Monkeys Break CPBL Win Record

September 20th, 2017

With their 3-2 win over the Fubon Guardians the La Miga Monkeys broke a CPBL record for most wins in a season with 72. The previous record for a 120 game season was held by the Uni President Lions with 71 wins in 2012. With 12 games left in the season the Monkeys can continue to add on to the win record.

If the Monkeys can win both halves of the CPBL season they will clinch appearing in the championship series against the winner of the second and third place team. They will enter the series with a 1-0 lead in the series

AL East Minor League All Stars

September 20th, 2017

The minor league seasons are done and the All Star teams have been announced. Baseball America broke them out into AAA, AA, High A, Low A, short season, rookie and Dominican Summer League. Myworld identifies those All stars from the AL East first.

Baltimore Orioles

Austin Hayes OF (AA) - A third round pick who has above average tools in all the five categories scouts measure. His 32 homeruns from High A to AA were the second most in the minors in 2017. The success got him a September promotion to the big league club at 21 years of age.

D.J. Stewart OF (AA) - A first round pick of the Orioles, he lacks the tools of Hayes. His arm and defensive limitations will restrict him to left field and his bat may not show enough power to make that an attractive alternative for the Orioles. Myworld does not expect him to be an impact player but he could work himself into a role player.

Ryan Mountcastle DH (High A) - He played shortstop at Frederick. When promoted to Bowie they stuck him at third. Third may be his best position. He dominated at High A, but struggled in his first exposure to AA. Defensive limitations will force a move from short and the O’s think he has the bat to play third.

Alex Wells SP (Low A) - The Aussie does not have the most overpowering fastball but he gets hitters out. In 25 starts at Delmarva he restricted hitters to a .222 average. The true test will be his effectiveness as he faces more advanced hitters with that less than overwhelming stuff.

Ben Breazeale DH (short season) - A seventh round draft pick who got more games at DH than catcher. He finished the season with a .323 average and a .433 OBA. If he lacks the tools to catch the O’s could find another spot for him.

Zac Lowther SP (short season) - A 2017 second round pick is a lefthander who relies more on his stuff than his power. He had a 1.79 ERA with 11.8 whiffs per nine innings. Like Wells, his success will be defined if he can continue that dominance as he faces more advanced hitters.

Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers 3B (AA) - A hitting machine who may compete for batting titles and hit 20 plus homeruns per year. He was called up in August and has performed well enough to address the Red Sox black hole at the hot corner.

Michael Chavis 3B (High A) - Lacks the consistent bat of Devers. Expect the Red Sox to either use him as trade bait or move him to second base when Pedroia’s time should be up. The bat shows 20 plus home run pop and a plus .300 average potential.

Denyi Reyes RP (short season) - The Dominican has some nice height (6′4′) and was a vulture in the bullpen (9-0) taking advantage of the starters abbreviated pitch counts to win games. His whiffs per nine (7.7) were not inspiring so we’ll see where he goes.

New York Yankees

Chance Adams SP (AAA) - A good mid 90s fastball dominated hitters in AA (1.03 ERA in six starts) and led to an early promotion to AAA. A .197 opposition average will see Chance compete for a spot in the Yankees rotation next year. A reliever until last year, his height (6′1″) could make the bullpen his best role.

Estevan Florial OF (Low A) - The Haitian born outfielder got his exposure playing in the Dominican Republic. Last year was a breakout year for him. He has right field arm strength, the potential to build to his power tools and the speed to play center. The Yankees would like to see him reduce his 148 whiffs in 110 games.

Jorge Guzman SP (short season) - The Dominican was acquired from the Astros in the Brian McCann trade. He can hit triple digits with his fastball but needs to develop his secondary pitches.

Tampa Bay Rays

Yonny Chirinos SP (AAA) - Myworld did not see him pitch when we spent our week in Durham. Not overpowering, he relies more on his command to get hitters out.

Justin Williams OF (AA) - The Rays acquired him from the D-backs in the Jeremy Hellickson trade. A lack of speed will restrict him to the corners but his bat seems to be developing with decent power and average to fit as a corner outfielder.

Brandon Lowe 2B (High A) - Defense is not in the cards but his bat will produce. He hit .311 for Charlotte. A lack of speed will prevent him from stealing bases so he could end up a one trick pony, where the bat needs to develop for him to see the Rays.

Jesus Sanchez DH (Low A) - The outfielder has all the tools to be an impact player. The speed exists for him to play center and his arm is plenty good for right.

Austin Franklin SP (short season) - He has the build to be an innings eater (6′3″, 215). His fastball hits the mid-90s but sits in the low 90s with the potential to increase as he matures. For Hudson Valley he struck out over one hitter per inning.

Toronto Blue Jays

Bo Bichette 2B (Low A) - The son of Dante toyed with .400 at Low A (.384). The Jays used him a bit at short but his best position may be second or third. His bat shows enough power for the corner.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Low A) - The son of Vladimir, he may not have the arm or power of his father, but he exercises more patience with the bat, taking more walks and not swinging at everything near the plate. More power should come as he matures.

Ryan Noda 1b (Rookie) - The 15th round pick in 2017 showed some power with a .575 slugging and exhibited great patience at the plate with a .507 OBA.

Maverik Buffo SP (Rookie) - The 34th round pick showed excellent numbers pitching out of the bullpen and in the rotation, finishing the season with a 0.53 ERA. He showed excellent control with a 2/36 walk to whiff ratio in 34 innings.

Japan Still Number One in Baseball Despite United States Dominance

September 19th, 2017

The United States has finished higher than Japan in most of the tournaments the two play in. The main reason Japan is rated higher is they have played in more tournament, two November World Cup age tournaments that the United States chose not to participate in. The voting system tends to favor quantity of tournaments played rather than quality.

Below are the top ten countries in baseball. You can see the complete list at WBSC.org.

1) Japan - 5598
2) United States - 5414
3) Korea - 4908
4) Taiwan - 3747
5) Cuba - 3637
6) Mexico - 2957
7) Australia - 2634
8) Netherlands - 2374
9) Venezuela - 2286
10) Canada - 2142

Carp and Hawks Clinch First in NPB

September 18th, 2017

The Hiroshima Carp have clinched first place in the Central Division and the Softbank Hawks have clinched first place in the Pacific Division. In the NPB clinching first place has significant advantages when the playoffs start. First you get a bye while the second and third place teams battle it out. Second, all the games are played at your park until you get to the Japan Series. Last, you get a 1-0 lead in the series against the winner of the second and third place match.

For the Carp this is the first time in franchise history they have won a division two consecutive years. For the Hawks, they have been one of the more consistent teams in the NPB, but this division win was their first since 2015. It is their 18th division win in franchise history. Dennis Sarfate became the first pitcher in NPB history to save 50 games in a season to lead the Hawks.

In the Central Division the Hanshin Tigers have a comfortable 4.5 game lead for the first wild card spot. The Yomiuri Giants and Yokohama Bay Stars are in a virtual tie for the second wild card spot. Both teams have the same number of wins and losses, but the Bay Stars have played one more game than the Giants resulting in one more tie game (4 to 3).

The Pacific Division seems pretty well set with the Seibu Lions getting the second wild card spot and the Rakuten Golden Eagles capturing the third. The Golden Eagles seem to have recovered from their collapse, when they once had first place in their grasp and are no longer a threat to lose a playoff spot. The Orix Buffaloes seemed to be charging hard to take advantage of that collapse, but at 12 games behind with just about 20 games to play their chances of catching the Eagles are slim.

Under 18 World Cup All Tournament Team

September 15th, 2017

Below is the Under 18 World Cup all tournament team. Myworld will include other players who were deserving of consideration based on their statistical performance.

Catcher - Dae-Hyun Cho (Korea) - .278, 1 HR, 11 runs scored, 8 RBIs with a .935 OPS

First Base - Leonardo Seminati (Italy) - .423, 2 HR, 7 RBI with 1.185 OPS

Second Base - Cesar Prieto (Cuba) - .581 ave with a 1.251 OPS

Third Base - Noah Naylor (Canada) - .313 average with .856 OPS

Shortstop - Brice Turang (United States) - .364, 7 runs scored with a .932 OPS

Outfield - Jin-Won Ye (Korea) - .355, 1 HR, 10 runs scored, 6 RBIs with a .992 OPS
Outfield - Alek Thomas (United States) - .361, 8 RBIs and six runs scored with 5 stolen bases
Outfield - Michael Siani (United States) - .333, 12 runs scored and 6 RBIs with 7 stolen bases and a .896 OPS

Starting Pitcher - Ethan Hankins (United States) - 1-0, 0.75 ERA, 27 K’s in 12 innings

Relief Pitcher - Fuminaru Taura (Japan) - 1-1, 1.32 ERA with 29 K’s in 13.2 innings

Others to Consider

United States

Triston Casas - .250, 3 homeruns and 13 RBIs with .993 OPS. Voted MVP of the tournament
Matthew Liberatore - 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 12 innings
Ryan Weathers - 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 9.2 innings
Brandon Dieter - 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 10 innings

Korea

Jun-Hwan Jang - .381, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs with 7 runs scored and a 1.234 OPS. 8 walks
Baek-Ho Kang - .375, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 runs scored, 4 2Bs with a 1.100 OPS. Also 4 K’s in 2 innings. The Shohei Otani of Korea.
In-Hyok Yi - .300, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 runs scored with a .967 OPS
Been Gwak - 1-1, 2.51 with 18 K’s in 14.1 innings
Min Kim - 1-0, 0.77 in 11.2 innings

Japan

Kaito Kozono - .378 average
Hisanori Yasuda - .324 average, 4 2Bs with a .918 OPS
Ginji Miura - 2-0, 0.00 ERA with 19 K’s in 12 innings
Kento Kawabata - 0-2, 2.51 ERA with 25 K’s in 14.1 innings

Canada

Jason Willow - .333, 1 HR, 10 RBIs, 7 runs scored with a .928 OPS
Archer Brookman - .219, 2HR, 11 RBIs, 9 runs scored with a .866 OPS

Australia

Jack O’Loughlin - 2-0, 0.69 ERA with 15 K’s in 13 IP

Cuba

Roidal Martinez - .429 ave with a 1.026 OPS
Victor Mesa - .320 ave.

Taiwan

Han-Yu Tseng - .393 with .964 OPS
Tien-Hsin Kuo - .364 with .860 OPS

Netherlands

Dylan Koster - .364 with .845 OPS
Donny Breek - 1-1, 1.08 ERA, 18 K’s 16.2 innings, 151 opponent average

Italy

Michele Vassalotti - 1-0, 1.64 ERA with 15 K’s in 11 innings
Chih-Jung Liu - 1-1, 1.98 with 13 K’s in 13.2 IP
Yi-Sheng Chu - 1.29 ERA with 12 K’s in 7 IP

Nicaragua

Wandley Lagos - .424 ave, 4 stlen bases with a .899 OPS
Jeyner Flores - .393 ave, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs with 1.219 OPS

Mexico

Saul Martinez - .423 with a 1.041 OPS
Jose Gaona - .400 with a 1.070 OPS
Jorge Valdez - 1-0, 1.17 ERA with 10 K’s in 7.2 innings

South Africa

None

Otani to Have Ankle Surgery

September 14th, 2017

Otani has been bothered by a sore ankle all season, limiting him to just three starts. To alleviate the injury he will have ankle surgery that will require a month to three months of rehabilitation. While he is expected to have the Nippon Ham Fighters post him to the major leagues for next season his stock keeps dropping as far as salary expectation.

Because he is under 25 his salary will be restricted by the international salary cap. Now the ankle surgery may prevent him from doing workouts until sometime after January. His talent may overcome any teams attempt to low ball him because of the surgery.

The announcement was made by yakyudb.com via Sponichi.

Kang Future Two Way Player in KBO

September 14th, 2017

Baek-Ho Kang was the first player drafted in the KBO by the KT Wiz in the 2017 draft. He has a fastball that hits 95 and can hit over .300. In the 18 and under tournament his bat helped Korea to a second place finish. He also pitched two shutout innings.

The Wiz will use him as a hitter but pitch him out of the bullpen. If he hits and pitches Kang will become the second KBO player to hit and pitch. Sung-Han Kim was the first doing it during the 1982 season for the Haitai Tigers. He led the league in RBIs with a .305 average but also finished 10-5 on the mound with a 2.88 ERA. Kim found the double duty strenuous and stopped pitching after the 1986 season.

Korea did have an Ichiro Suzuki of Korea. His name was Shin-Soo Choo. His career was not as productive as Suzuki, injuries playing an issue. Kang is being called the Shohei Otani of Korea. His fastball is a bit slower and his bat may be less productive. Next year will be his KBO debut where he can prove himself.

Otani Impressive in Third Start

September 13th, 2017

The scouts are trying to figure out what to do with a player who hits fastballs 450 feet and throws fastballs at 100 plus miles per hour. Shohei Otani had his best outing of the year, throwing 5.2 innings of shutout ball and just allowing one hit. His strikeout numbers were down (4) but his fastball hit triple digits.

His ERA is still at a lofty 6.97. An ankle injury has prevented him from appearing on the hill, but it has not prevented him from hitting. His .346 batting average would be tops in the NPB if he had enough at bats. His OPS is at .990.

London Mets Retake British Crown

September 12th, 2017

The London Mets, who won the championship in 2015 played the Southampton Mustangs, the champions from last year. In a best of three series the Mets swept the series 2-0, winning the first game 15-14 and blanking the Mustangs in the second game 6-0.

United States Wins Fourth Straight Under 18 World Cup Championship

September 11th, 2017

The United States, especially their pitching staff was dominant in their fourth straight 18 and under World Cup championship.

United States 8 Korea 0

The United States tossed their second straight shutout against Korea to win their fourth consecutive 18 and under World Cup championship. Matthew Liberatore did not dazzle with strikeouts, but still pitched six innings of four hit shutout ball, striking out just one. Three different relievers completed the shutout with one inning of relief each.

Triston Casas again provided the big bat for the United States team with a double, homerun and three RBIs. It was his third double and third homerun of the tournament. Triston has 13 RBIs in the nine games he has played in the tournament.

Japan 8 Canada 1

Japan rolled over the hosts to win the bronze medal in the tournament. Ginjii Miura pitched seven innings of three hit shutout ball, striking out 12. For the tournament he did not give up a run in his two starts, working 12 innings and striking out 12. Japan stole five bases and coaxed six walks in the rout. Kyota Fujiwara was the offensive catalyst for Japan with two hits, two runs scored, an RBI and stolen base.

Japan finished in second place in the two previous tournaments, so playing for the bronze had to be a disappointment. Canada finished second in 2012. South Korea last won this tournament in 2008. Canada last won the tournament in 1991.