Archive for the 'Nicaragua' Category

Colon Makes Latin American History

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Bartolo Colon won his 246th game to become the all time winningest major league Latin American pitcher. He surpassed Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua. At 45 years of age Bartolo Colon has been pitching a long time. But there is another record on his agenda. Despite the number of years he has pitched he has only completed 3,445 innings. Colon needs to surpass 3,507 to surpass fellow Dominican Juan Marichal to achieve another record, the most innings by a Latin American pitcher. He needs 60 innings to achieve that goal. If he can not accomplish that this year some team would have to be willing to sign him next year at 46 years of age for him to achieve that record.

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

Nicaragua Takes Cuba to Ten Before Falling

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Cuba swept Nicaragua but the last game was not easy. Nicaragua had a 3-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. Wilber Bucardo was going into his third inning of work but could not hold the lead. Frederich Cepeda tied the game with an opposite field RBI single between short and third to tie the game. Cuba then rallied for three in the 10th to secure the victory, Lazaro Cedeno getting the big hit with a double down the third base line that scored one with the second run scoring after the throw skipped past the catcher. Vladimir Garcia came on to pitch the bottom of the tenth, walking two but getting a ground out double play to end the game.

Guillermo Aviles strung together three hits for Cuba to continue his hot hitting. Nicaragua got three hits from Jilton Calderon, including a two run single in the sixth to give Nicaragua a promising 3-1 lead. Elmer Reyes scored two of the three runs for Nicaragua.

Freddy Alvarez got the call to start for Cuba and pitched five innings of one run ball. Nicaragua started Gustavo Martinez, who had trouble finding the plate, walking five hitters in his three innings of work. Despite the heavy doses of walks he allowed only one run to cross the plate. Cuban slugger Frederich Cepeda was walked three times.

Evereth Cabrera batted leadoff in the game and collected one hit with one walk in five at bats.

Cuba Wins Game Two Against Nicaragua

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Cuba scored two runs each in the first three innings and coasted to a 7-1 win over Nicaragua in their second game of a three game series at newly built Dennis Martinez stadium. New Cuban National team player Jorge Tartabull drove in two runs with a single. Alexander Ayala drove in two runs without benefit of a hit. Roel Santos and Juan Torriente led the way from the top two spots in the order, combining for five hits and each scoring two runs. Lazaro Cedeno went a perfect 4 for 4 and also scored two runs.

Vladimir Banos went six innings for Cuba, giving up only four hits and striking out five. Carlos Teller could not survive past the second inning for Nicaragua, giving up four runs on six hits.

Interesting to see the names of some ex-prospects like Dwight Britton, Elmer Reyes and Ivan Marin playing for Nicaragua. Evereth Cabrera did not play this game.

Cuba Tops Nicaragua

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

In a three game exhibition series Cuba took the first game 6-4. The high light of the series is that it is being played in the new Dennis Martinez stadium. Nicaraguans have always had a passion about playing against Cuba and judging by the photos it was a well attended event.

The rosters for the two teams:

Cuba

PITCHERS (10) Lazaro Blanco, Erlys Casanova, Ulfrido Garcia, Yariel Rodriguez, José Angel Garcia, Alain Sanchez, Vladimir Garcia, Freddy Alvarez, Bladimir Banos, Misael Villa
CATCHERS (2) Frank Morejon, Yunior Ibarra
INFIELDERS (8) Guillermo Aviles, Juan Carlos Torriente, Carlos Benitez, Yordan Manduley, Alexander Ayala, Lazaro Cedeno, Raul Gonzalez, Yorbert Sanchez
OUTFIELDERS (4) Frederich Cepeda, Roel Santos, Jorge Tartabull, Raiko Santos

Nicaragua

PITCHERS (13) Wilton López, Carlos Teller, Gustavo Martínez, Fidencio Flores, Wilber Bucardo, Jorge Bucardo, José Elías Villegas, Berman Espinoza, Juan Bermúdez, Jason Aburto, Ernesto Glasgon, Armando Montenegro, Pedro Torres.
CATCHERS (3) Janior Montes, Rafael Estrada, Ronald Rivera
INFIELDERS (8) Darrel Campbell, Ofilio Castro, Benjamín Alegría, Iván Marín, Elmer Reyes, Edgar Montiel, Moisés Flores, Iván Hernández.
OUTFIELDERS (5) Jilton Calderón, Dwight Britton, Renato Morales, Javier Robles, Norlando Valle
UTILITY (1) Williams Vásquez.

Cuba jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off Nicaraguan starter Wilton Lopez, a Carlos Benitez high hopping seeing eye single with two out in the first inning scoring the first run.

Lazaro Blanco did not pitch well for Cuba giving up all four runs to Nicaragua in the second inning. Norlando Valle started the scoring with an RBI double into the left field corner and Ofilio Castro got the big hit for Nicaragua with a 2-run single into centerfield to break a 2-2 tie.

Wilton Lopez couldn’t retire any of the three hitters he faced in the fourth inning. With the infield in a throwing error by Evereth Cabrera allowed the go ahead run to score. Fidencio Flores replaced Lopez on the mound and except for one walk retired 9 of the 10 Cuban hitters he faced.

Guillermo Aviles finished off the scoring by pulling a pitch into the right field bleachers to give Cuba a 6-4 lead. Vladimir Garcia came out to pitch his second inning of shutout relief to close out the victory for Cuba.

Alain Sanchez pitched 4.2 innings of shutout relief to keep Cuba in the game. He yielded to Vladimir Garcia to open the eighth.

United States New Number One

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

With their win in the World Baseball Classic the United States has ended the three year reign of Japan and taken over the number one spot in baseball, according to the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC). With the top 12 teams qualifying for the Premier 12 in 2019 myworld will list the top 13 teams as ranked by the WBSC. Mexico sitting at number five has never been ranked higher.

1. United States (5025 points)
2. Japan (4609 points)
3. South Korea (4158 points)
4. Cuba (3152 points)
5. Mexico (2613 points)
6. Taiwan (2520 points)
7. Canada (2142 points)
8. Australia (2095 points)
9. Netherlands (2002 points)
10. Puerto Rico (1796 points)
11. Venezuela (1765 points)
12. Dominican Republic (1227 points)
13. Nicaragua (1155 points)

You can see the complete list at wbsc.org/rankings/

Japan Retains Number One Ranking in Baseball

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

The United States earned more points than any other country in 2017 but it was not enough to surpass Japan for the number one ranking. For the third year in a row Japan is the number one ranked country in baseball. They earned the second most points in baseball last year and now lead the United States by 244 points. The 2018 season will be difficult for the United States to surpass Japan since they are not participating in the Under 23 Baseball World Cup in Nicaragua in October, one of the two tournaments that hand out the most points for the 2018 season. In a couple weeks the rankings could shuffle as points from 2014 expire, but if the United States should surpass Japan because of subtracted points their reign will be short.

Below are the top 12 teams in baseball, plus number 13 waiting to crack into the top 12. The top 12 teams will qualify for the Premier 12, which is the third most prestigious baseball tournament after the Olympics and the World Baseball Classic.

1. Japan (5658 points)
2. United States (5414 points)
3. Korea (4950 points)
4. Taiwan (3808 points)
5. Cuba (3677 points)
6. Mexico (3012 points)
7. Australia (2634 points)
8. Netherlands (2377 points)
9. Venezuela (2363 points)
10. Canada (2142 points)
11. Puerto Rico (1827 points)
12. Italy (1686 points)

13. Nicaragua (1636 points)

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

New Dennis Martinez Stadium Built in Nicaragua

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Thanks to a $30 million donation by Taiwan, Nicaragua has built a new stadium. It is named after the old stadium, Dennis Martinez. Myworld visited the old stadium. It would be ashame if the new stadium lacked the Roberto Clemente mural that greeted you as you went inside the old stadium.

The new stadium can seat 15,000 and expand to 20,000. It will host the Central American games in December. Perhaps at some point in the future it will host a World Baseball Classic qualifier.