Archive for the 'Panama' Category

Top Central American/Caribbean Prospects

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

There was one major league player from the top ten list of last year. The number 10 prospect from the list last year, Allen Cordoba played in 100 games with 202 at bats as a Rule V pick. He is back in the minor leagues this year but has lost his rookie eligibility. The Bahamas seems to be a popular place for prospects this year. Below are the top ten from this year:

1. Estevan Florial OF (Yankees/Haiti) - He was a sleeper last year, fitting in the 8th spot. A break out season last year rockets him to the top. He showed off his impressive tools with 13 homeruns and 23 stolen bases between Low A and High A. His above average arm will allow him to play right field, but his speed appears to make center his best position. The Yankees outfield is crowded right now so the Yankees can be patient with him. The Yankees have him repeating High A where he hit .303 with two homeruns in only 19 games last year. He’s gotten off to a slow start this year at High A, hitting just .240 where he has struck out 37 times in just 27 games. Making contact has been his Achilles heel. Last year Florial struck out 148 times in 110 games.

2. Jamie Barria RHP (Angels/Panama) - At 6′1″ with a low 90s fastball, Jamie relies on his location to retire hitters. An above average change tends to make the fastball have a bit more hop. Last year he was rated sixth on this list but some decent starts saw him get promoted from High A to AAA. His strikeout numbers were not impressive but he kept the other team from scoring. A good start at AAA (2.92 ERA) and injuries to the Angels rotation gave him an opportunity to pitch in the major leagues this year. He got his first major league win in April and is now 2-1, 3.46 ERA in three starts. He will never be overpowering and is best used in the back end of a rotation.

3. Lucius Fox SS (Rays/Bahamas) - One of the best defensive shortstops in the minor leagues. The Giants signed him for $6 million in 2015 and included him in a trade to acquire Matt Moore, a deal the Giants may ultimately regret. Generating an offensive game has been his biggest issue. He lacks power, with a minor league career .313 slugging percentage. Excellent speed will get him a lot of stolen bases if he can find a way to get on base. A .241 batting average and .330 OBA needs to show improvement. It is still early in the season but this year Fox is hitting .340 in 26 games at High A. This would be enough juice to put him in the leadoff spot.

4. Touki Toussaint RHP (Braves/Haiti) - Touki was born in Florida but returned to Haiti when he was three months old. He returned to the United States with his mother when he was six years old. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft but were not impressed with his ability to get the ball over the plate and traded him to the Braves so they could rid themselves of the Bronson Arroyo contract. The only player they got in return was the journeyman Phil Gosselin. Touki still has not found the plate but his numbers are getting better. Last year he struck out 10 hitters per nine innings and limited AA hitters to a .207 average. He has repeated AA and continues to impress (2-1, 3.56 with a .196 opposition average). He is starting to find the plate more and with a mid-90s fastball and hard breaking curve with long arms he could end up at the top of a rotation in a couple years.

5. Jonathan Arauz SS (Astros/Panama) - With Carlos Correa at short it limits his opportunity to play there for the Astros. At 19 years of age the Astros can still be patient with him and either move him to second or trade him for a veteran player to help in a playoff run. He was acquired from the Phillies as part of the Ken Giles trade. Giles has helped them in the bullpen and Arauz will help them in the infield in a couple years. His season was shortened last year by 50 games because of a drug suspension. Eventually Arauz may have to move to second because of his limited range. His bat has made an appearance this year in Low A with a .340 average and .540 slugging percentage. This after hitting just .220/.276 last year in Low A. If the power stays a move to third is a possibility.

6. Mauricio Dubon SS (Brewers/Honduras) - Dubon was born in Honduras but played high school ball in the United States. The Red Sox drafted him in the 26th round of the 2013 draft. They included him along with Travis Shaw in a trade for Tyler Thornberg. Shaw has already made the trade look bad. Dubon’s ability to make contact, hit for average and play a solid shortstop could make it look worse. He won’t hit for a lot of power but his speed could get him 30 plus stolen bases a year. In the past that would make him an ideal number two hitter. This year a 30 game hitting streak in AAA has put his average at .343 with a .574 slugging average. He is in a zone.

7. Jazz Chisholm SS (Diamondbacks/Bahamas) - Not as talented defensively as his half brother Lucius Fox but his bat appears to show more power. A knee injury limited him to just 29 games last year. In 2016 he slugged 9 homeruns in rookie ball. The big swing makes him more susceptible to strikeouts with 112 in 91 games the last two years. He is starting this year in Low A where his knee injury limited him to 29 games and is working for a promotion, hitting .324 with a .606 slugging percentage. That is rare power for a Diamondback middle infielder.

8. Jonathan Loaisiga RHP (Yankees/Nicaragua) - At 5′10″ he lacks the height scouts like to see in a righthander. His mid-90s fastball and healthy breaking curveball with an ability to find the plate gives him an opportunity to stay in the rotation. Injuries have prevented him from throwing more than 31 innings in a season. Last year he started 11 games in the short season rookie leagues, pitching well with more than a strikeout per inning and limiting the opposition to an average that is quite a bit south of .200. He pitched well in four starts at High A (3-0, 1.35) resulting in a promotion to AA. The Yankees have a surplus of talented pitchers in their minor league rotations so he will probably settle in AA to limit his innings.

9. Leonardo Jimenez SS (Blue Jays/Panama) - A long career in youth tournaments has given Leonardo instincts for the game other players in the Caribbean lack. A lack of range may force a move from short but Jimenez was not signed until 2017. He will be making his debut in the minor leagues in 2018. At 17 years of age determining his position will have to wait until the short season leagues begin. He is expected to be a contact hitter with gap power.

10. Kristian Robinson OF (Diamondbacks/Bahamas) - Another player signed to a 2017 contract that has not played yet. The Diamondbacks shelled out $2.5 million to sign him. At 6′3′ he has the potential for power and with the genes of an Olympian sprinter in his blood has the potential for speed. He could end up fitting in centerfield. He will not begin his season until the rookie leagues start in July.

2017 Central American/Caribbean Prospects

Australia Qualifies for Under 15 Tournament

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Australia won the Under 15 Oceania baseball championship, sweeping past New Zealand in a best of three final. New Zealand battled in the second game, sending it into extra innings. If a New Zealand runner had not been thrown out at home in the bottom of the ninth the finals could have gone to a third game. Australia scored six in the extra inning and went on to win 11-6.

Australia will join Japan and Taiwan from Asia, Dominican Republic, United States, Cuba, Panama and Brazil from the Americas, and Germany and Netherlands from Europe. An Africa representative has not been determine yet, as well as a wild card team.

The under 15 will be played in Panama sometime between July and August. Hopefully they won’t get a lot of rain.

Nicaragua Downs Panama to Win Central American Championship

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Elmer Reyes slugged a two run homer and Wilton Lopez quieted the Panamanian bats to give Nicaragua a 3-1 win in the Central American championships. The games were played at the newly built Dennis Martinez stadium.

El Salvador and Guatemala shared the bronze medal since rain prevented the bronze medal game from being played. Honduras finished fifth and Costa Rica was sixth.

The win by Nicaragua earns them a trip to Barranquilla, Colombia where they will play in the Central American and Caribbean championships in 2018. Teams competing in that event are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and the host Colombians.

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

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).

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

2017 World Cup Under 12 All Tournament Team and Other Deserving Players

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Below are some of the awards that were given out to players for their performance in the 12 and under World Cup. These awards were normally handed out to players who performed on winning teams. Below the all tournament team myworld lists some other players who performed well in the tournament.

All Tournament Team

MVP Kai Caranto (United States) - .391 average, 2 homeruns and 17 RBIs with 9 stolen bases

Top Hitter Reiji Toi (Japan) - .706, 1, 7 with 7 stolen bases

Top Pitcher - Chia-Cheng Chao (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.69 with 15 K’s

Top Defensive Player - Pai Chen An (Taiwan) - .556, 5, 14

Starting Pitcher - Chao Chia Cheng (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.69 with 15 K’s
Relief Pitcher - Joshua Atomanczyk (United States) - .381, 5, 12, 2-0, 1.24 ERA
Catcher - Pai Chen An (Taiwan) - .556, 5, 14
First Base - Raffaele Velazquez (United States) - .455, 1, 8
Second Base - Cesar Monjeras (Mexico) - .393, 3, 15 with 11 runs scored
Third Base - Chan-Seo Lee (Korea) - .385, 0, 4
Shortstop - Kai Caranto (United States) - .391, 2, 17, 9 stolen bases
Outfield - Adan Sanchez (Panama) - .750, 4, 7 with 15 runs scored
Jose Tirado (Mexico) - .654, 5, 15 with 13 runs scored
Toi (Japan) - .706, 1, 7 with 7 stolen bases

Other Players to Recognize

United States

Benjamin Reiland - .643, 1, 9 with 16 runs scored and 9 stolen bases
Spencer Butt - .600, 1, 3 with 6 stolen bases
Brad Burnes - .391, 2, 9 with 10 runs scored and 11 stolen bases
Brandon Olivera - 1-0, 1.71

Taiwan

Yi-Lei Sun - .524, 2, 5 with 11 runs scored and 9 stolen bases
Yu-En Chien - .467, 2, 6 with 13 runs scored and 8 stolen bases
Yi-Cheng Yang - .444, 2, 10 with 14 runs scored and 10 stolen bases
Shuo-Heng Han - 1-0, 0.75 with 15 K’s, .409, 4, 12 with 11 runs scored
Sheng-Wei Yang - 1-0, 1.06

Mexico

Juan Saldana - .450, 2, 9
Antonis Macias - .417, 2, 8 with 13 runs scored
Juan Hernandez - 4-0, 1.32

Japan

Koki Yamaguchi - .563, 1, 9
Daisuke Mori - .348, 2, 7 with 13 runs scored and 7 stolen bases

Korea

Jeong-Gyu Woo - .474, 0, 3
Seong-Mu Jang - .444, 0, 6

Nicaragua

Bryant Machado - .417, 1, 7 with 8 runs scored

Panama

Dimas Oda - .529, 0, 4 with 5 doubles
Emanuel Villarreal - 2-0, 1.44 12 K’s

Czech Republic

Lukas Hurta - .450, 1, 4 with 4 doubles

Brazil

Gabriel Ota - .412, 0, 5

Australia

David Hyde - .409, 0, 5, 1-1, 1.33

Russia

Jared Riffel - .417, 2, 5

Germany

Kilian Redle - .333, 1, 3

12 and Under World Cup - Day 5 Japan Recovers

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

After being upset by Mexico on the second day Japan has bounced back handing host Taiwan their first loss and beating Russia 31-0. Taiwan smoked Mexico to create a two way tie for first with Japan just a half game back with a makeup to play against Brazil in a game they are winning 5-0. The United States remained the only undefeated team in the tournament by blasting Germany.

Japan 7 Taiwan 5

Taiwan pitchers had gone the whole tournament without giving up a run, just coming off a 10-0 shutout earlier in the day against the powerful bats of Mexico. They had Japan shutout for the first four innings, ahead 4-0 when the Japan bats broke out of their slumber and assaulted the Taiwan pitching staff for seven runs in the last two innings. Koki Yamaguchi put a charge into the Japanese offense by blasting a 3-run homer in the top of the fifth to close the gap to one run. A wild pitch broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth but with Yamaguchi at the plate the pitcher may have been a bit nervous. Yamaguchi followed the wild pitch with an RBI single to advance the score to 6-4. Taiwan put runners on first and third with two out in their last at bats but Yu-en Chien grounded out to short to end the game. Taiwan got a solo homerun from Shuo-Heng Han, his second of the day.

Taiwan 10 Mexico 0

Coming into this game Taiwan pitchers had yet to give up a hit. Small consolation for Mexico but they got four hits, but none of their players crossed the plate. The power bats of Antonis Macias, Juan Tirado and Cesar Monjaras were a combined 1 for 6, with Tirado getting the only hit. Shuo-Heng Han worked the first 3.1 innings allowing just one hit and striking out six. The game ended after the top of the fifth when Mexico could not score a run. Han helped his cause with a homerun and three RBIs on a 2 for 3 day with three runs scored. The Taiwan lineup put a lot of pressure on the Mexican catcher, stealing 8 bases and also walking 9 times.

Mexico 8 Brazil 7

Mexico got a little complacent after their tough loss to Taiwan. Leading 7-2 they allowed Brazil to score five runs in the last three innings to tie the game. Mexico won it in the seventh when Brazil could not score after loading the bases with no outs. Juan Hernandez struck out the next two hitters and got a ground out to end the threat. Mexico got a one out walk off single from Daniel Garza to end the game. Mexico got a homerun and two RBIs from Jose Tirado, his feverish bat blasting his third homerun of the tournament. Juan Saldana also hit a homerun for Mexico. Brazil got a solo shot from Gabriel Deangelo.

United States 20 Germany 3

The United States slugged three homeruns, pieced together 16 hits with seven walks and blasted Germany. Joshua Atomanczyk bashed his third homer of the tournament and his replacement in the game Carl Rice also went deep. Trent Abel also went deep, finishing the game 4 for 4 with four RBIs and four runs scored. Gregory Pierantoni also contributed four RBIs.

Japan 31 Russia 0

This was the first game for Japan with an evening affair against undefeated Taiwan to follow. Russia remains the only team that has yet to score a run. Japan scored their 31 runs in three at bats, an 18 run third putting the game out of reach. As a team they stole 16 bases. Kota Yonezawa had a perfect 5 for 5 day with four RBIs and four runs scored. Every player in the Japanese lineup crossed the plate at least once and drove in at least one run.

Korea 5 Nicaragua 1

Korea needed the win to put them in the playoffs. Jin-Jung Lee hit a solo shot and Seung-Won Ji pitched 3.2 innings of shutout ball. The win put Korea and Nicaragua into a second place tie with Panama. Korea and Nicaragua advanced because of their team quality balance.

Panama 15 Australia 2

Panama banged out 16 hits in their rout of Australia. Adan Sanchez and Omar Reluz each scored three times to lead the offense. Even though the win put them in a second place tie with Korea and Nicaragua their team quality balance was not good enough to advance them to the playoffs.

12 and Under World Cup - Day 4 Play Returns

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The tsunami or storm has passed. Most of the teams were able to get their games in. The big game between Taiwan and Mexico was one of the two games postponed. That gives Taiwan two big games they have to make up tomorrow, one against Japan and the other against Mexico. Japan had their game against Brazil postponed after three innings with Japan leading 5-0. Four teams will play double headers tomorrow (Taiwan, Mexico, Japan and Brazil). In the games played there were no big upsets.

Nicaragua 10 Australia 4

Nicaragua enhanced their chance of making it to the playoffs improving their record to 3-1. Australia dropped to 1-3 with their loss. A six run fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game with Bryant Machado slashing a two run single and Jeral Bravo powering a two run homer to contribute to the inning. Machado closed out the scoring with a two run homerun in the sixth to finish the game with a team leading four RBIs. Leadoff hitter Jarold Montealto went 3 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored. The Aussies banged out 10 hits, one shy of Nicaragua, but they failed to plate many of their opportunities.

United States 7 Panama 3

Panama can take consolation they were not blown out by the United States team. Their record dropped to 2-2 with the loss while the United States improved to 4-0. Joshua Atomanczyk pitched the four middle innings, allowing just one run on one hit. Adan Sanchez got the start for Panama and was just a little wild, walking six, with three wild pitches and two hit batters. Benjamin Reiland was the offensive hero, going 2 for 2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Raffaele Velazquez also had a perfect day, finishing 3 for 3 with two RBIs, one run scored and a walk.

Korea 7 Germany 2

Korea improved to 2-2 while Germany remained one of the two winless teams in the tournament, dropping to 0-4. Germany actually had a 1-0 lead after three innings but Korea pounced in the last two innings for seven runs. Germany committed five errors in the game, one contributing to the first Korean run and another error allowing the go ahead run to score in the bottom of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie. Korea would score two more runs in the five run fifth on another error and a balk.

Czech Republic 10 Russia 0

Russia has still not scored a run this tournament and the Czech Republic improved to 2-3, which will probably find them fall short of a playoff spot. Filip Votava got the win, pitching the last 2.1 innings and striking out six of the seven hitters he faced. Jakub Winkler drove in three runs on a 2 for 2 day, walking twice and stealing a base.

12 and Under World Cup - Day 3

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

The big game, Taiwan versus Japan was postponed by rain. Taiwan has yet to give up a hit in the two games they have played. Japan was stung with a loss to Mexico. The mild upset of the day was Nicaragua bouncing back from their loss against the United States to beat their neighbors Panama, who were undefeated until that loss.

Nicaragua 10 Panama 2

Three of the first four runs Nicaragua scored in the third inning were on a strikeout wild pitch. balk and wild pitch. Jeral Bravo hit a two run homer in the fifth to give Nicaragua an overwhelming 6-1 lead. Bryant Machado had three hits, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Jarold Montealto pitched five innings and only allowed a Adnan Sanchez solo blast for his only run given up. Adnan is the offensive weapon for Panama getting three of their five hits including his second homerun of the tournament. In the first game he homered in the sixth in a 1-0 Panama win.

Australia 9 Germany 1

Australia got their first win and scored their first runs of the tournament. Germany remained winless. Six of the ten Aussie hits were doubles with Oscar Hyde contributing two doubles on his 2 for 3 day with two runs scored and two RBIs. Hyde also threw five shutout innings in the start. William Baker went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored as well for the Aussies.

Brazil 10 Russia 0

It appears Brazil was the victor but the boxscore for this game is from the United States win over Nicaragua.

Mexico 18 Czech Republic 3

Mexico continues to roll. A 13 run fourth ended the game in four innings. Cesar Monjaras hit a two run homer in the first, his second of the tournament and Antonis Macias blasted a three run tater to begin the 13 run fourth, also his second of the tournament. Macias finished with five RBIs on a 3 for 3 day with three runs scored and Monjaras went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Mexico battered the Czech pitching staff with 22 hits, seven of them for extra bases. Two Mexican pitchers did not allow the Czechs a hit. They scored all three runs in the second inning on three walks, two balks and a wild pitch. Macias is hitting .778, Monjaras .600 and Juan Tirado .889 after the first three games. Tirado finished the day 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, making his first out of the tournament. He leads all players in RBIs with 10 after three games.

United States 27 Korea 6

The score was 0-0 after one inning. A 10 and 12 run innings by the United States finished Korea early. Kai Caranto was the big RBI man with five, his only hit being a triple. Joshua Atomanczyk went deep for the second game in a row. Brad Burnes drove in four runs and scored four, going deep once, adding a double and stealing two bases. Daniel Arambula also hit a homerun for the Yanks. Ten different players in the United States lineup contributed an RBI. The United States remains the only undefeated team in their pool.