MLB Salary Rankings

April 18th, 2018

Myworld has ranked the teams from highest to lowest salaries, identifying any players with a contract of more than $20 million per year. With the lack of activity in the free agent market last year, teams may be getting wiser to signing older, veteran players to excessive contracts when their production is on its declining years. Information was compiled using Sports Weekly.

1. San Francisco Giants $221 mil (Johnny Cueto $22.7 mil, Buster Posey $22.2)

2. Boston Red Sox $205 mil (David Price $30 mil, J.D. Martinez $23.8, Hanley Ramirez $22.8, Rick Porcello $21.1)

3. Chicago Cubs $182 mil (Jon Lester $27.5 mil, Jason Heyward $26, Yu Darvish $25)

4. Washington Nationals $180 mil (Max Scherzer $22.1 mil, Bryce Harper $21.6)

5. New York Mets $173 mil (Yoenis Cespedes $29 mil, Adrian Gonzalez $22.4)

6. Houston Astros $172 mil (Justin Verlander $28 mil)

7. Los Angeles Angels $171 mil (Mike Trout $34 mil, Albert Pujols $27)

8. Seattle Mariners $164 mil (Felix Hernandez $26.9 mil, Robinson Cano $24)

9. Toronto Blue Jays $161 mil (Josh Donaldson $23 mil, Russell Martin $20, Troy Tulowitski $20)

10. New York Yankees $160.7 mil (Giancarlo Stanton $25 mil, Masahiro Tanaka $22, Jacoby Ellsbury $21.9)

11. Los Angeles Dodgers $157 mil (Clayton Kershaw $34 mil, Matt Kemp $21.5)

12. Baltimore Orioles $148 mil (Chris Davis $21 mil)

13. St. Louis Cardinals $147 mil (Yadier Molina $22 mil)

14. Colorado Rockies $139 mil (Ian Desmond $22 mil)

15. Cleveland Indians $137 mil - none

16. Minnesota Twins $130 mil (Joe Mauer $23 mil)

17. Texas Rangers $129 mil ( Cole Hamels $22.5 mil, Shin-Soo Chjoo $20)

18. Arizona Diamondbacks $116 mil (Zack Greinke $32 mil)

19. Kansas City Royals $115 mil (Alex Grodon $21 mil)

20. Detroit Tigers $110 mil (Miguel Cabrera $30 mil, Jordan Zimmerman $24)

21. Cincinnati Reds $100 mil (Joey Votto $25 mil, Homer Bailey $21)

22. Philadelphia Phillies $92 mil (Jake Arrieta $30 mil)

23. Milwaukee Brewers $91 mil - none

24. Chicago White Sox $86 mil (James Shields $21.3 mil)

25. Atlanta Braves $84 mil (Freddy Freeman $21.4 mil)

26. Pittsburgh Pirates $84 mil - None

27. Miami Marlins $82 mil - None

28 San Diego Padres $74 mil (Eric Hosmer $21.6 mil)

29. Tampa Bay Rays $69.6 mil - none

30. Oakland Athletics $62.6 mil - none

Top Australian Prospects

April 17th, 2018

It has become more difficult to find Aussie prospects in the minor leagues. The distance and the influx of a wave of Cubans makes the cost/benefit of scouting there and then signing players unattractive. Plus for the Aussie, to play baseball in the United States for minimal salary and the difficulty in achieving major league success is not a career enhancer. The only Aussie major leaguers are pitchers, Peter Moylan, Warwick Saupold and Liam Hendrick. Myworld identified Saupold as a prospect to watch before the Tigers signed him when we saw him pitch in Tawian for the Perth Heat team a number of years ago. He is one player who has graduated from the list last year. So below are the top ten Australian prospects in the minor leagues. From what we could find there are not much more than ten Aussie players in the minor leagues.

1. Aaron Whitefield OF (Twins) - He’s an athlete. Defensively he may already be ready for the major leagues. Like Saupold he is a late starter to baseball, having spent most of his youth playing softball. His hitting is a bit raw, but does show some power with 11 homeruns last year. Pitch recognition is an issue with 118 whiffs in 116 games. Even when he makes contact it isn’t barrel of the bat on ball contact. Improved recognition of pitches will result in increased production. The speed is there to play center but the arm is best suited for left. He will begin the 2018 season in High A.

2. Lewis Thorpe LHP (Twins) - Tommy John surgery forced him to miss two seasons (2015 and 2016) after signing in 2012. He made a nice comeback last year finishing with a 2.69 ERA in High A, striking out 84 in 77 innings and limiting the opposition to a .225 average. For an Aussie he throws a hard fastball that creaked into the high 90s prior to his surgery but now sits in the low 90s. If he can get that velocity back he has a greater shot of seeing the major leagues. His secondary pitches are average and should allow him to stay in the rotation. He will begin the 2018 season in AA. If his fastball returns to pre surgery velocity he could see some time with the Twins by mid-season, though the Twins will still be mindful of his pitch count.

3. Alex Wells LHP (Orioles) - Not many pitchers had a string of success like Wells. In July Wells went five starts covering 31 innings in which he did not allow a run. He finished the season with a 2.38 ERA with the opposition hitting just .222 off him. His stuff will not overwhelm you with a fastball that is lucky to break 90. Command of his pitches and throwing them to the corners of the plate is what retires hitters. Last year Alex only walked 10 hitters in 140 innings. Whether that success will continue as he rises through the minor leagues is open to question. The first test will be in High A where his first two starts his ERA sits at 1.74 and the opposition hit him at a .150 rate.

4. Lachlan Wells LHP (Twins) - The Twin brother of Alex. His stuff is just as underwhelming as Alex, but he did not have the same success. He walks a few more hitters and gives up a few more hits, but he also pitched one level higher than Alex at High A. Where Alex won 11 games Lachlan lost 10. His opposition batting average was .243. He began the season on the disabled list, but when he is healthy he could start the season in AA.

5. Robbie Perkins C (Rockies) - The bat is a little light with a .201 career minor league average and a .313 slugging. His arm is what keeps him percolating in the minor leagues. Last year he threw out 19 of the 36 baserunners who attempted to steal against him. Unless his bat improves his best hope for him is to make it as a back up. Last year he did hit .271 in a 22 game stretch in the California League.

6. Todd Van Steensel RHP (Twins) - At 27 years of age he has advanced beyond what is normally considered a prospect. This is his seventh year in the minor leagues. Except for the first two years, they have all been spent in the bullpen. Last year his 1.38 ERA in AA gave the Twins motivation to sign him. He has returned to AA this year and if he can replicate his 2017 season he could see a callup to the big leagues.

7. Jon Kennedy LHP (Braves) - Jon has got height (6′5″) with a lefthanded arm that can throw in the low 90s. Of his 62 appearances only one has appeared as a starter. It would be better if he could get lefthanded hitters out, but his opposition average against lefties (.263) was about the same as righties (.261). He also pitches in the Braves organization, which has a surplus of quality starting pitchers. Many of them will have to settle for bullpen duty if they don’t make the rotation, squeezing out less qualified bullpen pitchers like Kennedy. The 2018 season has seen Jon start it in High A where he has yet to give up a run in four appearances.

8. Daniel McGrath LHP (Red Sxo) - His fastball lacks velocity and he was tagged last year for a .295 opposition average. He also struggles to find the plate with 51 walks in just 85 innings. The Red Sox have moved him to the bullpen where the hope is that shorter spurts will lead to greater success.

9. Zac Shepherd 3B (Tigers) - Myworld was once high on his power. Lack of pitch recognition has resulted in lots of swings and misses (171 whiffs in 2017) and low batting averages. His power is also reduced (.318 slugging) because of lack of barrel on the ball contact. This is his fifth season in minor league baseball where his .219 average has not allowed him to surpass A ball.

10. Sam Street RHP (Pirates) - Lots of Sams in Australian baseball. While he was born in Australia, he went to college in the United States, resulting in the Pirates drafting him in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. Of his 111 appearances only one has been a start. His fastball lacks velocity but his career .233 opposition average shows he can still retire hitters. He starts the 2018 season in AA.

Yankees Overflowing with Prospects

April 15th, 2018

This is our last review of the prospects for all 30 teams. The Yankees appear to have changed their focus from spending money on older washed out free agents, to bringing in a glut of young talent who will compete for major league roster time. That young talent has started to pay off with stars like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Gary Sanchez. More are on the way.

The best may be Gleyber Torres. Tommy John surgery last year limited him to 55 games. If not for that he could have been starting for the Yankees in April either at second or third base. The position he was groomed at was shortstop but with Didi Gregorius there his best bet for a roster spot is second or third. His bat has the power to play third, though that power has yet to manifest itself in games. Last year he slugged close to .500 at AA and AAA. This year he has started at AAA where he is hitting .389 with a .583 slugging. The Yankees could be calling him up before April turns to May.

Miguel Andujar is already up with the Yankees. He has more power than Torres but may not hit for as high an average. Last year he tore through AA and AAA hitting over .300 at each level with a .571 batting average in a September callup with the Yankees. His defensive footwork at third is still a bit shaky. Last year his 16 homeruns were a career high. Migraines for Brandon Drury gave Andujar an opportunity to play with the Yankees. So far it has been a struggle (.156). If he continues to struggle expect Torres to be called up to take his place at third.

Thairo Estrada may be best used in a utility role with all the talent the Yankees have in the infield. He doesn’t show a lot of power, but does have the ability to get on base with a .301 average last year at AA and a .353 OBA. He has the tools to play short, but they won’t be enough to unseat Didi. During the offseason he went back home to Venezuela where he was shot in the hip. This put him on the disabled list to start the 2018 season. He should start the season in AAA once he is healthy.

In the outfield the Haitian born Esteven Florial has an abundance of tools. His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. It has yet to accumulate in stolen bases, but allows him to take the extra base. Last year the power was there to hit 13 homeruns. An inability to make consistent contact (148 whiffs in 110 games) could prevent him from hitting for a high average. Last year he had a break out year hitting close to .300 at the Low and High A levels. This year the Yankees are repeating him at the High A level with a quick promotion to AA if he achieves early success.

Billy McKinney was a first round pick of the Athletics in 2013. He’s bounced around between the Cubs and Yankees, coming to the Yankees as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade. He is not blessed with a lot of tools. His power may be a bit short for a corner and his arm could be best suited for left. But he has a lefthanded bat that was able to produce 16 homeruns last year between AA and AAA. The Yankees are loaded with talented outfielders, so if McKinney wants to play on the major league club he may have to move to first base.

Pitching is the Yankees strength and they have a boat load of arms. It starts with Justus Sheffield who was a first round pick of Cleveland in 2013, who was acquired by the Yankees for another possible closer Andrew Miller. Sheffield is not tall at 6′0″ but he is left handed and that is not such a big deal. His fastball comes in hard at the mid-90s, excellent for a LHer and a slider which is his strikeout pitch. The Yankees expect Justus will be the first starter called up if the Yankees need to seek help at that position. In the meantime he is in AAA where he has a 3.60 ERA after two starts.

Chance Adams is another pitcher at AAA with an early callup possibility. At 6′1″ he is a smallish righthanded pitcher but he can still hum his fastball to hit the mid-90s, mostly sitting at 91-93. A good slider and solid command get bats to avoid sold contact. He was unhittable in AA with a 1.03 ERA in six starts and a .183 opposition average. A promotion to AAA saw his ERA rise (2.89) while his opposition average remained pretty impressive (.197).

At the lower levels the Yankees have three pitchers who can rattle the radars in the triple digits. Albert Abreu runs his fastball into the mid-to high 90s, hitting the radar in triple digits. His secondary pitches are above average with good command to get it over the plate. Luis Medina also sits in the upper 90s but has blessed the radars with 102 readings. His secondary pitches are also good but his command is shaky. Domingo Acevedo is another triple digit gem, sitting in the high 90s with a good change to tone up the velocity. Domingo has started the season in AA where he has shown shaky command.

At 6′8″ Frecier Perez brings an intimidating frame. The Yankees only shelled out $100,000 to sign him but the Dominican is waltzing through the minor leagues. His fastball resides in the mid-90s with decent secondary pitches and shaky command. He has started the season in High A where his command (6 walks in 8 innings) has seen his ERA rocket to 8.64 in his first two starts.

Dillon Tate (2014) and Clarke Schmidt (2017) are first rounders who fall down the prospect list. Tate was a first rounder for the Rangers but was acquired by the Yankees in the Carlos Beltran trade. He has a good arm that can hit the mid-90s but his results have not been awe inspiring. Clarke had Tommy John surgery prior to being drafted so will probably not pitch in 2018. At 6′1″ he is not a big pitcher for a righthander.

European Tournaments

April 13th, 2018

Going to Europe and want to watch some baseball. Below is a list of adult tournaments in Europe you can check out to see the level of baseball played there. Hopefully I’ve identified the correct countries.

C.E.B Cup - Ostrava Czech Republic (June 5th - 9th)

Champions Cup - Rotterdam, Netherlands (June 6th - 10th)

Federations Cup - Brasschaat, Belgium (June 11-16)

Federations Cup Qualifier Pool 1 - Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria (June 12-17)

Federations Cup Qualifier Pool 2 - Rybnik, Poland (June 12-17)

Playoff European Championship A Pool - Wiener Neustadt, Austria (June 29th - July 1)

European Championship C Pool 1 - Ashbourne, Ireland (July 23-28)

European Championship C Pool 2 - Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine (July 23-28)

European Championship Qualifier u 23 - Bratislava, Slovakia (August 6 - 12)

Super 6 - Hoofddorp, Netherlands (September 18-23)

Minor League Heat

April 12th, 2018

Baseball America compiled a list of those pitchers who were able to hit 100 mile per hour on the radar gun. Below is the list of those pitchers and which teams they played for. Pittsburgh has the most pitchers to hit 100 plus. It should be noted that a couple of these pitchers have already been designated for assignment this year (Jairo Labourt, Mauricio Cabrera, Jesus Liranzo, Anthony Gose and Bryan Ellington). Throwing in the triple digits does not guarantee success.

1. Angels (None)

2. Astros (Jorge Alcala)

3. Athletics (Wandisson Charles, Jairo Labourt, Frankie Montas and A.J. Puk)

4. Blue Jays (Nate Pearson)

5. Braves (Mauricio Cabrera, Luz Gohara and Jose Ramirez

6. Brewers (none)

7. Cardinals (Conner Greene and Jordan Hicks)

8. Cubs (Justin Hancock, Dillon Maples and James Norwood)

9. Diamondbacks (Jhoan Duran and Rubby de la Rosa)

10. Dodgers (Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin)

11. Giants (Melvin Adon, Julian Fernandez, Rodolfo Martinez and Madison Younginer)

12. Indians (none)

13. Mariners (Dan Altavilla)

14. Marlins (Sandy Alcantara, Brian Ellington, Tayron Guerrero and Chad Smith)

15. Mets (Tyler Bashlor and GErson Bautista)

16. Nationals (Jimmy Cordero)

17. Orioles (Jesus Liranzo and Tanner Scott

18. Padres (Miguel Diaz, Andres Munoz, Gerardo Reyes, Trey Wingenter)

19. Phillies (Sixto Sanchez)

20. Pirates (Jake Brentz, Nick Burdi, Angel Guzman, Tyler Glasnow, Geoff Hartlieb, Johnny Hellweg, Mitch Keller, Damian Magnifico, Dovydas Neverauskas)

21. Rangers (Anthony Gose, C.D. Pelham, Connor Sadzeck)

22. Rays (Jose Alvarado, Diego Castillo, Ian Gibaut, Ryne Stanek)

23. Reds (Luis Castillo, Hunter Greene, Ariel Hernandez, Tanner Rainey)

24. Red Sox (none)

25. Rockies (Yency Almonte, Jairo Diaz, Carlos Estevez, Luis Garcia, Scott Oberg, Riley Pint)

26. Royals (Josh Staumont)

27. Tigers (Jason Foley, Wladimir Pinto and Adam Ravenelle)

28. Twins (Brusdar Graterol, Tyler Kinley and Fernando Romero)

29. White Sox (Zack Burdi, Victor Diaz, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez, Bruce Rondon and Thyago Vieira)

30. Yankees (Albert Abreu, Cale Coshow, Jorge Guzman and Luis Medina

Colabello to play in Italy

April 11th, 2018

Chris Colabello played for Italy in two World Baseball Classics in 2013 and 2017. Now he will be playing in the Italian League for T&A San Marino. Last year he played in the minor leagues after being a surprise pickup from the Independent League to play in the major leagues from 2013 to 2016. Colabello’s father played in Italy for seven years, even pitching for Italy in the 1984 Olympics.

Colabello played seven seasons in the Can-Am League before signing with the Twins in 2012 and playing in their minor league system. He got a surprise promotion to the Twins in the 2013 season but after hitting .352 in the AAA minor leagues struggled with the Twins for a .192 average. This did not prevent a team from the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) attempt to sign him.

His 2014 season was not much better as he hit just .229 for the year, but did break the club record for most RBIs in April with 26. The Blue Jays picked him up on waivers for the 2015 season where he raked for a .321 average and 15 homeruns. The 2016 season saw his fairy tale career come crashing to a close when he was suspended 80 games for the use of performance enhancing drugs. He was only hitting .069 at the time and never returned to major league baseball.

White Sox Top Heavy with Prospects

April 3rd, 2018

According to myworld and many other sources, the White Sox have the top prospects in the major leagues. Some of those prospects such as Yoan Moncada, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito have already graduated to the major leagues. Others will have graduated before the 2018 season ends. What sets them apart is the prospects are both in pitching and offense, though it is with the pitching staff that has scouts eyes sparkle.

The biggest jewel is Michael Kopech, who throws perhaps the hardest fastball in baseball. The character flaws have stayed quiet for the last couple years. Now he just has to learn to find the plate more consistently. His fastball crosses that plate in the triple digits, hitting 103 but sits in the high 90s. A quality slider and decent change give him the three pitches needed to be a starter. The 2014 first round pick tends to walk a hitter every other inning and that has usually come back to bite him. Hitters in AA only batted .184 against him, but he walked almost as many batters (60) as he gave up hits (74). He will start the season in AAA with a strong possibility of seeing major league time this year.

Alec Hansen is one of those tall and lanky pitchers (6′7″) that is all arms as he comes to the plate. His fastball marches to the plate in the mid-90s and as he matures he could hit the high 90s with consistency. He throws two quality breaking pitches, with the curve rated better than a slider and a still developing change. The height and the lanky limbs give him challenges finding a consistent delivery, which lead to control issues, the one nick scouts can cast against him. In 24 starts in A ball hitters bats fizzled at a .205 clip. He had a bit of a rough patch in AA in his two starts, which should be where he begins his 2018 season.

With Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito graduating to the major league pitching staff, Dane Dunning is the lone pitcher from the trio acquired in the Adam Eaton trade with the Nationals still left in the minor leagues. The first round 2016 pick of the Nationals has a good frame for pitching (6′4″) that generates fastballs at 93-96. His secondary pitches (slider and change) are good enough to fit in the middle of the rotation and his command of his pitches is better than Kopech and Hansen. He was a little more hittable in the Carolina League (.250 average) but he did get his share of swings and misses (136 whiffs in 118 innings). He hopes to repeat his success in AA next year and join Lopez and Giolito in the rotation by mid-season 2019.

The Cubs seemed to have given up on their hardest thrower Dylan Cease when they needed pitching, trading him to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana trade. His fastball has hit triple digits but sits between 93 and 97. Quality secondary pitches and command are a problem for Cease, which may make it best for him to settle in the bullpen. His curveball is a nice pitch but his change is still a work in progress. Cease will also be pitching in AA giving that Birmingham pitching staff a loaded rotation.

Carson Fulmer and Ian Clarkin are both pitchers worth mentioning since they were first round picks. Carson was selected by the White Sox in 2015 but he has struggled to retire hitters. Last year in AAA he strung together a 5.79 ERA with the opposition hitting him at a .268 clip. He doesn’t miss bats, with a low 90s fastball that has trouble finding the plate. He did better with the White Sox (3.86 ERA) but 13 walks in 23.1 innings will gray many a manager. Ian was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 draft, selected after Aaron Judge. He was acquired by the White Sox in the Todd Frazier deal. Ian lacks overpowering stuff and is still trying to figure it out in A ball. He could fit in the back end of the rotation but time is running out for Ian.

Bullpen fodder is Brazillian Thyago Viera. He throws in the triple digits but the White Sox were able to purchase him from the Mariners for international bonus money. Command can be a problem and hitters are able to make good contact off him despite the heat he throws on his fastball. If he has success in AAA he could be on the roller coaster with the White Sox, pitching in the major leagues to provide depth in the bullpen.

Eloy Jimenez is the White Sox top hitter. A minor injury will delay the start of his 2018 season in AA. The power is there for him to hit 30 plus homers and hit in the neighborhood north of .300. The Dominican may be wound a little tight because injuries last year limited him to 88 games. Defense is not his strong suit. Below average speed and arm will restrict him to left field. If he can dominate in AA the White Sox could give him a September callup.

Luis Robert may not have as much power as Eloy but he could be the more complete player. His speed will allow him to patrol center with an arm strong enough to fit into right. The White Sox paid the Cuban a $26 million bonus. In his last year in the Naccional Series in Cuba he was leading the league in hitting, homeruns and RBIs as a 19 year old when he departed for the United States mid-season. This will be his first season in the United States, possibly starting the season in Low A. He dominated last year in the Dominican Summer League with a 1.027 OPS in 28 games.

A third outfielder is Blake Rutherford, who was the Yankees first round pick in 2016. A crowded outfield there made him available to the White Sox in the Todd Frazier deal. Despite a 6′3″ frame his power has been a little disappointing. His average speed will limit him to a corner where teams expect some pop. The White Sox hope he’ll find some pop in his bat at High A.

The White Sox 2017 number one pick Jake Burger is a hitting machine. There are some questions about his other tools. An Achilles injury will delay his season until 2019. The White Sox will start him at third base, but there could be an eventual move to first. His bat needs to produce in order for him to play. In rookie ball last year he hit .271 with four homeruns.

Charlie Tilson was supposed to be the White Sox centerfielder as a rookie last year but a hamstring injury ended his season. He has good speed but little power and could find himself turning into a fourth outfielder with the arrivals of Jimenez and Roberts. The White Sox will start him in AAA and he could see the major leagues by mid-season.

Foreign Players in the KBO

April 2nd, 2018

The Korean Baseball Organization allow three foreign players on the KBO roster. Unlike Taiwan, they must be broken out into either two position players and one pitcher or two pitchers and one position player. A team can not have three position players or three pitchers. Most teams choose to stock their team with two pitchers and one position player.

NC Dinos

Wang Wei-Chung (RHP) - He is the first pitcher from Taiwan to pitch in the KBO. He got a major league opportunity with the Brewers as a Rule V pick but did not pitch well. He never really got another opportunity. He won his first two starts in the KBO, creating some excitement in the Taiwan community. His ERA sits at an impressive 2.08 with 13 whiffs in 13 innings. In the offensive oriented KBO this is an impressive start for Wang.

Logan Veret (RHP) - This is also Logan’s first year in the UBL. Logan has been a bit wild in his first two starts walking 7 in 10.2 innings but a 3.38 ERA is still excellent in the KBO.

Xavier Scruggs (1B/DH) - There was some pressure on Xavier, replacing MVP Eric Thames on the roster. Last year he passed the test with a .300 average, 35 homeruns and 111 RBIs. The Dinos resigned him for the 2018 season. In eight games he is only hitting .261 with two homeruns and four RBIs. It is still early with the Dinos in first place. Pitchers are certainly showing him respect with 8 walks and four whiffs.

SK Wyverns

Merill Kelly (RHP) - This is his fourth season with the Wyverns. He seems to get better with each year he pitches. Last year he was 16-7 with a 3.60 ERA in 30 starts. In his one start this year he struck out 10 in just five innings of work but gave up four runs.

Angel Sanchez (RHP) - This is his first season in the KBO. So far so good, giving up just one run in each of his starts for a 1.50 ERA.

Jamie Romak (RF) - Last year Jamie slugged 31 homeruns but only produced 64 RBIs. A .242 average with 116 whiffs in 102 games gave him an all or nothing bat. This year he hopes for a little more consistency, hitting .367 with four homeruns and 9 RBIs in his first 8 games.

Doosan Bears

Seth Frankoff (RHP) - His first year in the KBO. His first start he did not give up any runs in six innings of work. His next start he gave up two bombs for three runs. Overall his ERA sits at a 2.45 ERA which should keep him on the team for a few more starts.

Josh Lindblom (RHP) - His first three years in the KBO Josh pitched for the Lotte Giants. His third year injuries limited him to 12 starts after he had a down second year. The Giants chose not to resign him and the Bears pounced on the opportunity to sign the veteran KBO hurler. He got smacked around in his first start but gave up just one run in his second start leaving his ERA at 4.35.

Jimmy Paredes (OF) - Myworld never liked Jimmy Paredes as a minor leaguer. His first year in the KBO is not going well, with a .207 average. His one RBI for the season was a solo shot. Korean teams do not have a lot of patience for a hitter to start producing, especially the Doosan Bears, who were prevented from three peating last year.

Nexen Heroes

Esmil Rogers (RHP) - He’s made a return to the KBO after pitching for the Hanwha Eagles in 2015/2016. An arm injury ended his Eagle career after a half season. He appears healthy now, though Samsung put a hurt on him with six runs in six innings allowing his ERA to climb to 5.54.

Jake Brigham (RHP) - This is his second year with the Heroes. His first was pedestrian (4.38). He gave up a lot of hits and doesn’t get swings and misses with his pitches. In his first two starts this year he has gotten the swings and misses (14 K’s in 11 IP) but still gives up hits for a high ERA (4.91).

Michael Choice (OF) - The one time top prospect of the Oakland Athletics is in his second year with the Heroes. In a half season last year he slugged 17 homeruns in just 46 games. There have been some early season struggles this year with a .212 average that have been absent of any long ball. The KBO does not have a lot of patience for consistent failure in their foreign players.

KT Wiz

Ryan Feierabend (LHP) - In his first year in the KBO in 2015 he pitched for the Nexen Heroes. This is his third year with the expansion Wiz. Last year his 3.04 ERA was his career best. In two starts this year he has a 4.50 ERA, numbers that will not get him through the season if he does not improve.

Dustin Nippert (RHP) - He pitched seven seasons for the Doosan Bears, winning an MVP in the 2016 championship season when he went 22-3 with a 2.95 ERA. He was too average last year (4.06 ERA) even though he finished 14-8. The Bears chose not to resign him. Mediocrity does not allow for high salary demands. The Wiz pounced. He has yet to pitch this year, though his signing was relatively late.

Mel Rojas Jr (OF) - A late season signing of the Wiz last year, his 18 dingers in just 83 games convinced the Wiz to sign him for one more year. Early season returns are good with a .343 average and 4 homeruns in just 8 games.

Kia Tigers

Pat Dean (LHP)- His second season with the defending champion Tigers. His first season he gave up 211 hits in 176 innings so the Tigers must have seen something in him to bring him back. Despite the number of hits his ERA was a respectable 4.14. He also throws strikes. In two starts this year he has a win with a 3.86 ERA.

Hector Noesi (RHP) - This is his third season in the KBO. His first season he was 15-5, 3.40. He topped those numbers last year with a 20-5, 3.48. With only a 144 game season it is harder to win 20 games in the KBO than the major leagues. He did give up 14 more homeruns last year than he did in 2016. This year he is just getting started with a 4.76 ERA in two starts.

Roger Bernadina (OF) - In his first season in the KBO last year Roger did it all. He hit for average (.320), power (27 homeruns) and showed some speed (32 stolen bases). He started the season as the leadoff hitter but moved to number three in the order where he drove in 111 runs. He has gotten off to a good start this season with a .394 average, 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs in 8 games with four stolen bases.

LG Twins

Henry Sosa (RHP) - This is his seventh season in the KBO. His first two were with the Kia Tigers, then he spent one year with the Nexon Heroes. This is his fourth year with the Twins. He seems to bounce around between having a good year followed by a bad year. Last year his 11-11 record with a 3.88 ERA can be defined as having a good year. He has only one start this year, not getting a decision and giving up two runs in six innings.

Tyler Wilson (RHP) - This is the first year for the former Bowie Bay Sox to pitch in Korea. He lost both his starts but pitched well, striking out 16 in 12 innings with a 3.75 ERA. In both starts he went six innings and did not give up more than three runs.

Adonis Garcia (3B) - The Cuban got a couple years in the major leagues. He has not shown a lot of power in his first 8 games in the KBO with only two doubles, but he has a .394 average. He has driven in 9 runs with at least one RBI in his last five games.

Samsung Lions

Tim Adleman (RHP) - His first year in the KBO. He got rocked in his first start giving up five runs in just over six innings. His next start was much better, allowing just two runs in six innings.

Lisalverto Bonilla (RHP) - Another rookie to the KBO he took the loss in his first start, being assaulted for 9 runs in just over three innings. He gave up three dingers. The Lions will give him a little more rope, but they expect better results from their foreign pitchers.

Darin Ruf (1B) - Last year was his first year in the KBO and he slugged 31 homeruns, driving in 124 with a .315 average. That got him another year with the Lions where he has started out strong with a .333 average, three homeruns and 9 RBIs in eight games.

Hanwha Eagles

Keyvius Sampson (RHP) - I always liked Sampson and wondered why he didn’t get more of an opportunity with the Padres. In his first year in the KBO he is working on getting a one way plane ticket back to the United States. He lost his first two starts, failed to reach the fifth inning and sits with a 12.46 ERA. He has struck out 16 in his 8.2 innings of work but he has also walked 8 and allowed three homeruns.

Jason Wheeler (LHP) - Jason is also experiencing his first season in the KBO. He got one of the two Eagles wins this year in his first start, limiting Nexen to just one run in seven innings. He got rocked in his next start, not last five and giving up seven runs. Not looking good for the two Eagles starters.

Jared Hoying (RF) - Also a rookie in the KBO, the Eagles went for the obscure foreign player, saving some coin in signing him. He’s been raking in his first seven games with a .462 average with two homeruns and five RBIs. Myworld will be surprised if this lasts.

Lotte Giants

Felix Doubront (LHP) - Also a KBO newbie he has been finding the mound rough in his first two starts. He has given up five runs in each of his starts for an 8.10 ERA and has an unimpressive 8/5 walk to whiff ratio, with six of his walks occurring in his first game.

Brooks Raley (LHP) - The lefty never impressed with his stuff in the major leagues but he has pitched three seasons with the Giants, going on his fourth year. Last year he was 13-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Brooks is a very consistent pitcher who gives a team 180 innings with his arm. In his first two starts this year he has a 3.75 ERA with one loss.

Andy Burns (2B) - The Giants appear to be saving money with Burns. He hit .303 but only slugged 15 homeruns with 57 RBIs with the Giants last year. Most teams try to get 100 RBIs plus from their foreign player. Andy is back for a second season with a .214 average and only one RBI in 8 games. Giant fans have started to throw chicken boxes at their players for the one win performance in their first eight games. Getting a more productive foreign bat would be a way to try to appease those fans that they are trying to win. Even Dae-Ho Lee is hitting .226 but they will not let him go.

Berrios Blanks Birds

April 1st, 2018

The last time myworld saw Jose Berrios pitch was in an exhibition game a couple days ago against the Nationals where he pitched three innings of no hit ball. Against the Orioles he allowed his first hit to Chance Sisco in the third inning when the ball just went past the outstretched glove of left fielder Eddie Rosario. He would give up two hits in the ninth inning with a walk loading the bases, but a strikeout to Adam Jones secured the shutout 7-0 win.

Brian Dozier got the Twin offense started early in the first inning on the first pitch from Kevin Gausman, lofting a pitch that barely cleared the left field fence. The next hitter Joe Mauer drew a walk and Eddie Rosario beat the shift by laying down a bunt single down the third base line. With two out Eduardo Escobar blooped a double down the left field line to score one run. A wild pitch scored another and a single by Byron Buxton made it 4-0 before the Orioles even had an opportunity to hit. It would not matter because their only base runner in the first eight innings was the two out third inning double from Chance Sisco.

The Twins tacked on two more runs in the third. Miguel Sano went the opposite way launching a ball over the score board into the right field pavilion to lead off the third. Eduardo Escobar hit a two out missle that went on a line over the centerfield fence to up the lead to 6-0. Gausman was able to get out of the fourth inning without allowing any more runs, but he did not start the fifth, finishing the day with 72 pitches after four innings.

Dozier hit his second solo shot of the day, popping a Pedro Araujo pitch again just barely clearing the left field bleachers. That made it 7-0 Twins. The O’s bullpen retired 10 of the next 11 hitters, giving up a two out single to pinch hitter Ryan LaMarre in the ninth inning.

The big issue came in the ninth with the Twins in a shift against Chance Sisco. Like Eddie Rosario earlier Chance exploited the shift by laying down a bunt down the third base line. A couple Twin players complained about the unwritten rules of baseball and his bunting in a 7-0 game. But if the Twins thought the game was over why were they still in the shift? That is just as bush as Sisco bunting to defeat the shift.

In the bottom of the ninth a walk to Chris Davis and a line single up the middle by Manny Machado gave the fans something to finally get excited about. The O’s would disappoint, Jonathan Schoop popping the ball straight up to the catcher. Adam Jones then stranded the three baserunners by striking out.

Game Notes: Gausman finished the game with 72 pitches after four innings. Berrios had 71 pitches after seven. Berrios also hit 93-95 consistently throughout the game. Gausman sat his fastball in the 91/92 range and could not get his slider over the plate, bouncing it in the dirt on numerous occasions. Last year Gausmann hit the mid-90s with his fastball. In the third inning he hit 94-95 with his first couple pitches, but before the inning was over it was down to 91/92…Miguel Sano played up the middle in the shift. He roamed back to the outfield to catch a popup and fielded a grounder up the middle in the sixth….Chris Davis is not impressing from the leadoff spot, starting the season in an 0 for 11 slump. He has drawn a couple walks.

Two Korean Teenage Superstars and Three Returning Players Excite KBO Fans

March 31st, 2018

The KBO is entering an exciting season with the Shohei Otani equivalent exciting crowds. He is just one of two teenage superstars who are making an impact in the KBO. So are the three returning major leaguers, who may have struggled in the United States, but they hope to find their bats in the hitter friendly KBO.

Kang Baek-Ho was touted as being the Shohei Ohtani of Korea. He played for the silver medal Korean team in the 18 and under World Cup in Thunder Bay, Canada, breaking out a fastball that clicked the radar guns at 95 and hitting bombs over the fence. He was a first round pick of the newest Korean team, the KT Wiz. The crowds came out to see him. He did not disappoint.

Kang hit the first KBO homer of the season. The 18 year old has slugged three more, his latest a grand slam homerun in the 20-8 win of the Wiz over the Doosan Bears. In seven games Kang is hitting .370 with two doubles, four homeruns and 10 RBIs. Six of his 10 hits have gone for extra bases. The Wiz are getting some positive results from his slugging, winning four of their first seven games. Kang has decided to focus on hitting in the KBO, abandoning the hill for the time being.

The other teenage superstar is 19 year old Jung-Hoo Lee, who was voted Rookie of the year in the KBO last year. He was the first player taken out of high school to appear in every KBO game for his team, bypassing the KBO Futures League, which is the equivalent of a high school player going straight to the major leagues without playing any minor league ball. His father Jong-Beom Lee was an MVP in the KBO a number of years ago so the blood lines are there to play baseball.

Last year Nexon Heroes centerfielder Jung-Hoo hit .324 with 2 homeruns and 47 RBIs. His 179 hits were the most ever for a first year player in the KBO. This year he is hitting .407 with four walks and three whiffs. He does not seem to carry the power of Park in his early years but the power is expected to show once he matures. His only extra base hits this year are the three doubles, and despite batting lead off with some speed he has yet to steal a base.

One of his teammates is former Minnesota Twins first baseman/designated hitter Byung-Ho Park. Stuck in the minor leagues Park negotiated out of his four year contract with the Twins to resign with the Nexon Heroes. In 2014 and 2015, his last two years with the Heroes, Park slugged 52 and 53 homeruns. In the major leagues he had trouble making contact, which is also an issue in the KBO (303 whiffs in 268 games in 2014 and 2015). In seven games in the KBO he has already slugged three homeruns and is hitting .435. His patience has improved since returning from the major/minor leagues with 9 walks and five whiffs. Those are still early returns, but in his career he has never walked more than he has struck out, coming closest in 2013 with a 92/96 walk to whiff ratio.

Jae-Gyun Hwang signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants last year. Despite the Giants struggles at the position Hwang only got an 18 game opportunity late in the year, hitting .154 with one homerun. In AAA he achieved some success, hitting .285 with 10 homeruns. In his 2016 KBO season Hwang hit .335 with 27 homeruns and 113 RBIs. In his first seven KBO games this year Hwang is hitting .300 with two homeruns. In the KBO that is not lighting up the league.

The last of the returning players is Hyun Soo-Kim, who had success in his first year with the Baltimore Orioles, hitting over .300 but showing little power. In his second year he did not get a lot of starting opportunities, was traded to the Phillies and never got on track. No major league team signed him as a free agent for the 2018 season and he signed with the LG Twins. In 2015 he played for the Doosan Bears, hitting .325 with a career high 28 homeruns with 121 RBIs. He also had a 101/63 walk to whiff ratio. In his return to the KBO he is showing less patience (3/8 walk to whiff ratio) resulting in a .241 average with one homerun. The LG Twins are struggling with a 2-5 record in the early start to the season.