Category: Tampa News

Rebuilding The Dynasty – Yankees Future Stars Report to Tampa in February

Major League Baseball’s most decorated franchise hasn’t added much to their “Yankee Mystic” lately. But, when pitchers and catchers report to Legends Field in mid-February, the buzz in Tampa will center on three new top prospects that will be wearing New York pinstripes.

 

 

In professional baseball, Keith Law’s list of top 100 prospects is one of the most respected. Heading into the 2017 season the Yankees spring roster will own 5 spots in his first 50, three of those superbly talented fielders.

 

 

 Heir Apparent to a Yankee Icon

 

It’s been two full seasons since Derek Jeter hung up his pinstripes. The greatest Yankee shortstop’s next stop will be Cooperstown, New York at the MLB Hall of Fame. Ever since their captain retired, Yankee faithful have wondered who will be the next star playing shortstop for the Bronx Bombers.

 

 

Gleybar Torres has the raw talent and all the tools. Already a slick fielder, Yankee scouts wonder whether Torres can produce at the plate. His fielding percentage has climbed each season, hitting .959% in 2016, while playing A-ball in Tampa.

 

 

Torres’ batting average has leveled out though, as the quality of pitching has increased. There seems to be little problem with his glove, so if his hitting improves, the Yanks will have their shortstop of the future.

 

 

Where Legends Have Roamed

 

Some of the greatest players in baseball history have roamed the outfield at Yankee Stadium. The next two highest rated MLB prospects in the Yankee fold are a pair of extremely talented outfielders, each making Law’s top 30.

 

 

Blake Rutherford is deemed the most talented player the Yankees have drafted since Jeter, considered by some experts to own top 5 rated skills. But, the most intriguing of all the young Yankees may be the kid tagged with the nickname “Popeye the Frazier Man”.

 

 

Clint Frazier already is deemed to possess one of the fastest bats in baseball. Although he has been a mild disappointment since coming over in a trade with the Indians, late last summer his bat started to improve over the last month.

 

 

Both Frazier and Rutherford have the raw speed to leg out extra base hits when they arrive at Yankee Stadium. Intriguing, considering the big gaps at “The House that Ruth Built”.

 

With a bevy of hard throwing pitchers already on the major league roster, and two more in this same top 50 prospects list, having three of the most highly touted fielders certainly gives pinstripe fans reason for hope. One thing about baseball in New York, there never seems to be too many years between champions, and these three youngsters may catapult the Yankees back to their customary prominence.

 

USF Lady Bulls Aim to Slay the Giant of Women’s College Basketball

The USF Lady Bulls are fresh off their 5th conference victory, besting the SMU Lady Mustangs, Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Sunday Coach Jose Fernandez’s squad will play a nationally televised contest against the Temple Lady Owls, tip-off at high noon in Philadelphia. On the line is second place in the conference standings and potential #2 to tournament seed.

 

 

Avoid the Lady Huskies

 

The #1 seed come conference tournament time is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The University of Connecticut Lady Husky squad has set the benchmark for excellence across all college sports.

 

 

Geno Auriemma’s UConn team has won the NCAA title eleven times, a feat matched by no other school in collegiate basketball history. While UConn appears the overwhelming favorite in their quest for a twelfth crown, the USF Bulls have also established themselves as a perennial power.

 

 

Perennial National Prominence

 

Catching the class of women’s college basketball may not be realistic for the Lady Bulls. Finishing the season strong enough to earn another berth in the women’s national championship tournament is realistic. Last week the Sun Dome Arena was treated to Fernandez’s 300th career victory, spanning a stellar 17-years as the Bull’s boss.

 

 

During his tenure, Fernandez has led South Florida to a dozen post-season appearances, including seven with more than twenty wins. This year the Lady Bulls have responded with maybe their best year yet. USF already has 15 victories against two solitary losses, one of those to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford.

 

 

The Giant Comes to the Sun Dome Arena

 

USF splits the last 10 conference games, half on the road and the other half at the Sun Dome in Tampa. South Florida will sandwich 3 straight Sun Dome games in the middle of a pair of back to road tilts as they head down the final 10 game stretch.

 

 

A victory over the University of Cincinnati on February 1st, plus a split in the two games against Temple, and USF could clinch the #2 tournament seed. Earning the second seed means they would be in the opposite bracket from the UConn powerhouse.

 

Before the tournament time, USF will have one more chance to slay the giant. On Monday, February 27th, South Florida will welcome the all-time winningest team in college basketball to the Sunshine State. If the Lady Bulls continue to play well, USF will have a shot at snapping the longest undefeated streak in basketball history.

 

Tampa Bay Trade Russian Defenseman To Clear Space For Salary Cap

The National Hockey League team, the Tampa Bay Lightning have just announced that they are doing a major trade. Tampa Bay has traded Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians. Nikita Nesterov is a 23 year old Russian defenseman who is considered to be an up and coming player with a lot of potential. Nesterov has played 35 games so far for the Tampa Bay Lightening. In that period he has scored three goals and made nine assists. This season was one of his best in his career. Previously, he has scored eight goals and made 20 assists in a total of 119 career games.

 

Russian defenseman Nikita Nesterov was on a $725,000 per year contract with the Lightening. In exchange for trading Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians, the Lightening have received lower division defenseman, Jonathon Racine as well as a sixth round draft pick that was originally reserved for the Montreal Canadians. Jonathon Racine, who is now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightening has only played a single NHL game in his career. He joined the NHL in 2011 as the 87th draft pick of the year. He currently plays for lower division team, the St. John’s IceCaps.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightening will now be free of the salary allotment that was paid to Nikita Nesterov. Club officials say that the reason they decided to trade Nikita Nesterov to the Canadians for a new draft pick and a backup defenseman was that the team needed to free up salary allotment space. Current players, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson are expected to receive an increase to their salaries. Johnson and Palat are both on $3.33 million dollar salaries that have reached their cap. Drouin who is on a $894,167 salary is also at his capped salary.

 

The trade of Nikita Nesterov will allow the Tampa Bay Lightening to use their salary allotment to retain players such as Drouin, Palat and Johnson as well as goalkeeper, Ben Bishop. Tampa Bay is currently 6th place in the Atlantic Division and it seems a playoff run is unlikely. The team currently has 22 wins and 22 losses. Their last game was a loss to fellow Florida side, the Florida Panthers 2-1. Their next game is on the 31st of January when they host the Boston Bruins.

 

Forsythe Trade Suggests Rays are Looking to Replenish Farm System

A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Rays again did what the organization tends to do: trade an established veteran player for a promising prospect.

 

Tampa Bay sent second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prized pitching prospect Jose De Leon, a 24-year-old right-hander. The move may have cost Tampa Bay a reliable player, but does help replenish a farm system that is considered middle-of-the-pack at the moment.

 

Forsythe has had the two seasons of his career with the Rays, hitting .281 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs in 2015 and then belting a career-high 20 homers to go with 52 RBIs and a .264 average this past season. He also was considered an above-average defender.

 

In his place, Tampa Bay does land Jose De Leon who is regarded as one of better pitching prospects in the game. He is considered the third-best overall prospect in the Dodgers’ system after going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He struck out 111 batters in 86.1 innings there, then was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA during a September call-up to the Dodgers.

 

While the trade of Forsythe won’t go down with the current roster as Rays third baseman Evan Longoria already has voiced displeasure over it, Tampa Bay has used its developmental program to good benefit in the past. The Rays have usually produced some solid pitching prospects in the past such as David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Archer.

 

However, there have been some concern over the dip in its farm system of late. In mid-January, ESPN’s Keith Law rated the Rays’ farm system as the 19th-best out the 30 Major League Baseball organizations. This was prior to the De Leon trade, so it is possible the Rays have moved a couple of spots up.

 

In particular, 2016 was a rough year for some of the Rays top arms. The top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell dealt with injuries while other top arms such as Taylor Guerrieri and Jacob Faria took steps back in their development. In De Leon, the Rays get a player who is almost major-league ready and possibly by as soon as Opening Day in 2017.

 

After going 68-94 in 2016, Tampa Bay may be looking to collectively bring another set of promising prospects to fruition with an eye toward having a successful run a few seasons down the road.

The formidable Pasco’s Jordyn Kadlub

The postseason of the high school girls’ soccer has commenced with the beginning of the region play. The cost of the admission is just $7 for a game based on the talent of the Tampa Bay of the players such as Pasco High’s Jordyn Kadlub. There are major reasons why fans should come out in large numbers to watch the sophomore and her counterparts play.

 

One of the most important reason is that she has scored more than 50 goals under her name. The 50 goals are the 18 games, the figure that put her among the top five in the state. According to the MaxPreps, she is averaging about hat trick per matchup and still, she hasn’t come close to the number of her freshman of 58 goals. Incase Pasco manages to extend the post season she might beat the record that was set by the Ridgewood’s Melissa Wells in the season of 1990-91. She says that she plays for fun. She noted that this season has been terrific for her and her teammates since they managed to play all their games without losing.

 

Whenever Kadlub is playing there is a high possibility of her scoring a hat trick, this is another reason to draw the fans out to come and watch her play. For example during the district semifinal where they were pitted against Weeki Waache, she scored a hat trick and this was during the first half. Though the striker had four goals during this particular match, this was not the best performance of the season so far. She scored 7 goals against Zephyrhills, the match ended 8-0 this was in November. The Pasco coach notes that the way she plays is unique, whenever she sees an opportunity she takes it, she does not let it slip away.

 

Unlike other players who focus on a single game, Kedlub has plays two different sport games. Soccer is not her best, she plays softball as a pitcher. Even sports expert wonder how would one manage to be successful in two games at once. She has had 88 strikeouts in 101 as a freshman she manages all this in 101 innings. She says that she will decide later what game is for her in the future, but right now she just want to have fun.

 

Queen + Adam Lambert Set To Rock The United States

The collaboration of Adam Lambert and the world famous Queen has been taking the world by storm. The project, which started out in 2009, during the eighth season of American Idol has captured the hearts of numerous rock fans all over the world. Adam Lambert has given Queen fans all over the world the opportunity to experience the magnificence of the band that once was one of the greatest in the entire world.

 

Just a few days ago, the group announced the release of their United States tour, which will take place in twenty-five cities across the country. The tour will be kicking off at the Phoenix Gila River Arena in Arizona on the 23rd of June and will go on all the way until August 5th. This will be the group’s first tour in the United States after a four-year long break from performing in the country.

 

Although Adam hasn’t had any in-studio recording time with Queen, he has been touring with them all over the world since the beginning of his American Idol days. His first performance with the group was when they performed together during the season finale of American Idol. It was there that Adam’s journey with Queen began.

 

Soon after, the group started headlining some of the biggest shows in the music industry including the MTV European Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Since then, Adam and the other members of the band have been traveling all over the world and giving people the Queen experience. Besides this, the group has made several television appearances in numerous shows including XFactor USA. Just last year, the group toured all over the world, with shows happening in numerous cities in Europe and Asia. The group performs many of Queen’s most loved hits along with a blend of some of Adam’s newer songs. The newly revamped group currently performs with Spike Edney on keyboards, Neil Fairclough on bass, Rufus Tiger Taylor on percussion and of course, Adam Lambert on vocals.

 

Tickets for their upcoming concert will be available on February 3rd. However, members of the band’s fan club and American Express card holders will get all exclusive access to the tickets much before the rest of the world, commencing on January 31st.