Archive for the 'Mexico' Category

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

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

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

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

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

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

Winter League Pitchers Making Waves

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Venezuela Downs Mexico to Win Americas Under 23 Championship

Monday, December 4th, 2017

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

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

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

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

Final standings:

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

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

North Beats South in Mexican League All Star Game

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

The North got a solo homerun from Jose Amador in the seventh and went on to beat the South in the Mexican League All Star game 3-1. Other offensive heroes for the North include Jovan Rosa who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Alejandro Flores, who drove in a run with a single.

The North also got solid pitching performances from their first eight pitchers throwing eight shutout innings. The South was finally able to score in the ninth inning on a RBI single by Amadeo Zazueta, the third hit of the inning. Derrick Loop, who pitched for the South, was the star pitcher of the game, facing four batters in relief and striking out all four hitters.

Mexican League Update

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

The Mexican Winter League is composed mainly of veteran Mexican summer league prospects and former journeymen major leaguers trying to make a living extending their baseball careers. There are not a lot of prospects to weed out from these teams. They have two halves, with the winner of the halves qualifying for the playoff. The other teams become eligible based on a point system. Below is an update of the season to date. Five teams are separated by just a game for first place.

Culiacan Tomateros (15-11)

Sebastian Elizalde (.367, 3, 13) is their top hitter, leading the team in all Triple Crown categories, including runs scored with 17. He also leads the team in stolen bases with 6. Not far behind is Alfredo Amezaga who is hitting .333. Both players have more walks than whiffs.

Pitching is the reason they hold the top spot with Dan Rodriguez (3-0, 0.87) the ace. In five starts he has limited the opposition to a .137 average and a 0.71 WHIP. Edgar Gonzalez (1-1, 1.88) and Anthony Vasquez (2-1, 2.76) have not been quite as dominant, but effective nonetheless. Chad Gaudin shores up the bullpen with five saves. He has yet to give up a run in his seven appearances.

Mexicali Aguilas (14-12)

Daniel Castro gets on base with his .387 average allowing him to score 17 runs. He has an 8/4 walk to whiff ratio. Walter Ibarra (.356, 5, 15) and C.J. Retherford (.211, 4, 16) drive the runs in. Chris Roberson (.340, 4, 10) is the igniter from the leadoff spot, second in runs scored with 16.

Rolando Valdez (1-0, 1.71) is their top starter. Ryan Kussmaul (1.98 ERA with 10 saves) has been racking up the saves.

Jalisco Charros (14-12)

Tony Tarrasco is their manager. Manny Rodriguez (.388, 4, 26) is their big bat. His 20 runs scored and 11 doubles are also team bests as well as the Triple Crown categories. Veteran Agustin Murrillo (.268, 4, 12) shares the team homerun lead with Manny. Billy Burns (.295, 13 runs scored) leads the team in stolen bases with 7. Japhet Amador is a recent arrival from Japan and in five games is making a difference, hitting .375 with one homerun and five RBIs. Chris Colabello (.246, 1,8) is trying to rejuvenate his bat in Mexico.

No pitchers to brag about except for closer Robert Stock, who has picked up four saves and has yet to give up a run in 11 appearances.

Hermosillo Naranjeros (14-12)

Domonic Brown (.365, 4, 10) is raking. His 20 runs scored is tied for the team lead with Efren Navarro (.343, 2, 19). Bryce Brentz (.205, 6, 20) leads the team in homeruns and RBIs but his 22 whiffs lead to too many quiet at bats. Hunter Dozier (.211, 4, 12) also has 22 whiffs. Fernando Perez (.361, 5, 15) is also another productive bat.

Cesar Vargas (1-2, 3.09) has only two starts but 8 relief appearances. He leads the team and league in whiffs with 30 in 24 innings. His two starts have been mixed with one shutout performance in four innings and one three run outing in 4.2 innings where he walked three of his season total five hitters. Chandler Shepherd (3-0, 2.59) has been the ace of the staff.

Mazatlan Venados (14-12)

Jeremias Pineda (.403, 0, 5) has been a difference maker in the 18 games he has played. He has stolen 16 bases without being caught and scored 21 runs. He has no power with just one double and one triple of his 31 hits. Brian Hernandez (.300, 3, 17) leads the team in RBIs while Corey Brown (.299, 4, 11) takes the top spot in homeruns. Garin Cecchini (.288, 1, 11), brother of Mets prospect Gavin, is trying to attract the attention of major league scouts.

Los Mochis Caneros (12-14)

Sebastian Valle (.190, 5, 9) has been providing too many swings and misses (26) but leads the team in homeruns. Minimal offense here.

The 6′6″ Akeem Bostick (2.78 ERA) has been lights out in his six starts, pitching in five innings in only two of his starts, limiting his ability to get any W’s. He has 25 whiffs in 22.2 innings. His ERA would be much lower but he gave up five of his season seven earned runs in his first start. Maikel Cleto (1-2, 3.63, 7 saves) has been a bit wild with 10 walks in 17 innings as the closer.

Navojoa Mayos (12-14)

The Cuban Randy Arozarena (.293,5, 14) is trying to spruce up his bat but a 4/24 walk to whiff ratio is cause for concern. His 20 runs scored leads the team. Jovan Rosa (.323, 6, 20) leads the team in homeruns and RBIs. Jesus Castillo (.323, 4, 18) and Alan Sanchez (.318, 4, 19) are two other productive bats worth noting.

Raul Carillo (0-4, 2.00) has been pitching in bad luck, taking four losses in five starts despite giving up only 8 runs. Zach Dodson (2-2, 2.97) and Tyler Kane (3-1, 3.09) have had a little more success in the rotation.

Obregon Yaquis (9-17)

Cedric Hunter (.262, 4, 10) is their most productive bat. Felix Pie (.305, 0, 5) is the only player hitting above .300. Alex Liddi (.156, 1, 3), Irving Falu (.212, 0, 4), Jake Smolinski (.184, 2, 5) and Reid Brignac (.206, 0, 1) are ex-major leaguers impressing no one.

David Reyes (2-0, 2.78) has pitched well in his four starts. Pablo Ortega (0-5, 5.70) has lost five of his six starts.

Lopez and Lively Zapping Zeros

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acuna and No Hit Outings Dominant Winter League Action

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

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

Ronald Acuna

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

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

Mike Mayers

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

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

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

Daniel Rodriguez

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

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

Brentz and Riley Winter League Mashers of the Day

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Myworld is going to try to recognize at least one player who performs well each day in the winter leagues. Today we have two. Austin Riley a prospect for the Braves and Bryce Brentz, a used to be prospect for the Red Sox. They both had tremendous hitting days in their teams rout of their opponents, Riley in the Arizona Fall League and Brentz in the Mexican League.

Austin Riley hit for the cycle in the Peoria Javelinas 19-4 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. The day started very innocently with a ground ball single up the middle in the second inning. It was the only hit of the inning and it ended with Mesa leading 2-0. With the score 4-0 going into the bottom of the third Peoria rallied for five runs to take the lead. Riley blasted a two run homer to give Peoria the lead.

In the fifth inning Riley strikes out. The game is still close 5-4. The sixth inning gives Riley a fourth at bat and he doubles to center to drive in his fourth run. Peoria erupts for seven runs and Riley is a triple short of the cycle. He gets another bat in the seventh inning and triples in two runs to complete the cycle and drive in five of the 19 Peoria runs. His final at bat is in the eighth inning when he reaches on a fielding error.

At 6′3″ Riley is a highly touted prospect in a very deep Braves minor league system. He hit 20 homeruns between High A and AA with a .275 batting average and 74 RBIs. His 124 whiffs in 129 games tells he has a propensity for the swing and miss. He is currently hitting .346 in the AFL with two homeruns in six games. A former pitcher, he has the arm to stick at third but his height combined with a heavy frame may force a shift to first.

Bryce Brentz used to be a top prospect with the Boston Red Sox. The rightfielder was noted for his strong right field arm and his power bat. That power bat was on display yesterday with his three homeruns in the Herosillo Naranjeros 17-4 win over the Culiacan Tomateros. So if my Spanish does not fail me the Oranges beat the Tomatoes.

Bryce began his power display in the first inning with a three run homer to fuel a five run opening frame. His solo shot in the third made it 6-0. He then led off the fifth with a homerun to give him three homeruns in three at bats. With plenty of at bats left in an early game a four to five homerun display was in the making.

In the sixth inning he had to settle for a single, but it drove in a run to give him his sixth RBI of the game. He flew out to left in the seventh inning in his last at bat to leave his homerun total at three.

Bryce is currently hitting .233 with four homeruns in the Mexican League. That follows his blueprint as a prospect, a low average hitter with lots of strikeouts to go along with his pop. He’ll turn 29 in December and he has six years playing for Pawtucket. Perhaps it is time the first round pick of the Red Sox in the 2010 draft find another team in need of an outfielder. He did hit a career high 31 homeruns last year at Pawtucket. Injuries have restricted him to less than 100 games from 2013 to 2016. In his two September callups to the major leagues (2014 and 2016) he has one homerun in close to 100 at bats. He has 127 homeruns in his eight year minor league career, 72 of those with Pawtucket.

Bryce was removed from the Red Sox 40 man roster just after spring training in 2017. This would make him a six year minor league free agent free to sign with any club.

Japan Still Number One in Baseball Despite United States Dominance

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

The United States has finished higher than Japan in most of the tournaments the two play in. The main reason Japan is rated higher is they have played in more tournament, two November World Cup age tournaments that the United States chose not to participate in. The voting system tends to favor quantity of tournaments played rather than quality.

Below are the top ten countries in baseball. You can see the complete list at WBSC.org.

1) Japan - 5598
2) United States - 5414
3) Korea - 4908
4) Taiwan - 3747
5) Cuba - 3637
6) Mexico - 2957
7) Australia - 2634
8) Netherlands - 2374
9) Venezuela - 2286
10) Canada - 2142