The New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman is the NFL’s lone two-way player, having filled in admirably at cornerback in addition to his wide receiver duties last season. Apparently, that only scratches the surface of his versatility, though.
“He worked out for us at shortstop and took ground balls and fly balls, and he took batting practice with Group Four, and he just wowed us,” Blue Jays third base coach and infield instructor Brian Butterfield told WEEI.com. “He worked unbelievably hard, and was just soaked by the end of batting practice.”
Edelman hooked up with the Blue Jays through friend J.P. Arencibia. Working out with the team on Sunday, he hit five homers during batting practice, including two “absolute bombs” into the middle deck at Rogers Centre.
Butterfield lauded Edelman’s great footwork around the infield and said that of all the non-baseball players to work out with the Jays, he was “far and away the best I’ve seen by a pretty wide margin. He is a really good player.”
Of course, Edelman isn’t really going to try the two-sport thing. He’s not through with baseball just yet, though, as he is hoping to work out with the Red Sox someday soon.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.
One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.
Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:
- Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
- Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
- Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]
Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.
American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.
As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.
Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.