Archive for the 'Dominican Republic' Category

International Baseball Travel

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

With the corona virus still heavily on our plate, it may not be the best time to write about travel. But there is a website that is hoping to spark the interest of travel to all points of the world to watch baseball. It is Japanball.com and their link is in the lower right hand corner of my blog. You can click on Japanese baseball to find the website.

The trips planned for 2021 include the traditional Japan trip. They also hope to have trips to Europe and South Korea. In the fall the hope is to visit the Dominican Republic to watch some winter league ball and visit a few baseball academies. Myworld has been to all these areas to watch baseball, but it is much more enjoyable when you do it in a group.

Shane Barclay organizes the travel. He runs Zoom calls that have had special guests such as Kim Ng, general manager of the Miami Marlins, Trey Hillman, now coach of the Marlins and the manager of the SK Wyverns in Korea and the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and Sandy Alderson now with the New York Mets. Shane has also worked for major league baseball helping them organize the World Baseball Classic events. He is no relation to Shane Barclay who is a manager in the Australian Baseball League. Bob Bavasi used to organize the Japan trips but he transferred the business to Shane, who has expanded the trips outside of Japan.

Myworld can tell you of the nightmares we have experienced trying to travel to some of these places. Waiting in long lines to buy tickets and not progressing in the line because ticket buyers are cutting in front of the line to buy tickets or take a place in line so you can buy their place in line. Taking a taxi who takes you a few miles out of your way so he add fare to the ride. Or even have to negotiate with a driver for a rate he feels he can get out of you because you are a tourist. These are some of the challenges my world has faced traveling alone to various countries to watch baseball.

But there are the many joyful experiences. Eating the very different ball park food in the stadiums. Hot dogs can be found but they are not a commodity popular at the international ballparks. Being soaked in beer in Panama because beer is so cheap there and if the home team is winning in the ninth inning everyone buys a cup of beer. When the home team wins the beer is tossed in the air. You can open your mouth at that point and probably get drunk. Empanadas are more popular in Panama than hot dogs.

The bento boxes in Japan that are filled with all sorts of sushi and fish. I could probably eat two bento boxes and still be hungry after the game. And who can forget the beer girls in Japan who carry pony kegs on their backs and pour out beer for you.

Getting strangled by the streamers in Taiwan after a big win. It feels you have been ensnared in a spider’s web, but everyone is screaming for joy that it is a good experience. There are also the cheerleaders in the Dominican Republic and South Korea that are a big part of the game. Don’t know if the Dominican Republic still emphasize the cheerleaders since it has been awhile since myworld has been in that area, but watching the do the merengue is an experience.

You also get to experience the fan enthusiasm in the stadium. In the Netherlands they had an opera singer belt out a tune in the seventh inning. In Japan teams would blow up balloons and let them fly after the end of the top of the seventh. This tradition is now being discouraged because of the health concerns.

There is also the sightseeing that can be done when not at the ballpark. The night markets in Asia, the tulips in Netherlands. In the Netherlands you have a greater chance of being hit by a bicycle than a car when you walk the streets. There are also the beaches in the Dominican Republic and the fish market in Japan. Sumo wrestling was also a common theme for many of the Japan trips. A little sumo in the afternoon and baseball at night.

So if you get the chance and you can afford the coin myworld would recommend you try a trip. What can be better than international travel to watch a baseball game. Just tell Shane that myworldofbaseball sent you.

Dominicans Series del Caribe Champions

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

The Dominicans downed the defending champion Puerto Rico 4-1 for the Series del Caribe 2021 championship. After a lead off double by Ramon Torres Puerto Rican pitcher Hector Hernandez retired the next 14 hitters, including striking out the side in the fourth to up his strike out numbers to seven. With two out in the fifth Johan Camargo slugged a solo homerun to tie the ball game 1-1.

Anthony Maldanado replaced Hernandez in the sixth and the Dominicans answered with two more runs. Juan Lagares, who just signed a minor league contract, continued his hot hitting with an RBI double. Ronald Guzman delivered a clutch two out single to drive in the second run of the inning and raise the Dominican lead to 3-1. Guzman would strike again with a solo shot in the eighth.

Jumbo Diaz came on in the ninth to retire the side and pick up the save.

The 2021 Caribbean All Star team is below:

Catcher - Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico)
First Base - Ronald Guzman (Dominican Republic)
Second Base - Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic)
Third Base - Jordan Diaz (Colombia)
Shortstop - Jonathan Arauz (Panama)
Outfield - Juan Lagares (Dominican Republic), Melky Cabrera (Dominican Republic) and Jarren Duran (Puerto Rico)
Designated Hitter - Jessie Castillo (Mexico)
Starting Pitcher - Carlos Martinez (Dominican Republic)
Relief Pitcher - Jumbo Diaz (Dominican Republic)
Manager - Felix Fermin (Dominican Republic)

Series del Caribe - Semi-Final Cliffhangers

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

The wins did not come easy in the semi-final victories by the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. These two teams had the best record in the round robin play, but both had to fight for victories in the semi-final games. The two will play in the finals today.

Dominican Republic 4 Panama 3

The starters were in control for the start of the game. Manuel Campos for Puerto Rico threw 5.2 shutout innings. Carlos Martinez mesmerized the Puerto Rican bats also for 5.2 innings, allowing just one hit.

The Dominican Republic broke through first in the sixth. Juan Lagares started things off with a one out single. Robinson Cano followed with a single. Ronald Guzman drove in both runners with a double to centerfield. That led to the exit of Campos from the game.

Panama had loaded the bases in the sixth after Carlos Martinez issued three walks. They failed to score. Panama scored two runs in the seventh on a single by Rodrigo Orozco. Two errors helped the two runners cross the plate. A Robinson Cano error on a missed catch allowed a runner to advance an extra base on a fielder’s choice and a Melky Cabrera throwing error on the Orozco single provided the opportunity for the baserunners to score.

Orozco provided the damage for Panama again in the ninth with an RBI single. The Dominicans responded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Melky Cabrera had singled and pinch runner Yefri Perez stole second. With two outs Puerto Rico chose to walk Johan Camargo to put the winning run on first. An infield single by Junior Lake loaded the bases. Carlos Paulino became the hero when he grounded a single up the middle off Walter Silva for the walk off hit.

Robinson Cano committed three errors in the game. He has committed five errors in the Series del Caribe. His defensive play has been a detriment in winter league ball. The bat can still rake as evidenced by his .467 average.

Puerto Rico 2 Mexico 1

All the runs were scored in the fourth. Joey Meneses delivered an RBI single to plate the only run for Mexico. Reymond Fuentes mashed a two run homer in the home half to score the only runs for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico had an opportunity to break the game open in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases with no outs. They failed to score. Mexico never could mount a rally after the fourth.

Luis Medina, the top pitcher in Puerto Rico survived five innings, giving up just two hits. Rayan Gonzalez worked the last two innings to earn the save. Jarren Duran continues to be the table setter for Puerto Rico, lashing out two singles and drawing one walk in four at bats. He is hitting .391 for the series.

Series del Caribe - Final Four Determined

Friday, February 5th, 2021

The round robin has identified the final four to play for the Series del Caribe championship. They will compete in a single elimination tournament. Colombia and Venezuela have been eliminated. The number one seed and undefeated Dominican Republic will go against the number four seed Panama. Puerto Rico will play against Mexico.

Puerto Rico 9 Panama 8

Panama came out charging scoring five runs in the top of the first off Jason Garcia, who could only retire two batters. He gave up five hits and walked two. Jarren Duran opened the bottom of the first with a homerun and the Puerto Ricans came climbing back. Henry Ramos and Vimael Machin each drove in two runs. Panama starter Harold Arauz could not get past the third. By the time he left the showers the Puerto Ricans had tied the score 5-5. They jumped out to a 9-6 lead going into the ninth. Panama strung together four hits and two runs off Joshua Torres. Puerto Rico had to call on Fernando Cruz to retire the final two hitters to survive the win. Panama had the tying run on third and the go ahead run on first with one out but a pop up and strike out failed to bring the runner home.

Dominican Republic 3 Colombia 2

Colombia has yet to win a Series del Caribe game in their two years of play. They almost pulled off a surprise by beating the undefeated Dominican Republic. Granted, the Dominicans had nothing to play for, already clinching their first seed ranking.

Colombia was up 2-0 for five innings. Edison Frias had shut out the Dominican bats for those first five innings. The Colombians decided to go to their bullpen and that is when the bats started making noise. Johan Camargo had an RBI single in the sixth. Melky Cabrera doubled in the seventh to tie the game. The ninth inning saw a lead off walk eventually score on a walk off single by Rangel Ravelo to keep the Dominicans undefeated.

Yunesky Maya did not get the win but went six innings for the Dominicans. He gave up two runs. Lisalverto Bonilla pitched the last three innings to earn the win. He walked one and kept Panama hitless.

Mexico 4 Venezuela 3

A loss by Mexico would have created a three way tie for the last two spots, resulting in a tie breaker. After going down 3-0 early Mexico came back to win the game 4-3. It took a three run eighth inning rally to tie the game, Sebastion Elizalde driving in one run with a double and Joey Meneses following with a two run double.

In the ninth inning Isaac Paredes led the inning off with a triple but failed to score. In the bottom of the tenth they loaded the bases with no one out and the next two batters were retired without bringing the runners home. With two outs Carlos Gamboa came up. The Venezuelans had decided to intentionally walk him after the Paredes lead off triple in the ninth. There was no place to put him for this at bat. He drove a 1-1 count into centerfield for a walk off single to put Mexico in the playoffs.

For Venezuela it was again going to the bullpen that lost the game. Logan Darnell had pitched seven shutout innings. The Venezuelan bullpen then squandered the lead, something myworld noticed far too often in this Series del Caribe.

Series del Caribe - Dominicans Remain Undefeated

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

The offensive woes of Venezuela continue as they get shut out by the Dominicans, who remain undefeated with just one more game to go in pool play. Puerto Rico won their third game and appear to have clinched a playoff spot. Sometimes just getting to the dance is all you need. Mexico kept their hopes alive by beating Panama to leave both at 2-2.

Dominican Republic 2 Venezuela 0

The recently released Robel Garcia, who went from the Italian League to the Cubs last year got the big hit that scored all the runs. His two run double in the seventh inning, his second double of the game, gave the Dominicans the victory. It came too late for Andy Otero, who pitched 5.1 brilliant innings while scattering five hits. Dario Alvarez, who faced the fewest batters in the game (two) got credit for the win. Fernando Abad worked the ninth inning to earn the save.

Williams Perez pitched a better game for Venezuela, limiting the Dominicans to just two hits in his six innings. After he departed the Dominican bats came alive for two runs. The Venezuelans out hit the Dominicans 6 to 4, but it is the runs that matter.

Puerto Rico 2 Colombia 1

In the ninth inning Johneshwy Fargas lashed a one out double off Cody Mincey. The Colombians chose to intentionally walk Vimael Machin to set up the double play. Fargas steals third base. Now the Colombians decide to intentionally walk Reymond Fuentes to load the bases. Cody Mincey, who has now thrown eight straight balls faces Jonathan Morales and still cannot find the plate, running the count full before walking him to force in a run, a walk off walk.

Harold Ramirez drove in the only run for Colombia. Yadier Molina drove in the first run for Puerto Rico. Tommy Romero for Puerto Rico and Reiver Sanmartin for Colombia each worked at least five innings, both allowing just one run. Sanmartin struck out 8 while Romero struck out five. Each allowed just three hits. Fernando Cruz got the win by retiring Colombia in order in the top of the ninth.

This is the second year for Colombia in the Series del Caribe. While they have been competitive, they have yet to win a game.

Mexico 6 Panama 3

Julian Leon slugged a grand slam homerun in the third inning and it proved to be the difference in the game. The grand slam gave Mexico a 4-1 lead and Panama was never able to recover. Anthony Vazquez shut down the Panamanian bats for seven innings, giving up just two runs on four hits. Alberto Baldonado got the last out of the eighth and finished the ninth to pick up the save. Panama had the tying run at the plate in the eighth inning when Alberto got David Rodriguez to ground out.

Series del Caribe Day 3 - Dominicans Down Panama

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

The big game between the two undefeateds saw the Dominicans victorious. The two winless teams battled it out and Venezuela saved themselves from embarrassment. Puerto Rico disappointed Mexico fans between the two .500 teams.

Dominican Republic 11 Panama 6

The game was not as close as the score indicated. Panama rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to make the game appear close. Prior to that it was Dominican domination. Or Panama mistakes. Their pitchers walked 10 and their fielders committed four errors. Five of the eleven runs the Dominicans scored were unearned. You add in the walks and it could have been even more.

Joe Van Meter shut down the Panama bats for six innings, giving up just three hits. He gave up one unearned run. The Dominican fielding was a bit sloppy as well with three errors. Michael Tonkin came on to pitch the ninth and only retired two hitters, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk. Fortunately, the Dominicans had an 11-1 lead entering the inning.

Melky Cabrera and Francisco Pena were the big bats for the Dominicans. Each drove in three runs.

Venezuela 1 Colombia 0

This game was lacking in offense. The two teams combined for fewer hits than the walks by the Dominicans. The Venezuelans could only carve out one hit in the win. That was a Herlis Rodriguez RBI double in the third inning. A leadoff walk to Luis Sardinas set up the run. For the Venezuelans their bats have been impotent for the series.

Fortunately, they had Guillermo Moscoso who pitched five shutout innings, giving up just three hits. They also used four pitchers out of the bullpen to pitch one inning each, giving up just two total hits. Silvino Bracho pitched the final inning to earn the save.

The Colombians relied mainly on their bullpen to shut down the Venezuelan bats. Randy Consuegra worked the first three, giving up the lone run. Ronald Ramirez and Jhon Romero each worked two hitless innings. Cody Mincey worked a hitless eighth.

Puerto Rico 6 Mexico 4

Edwin Diaz slugged a two run homer in the second inning to put up the first runs for Puerto Rico. After Mexico tied it in the bottom frame a three run fifth proved to be the difference. Edwin Diaz had struck out to lead off the inning, but the ball got by the catcher allowing Diaz to reach. Jarren Duran drove him in with a triple to break a 2-2 tie. Vimael Machin added in a run with his single and a Reymond Fuentes sacrifice fly drove in the third run of the inning.

After Mexico scored two runs in the seventh to close the score to 6-4 the Puerto Rican bullpen shut down any further offense from Mexico. Anthony Maldonado retired the last out of the seventh inning. Rayan Gonzalez and Fernando Cruz each pitched a perfect inning to close out the game.

Series del Caribe Mexico Highlights

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

It appears the games played by Mexico are started so late that they do not get reported. Below are a summary of the games played by Mexico.

Mexico 10 Colombia 2

A nice easy opener for Mexico. A six run fifth erased an early 2-1 Colombia lead and put the fans at ease. Jessie Castillo drove in four runs, three of them on a homerun in the ninth inning that closed out the scoring for Mexico. Manuel Barreda went six innings for Mexico to get the win. Joey Meneses drove in the first two runs in the six run fifth to give Mexico a 3-2 lead. Colombia gifted Mexico the runs with five walks, including four in a row that forced in two runs and a hit by pitch. For the game Colombia pitchers walked 10 batters.

Dominican Republic 4 Mexico 2

Mexico went from facing the easiest opponent to the favored. They came out on the losing end this time. Juan Lagares continued his hot hitting, going deep for the second time in the series with a solo shot in the seventh to lead the Dominicans. Cesar Valdez threw six innings of two hit shut out ball for the Dominicans. Mexico rallied for two in the ninth off Fernando Abad, the runs being unearned courtesy of an error by Robinson Cano. With the go ahead run at the plate Jhan Marinez came on to get the last out to pick up the save.

2021 Series del Caribe Openers

Monday, February 1st, 2021

A group of Panama All Stars showed Venezuela how the game is played and the favorite Dominican Republic proved their stuff in the win over Puerto Rico in the Series del Caribe openers. Below is a summary of the games.

Panama 6 Venezuela 3

Panama erupted for four runs in the sixth to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 lead. Hector Gomez started the inning with a double. Carlos Quiroz singled him home and the game was tied. A Jonathan Arauz single gave Panama the lead and resulted in the departure of Mayckol Guaipe for Andres Perez. Perez could not stop the bleeding, giving up a double to Jesus Lopez to score another run and a Willy Garcia single to cap the four run nightmare.

Austin Warner and Severino Gonzales closed out the last three innings for Panama. Venezuela did put two runners on in the seventh and eighth innings but failed to score. Warner got credit for the win after getting the last out in the fifth. Gonzalez picked up the save.

The two teams combined for 26 hits. Allan Cordoba was the ring leader for Panama with three hits. Venezuela received three hits from Herlis Rodriguez. One of Rodriguez hits was a solo shot in the fifth that gave Venezuela the lead. Jesus Sucre also hit a solo homer for Venezuela in the third.

Dominican Republic 5 Puerto Rico 1

Carlos Martinez allowed Puerto Rico to score in the opening frame, but shut them out into the sixth to give the Dominicans the opening day victory. Top Yankee prospect Luis Medina could not complete four innings before giving up five runs.

Juan Lagares had the big hit with a three run homer in the third. He drove in all five runs for the Dominicans by adding a two run single in the fourth. Lagares is known more for his defense, but he has shown an ability to swing the bat in these Winter League playoffs.

Rosters for the Series del Caribe

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

For the second year in a row Cuba is not participating. Last year when the event was held in Puerto Rico it was difficulty in obtaining visas. This year it could be concerns with the corona virus and travel concerns. Panama did not have a winter league season because of the corona virus, but they did assemble an All Star team. Two years ago they shocked the Caribbean by winning the event. Below are the rosters:

Mexico

Pitchers - Manny Barreda, Edgar Gonzalez, Hector Velasquez, Anthony Vasquez, Edgar Arrendondo, Jesus Castillo, Gonzalo Sanudo, Aldo Montes, Javier Arturo Lopez, Derrick Loop, Carlos Torres, Fernando Salas, Sasagi Sanchez, Alberto Baldonado

Catchers - Alexis Wilson, Julian Leon

Infielders - Joey Meneses, Isaac Paredes, Jessie Castillo, Efren Navvaro, Michael Wing, Ramiro Pena, Juan Carlos Gamboa, Victor Mendoza

Outfielders - Sebastian Elizalde, Jose Cardona, Jesus Fabela,

Dominican Republic

Pitchers - Carlos Martinez, Cesar Valdez, Joe Van Meter, Andy Otero, Yunesky Maya, Marcos Diplan, Lisaverto Bonilla, Dario Alvarez, Fernando Abad, Jhan Martinez, Luis Castillo, Wirfin Obispo, Michael Tonkin, Yoanner Negrin

Catchers - Francisco Pena, Carlos Paulino

Infielders - Robel Garcia, Robinson Cano, Jonathan Villar, Ramon Torres, Johan Camargo, Rangel Ravelo, Ronald Guzman

Outfielders - Junior Lake, Juan Lagares, Melky Cabrera, Yefry Perez, Juan Carlos Perez

Veneuela

Pitchers - Williams Perez, Andres Machado, Loiger Padron, Andres Perez, Jose Ascanio, David Martinez, Guillermo Moscoso, Silivino Bracho, Mayckol Guaipe, Logan Darnell, Lester Oliveros, Raul Rivero, Pedro Rodriguez, Liarvis Breto, Yapson Gomez, Ivan Medina

Catchers - Tomas Telis, Jesus Sucre

Infielders - Nieman Romero, Cesar Valera, Ali Castillo, Balbino Fuenmayor, Luis Sardinas

Outfielders - Rafael Ortega, Danry Vasquez, Herlis Rodriguez, Oswaldo Arcia, Williams Astudillo

Panama

Pitchers - Harold Arauz, Edison Gonzalez, Ernesto Silva, Manuel Campos, Wilfredo Pereira, Davis Romero, Edgardo Sandoval, Luis Machuca, Alberto Guerrero, Jamie Barria, Eury de la Rosa, Jeof Broussart, Austin Warner, Severiono Gonzalez, Yoel Espinal

Catchers - Rodrigo Vigil, Carlos Sanchez, David Rodriguez

Infielders - Jorge Bishop, Carlos Quiroz, Belarmino Campos, Jonathan Arauz, Jesus Lopez, Hector Gomez

Outfielders - Allen Cordoba, Johnny Santos, Rodrigo Orozco, Willy Garcia

Colombia

Pitchers - Randy Consuegra, Luis Felipe de Avila, Carlos Mario Diaz, Edinson Frias, Juan Carlos Herrera, David Holmberg, Eduar Rolanny Lopez, Jale Oliver Miller, Cody Mincey, Ronald Ramirez, Jhon Jairo Romero, Jean Carlos Ruiz, Reiver Sanmartin, Julio Cesar Vivas Colmenares, Ezequil Antonio Zabeleta

Catchers - Christian Correa, Carlos Mario Martinez, Andres Felipe Noriega

Infielders - Francisco Acuna, Jordan Diaz, Dilson Jose Herrera, Evan Maneul Mendoza, Bralian Andres Perez

Outfielders - Robinson Javier Cabrera, Tito Luis Polo, Harold Andres Ramirez, Andy Vasquez, Adam Brett Walker II

Puerto Rico

Pitchers - Luis Medina, Hector Hernandez, Hector Santiago, Tommy Romero, Giovanni Soto, Zack Muckenhim, Christian Torres, Fernado Cruz, Chris Muller, Anthony Maldonado, Rayan Gonzalez, Jason Garcia, Joshua Torres, Ivan Maldanado

Catchers - Jonathan Morales, Yadier Molina, Juan Centeno

Infielders - Vimael Machin, Jose Miranda, Jancarlos Cintron, Edwin Diaz, Jeremy Rivera, Emmanuel Rivera

Outfielders - Rick Lopez, Johneshwy Fargas, Jarren Duran, Henry Ramos, Reymond Fuentes

Top Dominican Prospects in American League

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Last week myworld identified the top ten prospects from National League teams from the Dominican Republic. Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez, Luis Garcia, Christian Pache, Brailyn Marquez and Edward Cabrera all made their major league debuts from that list. From that group all reappeared on this year’s list except for Luis Garcia, who lost his rookie eligibility.

The top three from the American League list remains unchanged. Leody Taveras, Jorge Mateo and Deivi Garcia all played in the major leagues. Below are the top prospects from the American League from the Dominican Republic.

1. Wander Franco SS (Rays) - For many he is considered the top prospect in baseball. Wander was denied a 2020 season so he went to the Dominican Republic to play in the winter league. An injured bicep ended his season early. There is no question that Wander can hit. In his two minor league seasons his career average is .336/.405/.523. He also has a walk/strikeout ratio of 83/54. The main question around Wander is whether he can stick at shortstop. The arm is strong enough to play there but there is some concern about whether the range to cover the position exists. If he is not a fit at short the bat is potent enough that a move to third would not be a problem. The Rays already have a decent shortstop in Willy Adames. If Franco is promoted in 2021 it will probably be to play third or fill in for an injured Adames.

2. Julio Rodriguez OF (Mariners) - The Mariners signed Rodriguez for $1.75 million in 2017. Power will be his calling card. The 2019 season was his debut in the minor leagues and he hit .326 with 12 homeruns in just 84 games playing in Low and High A. The walk to whiff ratio was 25/76, which could result in an average more in the .270s once he hits the major leagues. He should be good for 30 plus homeruns. The speed is a better fit for a corner outfield position and his arm is strong enough for right field. If he is tearing it up in AA he could make his major league debut in 2021. The Mariners are rebuilding and Julio is one of their most important pieces in this project.

3. Jasson Dominguez OF (Yankees) - It has been a long time since the Yankees have had a superstar center fielder. Jasson could change all that. Little is known about Jasson from a stat perspective since he was not signed until 2019 for $5.4 million. His tools have had him compared to Mike Trout but at 17 years of age he has some growing up to do. He is a five tool player with the speed to steal 30 plus bases and the power to hit 30 plus homeruns. He should provide quality defense in centerfield and have the arm to fit in right. There is no short season league in the minor leagues, so the Yankees could keep him in extended spring and then promote him to Low A later on in the season.

4. George Valera OF (Indians) - The Indians outfield has been short of quality players the last couple years. They hope to change that with Valera, who was signed for $1.3 million in 2018. The hitting tools are there for him to hit over .300 and slug 30 plus homeruns. His speed and arm rate about average, making him a better fit for a corner outfield spot. Valera actually lived in New York until his teenage years when he moved back to the Dominican Republic. In 2019 he started at short season. He only hit .236 but still slugged 8 homeruns. Too many swing and misses resulted in a low average. A promotion to Low A was even worse, where he only hit .087 in 23 at bats. Valera will probably only play A ball in 2021. An Indians debut is not expected until late 2022.

5. Vidal Brujan 2B (Rays) - Sometimes players who rely mainly on speed can turn into major league disappointments. Jose Peraza is an example of that. Brujan is one of those players with tremendous speed but very little power. That speed resulted in stolen base totals of over 100 the last two seasons. He did have pretty good walk to whiff ratios, but that digressed in 2019 to 37/61, dropping his average to .277. The previous year he had hit .320. To utilize his speed Brujan needs to get on base to be effective. He did play 20 games down in the Dominican in the Winter Leagues where he hit just .254 with a .691 OPS but he did steal 10 bases in 13 attempts. He is an above average defensive player for second base so that is on his plus side. He also has a strong enough arm to play short making a utility role another possibility. Vidal should make his major league debut in 2021.

6. Deivi Garcia RHP (Yankees) - Last year he made his major league debut, performing in six starts. His ERA was not that stellar (4.98) and opponents hit .254 against him with six homeruns. He did have an impressive 6/33 walk to whiff ratio, showing an ability to hit the plate that he struggled with in 2019. Perhaps he was around the strike zone too much. His minor league career shows a .202 career opponent average. Deivi stands only 5′9″, which is usually a death height for right handed pitchers. His fastball is not overpowering and can ride the plate in the mid-90s. It is his breaking pitches, both the slider and curve that will grade his success higher. If a starting role does not pan out Deivi always could be used in relief. Expect the Yankees to go north with him in their rotation in 2021. How long he stays there will depend on his success.

7. Noelvi Marte SS (Mariners) - The Mariners signed Marti for $1.55 million in 2018. He was considered one of the top international prospects for that year. In 2019 he only played in the Dominican Summer League, but he put up some pretty impressive numbers, hitting .309 with a .511 slugging. He showed enough speed to steal 17 bases in 65 games. Noelvi will hit for power. His defense is a bit shaky for short. Whether he stays there or not will depend on keeping his consistency. He could move to third, or if he keeps his speed a move to the outfield is also a possibility. The 2021 season should see him play A ball. Noelvi will probably not see the Mariners until sometime during the 2023 season.

8. Gilberto Jimenez OF (Red Sox) - Over the last couple years the Red Sox farm system has turned a bit bleak. They hope Gilberto is one of many players who can change that prognosis. They only had to shell out $10,000 to sign him in 2017. For that they could have their centerfielder who can run with the wind. The last couple years Gilberto was able to combine for 30 steals in the Dominican Summer League and short season ball. He hit an impressive .359 in his short season debut. Gilberto does not carry a lot of power in his bat, slapping the ball into the outfield instead of driving it into the gaps. He did hit three homeruns in 2019, with 17 of his 84 hits going for extra bases. It appears that speed will bring Gilberto to the major leagues. That speed has not resulted in a lot of stolen base success, but it could help him fill the centerfield role. Don’t expect him to fill that role for the Red Sox until 2023.

9. Robert Puason SS (Athletics) - Like Dominguez, Puason was a major international signing for 2019 with a $5.1 million bonus. With no 2020 season not a lot is known about Puason. At 6′3″ he could develop some power, but at this point in his career that could be the weakest part of his game. There is speed, an arm and the tools to play a quality shortstop. The Athletics will probably keep him in extended spring or perhaps have him play some Dominican summer league ball before rushing him to full season ball. He will probably not see the Athletics until sometime late in 2023.

10. Anderson Tejeda SS (Rangers) - The Rangers are talking about moving Isiah Kiner-Falefa from third to short. Last year Anderson played 23 games there, hitting .253 with three homeruns. Anderson does not carry great range at shortstop, but he has an excellent arm. With some power in his bat he could ultimately become a utility player. The one big question with his hitting skills is his patience at the plate. Last year he had a 2/30 walk to whiff ratio, giving him a poor .273 OBA. He did play eleven games in winter ball, slugging .500 with half of his hits going for extra bases. He hit .300 with a .348 OBA, enough to stick with the Rangers if he can keep plugging those numbers. With a good spring Anderson could convince the Rangers to keep him with the club as their shortstop or as a utility player. Otherwise he will play in AAA to further enhance his game.