‘Good looking cat’ Andre Cisco’s sure hands grab two picks against Wagner

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments UPDATED: Sept. 8, 2018 at 11:31 p.m.Sitting at the podium after Syracuse’s 62-10 destruction of Wagner, Dino Babers admired Andre Cisco’s haircut. He said that he wished he would have sported that hairstyle when he was younger. He likes Cisco’s name too, citing the War song “The Cisco Kid.” He also highlighted the “good looking cat’s” sure hands. Through two games, the ability to convert on turnover opportunities has made the Cisco kid a friend of Babers. “Normally you have opportunities for interceptions, it’s just what’s your percentages are when the ball touches your hands of catching it,” Babers said. “And someone says ‘oh that guy doesn’t have to catch, he’s a DB.’ Well if there’s a DB that knows how to catch it can be a huge weapon.”Through eight quarters of football the freshman defensive back has picked off three passes, two of which came in the first quarter of Syracuse’s win over Wagner on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome. Cisco became the first SU player to snag two interceptions in a game since 2012 and the first Orange player with three INTs under Babers. With five interceptions, Syracuse has surpassed its interception total (four) from a year ago. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text “With our offense they need the ball as much as possible,” Cisco said. “They don’t stay on the field long so the more opportunities they get the better for us.”Cisco, a three-star recruit, recorded one interception last year in eight games for IMG Academy (Florida). He tied that mark in the second drive of the season at Western Michigan. Three plays into game two, he surpassed it. On 3rd-and-7 from the Wagner 17 yard-line, Syracuse shifted its defense just before the snap. Cisco, who had previously stood roughly five yards behind defensive back Antwan Cordy, rolled down and filled the void Cordy left on his blitz. Cisco trailed the back hip of Wagner’s Andrew Celis as Cordy and SU’s defense pressured the quarterback. When the ball came to Celis on a drag route across the middle, Cisco undercut it, diving for his first interception of the game. “It’s great just seeing young guys do their job,” Cordy said. “I was in that position my freshmen year. It felt good.”A week ago against Western Michigan, Cisco’s interception was followed by several mistakes in the backfield. On one play in the third quarter, with Cisco playing as lone safety over top the defense, the Orange was burned for an 84-yard touchdown. Babers explained Monday those types of things happen to freshmen and compared his new players to babies’ eating habits. Against Wagner, Cisco followed up his first interception with a second. On the Seahawks’ second drive of the game, facing another third down deep in their own territory, Cisco once again shifted positions before the snap. This time the Orange “disguised” zone coverage to appear as man coverage, Cordy said. Cisco filled in at the robber position, standing about five yards off the line of scrimmage and five yards to the outside of the tackle and bounced in anticipation. An unblocked defensive end, Kendall Coleman, rushed at Wagner quarterback T.J. Linta and planted him into the ground as the ball was released. When the ball reached its targeted area, it went to Cisco’s hands, not a Wagner player. Cisco hadn’t been there when Linta checked the coverage pre-snap but a late fill-in put him in the right spot. “I was dropping down and the slant kind of just ran towards me,” Cisco explained. “My job was just read the quarterback’s eyes and I just fell into position.” Cisco popped up and ran to the sidelines while various blue jerseys congratulated him. He shoulder bumped defensive back Christopher Fredericks before raising two fingers in the air. “I like the things that he’s doing,” Babers said. “I like the way he’s rebounded from the first game. And I really like the fact that he’s a freshman, and he’s going to be with us for a long long time.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Christopher Fredericks was misnamed. The Daily Orange regrets this error. center_img Published on September 8, 2018 at 9:03 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44last_img read more

MLB free-agent predictions: Rankings, rumors for the top 10 players on the market

first_img10. Yasmani Grandal, 31, CThoughts: Grandal’s struggles in the 2018 postseason (he hit .138 for the Dodgers) had to be the primary reason he wasn’t able to land the type of deal he wanted on the free-agent market, settling for a one-year deal with a mutual option with the Brewers in mid-January. But Grandal was great for Milwaukee, hitting 28 homers to go with a .380 on-base percentage and 119 OPS. He should fare much better on the free-agent market this time, especially because he can’t be given a qualifying offer and won’t have draft-pick compensation attached.Possible destinations: Twins, Reds, White Sox, Brewers, BravesSN’s prediction: RedsUPDATE: Grandal signed a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox. We’ve already ranked the top 87 free agents in this year’s class, but today we’re going to take a deeper dive in to the top 10 players on that list. Well, the top 11. There’s already been an adjustment, hopefully a sign of things to come; Aroldis Chapman was No. 10, but he agreed to a new deal with the Yankees instead of opting out of the two years and $30 million left on his contract. Yasmani Grandal, who was No. 11, slides up one spot.  For each of the 10, we’ll take a quick look at why they’ll be attractive as a free agent, a couple of places they might wind up and then a prediction.  MORE: Every MLB team’s most pressing free-agent need1. Anthony Rendon, 29, 3BThoughts: Rendon’s days as an overlooked star disappeared with his incredible postseason performance — .328 average, 1.003 OPS, three homers and 15 RBIs in 17 games — as the Nationals won the World Series. And that, on top of his incredible second-half performance — .336 average, 1.023 OPS, 14 homers, 64 RBIs in 71 games — has vaulted him to the top of SN’s list of top free agents. The difference between Rendon and the guys in the 2-3-4 spots on this list? They’re all elite stars, but as a position player, Rendon has the opportunity to make an impact on 162 regular-season games, not just 33, and 20-something games in October, not just five or six. Possible destinations: Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Angels, White Sox, Rangers, PhilliesSN’s prediction: Nationals2. Gerrit Cole, 29, SPThoughts: The big right-hander is everything a contender could want from a top-of-the-rotation ace. He’s only 29 years old and should win the AL Cy Young award when it’s announced Nov. 13, which would be more than enough for a massive contract. His 326 strikeouts this season were the most in MLB since Randy Johnson’s 334 in 2002 and the most in the AL since Nolan Ryan’s 341 way back in 1977. But then you add in October, when he allowed zero or one run in four of his five starts and went at least seven innings every time? Back up the Brinks truck, folks. Possible destinations: Yankees, Angels, Astros, Dodgers, Padres, PhilliesSN’s prediction: Angels 3. Stephen Strasburg, 31, SPThoughts: After his incredible postseason performance — 1.98 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings — helped lift the Nationals to the World Series championship, Strasburg opted out of the four years and $100 million remaining on his current deal. Even if he wants to stay with the Nationals, which isn’t even remotely a stretch, opting out was kind of a no-brainer. He was pretty impressive in the regular season, too, leading the NL with 209 innings, while striking out 251 and posting a 3.32 ERA/3.25 FIP. Possible destinations: Yankees, Nationals, Angels, Padres, Phillies, White SoxSN’s prediction: Nationals4. Madison Bumgarner, 30, SPThoughts: Admittedly, it feels wrong to think of MadBum wearing any other uniform, but the way the Nationals and Astros rode strong starting pitching into the World Series probably helps his case a bit. His numbers weren’t quite as good in 2019, the first time since 2016 he’s stayed healthy and pitched a full season. But he’s still striking out nearly a batter an inning (8.8 K/9) and still striking out a lot more guys than he walks (4.72 K/BB ratio). And maybe this doesn’t really matter, but with as much as Bumgarner clearly loves to bat, it stands to reason he might prefer an NL team. Possible destinations: Giants, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, Yankees, MetsSN’s prediction: Yankees5. J.D. Martinez, 32, DHThoughts: His numbers dropped a little bit in 2019, but that’s mostly because he was incredible in 2017-18. Martinez still popped 36 homers, to go with a .304 average, .939 OPS and 3.3 bWAR as Boston’s DH. He has an opt-out (with a $2.5 million buyout) and three years, $62.5 million remaining on his current deal. At this point, of course, with his mediocre glove and back issues — Boston limited his time in the field as much as possible in 2019 — he’s mostly an AL-only option at DH, unless an NL team is just that desperate for a lineup upgrade in outfield. Possible destinations: Mariners, White SoxSN’s prediction: White SoxUPDATE: Martinez decided against opting out of his deal, so he’s back with Boston for 2020. 6. Josh Donaldson, 34, 3BThoughts: After injury issues in 2017 and 2018, Donaldson proved in 2019 — on a one-year deal with the Braves — that he’s still an elite middle-of-the-order bat (37 homers, .900 OPS) who plays above-average defense at third base, and more than one contender could use that combination (he had a 6.1 bWAR). At 34 years old, he’s not going to land a long deal, but a two or three year deal with a high AAV seems mutually beneficial for the right team. He’s a cheaper, but still very much a win-now, option for teams that don’t land (or bid on) Rendon.Possible destinations: Phillies, Mets, Cardinals, Braves, Nationals, BrewersSN’s prediction: Braves 7. Hyun-Jin Ryu, 33, SPThoughts: Ryu made 44 starts over the past two seasons, and he’s produced a 2.21 ERA, which is pretty darn impressive. Plus, because he accepted the Dodgers’ qualifying offer last year, he will be free of draft-pick compensation, which will be a big plus for the lefty, in this era when teams are hesitant to give up those picks. Possible destinations: Dodgers, Twins, Angels, RangersSN’s prediction: Dodgers8. Zack Wheeler, 30, SPThoughts: Wheeler’s ERA this year (3.96) was above his career average, but his FIP (3.48) was below his career average. He often looks like a Cy Young candidate out there, and you can bet that’s how his agents will frame his resume. He won’t get as much as the elite starters on the market, but he might produce relatively similar numbers. Possible destinations: Mets, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Dodgers, CubsSN’s prediction: Phillies9. Nicholas Castellanos, 28, OFThoughts: Castellanos seemed clearly revived when he was traded from the Tigers to the Cubs and joined a pennant race. In 51 games with Chicago, the corner outfielder hit 16 homers, batted .321 and posted a 151 OPS+. Also, he doesn’t turn 28 until March 4, making him a couple of years younger than most free agents this offseason. Possible destinations: Cubs, White Sox, Rays, Indians, Red SoxSN’s prediction: Red Soxlast_img read more