Archive for the 'Mexico' Category

Top Thirteen Baseball World Rankings

Friday, September 28th, 2018

The World Baseball and Softball Confederation has come out with their rankings of the top world baseball teams. The rankings go 73 deep but below is the top thirteen. The Top 12 teams are invited to the Premier 12, which is an Olympic Qualifier event.

1. United States (5515 points)

2. Japan (5245)

3. Korea (4534)

4. Cuba (3495)

5. Taiwan (3165)

6. Mexico (2672)

7. Netherlands (2263)

8. Australia (2233)

9. Canada (2142)

10. Puerto Rico (1849)

11. Venezuela (1809)

12. Dominican Republic (1481)

13. Panama (1475)

Japan picked up 146 points on the United States to close the gap on first place. Taiwan earned the most points in 2018. Latvia and the British Virgin Islands sit at the bottom of the rankings with one point each.

United States, Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela Qualify for 12 and Under World Cup

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The United States, Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela qualified for the 12 and under World Cup that will be played in Taiwan in 2019. There were 12 teams participating in the qualifier in Mexico. Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Brazil fell short of qualifying.

The four teams will join Taiwan (host), Korea and Japan from Asia, Italy and Czech Republic from Europe as nine of the 12 teams in the tournament. One African team, an Oceania team and a wild card team are three unknown teams open to qualify in future tournaments.

In case any of these players become major leaguers, the following players were voted all tournament:

Catcher - Kailand Halstead (United States)

First Base - Dean Moss (United States)

Second Base - Brock Thompson (United States)

Third Base - Carlos Miguel Villalobos (Colombia)

Shortstop - Denilso Aguila (Cuba)

Outfield - David Guzman (Venezuela), Ricardo Orozco (Mexico), Leonardo Nicolao (Brazil)

Pitcher Luis Sarabia (Mexico)

Day One - Little League World Series

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Yesterday was the opening of the Little League World Series. The early results:

Seoul, South Korea (Asia Pacific) 4 Guayama, Puerto Rico (Caribbean) 2

Seoul rallied for two runs in the sixth inning to tie and send the game into extra innings. Gi-Jeong Kim drove in one run with a single and a steal of home by Ji Hyung Choi tied the game. In the ninth Choi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, the second hit batsman of the inning, to drive in the winning run and Kim drove in his second run of the game with an RBI single to give Korea the victory.

Yeong Hyeon Kim struck out 13 hitters in 4.1 innings but still allowed two runs in the fourth, only one of them earned. Choi worked four innings and struck out seven. Kim was the big hitter of the day with three hits.

Staten Island 5 Des Moines 2

Staten Island scores the go ahead run in the fourth on a Des Moines error to break a 2-2 tie. They score three more to pull ahead of Des Moines.

Mexico 3 Australia 2

Angel Martinez slapped a two run walk off single in the sixth to give Mexico their victory. Oscar Hyde had given Australia an early 2-0 lead with a two run homer in the first. Hyde also pitched 5.2 innings before being relieved after retiring the first two hitters in the sixth. Mexico followed with three straight hits to win the game.

Houston Texas 3 Coventry Rhode Island 1

Justin Michaels collected three hits and scored a run and Ryan Selvaggi tripled in a run in the third to tie the game and scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch to give Houston the lead. Michaels doubled in the sixth and Andy Guy drove him in with a single to tack on an insurance run. Selvaggi got the last five outs to pick up the save.

Little League World Series Participants

Monday, August 6th, 2018

The United States and Canada still need to sort out their participants, but the other international teams for the Little League World Series have been decided. The Little League World Series will be in Williamsport, PA August 16-26.

Asia Pacific Regional

The two powers South Korea and Taiwan came out of their pools as the top teams. When the finals were played South Korea (Seoul) were the victors 6-1. Hong Kong did well, finishing second in their pool to Taiwan and defeating Guam 6-5 to take the consolation game.

Australian Regional

Australia will be represented by Gold Coast Baseball Assoc. in Queensland. They beat Adelaide 11-0 in the championship match.

Caribbean Regonal

The World Baseball Classic success has created a resurgence in baseball in Puerto Rico. There Little League team dominated their regional finishing 8-0. The closest team to them was Curacao at 5-3. A second Puerto Rican team did not do so well, going winless at 0-6. Puerto Rico played Curacao in the championship match and beat them 5-2.

Europe/Africa Regional

Just as last year there were no African teams represented in this region. So a better effort needs to be made to get African representation or just drop the name from the title. It takes a lot of coin to participate in a tournament in Europe. Spain (Catalunya) was the big surprise beating the Netherlands 19-0 in the finals. This is the first time that a true team from Spain will play in the Little League World Series. There previous four appearances had rosters filled with American players living in Spain.

Japan Regional

Kawaguchi Little League in Tokyo will represent Japan. They pasted Nagasaki Minami 23-2 in the championship game. They seemed to get better as the tournament wore on, winning their opener 2-1, taking the second game 7-2 and winning the semifinal match 13-2 before waltzing in the playoffs.

Latin America Regionals

Panama (Vacamonte) only loss in pool play was to their brethren Panama (Aguadulce Cabezera) in the last game of pool play 8-0. They opened against them in the first round of the playoffs and avenged that loss with a 2-0 win. In the championship match they went up against Nicaragua and won 6-3.

Mexico Regionals

Matamoros Little League finished undefeated at 8-0 beating Trevino Kelly 5-3 in the championship game.

2018 Baseball World Cup to be Held in Barranquilla, Colombia

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Barranquilla, Colombia will be the hosts for the under 23 Baseball World Cup that will be played October 19-28, 2018. As the host they will get an automatic bid to participate in the tournament. It is also hoped that the tournament will help bring new stadiums to Repelon and Manati, which are part of an $8 million investment by the Colombia Atlantico Department, though it would be nice to have some of the funds from the games go to help finance the stadiums. Pending inspection by the WBSC the games will be played at the Santa Marte Baseball Stadium. Don’t know if the stadium will pass muster but the fact there are probably no other alternatives seems to indicate it will pass. The WBSC probably should have waited to inspect the stadium before making the announcement about hosting if they had alternatives.

The following teams have qualified for the tournament. The last event was played in 2016:

Africa: South Africa
Asia: Japan (defending champions), Taiwan, Korea (third place)
Europe: Netherlands and Czech Republic
Americas: Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic
Oceania: Australia (second place)
Host: Colombia

The United States is not eligible for the event because they did not participate in the qualifiers. Because of that they may lose their number one ranking to Japan this year. This tournament is the most important international event this year, distributing the largest amount of points given to teams who do well in this event. Cuba is another traditional baseball power absent from this event.

Futures Game

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

Myworld will be attending our first Futures game this year. Below are the rosters of the two teams:

World Team

Pitchers

Enyel de los Santos (Dominican Republic/Phillies), Jorge Guzman (Dom Rep/Marlins), Yoan Lopez (Cuba/Diamondbacks), Kieran Lovegrove (South Africa/Indians), Jesus Luzardo - LHP (Peru/Athletics), Bryan Mata (Venezuela/Red Sox), Lewis Thorpe - LHP (Australia/Twins), Jesus Tinoco (Venezuela/Rockies), Alex Wells - LHP (Australia/Orioles)

Catchers

Miguel Amaya (Panama/Cubs), Francisco Mejia (Dom Rep/Indians), Keibert Ruiz (Venezuela/Dodgers)

Infield

Yordan Alvarez (Cuba/Astros), Luis Garcia (Dom Rep/Nationals), Luis Urias (Mexico/Padres), Fernando Tatis Jr (Dom Rep/Padres), Andres Gimenez (Venezuela/Mets), Dawel Lugo (Dom Rep/Tigers)

Outfielders

Randy Arozarena (Cuba/Cardinals), Luis Basabe (Venezuela/White Sox), Yusniel Diaz (Cuba/Dodgers), Seuly Matias (Dom Rep/Royals), Heliot Ramos (Puerto Rico/Giants), Jesus Sanchez (Dom Rep/Rays), Leody Taveras (Dom Rep/Rangers)

United States team

Pitchers

Shaun Anderson (Giants), Dylan Cease (White Sox), Hunter Greene (Reds), Dakota Hudson (Cardinals), Mitch Keller (Pirates), Matt Manning (Tigers), C.D. Pelham - LHP (Rangers), Justus Sheffield - LHP (Yankees), Forrest Whitley (Astros), Kyle Wright (Braves)

Catchers

Danny Jansen (Blue Jays), Sean Murphy (Athletics)

Infielders

Peter Alonso (Mets), Nathaniel Lowe (Rays), Keston Hiura (Brewers), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates), Ryan Mountcastle (Orioles), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Carter Kieboom (Nationals)

Outfielders

Jo Adell (Angels), Alex Kirilloff (Twins), Kyle Lewis (Mariners), Buddy Reed (Padres), Taylor Trammell (Reds)

Foreign Signings Begin but not for Players from Mexico

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

July 2 begins the date when major league teams can sign international prospects that turn 16 years old. That is true for most international players except for those that have professional leagues in Asia, i.e. Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Now you can add Mexico to that list.

MLB has advised teams not to sign players from Mexico. The Mexican professional league signs players once they reach the age of 14, two years before major league teams can sign them. If a major league team wants to sign a 16 year old player from Mexico they have to go through his Mexican professional team. Once a contract is agreed the Mexican professional team gets on average 75 percent of the agreed bonus (part of the contract the 14 year old signs with the Mexican professional team).

Major league teams did not have a problem with this system since only the portion that was paid to the player counted against the salary cap. The parents of the player that signed took issue with the system since they did not get rewarded for their child’s skills. They could refuse to sign with a Mexican professional team, but since the league controls the games how do they get exposed to the major league scouts?

The major leagues and the Mexican professional leagues are currently attempting to negotiate a more equitable system. Until that happens, Mexican players in the major and minor leagues may start to get scarce. No more Julio Urias, Oliver Perez or Fernando Valenzuela’s until the two leagues can figure this out.

Top Prospects from Mexico

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Victor Arano and Giovanny Gallegos are the two pitchers from the list last year that saw some brief major league time. Julio Urias and Daniel Castro made it from the 2016 list but a shoulder injury has sidelined Julio’s progress with the Dodgers and pedestrian talent has prevented Castro from continuing his major league stay. There was a repeat number one and five of the ten players on this list were repeats. Dropping off the list were Francisco Rios, Jose Cardona, Jose Luis Hernandez, Fernando Perez and Christian Villanueva. This is not a list filled with top prospects. Only Luis Urias has a significant shot at seeing full time major league time.

1. Luis Urias (Padres) 2B/SS - He started as a second baseman but the Padres have given him time at short. His future position may be second base but the arm is strong enough to play short and the range is there. It just would not be super elite for the position. The bat is the prize here, making contact and walking more than striking out, a trait not shared by many. He also peppers the gaps with line drives, with the capability of staying in the .300 neighborhood. There is very little power in his swing and not a lot of speed in his legs, but he would be a perfect two hole hitter. Luis could be ready to see major league time by mid-season, but the 2018 season will see him start in AAA. His career minor league average is .310.

2. Isaac Paredes (Tigers) SS/2B - Paredes was acquired from the Cubs in the Justin Wilson/Alex Avila trade. The Cubs signed Paredes out of Mexico in 2015. Isaac is another contact hitter who may lack the speed and build to stay at short. He does have a little power in his bat so a move to second or third could provide a team with an offensive second baseman or a defensive third baseman with decent power. He struggled a little bit in Low A (.217) after being traded by the Cubs. Still a teenager the Tigers could keep him at Low A to get his feet wet or challenge him with a promotion to High A where he would be considered one of the younger players in the league.

3. Jose Albertos (Cubs) RHP - Pitchers from Mexico usually are not hard throwers. The Cubs spent $1.5 million on Albertos because he can zing his fastball across the plate in the high 90s but generally sits on the higher side of the low 90s to the mid-90s. Like most pitchers from Mexico, they learn the change and Jose has a good one, making the fastball appear to have that much more velocity. A third pitch needs to be perfected for him to slide into the rotation, otherwise he may be best suited for the bullpen. Last year he pitched in the rookie leagues and did well. His career opposition batting average since signing is .176 and he strikes out 10.5 hitters per nine innings. Next year will be his big test when he starts a full season league.

4. Andres Munoz (Padres) RHP - The first new player on this list. The Padres paid out a $700,000 bonus in 2015 to sign Munoz away from the Mexico City team. Since his signing his fastball has increased from the low 90s to sitting in the high 90s to hitting triple digits. All of his work has been out of the bullpen where he does not need to hold back. Finding the plate has been a struggle walking just over six hitters per nine innings. Also, he pitches out of the bullpen because he only has a fastball/slider combination. Those limitations will keep him in the bullpen as he rises through the ranks. Last year he got three appearances at Low A. That is where he should start the 2018 season. If the Padres want to see him develop more pitches and improve his control they could move him into a starter’s role, but myworld does not see that happening this year.

5. Victor Arano (Phillies) RHP - Victor is one of two pitchers from the list last year who saw major league time. After 2015 all of his time has been spent in the bullpen where he can unleash his fastball in the mid-90s. His slider may be his best pitch, the one he uses to retire hitters. While his numbers at AA Reading were not awe inspiring (4.19 ERA) the Phillies still promoted him to their major league club. He did well, limiting the opposition to a .158 average and striking out 11 hitters per nine innings. With a good spring his strong major league performance could give him a shot to start the season with the major league club, or ride that roller coaster, bouncing back and forth between AAA and the Phillies.

6. Tirso Orneles (Padres) OF - The Padres have always talked about expanding their roster to include more players from Mexico, attracting fans from Tijuana to attend their games. Tirso is a player they signed for $1.5 million from the Mexico City club. Urias and Munoz are two other players the Padres have signed out of Mexico City. At 6′4″ Tirso has the ability to generate power in his bat, banging three homeruns last year in the Arizona Rookie League as a 17 year old. His lack of speed will keep him in the corner but his arm is a fit for right. The 2018 season should see him with another season in the Rookie League unless the Padres really want to challenge him.

7. Hector Velasquez (Red Sox) RHP - The Red Sox signed Hector after the 2016 season from Campeche after he won pitcher of the year honors for the second time. Like many pitchers from Mexico, his fastball is not overpowering. He relies more on his command of pitches and his secondary stuff to retire hitters. At 28 years of age the Red Sox started him at AAA where he limited the opposition to a .213 average. This led to a promotion to the Red Sox where he held his own with three starts and five relief appearances (2.92 ERA). With a good spring he could fill the back end of the rotation, but more likely he will start the season in AAA and will be called upon when needed, adding depth to the rotation.

8. Javier Assad (Cubs) RHP - The Cubs do a good job of signing players out of Mexico. Assad was signed in 2015 for $150,000. Assad has a large frame (200 pounds) so he needs to watch his weight. Not an overpowering pitcher he relies more on command and an assortment of pitches to throw at hitters to keep them off balance. A .275 opposition average is evidence that hitters can make hard contact against him if his command is off. The 2018 season will be his first in a full season league. His best bet is to fit in the back of a rotation or fill the middle of a bullpen.

9. Victor Ruiz (Reds) C - Victor was a third baseman for the Tijuana team but the Reds signed him in 2016 and moved him to catcher. His arm is strong for the position but last year he struggled throwing runners out with a 19 percent success rate. While there is some pop in his bat he failed to hit a homerun in his 78 at bats in the rookie league. He also needs to improve his patience at the plate with a 1/22 walk to whiff ratio leading to a .250 OBA. At 18 years old entering the 2018 season he will be a major work in progress. Expect him to stay in the Rookie League to continue to improve on his catching craft.

10. Giovanny Gallegos RHP (Yankees) - The Yankees signed Giovanny in 2011, a year after signing Manny Banuelos. His stuff is not as good as Manny but his arm has survived to allow him to continue his major league pursuit, while Manny has transformed into a journeyman. A mid-90s fastball limited AAA hitters to a .180 average and 14.33 whiffs per nine innings. This got him a promotion to the Yankees where the hitters feasted on his lack of quality secondary pitches to hit him at a .263 pace. The 2018 season could see him rotate back and forth between the Yankees and AAA, but carrying only a fastball will leave him at the back end of the bullpen, unless he can perfect a second pitch to complement his fastball.

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/

Cuba Win Pool Play in Series del Caribe

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

There were some meaningless games in the Series del Caribe. Mexico won their first game but it did not help them make the playoffs. Cuba also won to give them the best record in pool play, but that only gave them a date with the Dominican Republic in the first round of the playoffs. The Dominicans gave Cuba their only loss.

Cuba 6 Puerto Rico 3

Raul Gonzalez broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI double in the seventh inning to give Cuba the victory and the honor of winning pool play. Guillermo Aviles clinched it in the eighth with a two run single to up the spread by three. Leandro Martinez shut out the Puerto Rican bats for the last four innings to preserve the win.

All of Puerto Rico’s runs were scored on solo shots, the last one in the fifth inning by Cuban native Dayron Varona. Anthony Garcia hit his second homerun of the series in the first inning and Ruben Gotay slugged one in the fifth inning, the beginning of back to backs with Varona that tied the score at 3-3.

Frank Morejon hit a solo shot for Cuba in the third inning to score their first run. He also added an RBI double in the fifth and scored three of the six Cuban runs.

Mexico 8 Dominican Republic 1

Mexico got their first win but it did not help them advance in the playoffs since it was a foregone conclusion entering the game they were out of it. Mexico broke the game open in the sixth inning with four runs, two of them driven in on a homerun by Justin Greene. Japhet Amador added a solo shot in the seventh.

Sergio Mitre worked six innings to get the win for Mexico.