Archive for the 'MLB' Category

MLB Salary Rank for 2019 Season

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Below myworld ranked the MLB salaries, as well as listing all the players making $20 million or more. Salary information was obtained from Sports Weekly.

1. Chicago Cubs ($211,546,714)

Jon Lester ($27,500,000)
Yu Darvish ($20,000,000)
Cole Hamels ($20,000,000)
Jasen Heyward ($20,000,000)

2. New York Yankees ($205,443,088)

Giancarlo Stanton ($26,000,000)
Masahiro Tanaka ($22,000,000)
Jacoby Ellsbury ($21,847,142)

3. Washington Nationals ($204,449,127)

Max Scherzer ($42,142,857)
Stephen Strasburg ($36,428,571)

4. Boston Red Sox ($204,335,019)

David Price ($31,000,000)
J.D. Martinez ($23,750,000)
Rick Porcello ($21,125,000)
Mookie Betts ($20,000,000)

5. San Francisco Giants ($199,729,652)

Johnny Cueto ($22,666,666)
Buster Posey ($22,511,111)

6. Los Angeles Angels ($177,328,583)

Mike Trout ($34,083,333)
Albert Pujols ($28,000,000)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers ($170,903,333)

Clayton Kershaw ($31,000,000)
Russell Martin ($20,000,000)

8. Houston Astros ($165,653,000)

Justin Verlander ($28,000,000)

9. St. Louis Cardinals ($165,253,599)

Yadier Molina ($20,000,000)

10. Seattle Mariners ($152,807,076)

Felix Hernandez ($27,857,143)
Edwin Encarnacion ($23,333,333)

11. Colorado Rockies ($150,805,164)

Nolan Arenado ($26,000,000)
Charlie Blackmon ($21,516,666)

12. New York Mets ($149,802,076)

Yoennis Cespedes ($29,000,000)
Robinson Cano ($24,000,000)

13. Philadelphia Phillies ($144,616,127)

Jake Arriata ($25,000,000)

14. Cincinnati Reds ($133,580,714)

Joey Votto ($25,000,000)
Matt Kemp ($21,500,000)

15. Milwaukee Brewers ($127,850,341)

None

16. Cleveland Indians ($122,875,033)

Carlos Santana ($20,500,000)

17. Atlanta Braves ($117,855,753)

Josh Donaldson ($23,000,000)
Freddie Freeman ($21,359,375)

18. Minnesota Twins ($114,901,933)

None

19. Arizona Diamondbacks ($107,485,650)

Zack Greinke ($32,421,884)

20. Texas Rangers ($106,969,999)

Shin-Soo Choo ($21,000,000)

21. Detroit Tigers ($102,242,200)

Miguel Cabrera ($30,000,000)
Jordan Zimmerman ($25,000,000)

22. Oakland Athletics ($101,985,000)

None

23. Kansas City Royals ($100,820,791)

Alex Gordon ($21,000,000)

24. Chicago White Sox ($90,652,000)

None

25. Baltimore Orioles ($80,012,045)

Chris Davis ($21,116,517)

26. Pittsburgh Pirates ($76,082,999)

None

27. San Diego Padres ($75,795,766)

Eric Hosmer ($21,625,000)

28. Toronto Blue Jays ($71,228,671)

None

29. Miami Marlins ($70,610,020)

None

30. Tampa Bay Rays ($53,500,799)

None

Ranking the Minor League Systems

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Below is myworld’s rankings of the major leagues minor league farm system.

1. San Diego Padres (46.6) - Pitching seems to be their strength with Chris Paddock impressing at the major league level and MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Logan Allen and Ryan Weathers waiting in the wings at various levels. Baez and Morejon were Cuban signings and Gore may be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues. The biggest impact player could be Fernando Tatis Jr., who is the favorite to win rookie of the year honors after his hot start. Josh Naylor has a big bat but the National League may have to adopt the DH to get his bat in the lineup. Francisco Mejia is sharing the catching duties with Austin Hedges. Luis Urias was recently called up to cover second base. In a couple years the Padres will have to find room for Xavier Edwards. Watch out for Ty France, Hudson Potts and Tirso Ornelas. Buddy Reed, Anderson Espinoza and Cal Quantril were once highly rated but have seen their stock drop.

2. Atlanta Braves (43.91) - Their pitching is stronger than the Padres but they lack the position depth. Mike Soroka, Touki Touissaint, Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Luz Gohara and Bryse Wilson can all see the rotation by the end of the year. Kolby Allard lacks velocity but could fit in the bullpen. The Braves top position player is Austin Riley and he will see time after the Josh Donaldson one year contract is complete. In the outfield Drew Waters and Cristian Pache are ready to join Ronald Acuna in the outfield. The brother of Wilson Contreras, William is one of the better catchers in the minor leagues. Kyle Muller and Joey Wentz are two other pitchers to watch in the Braves assembly line.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (37.62) - The Rays strength is up the middle. Jesus Sanchez is a five tool outfielder. Many expect shortstop Wander Franco to be the next superstar prospect in the minor leagues. Lucius Fox was one of the first major wave signed out of the Bahamas, but beating out Franco may be difficult. Brandon Lowe is already making a major league impact at second base. Vidal Brujan plays the same position in the minor leagues and may have better tools, except for power. Nat Lowe is a big power bat for first base. Brendan McKay can also play first base but his strength may be as a left handed arm. Brent Honeywell is recovering from Tommy John surgery and may be ready for the Rays rotation by mid season. Matthew Liberatore and Shane Baz are other pitchers to watch. Ronaldo Hernandez has a big, power bat for a catcher. Watch out for Moises Gomez to make his mark next year.

4. Chicago White Sox (37.6) - Eloy Jimenez was recently rewarded with a multi year contract and a promotion to the major leagues. Luis Robert is tearing up the minor leagues and is screaming for a promotion from High A. Blake Rutherford made his mark with the United States team but needs to show more power. Nick Madrigal can play either short or second but it will be his bat that will get him promoted. On the pitching front they have had bad luck with Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning sidelined by Tommy John surgery. Kopech should be ready by mid-season. Dylan Cease is close to a promotion. Watch out for the next wave in Micker Adolfo, who is recovering from Tommy John and spending his 2019 season as a DH. Zack Collins has a power bat but some question his defense from behind the plate. Alec Hansen had a rough season last year trying to find the plate, but myworld believes he will recover. Zach Burdi is the White Sox closer of the future and Jake Burger is a big bat that should be available soon after his recover from his Achilles heel injury.

5. Houston Astros (28.72) - Forest Whitley could be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues next year. Josh James is already making an impact in the Astros pen. J.B. Bukauskas is struggling in the minors and may be better suited for the pen as well. Cionel Perez does not throw hard but is a crafty lefty. Corbin Martin and Rogelio Armenteros are two other pitchers gearing toward making an impact in the starting rotation. Kyle Tucker is a superstar ready to happen, but he must solve major league pitching. Yordan Alvarez has a power bat but poor defensively. Seth Beer is another power bat without a defensive position. Next wave to watch is shortstop Freudis Nova who is a middle infielder with power and Myles Straw, whose big tool is his speed.

6. Cincinnati Reds (27.8) - Nick Senzel is moving to centerfield but it is his bat the Reds want in the lineup. Staying healthy has been his biggest challenge. Taylor Trammell has all five tools and comes off winning the MVP of the Future’s Game last year. Jonathan India plays third but may have to move to get his bat in the lineup. Tyler Stephenson is the Reds future catcher. On the mound Hunter Greene is out for the year with elbow issues and Tommy John. Tony Santillan is ready to make an impact this year. On the cusp is Jose Siri, a multi tooled outfielder and Ibandel Isabel, who hit 35 homeruns in the Florida State league.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (26.3) - Good genes here. Vladimir Guerrero is the minor league player of the year. Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio also have good bloodlines and cover the middle infield. Biggio is being considered for centerfield. Danny Jansen is contributing behind the plate this year for the Jays. Kevin Smith does not overwhelm you with tools but could be a solid utility player. Jordan Groshans was the Blue Jays first round pick last year but plays the same position as Guerrero. The pitching is not as strong but Nate Pearson is one of the hardest throwers in the minor leagues, but needs to stay healthy. Eric Pardinho is small in stature but throws hard with a variety of pitches. Next wave to watch is shortstop Miguel Hiraldo who has good power for a middle infielder. He may have to move to second base. Elvis Luciano was taken as a Rule V as a teenager. Demi Orimoloye has tremendous tools but must improve his ability to make contact.

8. Minnesota Twins (23.21) - Royce Lewis is a top ten prospect playing a critical position (shortstop). Alex Kirilloff has a big bat and despite his surgery we like his arm in right field. Nick Gordon may have to settle for a utility role. Trevor Larnach was a big bat for NCAA champion Oregon State and will be a corner outfielder for the Twins. Brusdar Graterol has a blazing fastball that may eventually be moved to the pen. Brent Rooker is a bat in search of a position. The next wave will include Wander Javier at shortstop once he gets healthy. Akil Baddoo is a bat that appears to be finding his power.

9. Washington Nationals (19.65) - They have traded most of the prospects but have a trio of position players that will make an impact. Victor Robles will cover a lot of ground in center and all he needs is to find his power. Carter Kieboom will be at second base next year for the Nationals. Luis Garcia is ready to fill a utility role but his best position is as a middle infielder. The next wave could include Mason Denaburg, there number one pick last year who has a power arm. Seth Romero has all the talent but character issues could get in the way. The lefthander had Tommy John surgery so he has a year to reflect. Tres Barrera is their catcher of the future. Rhett Wiseman is one of the hottest hitters in the minors this year with 8 homeruns in 13 games. Currently the Nationals do not need outfielders.

10.Los Angeles Dodgers (19.52) - Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith make catching the strongest position for the Dodgers. Alex Verdugo is contributing to the outfield. Gavin Lux finally broke out last year and could see himself in a utility role in the middle infield. Justin Dunn is ready to make a contribution in the starting rotation. The next wave could see Dennis Santana become their closer of the future. DJ Peters is a lesser version of Aaron Judge at 6′6″ but needs to improve his contact. Jeren Kendall has all the tools to make an impact.

11. Oakland Athletics (18.85) - Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk are two of the best lefthanders in the minors. Puk is coming off Tommy John and Luzardo is on the disabled list with arm issues. Sean Murphy is a talented defensive catcher who could provide enough bat to be an All Star. Lazaro Armenteros came with a lot of hype but shows some talent. His defense, especially his arm is less than expected but he has speed and an impact bat. Jorge Mateo just needs an opportunity. The toolsy athlete needs to find a position to get his bat in the lineup. The next wave could include James Kaprielian if he can get healthy. The number one pick of the Yankees in 2015 has not pitched in two years.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (16.7) - Mitch Keller has been one of the top righthanders in the minor leagues but the Pirates have been slow to promote him. 2019 should be his year. At 6′6″ O’Neil Cruz could be too big for shortstop but his bat will make a move to the outfield a mute point. Ke’Bryan Hayes is the son of Charlie and plays a mean third base. He needs to find a little more pop in his bat to play the corner infield. Travis Swaggerty has a lot of swag as the Pirates first round pick last year. Calvin Mitchell is a power bat with defensive limitations in the outfield. Eventually Cole Tucker will be the shortstop for the Pirates before the year is out.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (14.29) - The Cardinals are crowded at third base with Nolan Gorman and Elehuris Montero. Tyler O’Neil is making a contribution with the Cardinals this year. Alex Reyes has had trouble staying healthy and may be best used out of the bullpen. The Cardinals are using him in the minors in the rotation to strengthen his arm. Dakota Hudson is ready for the rotation. Andrew Knizner is now the Cardinals catcher of the future now that Carson Kelly has now been traded. On the cusp is Malcom Nunez, signed out of Cuba who also plays third base. His power is impressive.

14. Los Angeles Angels (13.36) - Jo Adell and Jordyn Adams are outfielders who could be flanking Mike Trout in a couple years. Adell is a five tool athlete while Adams has sprinter speed. Brandon Marsh has a big bat but not the tools of Adell and Adams. Jahmai Jones was an outfielder who moved to second base. He struggled last year with the change in positions but the bat is strong. Kevin Maitan has had a big drop in prospect stock but he is still a player to watch because of his bat. Griffin Canning from the right side and Jose Suarez from the left are two arms the Angels see contributing sometime this year. The next wave could include Matt Thaiss, who was a catcher but has moved to first base where his bat has started to show some power. Livan Soto and Luis Rengifo are middle infielders to watch.

15. Seattle Mariners (12.72) - The Mariners have traded for prospects. Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn are two ex-New Yorkers, one from the Mets and the other from the Yankees, who have lots of talent. Justus needs to find his control to make an impact this year. Yusei Kikuchi was a signing out of Japan this year that is already making an impact on the mound. Jarred Kelenic is an outfielder also acquired from the Mets who has five tool potential. Evan White is a first baseman drafted in the first round in 2017 who must find more power. Waiting in the wings is Julio Rodriguez, who will see his first games stateside. He has plenty of tools to show off in the outfield and at the plate. Kyle Lewis is finally getting healthy from a gruesome knee injury. Logan Gilbert is a first round pick last year who did not get to pitch.

16. New York Mets (12.65) - Peter Alonso has taken over the first base position for the Mets. The shortstop position still shows some strength with Andre Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio waiting in the wings. Third baseman Mark Vientos has a power bat that could make an impact soon. The next wave could include Shervyen Newton, who lacks the range to stay at short but the bat has the pop to move to third. Luis Guillorme may have the best glove of the shortstops, but his bat is lacking. Pitching is short, but the Mets have high hopes for two first rounders Anthony Kay and David Peterson, both lefthanders.

17. Detroit Tigers (12.36) - The Tigers have a starting rotation already in the minors in Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Franklin Perez and Beau Burrows. The trick is to keep them all healthy. Christin Stewart is already making an impact for the Tigers in left field. Isaac Paredes has already been moved to third but his future may be at second. The next wave could be outfielders Daz Cameron and Parker Meadows. Daz is the son of Mike and Parker is the brother of Austin. Kody Clemens, the son of Roger could make an impact with his bat. Sergio Alcantara could be the Tigers shortstop of the future if he can find his bat.

18. Miami Marlins (11.13) - Sandy Alcantara has a big fastball and is making a contribution to the Marlins rotation now. Sixto Sanchez was the Phillies top prospect and acquired in the J.T. Realmuto trade. He could be ready for the rotation by the end of the year. Victor Victor Mesa was a star in Cuba, whose father was a legend on the international scene. Mesa covers a lot of ground in center and should carry an impact bat. Monte Harrison has a lot of swing and miss but can hit for pop and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. The next wave could include Jorge Guzman, who is one of the hardest throwers in the minors, but has difficulty finding the plate. Isan Diaz comes with a lot of hype but has not produced to justify the hype. Jose Devers is the younger brother of Rafael and plays shortstop.

19. Colorado Rockies (11.08) - Garrett Hampson is contributing already for the Rockies at second base. Brendan Rodgers plays the same position as Trevor Story, but has a bat that needs to fill the lineup. Colton Welker plays third base but has power and no position. Tyler Nevin is the son of Phil and plays the corner infields. If his bat connects for more pop he could be an impact player. Pitching is short, but the Rockies have hope that Peter Lambert develops with his breaking pitches. The next wave could include Riley Pint a first round pick in 2016 with an impressive fastball. Roberto Ramos hit 32 homeruns last year and has the power for first base.

20. Milwaukee Brewers (9.63) - Corbin Burnes worked well for the Brewers in the pen last year, but struggled in the starting rotation this year and was recently sent down. Keston Hiura has batting titles in his future and will slide into second base. Tristen Lutz is a toolsy corner outfielder who carries some pop. Ready to make an impact are Corey Ray, a first round pick in 2016 who finally flashed his potential last year with 27 homeruns. Brice Turang is a first round pick in 2018 who plays shortstop. Mauricio Dubon is a middle infielder who hit .343 last year before a knee injury ended his season after 27 games.

21. Baltimore Orioles (8.36) - Yusniel Diaz is loaded with tools to be the O’s future rightfielder. Ryan Mountcastle has an impressive bat but no defensive position. D.L. Hall is one of the best lefthanders in the minor leagues. On the rebuilding front the next wave would include Grayson Rodriguez, who at 6′5″ has an impressive fastball and solid secondary pitches. Austin Hays needs to find his mojo after hitting 33 homeruns in 2017. Injuries have limited his playing time. Hunter Harvey has an impressive arm that has not stayed healthy. Cadyn Grenier has an impressive glove that moved Nick Madrigal to second base, but his bat may not play.

22. Texas Rangers (7.28) - The Rangers used to always fill the top of the prospect lists but the well started running dry in 2016. The outfield has a solid corp with Julio Pablo Martinez. Leody Taveras and Bubba Thompson. Leody is a gold glove caliber outfielder who has not found his bat yet. Anderson Tejeda is a shortstop who carries some pop with the bat. On the mound Hans Crouse has a fastball that can do some damage and Cole Winn was a first round pick last year who will make his debut in 2019.

23. Cleveland Indians (7.25) - Triston McKenzie is a talented arm who is spending is second straight season on the Disabled List to start the year. Luis Oviedo has a large frame (6′4″) with a big fastball. Bobby Bradley shows big time pop at first base, but lacks a glove and hits for a low average. Nolan Jones and Yu Chang have power bats who will fight for third base. The next wave could include Bo Naylor, a catcher who was the Indians first round pick last year. George Valera and Will Benson are two impact outfielders. Valera signed out of the Dominican for big time dough has all five tools. Will Benson recently hit four homeruns in one game and could be ready for a break out season. Daniel Johnson was acquired from the Nationals and has some pop to play a corner outfield.

24. San Francisco Giants (7.17) - Their high rankings are the result of two players. The Giants have been waiting for an outfielder since the retirement of Barry Bonds and Heliot Ramos could be that player. Joey Bart will be ready at catcher once Buster Posey makes his move to first base. The next wave could include shortstop Marco Luciano, who recently signed a contract in 2018 for $2.16 million. Melvin Adon and Ray Black are two power arms who could fill the Giants bullpen.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (6.9) - The Phillies have traded the bulk of their prospects for a pennant run this year. Luis Garcia is a shortstop still a length away from making a contribution. Alec Bohm was drafted in the first round last year and has the power to play third. Adonis Medina is the one arm they have kept. He is still a couple years away from making a contribution. Spencer Howard is another arm the Phillies are high on. The next wave could include Adam Haseley who the Phillies hope will have a break out year next year. Dylan Cozens has big time pop and could fit in right field if Bryce did not already occupy that spot.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (5.73) - Jon Duplantier is a talented arm the D-backs have yet to trade. His big issue is staying healthy. Taylor Widener has gotten notice with his high strikeout rate (11.5/nine innings). Jazz Chisholm will play short and Kristian Robinson could play center. Both players were signed out of Bahamas and will bring big time pop to a lineup. Daulton Varsho will try to replicate the numbers of his namesake, Darren Daulton. His arm could be a little shallow for catcher. The next wave could include Pavin Smith, a first baseman who needs to show more pop to fit at the position.

27. New York Yankees (5.25) - The Yankees have fallen far. They still have some arms in Jonathan Loaisiga and Albert Albreu. Estevan Florial is a multi tooled outfielder who had a down year last year. The Yankees do have talent on the horizon. Everson Pereira and Antonio Cabello are two outfielders from Venezuela who have the potential to be five tool players. Luis Medina and Luis Gil are young pitchers who can hit triple digits with their fastball. Anthony Siegler is a solid defensive catcher drafted in the first round last year.

28. Kansas City Royals (3.5) - Brady Singer was the Royals first round pick in 2018 and should be the ace in the rotation by 2020. MJ Melendez is a solid defensive catcher who should be calling his pitches by that time. Khalil Lee has all the tools to play center and become an All Star. Seuly Matias had the power in his bat to hit 31 homeruns last year and has the arm for right field. The future wave could include Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar, two more pitchers drafted in the first round last year. Meibrys Viloria is another catcher who has not replicated his 2016 performance when he hit .376.

29. Chicago Cubs (1.6) - Nico Hoerner was the Cubs first round pick last year who could have an impact bat at shortstop. The only tool he lacks is power. Miguel Amaya is a solid defensive catcher who brings a bat to the game. The next wave will include Brailyn Marquez, a lefthander who saw his fastball rise to the mid to high 90s.

30. Boston Red Sox (1.45) - Michael Chavis was the Red Sox third baseman of the future who became their third baseman of the present with his recent callup. Bobby Dalbec plays the same position but has the pop to move to first base. The next arrivals include Darwinzon Hernandez, a lefthander who has a mean fastball destined to fill the Red Sox bullpen before the year ends. Jay Groome was a first round pick in 2016 and missed last year for Tommy John surgery. His fastball is impressive coming from the left side. Triston Casas was the Red Sox first round pick last year. He has an impressive bat that will start at the corners in the infield and may move to the outfield.

Corbin Leads Nats to Series Win Over Giants

Friday, April 19th, 2019

With only Doolittle effective in the Nationals bullpen, getting eight innings from Patrick Corbin was critical. He gave them one out short of eight and the Nationals bullpen was able to hold off the Giants for the last four outs to preserve a 4-2 win. Even Sean Doolittle gave up a run in the last inning to make the game interesting. For Patrick Corbin it was his first win as a National.

The Nationals scored off Drew Pomeranz in each inning, except the second. A two out walk to Juan Soto in the first was followed by a Ryan Zimmerman blast over the right fielder’s head. Steven Duggar tried to make a diving catch but came up short. Soto was able to easily score from first.

Pomeranz retired the Nats in order in the second. In the third he retired the first two hitters but Anthony Rendon lined a double off the left field wall, just a couple feet short of finding the bleachers. Juan Soto went opposite field, hitting another ball over the head of Brandon Belt to one hop the wall, scoring Rendon.

Wilmer Difo blasted a two out homer in the fourth, a ball that carried at least into the 15th row in left field. The Nationals scored their last run in the fifth on a bases loaded walk to Yan Gomes. That finished the day for Pomeranz.

Myworld was gone after the fifth. We saw seven of his nine whiffs. There were also stellar defensive plays by Wilmer Difo at short and Ryan Zimmerman at first.

Nats Notes: Interesting Brandon Belt was playing left field and Tyler Austin was at first base. Austin was an outfielder in the minor leagues. Belt has spent most of his time at first base and lacks the speed to really cover the outfield. Austin had just returned from the disabled list after a sore left elbow and is not ready yet for the long throws from the outfield. Belt had two balls travel over his head for doubles and threw to third, allowing Victor Robles to advance to second base. In defense of Belt, Crawford was in front of third acting as the cutoff…It was spring break and with a day game there were a lot of kids at the ball park. Attendance was 26,085…Again, the Nats took a lot of called third strikes, including Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded and one out. Myworld would prefer they take a more aggressive approach at the plate, rather than glare at the umpire when the strike call does not go their way…Bruce Bochy was tossed in the fifth for arguing a third strike call against Brandon Belt. It was pretty automatic since he went out immediately to argue the call. Two manager ejections for arguing balls and strikes, though Martinez was tossed from the dugout. For Bochy it was his first ejection after 25 years as manager…Brandon Belt was later tossed in the seventh inning for arguing strikes.

Seawolves Down Bay Sox

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Myworld went to our first minor league game. Matt Manning was the attraction. He went 4.2 solid innings, being taken out in the fifth because of his pitch count. He has plenty of swing and miss with his pitches, striking out eight. The Erie Seawolves romped over the last place Bowie Bay Sox 8-3.

Veteran minor leaguer Ademar Rifaela was the biggest nemesis for Manning. After Manning walked Yusniel Diaz, Ademar ripped a double down the first base line. Diaz was able to motor home from first. In the fourth Ademar blasted one into right center for a double. He scored on a Jesmeul Velentin single.

Marcus Molina got the start for the Bay Sox. He was at one time a top ten prospect for the Mets. They let him go midway through the 2018 season. A couple weeks later he was suspended for the remainder of the season for a performance enhancing drug violation. He retired the first six hitters he faced, three of them on whiffs. The Seawolves raked him in the third with a walk, three singles and a sacrifice fly to score two.

A four hit inning in the sixth to score three broke a 2-2 tie and put the game out of reach. Chance Numata led the Seawolves with three RBIs. He hit a two run single in the sixth and contributed a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Myworld is impressed with the quick bat of Yusniel Diaz. He also showed some speed on the bases and a strong arm in right field. Sergio Alcantara showed a smooth glove at short. There is some question whether he will hit, but there is no doubt of his defensive qualities. He forced Isaac Paredes to move to third. Matt Manning shoed the ability to get a lot of swings and misses. Didn’t really see too much of his curveball.

Benson Slugs Four Homeruns

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Minor League baseball has not seen a four homerun game since 2014. That was a accomplished by current Yankee Mike Ford. Will Benson ended that drought with a four homerun day yesterday, including a grand slam in the Lake County Captains 12-6 win over South Bend. Benson drove in eight of the 12 runs.

The homer barrage started in the first inning with a two run blast off starter Eury Ramos. In the third inning he mashed a solo job off Ramos into the right centerfield seats. His grand slam came in the fourth inning off Zach Mort. So three homeruns in four innings is pretty impressive. His next at bat in the sixth he led off the inning with a mash to get to four.

He got his fifth at bat in the eighth. He struck out against Dalton Geekie. The four homeruns give him six for the season. Last year Benson slugged 22 homeruns for Lake County.

Giants Pounce on Listless Nats

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Perception means a lot. The Nationals are noted for their less than inspiring play on the field. They took a lot of called strikes, gave the umpire disapproving glares but continued to take too many pitches. Davey Martinez finally said something from the dugout that the umpire did not like and was tossed. He went out to say his peace, perhaps in an effort to motivate his troops. It failed. The Giants crushed the Nationals 7-3, their bullpen failing to hold the score to give the Nationals offense an opportunity to come back.

The Nationals struck first in the second inning. Wilmer Difo hustled a hit into left centerfield into a double. With one out Stephen Strasburg was given permission to swing the bat and he lined a pitch into right center that rolled to the wall to score Difo for a 1-0 lead. Dereck Rodriguez was too much for the Nationals after that, not getting a runner to second base in his five innings of work. Two tried, but Brian Dozier was caught stealing in the third and Victor Robles was caught in the fifth. A replay seemed to show Dozier had beaten his throw to second but the umpire watching the video did not agree.

Strasburg had a two hit shutout through four, striking out four. The wheels came off for him in the fifth. Evan Longoria led off the inning with a homerun into the right field bleachers. Steven Duggar deposited a Strasburg fastball into the left field bullpen for a two run shot to give the Giants a 3-1 lead. They tacked on another run in the sixth on a line drive from Brandon Belt into the Nationals bullpen in right field. Strasburg left after that inning, his ERA rising to 5.56.

In the seventh the Nationals brought in the new guy Austen Williams to help with their bullpen woes. It did not work. He walked Kevin Pillar, who stole second and was driven in by Gerardo Parra on a double down the left field line. Williams left without retiring a batter and Matt Grace and his double digit ERA came in to pitch. After striking out the first hitter he booted a grounder to put runners on first and third. Joe Panik executed a safety squeeze, Ryan Zimmerman turned to throw to first, but Dozier was late covering the bag. That put the Giants up 6-1.

In the bottom of the seventh Matt Adams blasted the first pitch from Sam Dyson just inside the right field foul pole into the second deck to lead off the inning. The Nationals tacked on another run when Adam Eaton grounded one just underneath the glove of Brandon Belt for a double. He scored on a Anthony Rendon single up the middle. That brought in Tony Watson to retire Juan Soto on a grounder to short to end the inning.

The Nationals had Trevor Rosenthal warming up in the bullpen. When they started to rally another pitcher began warming up, sending the signal that if the game got too close Rosenthal was not to be trusted. The game did not get close enough. Trevor came in, threw a first pitch strike and then hit Brandon Belt. He walked Brandon Crawford and heard the boos. Even Longoria struck out too derisive cheers. Kevin Pillar ran the count to 2-2 and blooped a single into right center to score Belt with another run. Trevor was able to retire the last two hitters, the last out recorded on a over the shoulder catch by Difo on a blooper into right center that appeared to be destined to be another hit. The Nationals players slapped Rosenthal on the back for completing the inning, even though he gave up one run, lowering his ERA to 40.50.

The Nationals bats were retired easily by Mark Melancon and Will Smith in the last two innings. Watching them they do not appear to have the talent to be a playoff club. The bullpen is weak and does not appear to have the capability to protect leads. This could force Martinez to leave his starters in too long, tiring them as the season wears down. They make too many base running errors and sloppy fundamentals in the field. In April they have not been a pretty team to watch.

Nats Notes: It was Jackie Robinson day. All the players wore number 42. That can be a nightmare for a score keeper to keep track of the changes on the field…The Nationals trotted out four relievers. When their day was done the ERAs for the four were Austen Williams (infinity), Matt Grace (8.53), Trevor Rosenthal (40.50) and Tony Sipp (13.50)…Brian Dozier is not helping his cause to stay with the Nationals. Howie Kendrick pinch hit for him in seventh. Kendrick is hitting .471 while Dozier is hitting .152…The RBI single by Anthony Rendon in the seventh extended his hitting streak to a career best 14. He is hitting .397…Rosenthal threw mostly fastballs, hitting 96-100. He still had difficulty finding the plate, saddling himself with two ball counts to three hitters and walking another. Despite giving up a run National players congratulated him on finishing the inning, the first time he has been able to do that this season…Buster Posey is now 6 for 10 in throwing runners out trying to steal against him. His bat may be struggling (.192) but he is still playing solid defense.

International Bonus Caps

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Below are the International bonus caps for major league teams for the 2019-20 international signing periods which begin July 2. These are hard caps that cannot be exceeded. In years past teams could exceed their caps and be subject to penalties. That is no longer the case. You could always be like the Braves and try to cheat the system, but you will be subject to penalties if you get caught, as you can see from the Braves international bonus cap. They will not be able to sign any international players, almost like the Orioles who in years past always traded their international bonus money for organizational players, not because of penalties but because of a philosophical policy. That policy got them 115 losses last year.

1. Cardinals $6,481,200
2. Diamondbacks $6,481,200
3. Indians $6,481,200
4. Orioles $6,481,200
5. Padres $6,481,200
6. Pirates $6,481,200
7. Rockies $6,481,200
8. Royals $6,481,200
9. Athletics $5,939,800
10. Brewers $5,939,800
11. Marlins $5,939,800
12. Rays $5,939,800
13. Reds $5,939,800
14. Twins $5,939,800
15. Astros $5,398,300
16. Angels $5,398,300
17. Blue Jays $5,398,300
18. Cubs $5,398,300
19. Giants $5,398,300
20. Mariners $5,398,300
21. Mets $5,398,300
22. Rangers $5,398,300
23. Red Sox $5,398,300
24. Tigers $5,398,300
25. White Sox $5,398,300
26. Yankees $5,398,300
27. Dodgers $4,821,400
28. Nationals $4,821,400
29. Phillies $$4,821,400
30. Braves $0

Braves Hope to Repeat with Pitching

Friday, April 12th, 2019

The Braves are the last team reviewed by myworld for their prospects. Myworld rated them the top minor league system for prospects in 2017 and 2018 and number three in 2016. The last time the franchise was in the top ten for prospects was in 2010 and 2011 when they finished with the third rated system both years. Some of the players on that team that are still making an impact on the newer version of the Braves are Julio Teheran, Freddie Freeman and Arodys Vizcaino. Two other top prospects are Mike Minor and Craig Kimbrel.

Some of the top prospects from the 2016 and 2017 seasons are - Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Kolby Allard, Aaron Blair, Mike Soroka, Kevin Maitan, Sean Newcomb, Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Touki Touissaint, Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna and Luiz Gohara. Some of the top prospects from the 2018 team are Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley and their gang of pitchers, Luiz Gohara, Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Joey Wentz and A.J. Minter. Cristian Pache is another highly rated position prospect from 2018.

This year the Braves top prospects are pitchers. Trying to find the best one is like trying to identify the winner in a beauty contest. Mike Soroka was a first round pick in 2015. The Canadian should have been in the Braves rotation in 2019 but injuries ended his season in 2018 after five starts. Prior to his shoulder issues he was the Braves best pitching prospect with a low 90s fastball, excellent control and above average slider. The shoulder issues still lingered this spring, putting a delay to his 2019 start. At 6′5″ he has a good frame for pitching. By mid-season he should be in the rotation if he has success in AAA and the other pitchers are struggling.

Touki Toussaint is another first round pick ready for the rotation. He was drafted in the first round in 2014 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they traded him to the Braves to eliminate salary (Bronson Arroyo). Finding the plate was the biggest issue for Touki when he was with the Diamondbacks. The fastball comes to the plate in the mid-90s and he has a plus curve and change. He started finding the plate more frequently with the Braves which reduced his walks and ERA. Last year he got five starts with the Braves but struggled finding the plate, walking 21 in 29 innings. The Braves felt a little more seasoning was needed in AAA.

Ian Anderson was the Braves first round pick in 2016. His fastball also sits in the mid-90s with a knee buckling curveball and plus change. His walks have been a little high (49 in 119 innings last year) but it is not expected to be a long term concern. Last year he made his AA debut reaching four starts. He gets lots of swings and misses with his pitches. He should start the season in AA but with the surplus of starting pitching in the minor leagues it will be tough for him to crack the Braves rotation in 2019.

Kyle Wright was the first round pick of the Braves in 2017. Drafted out of college he rose quickly, already appearing in four major league relief appearances last year. His fastball sits just south of 95 with decent secondary pitches (curve and slider). Walks have caused a problem for him but he elicits soft contact. Last year the opposition hit him at a .152 clip in four AAA starts. Kyle may be a player the Braves call up by mid-season.

Joey Wentz was a supplemental first round pick in 2016. He spent a couple months on the disabled list last year with an oblique injury, limiting him to just 16 starts and 67 innings. The one plus he has is he throws lefthanded, something the pitchers above him don’t do. His fastball sits in the low 90s with a quality curve and change. He does not get a lot of swings and misses with his pitches, but the opposition could only hit .206 against him. The 2019 season should see him starting at AA.

Other pitchers with a long shot to make the rotation include Bryse Wilson, Luiz Gohara and Kolby Allard. Bryse has a flaming fastball that reaches the high 90s. The 2016 fourth round pick needs improvement on his secondary pitches (curve and change). Gohara may have the best fastball hitting triple digits and can keep hitters off balance with strong secondary pitches. Only his slider is above average. His change is still a work in progress, which could limit him to the bullpen. Staying in shape could also be an issue, with the down side reducing his fastball to pedestrian levels. Allard is a lefthander who does not throw hard. The 2015 first round pick relies more on his curve and change. His fastball rarely reaches 90. He is a back end of a rotation starter or situational reliever.

On the position front Austin Riley is their top prospect. The Braves signed Josh Donaldson to fill the position for one year and then Riley takes over in 2020. The 2015 first round supplemental pick hits for big time power, last year slugging 18 homeruns. His defensive tools, including a rocket arm should keep him at third. When he arrives with the Braves he should be an annual lock for 30 plus homeruns per year.

Cristian Pache is their best fielding centerfielder. The Braves don’t have an immediate need for that position with Ronald Acuna and Ender Inciarte playing with the big club now. Pache has gold glove potential. The bat is a little light, lacking in power but his speed could make him effective as a second lead off bat in the nine spot. Improving his patience at the plate (20/97) would enhance his ambitions to become a major league player. He will start his season in AA and is an injury away from contributing to the Braves.

Drew Waters, the Braves second round 2017 pick has a little more bat but is not as strong defensively in the outfield. The speed is there to play center but it pales when compared to Pache. His arm is strong enough to play right. His bat has some pop to it and with his speed there is the potential to be a 20/20 player. Like Pache, Waters needs to improve his patience at the plate (29/105). Drew will start the 2019 season in High A with a quick promotion to AA if he has continued success.

Alex Jackson was a first round pick of the Mariners. They moved him to the outfield from catching where he failed to hit. The Mariners traded him to the Braves where they returned him to catching. His bat seemed to find some life going back to his old position. Last year he again struggled with the bat, his average barely squeezing above .200. Defensively he has a strong arm, but his other tools need a lot of work. Preventing balls from greeting the back stop is the biggest concern. Last year he played in AAA so he is an injury away from the major leagues.

The Braves catcher of the future is probably William Contreras. He is the younger brother of Wilson. Like his younger brother, he has a strong bat with the potential for power. His defense is also above average with a strong arm to slay baserunners. He is still a couple years away from appearing in the Braves lineup.

Rosenthal versus Davis; Matter/Anti Matter

Monday, April 8th, 2019

What would the result be if Trevor Rosenthal of the Nationals faced Chris Davis of the Orioles. It kind of reminds me of a Star Trek episode where two identical people from different universes could not come into contact with each other otherwise the world would explode. A sci fi matter/antimatter thing that goes beyond my intellect.

For those of you not paying attention Trevor Rosenthal has faced 9 batters this season. He has given up hits to four of them, walked four and hit a batter. That is an ERA of infinity and a WHIP that is also not calculable. The last pitcher to allow the first 9 hitters to reach base was John Hope, who did it in 1995. His career was not too memorable. Rosenthal did not pitch last year after Tommy John surgery so he could be a bit rusty after having a year off.

Chris Davis as a hitter this year has gone 0 for 23 with 13 whiffs. He has walked four times and driven in two runs so at least there has been some positives in his at bats. The previous year he did not get a hit in his last 21 at bats. Tony Bernazard holds the record for most hitless plate appearances with 57 (1974). Eugenio Velez holds the record for most consecutive at bats without a hit at 46 (2010-2011). Velez ended his major league career without getting that hit so the record stopped at 46 by default.

Since Trevor Rosenthal can not find the plate and Chris Davis is patient enough to take a walk the result would probably end in a walk. But if we took that result away as a possibility who would win this battle? The universe would probably not survive to find that question out.

Sanchez Mashes Three; Yankees Maul O’s

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

The announced attendance was just over 33,000. It seemed quite a bit less, with most of the upper deck empty. For a Yankee game you expect more, especially on a warm, sunny spring day. The Yankees thrashed the O’s 15-3 with Gary Sanchez depositing three balls into the left field bleachers. The Orioles turned to second baseman Hanser to pitch the ninth. He gave up a two run homer to Austin Romine after hitting the first batter he faced. In all the Yankees slugged seven homeruns. It was a nightmare game for the Orioles, the kind of game they hoped their fans would never witness.

It was Gleyber Torres who got the scoring started in the second for the Yankees. He slammed a pitch from David Hess deep into the bullpen in centerfield to lead off the second. One out later Clint Frazier blasted one just over the glove of a leaping Cedric Mullins in left centerfield. In his first start Hess did not give up a hit. In his second start of the season the first two hits he gave up for 2019 left the park.

Bret Gardner led off the third with a double. With two outs Gary Sanchez hit his first homerun, lining a pitch into the second row of the left field bleachers. That gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead. It is not how far you hit them, just that they carry over the fence. A double by Gio Urshella in the fourth was the last hit Hess gave up in his five innings of work. All five hits went for extra bases, three homeruns and two doubles.

Mike Wright came on to pitch for the Orioles in the sixth. The Yankee bats found his pitches just as enticing. With one out Gleyber Torres doubled off the right field scoreboard, a hit Trey Mancini may have misjudged since it struck the lower part, a ball Mancini might have been able to catch if he continued to pursue the ball. Clint Frazier drove in Torres with a single, the Yankees first single in the game.

In the seventh the Yankees poured it on. Gary Sanchez hit his second homerun of the game, a two run shot. A second walk by Wright brought in the recently acquired Dan Strailey. He gave up a double into left centerfield to score Torres. Back to back singles by Frazier and Urshela drove in the fourth run of the inning, putting the Yankees up 9-0.

The Orioles gave the fans something to cheer about in the bottom half. An infield single by Jonathan Villar that should have been ruled an error on shortstop Gleyber Torres, a walk and a lined single by Renato Nunez into left field loaded the bases with one out. With Chris Davis up a passed ball scored the first run. Davis went on to whiff. A wild pitch scored the second run. Another walk and a single by Hanser Alberto plated the Orioles third run of the inning. They were to get no more.

The Yankees bats were still hot. Gary Sanchez mashed a two run homer off Dan Strailey in the eighth. In the ninth Clint Frazier hit his second homer of the game, a two run shot off Strailey. That was when Hanser Alberto was called on to pitch. He hit Urshela with his first pitch, a 64 mile per hour fastball. Austin Romine launched one into the left field bleachers to make it 15-3.

Two more walks put two runners on. Luke Voight grounded out for the first out. That brought up Sanchez, looking to park his fourth homerun. He got a little underneath a 72 mile per hour fastball, sending a high drive into shallow left field. Gleyber Torres drove one to the warning track in right center field to end the inning.

Game Notes: Chris Davis went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He is now hitless in 23 at bats, 13 of them strikeouts. Last year he had the worst season in the history of the major leagues, hitting just .168 with 192 whiffs in just 470 at bats. If you go back to last season he is now 0 for 44, the third worst streak in major league history (the worst being Eugenio Velez at 0 for 46, finishing his career without getting that hit to break the hitless streak). The Orioles would probably release him if they did not have to pay him more than $20 million per year for the next five seasons…David Hess was throwing his fastball at 94-95 the first three innings. By the fourth and fifth it had dropped to 91-92…Hanser Alberto was lobbing his pitches in the mid-60s. As he got more loose he was slinging it to the plate in the low 70s…Domingo German had a no hitter into the sixth. Hanser Alberto lined a one out single into right centerfield. German had a perfect game until his one out walk in the fifth,..Orioles pitchers gave up 14 homeruns in this three game series, the highest number of homeruns they have given up in a series in franchise history. They gave up seven Sunday, the highest single game total for the Bombers in 19 years.