Archive for the 'Dominican Republic' Category

Nicaragua to Host U-23 WBSC Championship; Panama Under 15

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Nicaragua will host the Under 23 WBSC championship in 2018, playing the games at the newly constructed 15,000 seat Dennis Martinez stadium at a date yet to be determined. Despite all the points awarded for this event the No 2 United States and No 5 Cuba will not be playing in the tournament. The United States did not play in the qualifying round, while Cuba did not qualify. Below are the teams who have qualified for the games:

Africa (1) - to be determined
Americas (4) - No. 9 Venezuela, No. 6 Mexico, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 16 Dominican Republic
Asia (3) - No1. Japan, No.4 Taiwan and No. 3 South Korea
Europe (2) - No. 8 Netherlands, No. 14 Czech Republic
Oceania (1) - to be determined
Wildcard (1) - No 13 Nicaragua

The Under 15 Hosts will be Panama. The teams competing in that tournament are:

Africa (1) - to be determined
Americas (5) - No. 2 United States, No. 16 Dominican Republic, No. 5 Cuba, No. 15 Panama, No. 18 Brazil
Asia (2) - No. 1 Japan and No. 4 Taiwan
Europe (2) - No. 20 Germany and No. 8 Netherlands
Oceania (1) - to be determined

Winter League Pitchers Making Waves

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Most of the top prospects do not usually pitch in the winter leagues because of the number of innings pitching coaches want to save for their arms. The top prospects may have a couple starts, but that is only for those pitchers who were injured for most of the major league season and the need to get some work. The winter league is filled with pitchers who had opportunities but failed and now are trying to attract any team from the NPB, KBO, CPBL or the major leagues. Below are the pitchers who are doing well, but keep in mind the hitters they are facing are mostly at the AA level.

Radhames Liz (Estrellas) - Liz did not have success in the major leagues, but he pitched well in the bullpen in the NPB. His fastball used to reach the mid-90s but tended to be too straight. He will be 34 entering the 2018 season and myworld does not know what he has left in his 95 mile per hour fastball. He started the Dominican season pitching over 30 innings of ball without allowing an earned run. In his last outing he finally gave up two earned runs to raise his ERA to 0.50 after seven starts. The opposition is hitting him at a .153 pace and he has a 8/31 walk to whiff ratio in 35.2 innings.

Yunesky Maya (Aguilas) - Perhaps he is more comfortable pitching in an environment where they have a Latin culture. He struggled in his starts in the major leagues and the KBO, though he did pitch a no hitter in the KBO. In 8 starts in the Dominican Winter League he is 2-1, 1.72, with the opposition hitting just .214 off him. Not overpowering and at 6′0″ he needs his command to have success against professional hitters. A 7/28 walk to whiff ratio in 36.2 innings is evidence to some command, but not a lot of swings and misses with his pitches.

Jorge Lopez (Aguilas) - The second pitcher on this impressive Aguilas staff and the one best identified as a prospect. At 25 years of age next season he has a good opportunity to fit into the Brewers starting rotation with a good spring. In the minors last year he only pitched 103 innings bouncing between starting and the bullpen. With Aguilas he has started 10 games with a 2.29 ERA and a .221 opposition average. A two start stretch where he gave up 8 runs in 10 innings put a bad spin to his ERA. A 12/40 walk to whiff ratio in 55 innings.

Roenis Elias (Aguilas) - The second Cuban and the third Aguilas pitcher on this list, Roenis is still gunning for a starting spot in the Red Sox rotation. He has had some success in the majors but last year was a struggle (6.96 ERA) pitching at four different minor league levels. Rib and lat injuries limited his innings last year. The Cuban has made three starts in the Dominican League with a 1.89 ERA. He has limited the opposition to a .191 average, but his command has been a bit off with a 7/19 walk to whiff ratio in 19 innings.

Mitch Lively (Mazatlán) - Mitch has pitched in the Mexican summer league the last couple years. In his last appearance he pitched a nine hit complete game shutout, allowing just one hit. That hit was given up in the first inning and he retired the last 22 hitters he faced. His last two outings Mitch has given up just four hits in 17 innings without allowing a run. He has pitched six or more innings in his last six starts, stringing together a 7-1 record with a 2.45 ERA in nine starts. There was one horrific start where he gave up 8 runs in just under five innings to taint his ERA. The opposition is hitting .217 against him and he has a 8/42 walk to whiff ration in 52 innings.

Anthony Vasquez (Culiacan) - Last year he pitched for the Tigers AA and AAA teams. At 32 years of age he has yet to pitch in the major leagues. In eight starts in the Mexican Winter League he is 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA. The opposition is ripping him at a .276 clip with a 11/46 walk to whiff ratio in 54 innings. Even in the minor leagues hitters had an easy time barreling his pitches for hits.

Guillermo Moscoso (Aragua) - The last time Guillermo pitched in the major leagues was in 2013. Last year he came out of a four year retirement to pitch in the Mexican summer league. He has added the Venezuelan winter league to his schedule and his innings have been dominant. In nine starts he has a 1.81 ERA, though the .243 opposition average is evidence that his pitches are not overpowering. He has yet to give up more than two runs in his 9 starts covering 49.2 innings.

Reinier Roibal (Zulia) - The third Cuban on this list two years ago pitched for the Phillies AA and AAA team. At 29 years of age he could still have some life in his arm. In nine starts Roibal has a 2.59 ERA with a .250 opposition average and a 10/40 walk to whiff ratio in 40.2 innings. Righthanders are hitting just .192 against him but lefthanders are stinging him at a .351 clip.

Venezuela Downs Mexico to Win Americas Under 23 Championship

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Venezuela used a collection of minor league ball players to defeat Mexico and their roster of Mexican League summer players 3-1 to win the Under 23 Americas championship. Joscar Alvarez drove in all three runs for Venezuela with his three run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Julian Ornelas accounted for the only Mexican run with his solo shot in the second inning.

In the bronze medal game the Yadier Molina led Puerto Ricans shredded the Dominican Republic 17-1. Yariel Gonzalez went deep twice and drove in seven runs, one of his homeruns a grand slam that ended the game after six innings because of the 15 run rule.

All four teams qualified for the Under 23 tournament that will be played in 2018.

Mexico and Venezuela to Play in under 23 America’s championship

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

When Mexico lost their opener to Panama in the under 23 America’s championship it was a shock to most of the players and managers. This was one of the more talented teams that was put together. Mexico seems to have recovered. They will be playing Venezuela for the championship. Both teams have qualified for the world event along with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic that will be played in 2018.

Venezuela eliminated the host Panama from the tournament and a hoped for qualification for the World Cup with a 5-3 win, especially hurtful after Panama had an opening day win over a talented team from Mexico. Mexico eliminated Cuba from any World Cup consideration with a 6-3 win. Mexico and the Dominican Republic finished tied for second in the super round but Mexico advanced to the championship because of their victory over them earlier. Venezuela had beaten Mexico 14-3 earlier in pool play.

The Dominican Republic will play Puerto Rico for the bronze. The Dominican Republic had beaten Puerto Rico earlier in pool play 10-5. Puerto Rico was tied with Panama for fourth place with identical 2-3 records but Puerto Rico advanced to the bronze medal game and World Cup qualification because of their win over Panama in head to head play to win the tie breaker.

Final standings:

Venezuela 5-0, Mexico 3-2, Dominican Republic 3-2, Puerto Rico 2-3, Panama 2-3, Cuba 0-5

The winless super round result of Cuba has to be a surprise and a testament to their drop in baseball talent. The above information was obtained from the website of the world baseball softball confederation website (wbsc.org).

Liz Throwing Shutouts in Dominican

Monday, November 27th, 2017

The last time we heard from Liz it was last year while he was pitching in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, appearing in just five games with a 6.94 ERA, with most of his time spent in the Japanese minor leagues. The Eagles were not happy with his production and chose not to sign him to a 2017 contract.

Liz had some success in the KBO between 2011 to 2013, returning to the United States in 2014 in the hopes of pitching in the major leagues. Two years in the minor leagues and a brief appearance with the Pirates in 2015 convinced him to give Japan a shot. In three years in the major leagues from 2007 to 2009 Liz pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and could not get his ERA below 6.72, motivating him to give Korea a shot.

Liz is now attracting some interest while pitching in the Dominican Republic. A free agent, but 35 years of age, he has allowed just three unearned runs in six starts covering 30.2 innings. On Sunday he had his longest start, throwing seven innings of two hit ball, striking out five in Estrallas 8-0 win over Aguilas. It is unclear if he still has the clicking sound when he pitches, but Dominican hitters are finding his stuff tough to hit, click or no click, batting just .135 against him. Righthanded hitters are batting just .118.

At 35 years of age his best bet may be to sign another contract with a KBO club. If he keeps throwing zeros a lot of major league teams may be interested in him as bullpen depth.

Panama Upsets Mexico in Under -23 America’s Qualifier

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Mexico came into the Under - 23 Americas Qualifier with a lot of confidence. They had a roster filled with talented players from their Mexican Summer League. Some were even bold enough to declare the championship was theirs to lose.

In the opener against Panama they lost 6-3 against a talented Panama team sprinkled with minor league players from the major leagues. It is only pool play but Mexico will have to regroup.

Yadier Molina made his managerial debut a good one leading Puerto Rico to a 10-0 win over Colombia, who a couple days ago had beaten Panama 6-4 to win the championship in the Bolivian games over four other South American teams. In other games:

Costa Rica 14 Peru 0
Cuba 16 Argentina 1
Dominican Republic 16 Honduras 0
Venezuela 5 Brazil 1

Dominican Winter Update

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Many of the veterans have stopped playing in the Dominican Republic winter league, but there are a number of high level prospects getting some extra at bats or innings for some of the teams in the Dominican. That may be because of the uncertainty that exists in Venezuela, with major league teams preferring to send their top prospects to the Dominican Republic for more seasoning rather than the more volatile Venezuela.

Estrellas Orientales (13-60

A couple Guerreros are shining in the Dominican. Gabriel Guerrero is the nephew of Vladimir and has ripened past his prospect status. He still leads the team in RBIs (12) and has a .302 average. Gabriel has been claimed on waivers a couple times, currently hoping to make it for the Reds. Another prospect turned journeyman, Junior Lake (.309) leads the team in homeruns with three and runs scored with 11. Fernando Tatis Jr. is their big time prospect, hitting just .245 with one homerun and three RBIs. He does have a 9 to 5 walk to whiff ratio for an impressive .357 OBA. Defensively, he has had his issues at shortstop with six errors.

Radhames Liz is having success as a starter. He has only given up one unearned run in four starts and 19.1 innings. A 6/17 walk to whiff ration indicates his stuff is not as powerful as it once was when he routinely hit in the mid-90s on the radar gun. Unheralded Yankee prospect Nestor Cortes has only given up two runs in three starts covering 16 innings for a 1.13 ERA. He won two of his three starts after pitching six shutout innings in each start. His last start he did not allow a hit in six innings.

Gigantes del Cibao (11-8)

Eloy Jimeniz is showing an elite bat with his .373 average leading the league. He also has plugged four homeruns and driven in 20. Four prospects struggling are Richard Urena (.182), Sam Travis (.156), Rafael Bautista (.143) and Jose Siri .105. Urena did hit his first homerun in his last game.

Paul Clemons is pitching well for the Gigantes. In four starts he has a 1.80 ERA. He has given up just two hits in 12 innings in three of his four starts, but finding the plate has been difficult with 10 walks. He has a 12/7 walk to whiff ratio in 15 innings. Clemons is a free agent after not being resigned by the Twins.

Aguilas Cibaenas (10-9)

Wilmer Difo has only played three games but he is hitting .462. Korean Jung Ho Kang is finding the one year layoff tough with a .133 average. Normally not a swing and miss guy, Kang has struck out 21 times in just 17 games. He does have one homerun and is tied for third on the team in RBIs with 9. Veteran winter ballers Ronny Rodriguez (.325, 3, 10) and Juan Perez (.293, 3, 13) have been the more productive bats.

Jorge Lopez has been lights out for Aguilas. In five starts he has only given up three earned runs for a 0.99 ERA. The opposition is hitting just .165 against him. Cuban Yunesky Maya is hoping to rejuvenate his career. In four starts he has a 1.29 ERA, but five of the 7 runs he has given up have been unearned. In 14 innings Maya has just 7 whiffs and the opposition is hitting .273 against him.

Toros del Este (9-10)

Raudy Read has gotten off to a good start with two homeruns in his first two games. Teoscar Hernandez leads the team in RBIs with 11 but he is only hitting .227. Jorge Mateo recently had a big game with two homeruns to raise his total to three. His biggest contribution has been on the basepaths with 10 stolen bases in 10 attempts. The one concern is his 1/17 walk to whiff ratio dropping his average to .260.

The top pitcher is Elih Villanueva with a 1.37 ERA in four starts. The veteran 31 year old has not given up more than one run in his four starts.

Leones del Escogido (8-11)

The cream of the crop lies at the bottom with Licey and Escogido, both clubs from Santo Domingo who have fallen on hard times the last couple years. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a gate attraction but his .231 average with no homeruns is not leading to victories. Tyler Austin may not be the prospect of Vladimir Jr. but he is trying to make the Yankees roster. His .160 average with just one homerun will give Yankee brass doubts. Veteran Starling Marte (.130) is also struggling, trying to get at bats after missing 80 games due to a drug suspension last year. No player on the team has reached double digits in RBIs.

Pitching is solid with the duo of Justin Haley (1.80 ERA) and Mike Mayers (1.06 ERA). Mayers has limited the opposition to a .138 average with a 2/21 walk to whiff ratio in just 17 innings. Justin may want to stay away from the plate more. His 1/15 walk to whiff ratio has also resulted in an opposition average of .329.

Tigres del Licey (6-13)

The last time Yamaico Navarro played in the major leagues was in 2013. With a 13/9 walk to whiff ratio and a .386 batting average he may have some major league scouts attention again. He is the only player on the team with double digits in RBIs (13). Dawel Lugo may be the top prospect on the team. He is hitting .289 with just one of his 13 hits travelling extra bases.

Onelki Garcia (2.70 ERA) has looked good in his four starts. He is finding the plate more with a 3/22 walk to whiff ration in 20 innings.

Montero and Lake Searching for Relevance

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Jesus Montero and Steve Lake were once top prospects for their organizations. Both had good days to earn Winter of the League player of the day awards.

For Jesus Montero, he hit his fifth homerun of the winter season to help seal the Lara Cardenales 4-3 win over the Magallanes Navegantes. The two run homer came in the fourth inning to give the Cardenales an early 2-0 lead. The large bodied Montero now has five homeruns in the Venezuelan Winter league

Montero played briefly for the Orioles last year before they released him after hitting just .143 with no homeruns in 49 at bats. He was one of the players traded by the Yankees to Seattle for Michael Pineda. Montero did not work out but Pineda started to have some success on the mound until Tommy John surgery put him on the disabled list. At 27 years of age the clock is ticking on Jesus.

Junior Lake also had a brief opportunity to play for Pawtucket last year, playing in 19 games and hitting .246 before he was released to play in the Mexican Summer League. He is playing in the Dominican Winter League where he is hoping to impress some scouts. A 4 for 5 day with four runs scored and a homerun on two RBIs led the Estrellas Orientales to a 7-6 win. Junior last played in the major leagues in 2016.

The 4 for 5 day improved Junior’s Dominican average to .300 with three homeruns.

Lopez and Lively Zapping Zeros

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Pitchers seem to be dominating the winter leagues. Two pitchers who collected zeros on Tuesday were Jorge Lopez and Mitch Lively.

Jorge Lopez chose to pitch in the Dominican Republic rather than his native Puerto Rico. The talent level is higher in the Dominican. In four starts Jorge is meeting the challenge to that talent level. His most recent start he went 6.2 innings without allowing a run and giving up just two hits, striking out seven.

Jorge has an opportunity to squeeze into the Brewer rotation in 2018. The second round pick in 2011 had a real clunker of a season in AAA in 2016, finishing with a 6.81 ERA and a poor .312 opposition average and a 55/66 walk to whiff ratio. Colorado Springs is not a friendly place for pitchers but Jorge expected better.

The Brewers kept him in AA last year and his numbers were better with a .238 opposition average and a 38/105 walk to whiff ratio in 103.2 innings. His 4.25 ERA was higher than he wanted.

In the Dominican they are only hitting .164 against him with a 7/20 walk to whiff ratio in 21 innings. A good performance could give him a more extended opportunity with the Brewers than his one September relief appearance that he made last year.

At 33 years of age Mitch Lively has slim hopes of pitching in the major leagues. His last two seasons have been spent in the Mexican Summer League. The highest level he has achieved was AAA from 2012 to 2015. In the Mexican Winter League he pitched seven innings of shutout ball in the Mazatlan Venados 2-0 win.

It was his second shutout appearance and a welcome outing after getting spanked for 8 runs in 4.2 innings. That lowered his ERA to 4.37. If he keeps on having success he ensures a couple more years of pitching in the Mexican Summer League and could attract a scout in the major leagues.

Acuna and No Hit Outings Dominant Winter League Action

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Myworld has identified three players for winter league player of the day for October 27.

Ronald Acuna

He will probably be considered the best prospect in baseball when the prospect rankings for 2018 come out. He has all five tools, ability to hit for power, speed, an arm to play right and the defense to play center and the ability to hit for average. His pop showed up on Friday with two solo shots in the Peoria Javelinas 9-8 win over the Salt River Rafters. Acuna also contributed a double and scored three runs in the victory.

The three hits raised his AFL average to .378 with three homeruns. Last year at three different levels, finishing at AAA he hit .325 with 21 homeruns and 82 RBIs. At 19 years of age, the Braves saw no reason to promote him to the major leagues. Next year will be a different story.

Mike Mayers

Mayers threw five innings of no hit shutout ball, striking out 9 in a losing cause with the Toros winning 2-1 over Escogido. The bullpen came on in the seventh and coughed up two runs on RBI singles.

Mayers was a third round pick of the Cardinals in 2013. After next year he can become a six year minor league free agent if not placed on the 40-man roster. In 2016 he struggled in a September callup, finishing with a 27.00 ERA Last year he had an 11.57 ERA in three September appearances.

In two appearances in the Dominican League Mayers has only given up one run in 11 innings, striking out 14. He has only given up three hits, one of those a solo shot that accounts for the only run he has given up. His fastball has some velocity, hitting the mid-90s, but his secondary pitches have held him back. The Cardinals may try to use him in the bullpen where his lack of a breaking pitch will have less of a negative impact.

Daniel Rodriguez

In the Mexican League Daniel Rodriguez had a perfect game no hitter until giving up a leadoff single in the ninth inning. The Culiacan Tomateros were able to hold on to defeat the Navojoa Mayos 1-0. After a sacrifice bunt Chad Guadin came on to get the last two outs of the inning to earn his fourth save.

Rodriguez has pitched in the Mexican Summer League for the last three years. At 32 years of age it would be difficult to find a team in the major leagues. In three appearances in the Winter League he has been sharp, giving up only two runs in three appearances. He has only given up 9 hits in 20 plus innings with a 0.89 ERA.