago, in 1935. Back then, the trophy was awarded to the best player east of the Mississippi, and Berwanger received a telegram from Manhattan’s Downtown Athletic Club informing him of the honor. He didn’t have room for the trophy at his fraternity house, though, so his aunt kept it for him at her home – as a doorstop.

The trophy was renamed for the club’s athletic director the following year, when John W. Heisman passed away. Not only did the award extend to colleges west of the Mississippi at that time, but it’s now become one of the biggest honors a college football player can hope for.

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was named 2016’s Heisman Trophy winner. Jackson is the youngest player to ever receive the trophy and just finished up one of the most impressive college football seasons in Heisman history, which included over 4,900 yards of total offense. He is also the first player to win the trophy with at least 30 touchdown passes and 21 rushing touchdowns.

While Jackson’s professional future is a tale yet to be written, we can look back on the past 10 Heisman winners. Where are they now?

2015: Derrick Henry, Alabama

Derrick Henry, hailing from the University of Alabama, captured the Heisman in 2015. His Heisman season was his junior year, when the running back set the SEC single-season rushing record with 1,986 rushing yards. Henry was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. There, he’s helping shore up the backfield along with recent trade acquisition DeMarco Murray.

2014: Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Marcus Mariota was the first Oregon Duck to win the Heisman Trophy when he earned it in 2014. He was also the first Polynesian athlete to be honored, as well as the first player from the state of Hawaii. His Heisman-winning season was his junior year, when he quarterbacked the Ducks to a 12-1 season while throwing for 3,783 yards and 38 touchdowns. He declared himself for the NFL draft in 2015, and was picked up by Tennessee No. 2 overall in that year’s draft. Now in his second NFL season, he’s bypassed 3,000 yards for the first time as a pro, as he hopes to bring the Titans back to the playoffs this postseason.

2013: Jameis Winston, Florida State

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. At the time, he was the youngest player to receive this honor after a very impressive campaign as a Seminole, becoming the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman and lead his team to a national title in the same season. At the time of the ceremony, his passer rating of 190.04 was a record for Heisman winners.

Winston followed his freshman trophy-winning year with another impressive campaign his sophomore year before declaring for the draft. He was selected No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, which is where he remains today. Winston maxed out over 4,000 yards his first year with the Bucs, and has exceeded that stat this season..

2012: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football,” played college ball at Texas A&M. He was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, which he was awarded after a stellar season as a dual-threat quarterback for the Aggies. In addition to the Heisman, he also received the distinction of being named the SEC Freshman of the Year, as well as the Davey O’Brien winner.

Manziel was drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and only played in the NFL for two seasons before being released after numerous off-field issues led to a strained relationship with his team and the league.

Manziel is not currently signed with a team, but still pops up in the media on occasion. He was spotted tailgating at a CowboysGiants SNF game and was present during the most recent winner’s ceremony.

2011: Robert Griffin III, Baylor

Robert Griffin III, popularly known as “RG3,” won the Heisman in 2011 following his junior season as a Baylor Bear. He narrowly missed passing for 4,000 yards (the final amount was 3,998) and enjoyed an extremely high passer rating. He graduated early from Baylor with a political science degree and was picked up by the Washington Redskins as the No. 2 overall pick in 2012.

His NFL career hasn’t gone the way he’d hoped, however. While his rookie season went quite well (he was the 2012 Rookie of the Year), his subsequent seasons were plagued by injuries, which limited his success and led to a release at the tail end of the 2015 season. He was picked up by the beleaguered Cleveland Browns in hopes he’d bolster the team, but has yet to make much of an impact, partially because he was injured early in the season and missed substantial playing time.

2010: Cam Newton, Auburn

Cam Newton is another rock slinger who nabbed the Heisman Trophy in 2010, having played his Heisman-winning year at Auburn. Auburn wasn’t his first college home, though – in fact, he was the first double-transfer to win the award in Heisman history.

Newton was selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL draft, and he was named Rookie of the Year following his first season. His play continued to improve over the following years, with the high point coming in 2015, when he was named league MVP and led the Panthers to the 2016 Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Newton and Panther fans, they didn’t win the Lombardi Trophy that year, falling to the Denver Broncos.

2009: Mark Ingram, Alabama

Mark Ingram, 2009’s Heisman recipient, was a member of Alabama’s Crimson Tide when he won the honor. Ingram helped Alabama punish opponents and capture the SEC title his sophomore year, rushing for over 1,500 yards and grabbing an additional 322 through the air. He declared for the NFL draft following his junior year, when he was selected 28th overall by the New Orleans Saints.

Ingram still plays running back for the Saints, recently topping 1,000 yards in the 2016 season.

2008: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

Sam Bradford, a quarterback from the Oklahoma Sooners, received the Heisman in 2008. His Heisman year was an outstanding one, as he led the NCAA in scoring, passing for 4,464 yards. His numbers included 48 touchdowns paired with only six interceptions.

His upsides led to a high draft pick – the then-St. Louis Rams drafted the young upstart No. 1 overall. While he nailed the 2010 Rookie of the Year honors, his play was affected by injury, which has led to a couple different teams signing him for his services. He has suffered from a torn ACL twice as a member of the Rams, once in the middle of the 2013 season, and again during the 2014 preseason. He was traded by the Rams to the Eagles prior to the 2015 season, but his career in Philly ended after the team traded up to draft a quarterback No. 2 overall in early 2016. He demanded a trade, and currently throws for the Minnesota Vikings.

2007: Tim Tebow, Florida

Florida QB Tim Tebow became the first sophomore in NCAA history to nab the Heisman Trophy. His trophy-winning season saw him piling up impressive stats, including nearly as many rushing touchdowns (22) as passing (29). He was up for the Heisman after the following two seasons as well, including a third-place finish and a fifth-place finish.

Tebowmania was a very real thing once he entered the 2010 NFL draft, and only intensified after the Denver Broncos selected him 25th overall. While his playing time during his rookie year was infrequent, the following season he helped lead Denver to a thrilling overtime playoff win against the Steelers. After the Broncos signed Peyton Manning during the 2012 offseason, Tebow was traded to the Jets, where he didn’t see much action on the field.

Tebow, interestingly enough, showed an interest in pursuing a Major League Baseball career once his football career fizzled out. Early in 2016, he was signed by the New York Mets and shuffled off to their instructional rookie league.

2006: Troy Smith, Ohio State

Ohio State‘s gunslinger, Troy Smith, led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2006, passing for 2,507 yards while notching an impressive 67 percent completion rate.

He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He didn’t see a ton of playing time during his pro career, even during his stint with the 49ers. He was eventually signed by the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League, and was finally released in 2014.

Making History

Lamar Jackson’s impact on the NFL is yet to be measured, but the wide-ranging success, or lack thereof, of his predecessors indicates that a Heisman Trophy isn’t a surefire indicator that a player will thrive professionally. While some of these players have played their last snap in the NFL, for others, the majority of their legacies remain unwritten.

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Managerial Journeys: Bruce Bochy


Before he won three World Series Championships as the manager of the San Francisco Giants, Bruce Bochy navigated the minor and major leagues as a player. He took lessons learned from behind home plate – as a catcher – and turned them into a successful post-playing career.

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Now with over 20 years of management experience, on top of his almost 15 years as a player, Bochy continues to surprise the baseball world with his continual evolution. But how did he progress from catching in the minors to coaching and winning three World Series with his team? Continue reading to learn about the managerial journey of Bruce Bochy.

Catching Success


Bochy – born in Landes Bussac, France – attended school at Eastern Florida State College where he garnered interest from both the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros. The Houston Astros drafted him in the first round of the 1975 MLB June Draft secondary phase with the 23rd overall pick. He would matriculate through the Astros farm system, playing with Covington, Columbus, Dubuque, and Cocoa before receiving a majors call-up.

He would spend three years in the majors with the Houston Astros, before heading to the New York Mets organization. It would be a one-year stint in their farm system before he’d get a chance at a major league start for the Metropolitans. In fact, Bochy only played 17 games for the Mets, which prompted a move to San Diego to play for the Padres. Over five seasons, he would play more than 200 games for the Padres. After a final year in the minors (1988), Bochy hung up his helmet and looked toward a career in coaching.

Managerial Maestro

Bochy would stay with the Padres organization, going out to coach several of their minor league teams, before ultimately receiving the chance to manage in the big leagues. He took over the Padres in 1995, and just a year later, earned National League Manager of the Year honors. Bochy would only lead the Padres to four postseason appearances during his 12 seasons in charge. He did manage the Padres in a World Series in 1998, losing to the New York Yankees, after having bested the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros in the National League Championship and Division series.

In 2007, Bochy made the move up north to the San Francisco Giants. In four seasons, he would take his side to the World Series – and win. The Giants’ run in 2010 started an on-and-off series of World Series appearances that resulted in the G-Men making it to and winning the World Series every other year from 2010 to 2014. Bochy can happily claim three World Series victories – 2010 over the Texas Rangers, 2012 over the Detroit Tigers, and 2014 over the Kansas City Royals – on his resume now.

Ready for Another One

Given the recent drought after a period of immense success, San Francisco Giants fans are thankful for Bochy’s past achievements but are ready to see him bring another World Series title to the Bay area. Whether you appreciate him more as a player or manager, get the same officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel Bochy wears at Fanatics.com.


MLB Video Game Covers


Players Gracing the Covers

While your favorite MLB team – whether it’s the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, or even the Chicago Cubs – only plays 162 regular season games a year, it’s not always enough. Even a trip from the postseason to the World Series may not entirely quench your thirst for nine more innings of baseball.

Thankfully, video game developers are aware of this need, and titles like “MLB: The Show” give the baseball-obsessed a chance to enjoy the sport year-round. These games, released across different video game systems over the years, allow fans to digitally guide their favorite players and help them achieve a career worthy of Cooperstown.

What baseball positions are most featured on the cover of these games, and who are some of the most famous faces on the packaging? Here’s a look at recent MLB video games and what their covers can tell us.

Select A Team


No player without their own video game franchise (sorry, Ken Griffey Jr.) appeared on more covers than former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He graced the cover of “Major League Baseball 2K5”, “Major League Baseball 2K6,” and “Major League Baseball 2K7” – three consecutive years not just as the face of the Yankees’ franchise but of this particular video game series. Those were some of the best years of Jeter’s career. In 2006, he finished second overall in MVP balloting behind Minnesota Twins player Justin Morneau.

Ken Griffey Jr. was featured on four covers, all from the series using his name and image. While the other players rounding out the top five appeared on two or more covers, only one was a pitcher. Pedro Martínez, a 2004 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and Hall of Famer, lent his visage to the covers of “World Series Baseball 2K1” and “World Series Baseball 2K2.”

Super Sox

Seven video game series have had Boston Red Sox players featured on the cover, the most of any one team. In addition to Pedro, recently retired designated hitter David Ortiz was on the cover of “MLB 06: The Show.” The only currently active Red Sox to appear on a cover was second baseman Dustin Pedroia for “MLB 09: The Show.” Adrian Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra were also Red Sox players when chosen as cover boys.

Two teams – the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays – with only one MLB player on a video game cover have only done so very recently. In the last two years, Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig and Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson shared the responsibility of gracing “MLB: The Shows” cover in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Puig was 19th in MVP voting in 2014, and Donaldson knocked in 41 home runs and 123 RBIs in 2015, where he finished first in MVP balloting.

Positional Awareness

After outfielders, shortstops and pitchers were the most common positions to be featured on the covers of baseball video games. At six apiece, there are plenty of famous faces in this bunch. Derek Jeter for “Major League Baseball 2K” and Pedro Martínez of the Boston Red Sox in “World Series Baseball 2K” help lead this group.

You’re less likely to be the face of a video game franchise if you’re a second or third baseman. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox and David Wright from the Mets, helped to further the cause of being considered for cover-star greatness.

Press Play to Play Ball

While there have certainly been players from small market teams who’ve made their way onto video game covers, stars from some of the MLB’s biggest teams – like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees – make more regular appearances on the boxes of these digital baseball games.

Don’t miss an opportunity to turn digital dreams into a reality by getting officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel transported to you in the real world from Fanatics. It’s the best way to level up your fan experience!


Video Games Franchises Covered

MLB: The Show, Major League Baseball 2K, Triple Play, Ken Griffey Jr., The Bigs, Home Run King, World Series Baseball 2K, Microsoft Baseball, MLB ‘98, MVP Baseball.

Home Run Analysis

The 2016 Major League Baseball season was one for the books. Between two endearing teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, facing off to end their century- and half-century-long World Series title droughts, tensions ran high and die-hard fanatics came hyped!

Both clubs wouldn’t have made it to this pivotal game without help from their supercharged rosters. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Addison Russell led the Windy City with the most home runs and RBIs completed during the season. Over at the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, and Jason Kipnis reigned as Cleveland’s batting leaders.

All in all, home runs in the MLB are on the rise, and the baseball analysts at Fanatics compiled all batting stats from the 2016 season to provide you with enough home run data to hold you over until we start seeing some bombs this season.

Continue reading to see which teams and players stepped up to the plate this season with a home run state of mind!

Teams With the Swing

Major League Baseball players are some of the hardest hitters in the world. Let’s take a look at which teams have been crushin’ balls out of the park and dropping the jaws of teammates and fans alike.

The Baltimore Orioles topped the charts this season by scoring a total of 253 homers – the most nailed by any team in the MLB. Mark Trumbo – first baseman and outfielder for The O’s – led the Maryland-based squad with 47 at-bats converted into critical home run hits. Fielders Chris Davis and Manny Machado backed up the home run batting leader by nailing 38 and 37 home runs, respectively. The Orioles enjoyed a strong home run lead advantage over the rest of the clubs in the league for the majority of the season. The only team to step up to the plate to rival the Orioles was their inter-league competitor – the St. Louis Cardinals – trailing the Birds by 28 homers.

Rounding out the top five in season home runs were the Seattle Mariners (223), Toronto Blue Jays (221), and New York Mets (218).

Home Run State of Mind

Being the batting leader in your respective league is quite an impressive feat to boast on a major league resume.

Slugger Mark Trumbo hit a total of 47 home runs during his time at the plate this past season. Although the first baseman has been described as “one-dimensional,” his home run abilities are unrivaled. Trumbo’s excellence against inside pitches is what sets him apart from the rest, designating him an elite power hitter. No. 45’s exceptional performance could be accredited to his newfound happiness after signing a multiyear contract with the Orioles.

Trailing behind the seasoned slugger was Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz, with a notable 43 homers under his belt in 2016. Cruz’s talent at the plate is prodigious and is showing no decline in this department as he is the only player to have surpassed the 40-homer threshold throughout the past three Major League seasons.  

Brian Dozier, Edwin Encarnación, and Khris Davis finished up as the top five hardest hitters in the league – all reaching the 42 home run mark by season end.

It’s That Time of Year Again…

Just as the weather fluctuates by season with reason to Earth’s axial tilt, the MLB tends to witness a spike in home runs depending on the month of the year.

Data suggest that sluggers at the plate are less likely to hit a dinger in April, with only 740 pitches hit out of town during the rainy month. It appears that the weather wasn’t the only thing on fire this summer. MLB batters were on a hot streak between the months of June and August, slamming a total of 2,928 homers. August takes the cake by far, recording an astronomical 1,053 home run hits alone within the 31 calendar days.

Major League history was made this season when the Baltimore Orioles set the all-time home run mark for the month of June with 56 dingers. Hyun Soo Kim is responsible for the record-setting rocket after his solo blast during the seventh inning against the Mariners.

Hey Batta, Batta!

The world of baseball is riddled with an array of written and unwritten rules. One of those “unwritten” rules entails not swinging at a risky 3-0 pitch as the batter is just one ball away from being handed first base. The majority of sluggers who step up to the plate attempt to hit a long ball on the first pitch thrown, and it seems to be working. Batters launched the most rockets to flight off 0-0 pitches with a total of 983 homers – dominating all other situational pitches with a 300-plus home run lead.

Curtain Call

With spring training in full force, there’s no telling how many home runs one should expect from the 2017 season. Be ready to support your home team the best way you know how. Head over to Fanatics, because we’ve got you covered with the latest MLB jerseys and fan gear.