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ESPN The Magazine 06.26.17

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
ESPN Magazine LLC
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
se habla español

When we decided 18 months ago to chronicle the lives of Latino ballplayers, who make up more than a quarter of MLB rosters, we knew we wanted to give them the chance to tell their stories. So we turned to Marly Rivera, a Puerto Rican–born reporter for ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and together came up with a list of questions for players: What was hardest when you first moved to the U.S.? How long did it take to learn English? How did you stay in touch with family? Over the next year, we talked to 55 players, with Rivera conducting 28 of the interviews herself. Soon enough, Rivera says, “I realized that I was there to bear witness to their experiences, so I decided to put the list away and…

access_time4 min.
the numbers

Organized professional baseball is 148 years old, but you can still catch something new every day. Or, rather, Byron Buxton can. The 23-year-old center fielder made a diving backhanded grab to steal a hit from Alex Gordon in the third inning on Opening Day, and he’s had a glove affair going with Twins fans ever since, even though he’s hitting just .193 (through June 5). Indeed, Buxton is on pace to generate better than two wins above replacement in 2017, more than any other player who hit so poorly for a full season. And in that stat line, you can see the latest strategy for rebuilding MLB teams. I can pinpoint for you the day defense first emerged as the next Moneyball. On July 31, 2004—three months before Theo Epstein’s first title—the…

access_time2 min.
nfl players who’ll impact new teams the most

Alshon Jeffery WR | EAGLES If he remains healthy and on the field, Jeffery (4,549 yards and 26 TDs in five seasons with the Bears) will be an immediate upgrade for QB Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia offense. He has the size and frame (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) to run inside breaking routes and cause matchup problems in the red zone. His skill set is a perfect match for coach Doug Pederson’s system. —MATT BOWEN DeSean Jackson, Calais Campbell WR | BUCCANEERS DT | JAGUARS Few non-quarterback free agents are good enough to add victories to their teams by themselves. But if you look at efficiency numbers, you can single out Jackson (17.9 ypc with the Redskins last season, tied for first in NFL) and Campbell (90.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus with the Cardinals, No.…

access_time37 min.
eternal champions

There is rain in Chiquinho’s pockets. Rain running down his shoulders. Rain squishing through his shoes. The rain is so loud, he barely hears the music. The rain is so thick, he barely sees the coffins. • Chiquinho tries to focus. He has a job. He is the groundskeeper. He takes care of the undersoil and the topsoil. He takes care of the field. This stadium is his home. The members of the club are his friends. • One of the goalkeepers, Danilo, used to joke with Chiquinho about the bare patch down at the end of the field. All that mowing and feeding and watering in the warm Brazilian sun and Chiquinho still couldn’t get grass to grow there. “Where is the grass?” Danilo would ask with a sparkle…

access_time4 min.
mock it off

NO. 1 CELTICS MARKELLE FULTZ 6-5 | 186 | WASHINGTON | G Though Boston is considering Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum, Fultz has been the top guy on Boston’s board for a while. Scouts like the college point as a scorer and shooter, and his ability to play the 2 makes him especially attractive to the Celtics. NO. 2 LAKERS LONZO BALL 6-5 | 195 | UCLA | G The Lakers are trying to stifle talk that Ball to LA is a done deal. That’s mostly an attempt to control the narrative. There is disagreement in the front office about who’s best for the future, and Fox and Jackson have a real shot. But Ball, with his otherworldly passing, is the favorite. NO. 3 76ERS JOSH JACKSON 6-8 | 202 | KANSAS |…

access_time2 min.
lonzo ball for the win

EVERY DRAFT HAS at least one: the lottery pick who defies projections, for better (Klay Thompson) or worse (yikes, Anthony Bennett). Well, we will not be defied any longer! Introducing the NBA-Caliber Player Percentage, a metric that estimates the likelihood that a prospect will turn out to be a productive player—a role player, a starter or an All-Star—in Years 2 to 5 of his NBA career. (Rookie years are omitted because they are often not predictive of future success.) So what’s the verdict on the class of 2017? Lonzo Ball, not Markelle Fultz, has the best shot of being productive—and Frank Ntilikina has the top star potential of all. —PAUL SABIN, ESPN ANALYTICS Chance a prospect averages better than 2 2 SPM (statistical plus minus)* in Years 2 through 5 In…

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