Who Needs Bryce Harper When You Have Aaron Hicks

playerTeamTOTALper 600 plate app. Aaron Hicks is climbing the WAR chartsThe top 20 MLB players by wins above replacement per 600 plate appearances, 2017-18 8Jose AltuveAstros12.56.04 19Giancarlo StantonMarlins/Yankees10.84.73 9Francisco LindorIndians13.25.51 It once seemed inevitable that the New York Yankees would sign Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper when he became a free agent at the end of this season. Though Harper has been injured and inconsistent since his 2015 MVP year, he’s still a rare talent who will hit free agency just entering his physical prime at age 26 — and the Yankees are one of the few teams able to afford him.But the Yankees may no longer need Harper’s services in the outfield. They’ve found a new star to join Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of their big names, a star who may not be as well-known but who has turned into one of the game’s best players: Aaron Hicks.The underrated 28-year-old is in his prime and under club control through the 2019 season. Hicks avoided arbitration by settling for a modest one-year, $2.85 million deal last offseason. He’ll be a relative bargain next year, too.Hicks homered Saturday and later provided the walk-off hit against Baltimore to clinch a playoff berth for the Yankees. He left Monday’s game in the fourth inning with hamstring discomfort, but he told reporters he isn’t concerned and should be able to return in a few days.Through Sunday, Hicks was tied for 17th in position player wins above replacement at 4.9 WAR, according to FanGraphs. (Harper was tied for 38th.) WAR is an accumulative stat, so when we adjust for playing time,1Hicks missed significant time in 2017 because of an oblique injury. Hicks ranked 11th in baseball in WAR per 600 plate appearances since 2017. By that measure, he placed ahead of stars like Christian Yelich, J.D. Martinez and Kris Bryant in terms of overall performance per playing time. 17J.D. MartinezTigers/D-Backs/Red Sox9.14.88 15Kris BryantCubs9.25.01 WAR 1Mike TroutAngels16.38.95 14Alex BregmanAstros11.05.04 Among players with at least 800 plate appearances since the start of the 2017 season.Source: FanGraphs 5Anthony RendonNationals12.46.32 10Tommy PhamCardinals/Rays9.65.38 4Jose RamirezIndians14.56.61 12Christian YelichMarlins/Brewers11.25.11 13Andrelton SimmonsAngels10.45.07 20Lorenzo CainRoyals/Brewers9.74.72 6Justin TurnerDodgers9.56.08 3Aaron JudgeYankees13.06.79 16J.T. RealmutoMarlins8.94.88 18Nolan ArenadoRockies10.64.82 7Matt ChapmanAthletics9.36.06 2Mookie BettsRed Sox15.16.91 11Aaron HicksYankees8.25.30 Hicks projects to finish 2018 as a 5-WAR center fielder, a star-level player. He blends one of the game’s strongest outfield arms (reaching 105.5 mph with a throw in 2016) at a premium defensive position with one of the most disciplined bats in the majors and burgeoning switch-hitting power.Of course, prior to last season, he had been a major disappointment. The Twins selected Hicks — a two-way star at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California — 14th overall in the 2008 draft. He made multiple top 100 prospect lists. But in his three years in the majors with Minnesota, covering 928 plate appearances, Hicks batted just .225 with a .306 on-base percentage and .349 slugging mark. It was good for an OPS+ of 81, meaning he was 19 percent below the average major league offensive performer.On Nov. 11, 2015, the Twins ran out of patience and traded Hicks to the Yankees for John Ryan Murphy, a replacement-level catcher with a career on-base mark of .269. Murphy is now a backup in Arizona.“In Minnesota, I feel like I was just trying to hit for a high average. That’s pretty much all I was trying to do,” Hicks told me in July. “I didn’t worry about home runs or anything like that. I just tried to get on base and have a high on-base percentage and hit singles: up-the-middle, opposite field.”The approach was generally ineffective for Hicks. When he arrived at Yankee Stadium, which has one of the shortest right-field fences in baseball, his entire philosophy changed. With the Twins in 2015, Hicks pulled batted balls at a 35.8 percent rate. Hicks has increased his pull percentage to 42.9 percent last season and to 45.1 percent this season, making him the 28th most pull-oriented hitter in the game.“When I came here, they wanted me to use my athleticism to hit the ball in the air more,” Hicks said. “Hit for more power. … The [Yankees major league] staff has been amazing as far as being able to elevate my game, different approaches in how to attack the baseball, and how to become the type of player I want to be.”The Yankees as a team focus on power and pull. That philosophy may be why the Yankees (251 home runs through Sunday) could challenge the 1997 Seattle Mariners’ single-season team home run record (264) despite having only one player (Stanton) with more than 30 home runs this season.Hicks doesn’t have the raw power of some of his teammates: His average exit velocity of 87.3 mph puts him in the middle of the pack in the majors, ranking 195th out of 336 batters. But he said his focus on power and pull has a side benefit: He’s become more selective at the plate. Hicks ranks fifth in baseball in walk rate on the season at 15.8 percent, a slight increase from his 14.1 percent mark last year and a large gain from 2016 (8.3 percent) and 2015 (8.7 percent). In the second half of this season, Hicks leads baseball in walk rate at 19.6 percent.“When I try and get the ball in the air, I swing at less stuff, because if I can’t hit a pitch in the air, I don’t swing at it,” Hicks said. “Naturally, I start to walk more. … If I’m getting pitches I can’t do damage with, I’m not going to swing until I have to with two strikes.”Only two major league players have walked more frequently and hit more home runs than Hicks this season: Harper and Mike Trout.Hicks swung at 23.8 percent of pitches classified as out of the strike zone in 2015 and 24.4 percent in his first year with the Yankees in 2016. That rate dipped to 21.5 percent last year and 19.4 percent this season. Among qualified hitters, only Joey Votto, Alex Bregman, Andrew McCutchen and Mookie Betts are swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone. Those players are either MVP candidates (Bregman, Betts) or have won MVP Awards (Votto, McCutchen). Trout ranks seventh.Pitchers have thrown Hicks — an excellent fastball hitter — fewer and fewer four-seam fastballs, from 34.8 percent of offerings in 2016 to 31.2 this season. Yet Hicks is slugging .525 against curveballs and holding his own against changeups.The Yankees have unearthed a star. While the club could still pursue Harper, Hicks gives it an alternative. He allows New York to invest $400 million elsewhere this winter and beyond.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Mens lacrosse pipeline in the making

Home is not very far for a trio of Ohio State men’s lacrosse players. For senior midfielder Scott Lathrop, sophomore defenseman Mark Crawford and freshman defenseman John Hardesty, it is a short drive back to their hometown of Upper Arlington. All three Buckeyes played high school lacrosse for Upper Arlington High School. “Playing there gave me confidence. It gave me drive to continue the success here,” Lathrop said. “I know everybody always wants to win, but it’s nice coming from a program that had that kind of success.” In the case of Upper Arlington, “success” might not be the right word. “Dominance” might be more appropriate. Upper Arlington coach Ted Wolford is entering his 18th season at the helm. He has won 12 state championships as coach. Wolford said the trio of Buckeyes are some of the most loyal kids he has coached. “If you say to yourself, ‘If I were to go into battle, would I want one of those guys in your foxhole with you?’ You would say, without a doubt,” he said. “Any one of those guys would be people that would have your back, people that would be there to support you.” Lathrop, a co-captain for the No. 13/15-ranked Buckeyes, also was a captain when he wore a Golden Bears uniform. “Scott was a captain for us, you know, as well as he is now for Ohio State,” Wolford said. “He was just always a very focused individual that worked very hard.” Wolford said Crawford’s first choice was football and that he chose to play lacrosse late in his high school career. But, Wolford said, that didn’t change the type of character he had. “He definitely had the strongest work ethic in his senior class,” Wolford said. “He’s definitely one of those kids that everybody looked up to because he pushed everybody to improve. There’s not an ounce of ego in him at all.” Just a freshman for the Buckeyes, Hardesty was exposed to high-level competition early in his high school career. Like Lathrop, Hardesty also was a captain for Upper Arlington. “Right from the get-go, he kept coming to us and asking how he could get better,” Wolford said. “He always pushed us as coaches to help him improve his game.” The success of the Upper Arlington program has made it a hot spot for OSU recruiting. Wolford said he already has two players on his team this year who have committed to play for the Buckeyes in the future. Although the three Buckeyes all are in different classes, they share a bond from their time as Golden Bears. “I think the biggest part would just be having that person that you’ve known for two, three or four years in high school, and kind of having that connection already made and bringing it to college,” Crawford said. Despite the three now playing lacrosse for the Buckeyes, Wolford said he still remains in contact with them. “I always try to stick around after games and try to talk to them afterwards and see how they’re doing,” he said. “I want to let them know that I’m very proud of them; I’m very happy with the fact that they’re competing and that they’re doing well both in the classroom and in their athletic endeavors.” OSU has started off the season with three consecutive victories against Detroit Mercy, Mercer and previously No. 3-ranked North Carolina.  The Buckeyes suffered their first loss against Massachusetts on Saturday, 11-9. While many of the OSU players come from all over the country, the trio has one advantage that not many other members of the team can say they have. “We share a little bit, I think, because we’re always getting stuff for being so close to home and going home and getting home-cooked meals,” Crawford said. “So we all have to stick together and stay strong.” read more

Four couples to win surprise proposal and dream wedding in The Bahamas

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 21, 2017 – Nassau – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Romance Department has launched a unique social media competition, in a joint initiative with Paparazzi Proposal.   Online entrants, using the hashtag, #sayyesinthebahamas, can now register until December 15, 2017 to be one of the lucky winners of a dream wedding in, of course, The Bahamas.The couples entering the competition must submit a photo and a 100-word story on why they hope to have their surprise wedding take place in the pristine islands of The Bahamas.   A panel of judges will decide, the winning couples will be flown into four amazing islands says the planners:  Abaco, Exuma, Nassau and Paradise Island.Freda Malcolm, Director of Romance for the Ministry said, “We are excited about the opportunity of sharing our romantic destination with these couples while highlighting the wide array of wedding programs available within our diverse and beautiful country.”The Bahamas has the distinction of being named in 2015 as the World’s Leading Wedding Destination.#MagneticMediaNews#sayyesinthebahamas Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #sayyesinthebahamaslast_img read more

Souness Liverpool are still missing something

first_imgSky Sports pundit Graeme Souness believes Liverpool are lacking a creative and clever player like David Silva maintaining that Manchester City are still favourites for the Premier League title.Liverpool are currently unbeaten after nine games and level on points with champions City at the top of the Premier League but the Reds legend is concerned they don’t have a creative spark in the middle.He said on Monday Night Football: “I think [concern about midfield] is how Jurgen sees it as well. He signed two midfield players this summer and went for Nabil Fekir from Lyon as the third. That tells you he thinks he needs to strengthen.“I think that’s what it is. They have three real workaholics in there, but I don’t think they’ve got anyone in there who is really cute and clever, like a David Silva or a Kevin De Bruyne. But these are hard players to find.”Top 5 Premier League players to watch for next weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Premier League’s Top 5 players to watch this weekend.After…Souness regrettably admits Pep Guardiola’s side are still ahead of Liverpool but says anything can happen with injuries and form.“I think right now they’re still a wee bit behind City. It hurts me to say that, but who is to say, football is a strange game as we well know. Injuries to certain players, loss of form,” he said.“But right now I see City as being favourites.”last_img read more

How many holes need to be drilled to collapse a wooden cube

first_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—It may sound like a simple riddle, but a team of scientists is intrigued with the answer because it could lead to a better understanding of percolation, the process that occurs when a liquid trickles through small holes in a filter. Percolation models have applications in unexpected areas, such as understanding cancer metastasis and in distributed computing. Explore further (Top) Experiment photos and (bottom) simulation images of cube drilling. For this cube, each face has 36 possible places where it can be drilled. However, the researchers found that the cube will fall apart after about 13 holes are randomly drilled in each of the three directions (x, y, and z axis), or 39 holes total. Credit: Schrenk, et al. ©2016 American Physical Society More information: K. J. Schrenk, et al. “Critical Fragmentation Properties of Random Drilling: How Many Holes Need to Be Drilled to Collapse a Wooden Cube?” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.055701 Also at arXiv:1601.03534 [cond-mat.stat-mech]last_img read more

The Ashok A glorious journey

first_imgAs the slow passage of the seasons moves over the Capital and visitors ebb and flow through the cosseted interiors of the hotel, the great open grounds of the Ashok morph as they have for millennia, before the Ridge was altered by man. The Ashok Hotel is not just a sterile, glass and chrome organisation, but it is a biome and an ecological community, in which humans, animals and plants interact in an evolving harmony which is seldom observed because it is almost magical in its cyclic complexity which turns 60 this year. The Ashok set in a prime location in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave is a distinctive landmark, with its rose-pink walls and arched are-turreted contours. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Named after the powerful emperor in the Indian History- Ashoka, this epitome of hospitality was primarily known to be the foremost construction as THE ASHOK, aimed to please the crowd with its royal-coated offers, centuries-old pride and astonished infrastructure. Reputed as one of the best luxury hotels in the embassy are in New Delhi, it embarks a sterile, serene and elegant ambience with the required human resources to attend to every needs of the guests. Pandit Nehru once said, “This should be a cultural centre, a place where Indian art and culture are displayed…” The Ashok emerged as a brain-child of the Indian political and cultural pioneer, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who distinctively wanted to turn the spot-lights of international traffic on the grandeur hospitality and cultural significance of India rather than being framed as a country with snake-charmers and tombs. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix   Surrounded by the green acres and the majestic natural essence accompanying the tranquillity, the hotel was established under close supervision of the first Prime Minister of India Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, and has been operating as the Flagship hotel of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) ever since. Since its inception it has elevated its style and modus operandi or its approach with every progressive year it has seen and experienced. Amongst several hotels in the embassy area in New Delhi, The Ashok ranks highest with its influential architecture, culturally-rooted hospitality and symbolised grandeur. The Ashok manages a wide-framed portfolio of 550 expansive rooms, 389 well-resourced exceptional rooms, 150 luxury-coated ‘Suites’, 10 Deluxe Suites and 1 Grand Presidential Suite under its wings with 2 per cent of the total reserved for differently abled persons. With a penchant for royal décor, shimmering artefacts, fascinating ambience, and heart-warming hospitality, The Ashok has lifted the bars and expectations of the masses with its imbibing lifestyle, blended with cultural significance and has constructed itself as a symbol of evolving India.  The Ashok commands a zenith for some lip-smacking dishes inspired from cuisines around the world. An enticing fusion of Satavic foods, mind-blowing non-vegetarian dishes, baked items, beverages, desserts and much more highlights the variety of The Ashok. Its large, well-lit and spacious banquets and conference halls provide access to multi-purposes events with equivalent gravity, lavish hospitality and creative ambience. Responding to its growing International clientele, The Ashok has a splendid cavalcade of multi-cuisine offerings on board. The Ashok offers visitors a taste of times in all its multi-faceted avatars – The Samavar (24 hour Coffee Shop), The Oudh, Frontier, NomNom, Sagar Ratna, Shraman, Capitol-a happening Discotheque and Zerruco- a Mediterranean restaurant.The Samavar (24 hour Coffee Shop)Representing the freshness and leisure-coated serenity with a complimentary gastronomic experience, The Samavar is also known as the 24 Hour Coffee Shop.The OudhChefs at The Oudh believe in showering guests with an exceptional Nawaabi experience through a highlighted introduction of Awadhi cuisine wrapped in exotic spices and aromas. It is famed to be the preferred restaurant for family get-togethers, parties and social revelries.FrontierFrontier exhibits a perfect fusion of Indian and North-West Frontier Cuisine created and served for a mouth-watering culinary experience with a dark-themed ambience.NomNomBasically a hub targeting Asian cuisines, NomNom entices the visitors with its exciting and casual name. With a multitude of Chinese and orientation delicacies, it’s hard to get up from the seats once you start eating.Sagar RatnaA popular name within the spheres of Indian cuisine, Sagar Ratna impeccably highlights the aromatic gestures and local delicacies of South India.Capitol ClubHoused in this Grand Hotel, Capitol is a disco that has dominated the city’s night life for the past 10 years. Art lounge provide a platform to budding artists’ to showcase their talent in art and craft attracting Delhi’s elite crowd.ShramanAs ascetic as the name suggests, Shraman is true to its meaning, and is said to be an artistic choice to relish some of the famous Saatvic vegetarian dishes of Rajasthan, North-India and Gujarat.Zerruco- a Mediterranean restaurantFeaturing a romantic, alfresco seating, Zerruco has framed Mediterranean and Italian cuisines to a different perspective.last_img read more