Archive for the 'Mexico' Category

Top Ten Mexican Prospects

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Only one player graduated from last year’s top ten. Victor Arano was myworld’s number 5 prospect from Mexico and he appeared in 60 games of relief for Philadelphia last year. We expect a couple players to graduate from this year’s list. A number of new faces to keep this list fresh.

1. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) - Alex was born in Tucson but his dad is from south of the border. That was enough to qualify Alex for the Mexican national team. He probably should have made the list last year. A second round pick of the Dodgers in 2014 Alex is more of a gap hitter than over the fence power. The arm is strong enough for right field but he lacks the speed for center. He will hit for average but the homerun numbers could fall shy of 20. This could put him in the fourth outfielder category. The trade of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig opened up some outfield room for Verdugo this year. The average is there (.345) and his .635 slugging comes with three homeruns. That will be enough to graduate from this list after this year. The Dodgers outfield is crowded so playing time will be dependent on a productive bat.

2. Florencio Serrano RHP (Rangers) - The Cubs had originally signed him for $1.2 million but major league baseball voided the contract after a dispute with Mexico over the distribution of the bonus money. When major league baseball and Mexico came to an agreement the Rangers swooped in and signed Serrano for $850,000. Serrano was born in Texas but moved to Mexico after his freshman year in high school. He signed with the Mexican League team the Tijuana Toros. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has reached the mid-90s in try outs. He also has a decent slider and developing change. At 19 years of age he has time to develop his pitches. After pitching in extended spring training he will join one of the short season leagues.

3. Luis Urias 2B/SS (Padres) - He was supposed to start the season as the Padres shortstop but Fernando Tatis impressed so much in spring training that Urias was sent down while Tatis was kept to play shortstop. Luis was later called up to play second but struggled with the bat and was sent down. In the minor leagues Luis has no problem hitting for a high average. His struggles have come in the major leagues where hitting for an average above .200 has been a struggle. He has the defensive tools to play short but will probably fit better at second base, deferring to Tatis at short. The power is lacking and his legs do not carry enough speed to steal bases, so he needs to hit for average to make an impact. Expect him to be called up again by mid-season and at some point figure out major league pitching.

4. Isaac Paredes 2B/3B (Tigers) - The hit tool is impressive. Isaac was originally a shortstop but his lower half is a bit thick to have the range to play that position. This year the Tigers have moved him to third base where the power could be there to play the position. Last year he hit 15 homeruns. He tends to be a pull heavy hitter where most of his power is and as he rises up the minors the pitchers could become more savvy to that approach. How he responds to being pitched away could have an impact on his major league development. At worst he will become a solid utility player with the Tigers. At best he could be an offensive oriented second baseman or solid third baseman. He is currently playing in AA where last year he hit .321 in 150 at bats last year. He should hit for a high enough average and decent power to be a good major league contributor.

5. Luis Verdugo SS (Cubs) - The Cubs seem to do a pretty good job of mining prospects down in Mexico. They lost Serrano but they have three other prospects in the minor leagues who were discovered in Mexico. Verdugo may be the best, signed in 2017 for $1.2 million. He played on the Mexican National team as a 15 year old. The arm is there to play short but a lack of speed could limit his range for the position. His bat is solid with some potential for power, which could allow for a move to third base if his range is found lacking. Last year he struggled with a .193 average in the Arizona Rookie League. At 18 years old he is young enough to repeat at that level.

6. Andres Munoz RHP (Padres) - The Padres are the closest team to take advantage of the south of the border talent. Andres was signed by the Padres in 2015 for a $700,000 bonus. His fastball has gone from the low 90s as a 16 year old to touching triple digits now that he is 20. Last year he pitched 25 games in relief for the Padres and averaged 100 miles per hour with his fastball. Over his three year minor league career he has only had one start, but his whiffs per nine innings sit at 11.8. Command and the improvement on his slider would make him closer material. It is unusual to find a hard thrower out of Mexico, but Munoz fits the bill.

7. Jose Albertos RHP (Cubs) - The Cubs shelled out $1.5 million in 2015 to sign Jose. There is a lot of talent in his arm, with a fastball that can rise to the mid-90s but often falls to the low 90s. This resulted in a horrible year last year where he could not get anyone out. His ERA was in double digits, hitters whacked him at an over .300 average and his walks to whiff ratio hit an ugly 65/38 in just 30 innings. That is usually not the numbers for a prospect but he has shown the Cubs some good seasons. The 2019 season will be key to determine whether he stays a prospect or becomes a journeyman. Some time in extended spring to work on his delivery is best and perhaps a callup to Low A or wait until the short seasons starts before making his 2019 debut. At 20 years old he needs to start showing more consistency on the mound.

8. Reivaj Garcia SS (Cubs) - Garcia was signed in 2017 for $500,000. He doesn’t have the tools of Verdugo and lacks the power bat to fit at third base. The ability to make contact is there so if he can hit for a high average he could eventually move to second base. Last year in his minor league debut he hit .302, but only nine of his 52 hits went for extra bases. At 18 years of age coming into this season he will probably see another year of short season. As he matures the Cubs hope enough power develops to give him a shot at making it as a utility player.

9. Gerardo Carrillo RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers got a bargain with Carrillo, signing him for just $75,000 in 2016. Despite his lack of size (6′0″, 155) he throws the ball hard, hitting the mid 90s with his fastball. He also has the ability to find the plate and as pitchers in Mexico learn, uses a multitude of pitches to retire hitters. His change is probably his best pitch. Last year when promoted to Low A he put together a 1.65 ERA in nine starts, limiting hitters to a .200 average. He relies more on soft contact than swings and misses to retire hitters, but as he bulks up that could change.

10. Tirso Ornelas OF (Padres) - Tirso signed for $1.5 million in 2016. At 6′3″ he has the potential to hit for some pop, last year hitting eight homeruns in Low A. The speed is lacking but the arm is enough to allow him to play either corner. Once he learns to pull the ball more effectively the power numbers should improve. He makes good contact for a power hitter. As he grows he will have to watch his weight. A move to first base would lesson his value and require that he fulfill his power potential to make it to the major leagues. The big advantage he has is he hits lefthanded.

Luke Heimlich Approved to Play in Mexican League

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Luke Heimlich has been approved to play baseball in the Mexican League. Heimlich pitched Oregon State to the NCAA championships and was voted the 2018 NCAA pitcher of the year. In 2017 it was discovered he was a registered sex offender for an assault he made when he was 15 years old on his then six year old niece.

Despite his college accomplishments no major league team drafted him. The LaMiga Monkeys attempted to sign him to play in Taiwan but the league voided the contract because of his criminal history. The Tecolotes de Los Dos Laredos signed him but the Mexican League debated whether they should honor the contract. After an investigation they eventually allowed Heimlich to play for the Dos Laredos ball club.

Heimlich has made two starts. In his first start he pitched five innings and gave up two runs, solo shots from Michael Crouse and Luis Perez. His second start was a little rougher as he gave up six runs in just 5.1 innings. After two starts his record is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. His next start is scheduled for Friday against Nuevo Laredo.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

According to a major league baseball press release there are 251 foreign players from 20 different countries or areas who appear on 25 man major league rosters, or are on restricted or disabled lists. That accounts for 28.5% of the players. The Dominican Republic again leads in the most major league players outside the 50 United States. Below is a breakdown of where all those foreign players are from;

1. Dominican Republic (102)
2. Venezuela (68)
3. Cuba (19)
4. Puerto Rico (18)
5. Mexico (8)
6. Japan (6)
7. Canada (6)
8. Curacao (5)
9. South Korea (5)
10. Colombia (4)
11. Aruba (1)
12. Australia (1)
13. Brazil (1)
14. Germany (1)
15. Lithuania (1)
16. Netherlands (1)
17. Nicaragua (1)
18. Panama (1)
19. Taiwan (1)
20. U.S. Virgin Islands (1)

Teams Announced for 12 and Under World Cup

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) 12 and under World Cup will be played in Tainan City from July 26 to August 4. Tainan City will be hosting the 12 and under until 2027, holding the next five events. They will be the Williamsburg of the WBSC. Fiji is the one interesting new player in this tournament. Taiwan won this event in 2011, the first year it was played, but the United States did not participate in that tournament. The last three events the United States has won the championship. Below are the groupings for the tournament.

Group A

Taiwan, Japan, Czech Republic, South Africa, Cuba and Fiji

Group B

United States, Mexico, Korea, Australia, Venezuela and Italy

Japan Splits with Mexico in Two Game Exhibition Series

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

Despite the long travel Mexico was able to win the opener against Japan 4-2 in front of 28,933 fans. Mexico scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-2 lead, Ali Solis tying the game with an RBI double and Chris Roberson putting them ahead with an RBI single. Jake Sanchez preserved the victory with a scoreless ninth.

Japan came back to even the series next day with a 6-0 victory in front of 28,622. Masataka Yoshida blasted a grand slam homerun in the first inning to give Japan an early lead. He also drove in a fifth run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Japan scored five runs in the first inning with Tatsuhiro Tamura contributing an RBI single after the Yoshida slam.

Seven Japanese pitchers were used in the shutout with Yasuaki Yamasaki closing out the game for the win. Manny Barreda had a nightmarish game giving up five runs in the first inning.

MLB Ban on Signing Players from Mexico Lifted

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Major league teams now can sign players from Mexico. An agreement was reached between major league baseball and the Mexican teams concerning the bonus paid to a player and where they money went. The major league team will sign a Mexican League player and the full amount of that signing will count against the MLB teams international bonus pool. The MLB team will pay the player directly his signing bonus. An additional 35 percent release fee will be paid to the Mexican club. This release fee will not count against the international bonus.

If a player is at least 25 years old with a service time of six years the release fee is reduced to 15 percent.

Rosters for Mexico/Japan Series

Monday, March 4th, 2019

This weekend (March 9 and 10) the Mexican National team will be playing the Japanese Samurai team. Because the NPB and major leagues have started their spring training the rosters are lacking top flight players. The Japanese do have players from the NPB on their roster while the Mexican team is led by players from the Mexican Professional League. No current major league players are participating, though there are some ex-major leaguers.

Japanese Roster

Pitchers - Yugo Umeno, Taisuke Yamaoka, Juri Hara, Takahiro Matsunaga, Yasuaki Yamasaki, Shota Imanaga, Rei Takahashi, Tomoya Mikami, Yuito Mori, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Kohei Morihara, Kazuto Taguchi

Catchers - Seiji Kobayashi, Tatsuhiro Tamura, Takuya Kai

Infielders - Yota Kyoda, Naoki Yoshikawa, Yusuke Oyama, Shogo Nakamura, Koji Oshiro, Kazuma Okamoto, Munetaka Murakami

Outfield - Masataka Yoshida, Takayoshi Noma, Seiji Uebayashi, Kensuke Kondo, Haruki Nishikawa

Mexican Roster

Pitchers - Andres Avila, Manny Barreda, Esteban Haro, Carlos Hernandez, Luis Mendoza, Aldo Montes, Jose Oyervides, Zach Phillips, Jorge Reyes, Wilmer Rios, Francisco Rodriguez, Jake Sanchez, Jose Samayoa, Cesar Vargas,

Catchers - Xorge Carrillo, Ali Solis

Infielders - Rodolfo Amador, Luis Cruz, Brian Hernandez, Luis Juarez, Victor Mendoza, Ramiro Pena, Isaac Rodriguez

Outfielders - Jose Juan Aguilar, Jesus Fabela, Roberto Lopez, Joey Meneses, Fernando Perez

Mexico to Open Ten Baseball Academies

Monday, February 25th, 2019

The new President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as many refer to him, is a big baseball fan. He has put ex-major league baseball player Edgar Gonzalez in charge of opening ten baseball academies in Mexico. These academies would be located in 1) San Quintin, Baja California Norte, 2) Guasave and 3) Etchhojoa Sinaloa, 4) Delicias, Chihuahua, 5) Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, 6)Minatitlan, Vera Cruz, 7) Iztapalala, Mexico City, 8) Palenque, Chiapas, 9) Cardenas, Tabasco and 10) Ticul, Yucatan. Players will be available to major league and the local Mexican professional teams.

The academies will be competing with the local professional teams since they sign players prior to turning 16 and sell them to major league teams, often keeping up to 70 percent of the bonus money paid to players. The academies will help negotiate with the major league clubs and claim to only take 5 to 10 percent of the bonus payment to cover the costs of training the players. It is unclear what the market will be for the local professional teams.

Recognizing that not all players signed by major league teams reach the majors, the academies will teach academics to assist them when applying for a college in Mexico or the United States.

It is not known whether Mexico has budgeted for the cost of these academies, but the estimated operating costs of each would be five million pesos annually. That would calculate out to 50 million for the ten academies. The hope is that Mexico would compete with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela for major league baseball players. In 2003 there were 23 players from Mexico playing for major league teams. Last year that number was down to 13.

You can read the full article on the academies at baseballmexico.blogspot.

Myworld Series del Caribe Team

Monday, February 11th, 2019

It is tough to come up with an All Star team of Series del Caribe players when you did not actually watch them play. Most of this assessment will be based on stats and what the player accomplished in the box score. Below are the players that made myworld’s All Star Series del Caribe Team.

Catcher - Wilken Castillo (Dominican Republic) .571 average, 4 RBIs and a 1.557 OPS

First Base - Victor Mendoza (Mexico) .375 average, .563 slugging, 5 RBIs with one homerun and a .938 OPS

Second Base - Elmer Reyes (Panama) .368 average, .632 slugging, 1.000 OPS, 5 RBIs with one homerun

Shortstop - Javy Guerra (Panama) .389 average, .722 slugging, 3 doubles and one homerun, 3 RBIs and 1.111 OPS

Third Base - David Vidal (Puerto Rico) .385 average, .529 OBA, .991 OPS

Utility - Allen Cordoba (Panama) .389 average and .450 OBA

Outfield - Alfredo Despaigne (Cuba) - .350 average, 5 RBIs
Outfield - Jilton Calderon (Panama) - .273 average, .455 slugging
Outfield - Yuniesky Larduet (Cuba) - .273 average, 4 runs scored

Starting Pitcher - Harold Arauz (Panama) 1-0, 0.90 ERA, 10 innings pitched

Starting Pitcher - Lazaro Blanco (Cuba) 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 innings pitched

Starting Pitcher - Nestor Cortes (Dominican Republic), 1-0, 1.80 ERA 5 innings pitched, one hit allowed

Starting Pitcher - Nestor Molina (Venezuela) 1-0, 0,00 5 innings pitched

Starting Pitcher - Luis Mateo (Panama) 0-0, 0.00, 7 innings pitched

Relief - Manny Corpas (Panama) 0-0, 2.25, 4 saves

Relief - Jumbo Diaz (Dominican Republic) 1-0, 0.00, 2 saves

Relief - Raidel Martinez (Cuba) 0-0, 0.00, 2 saves

Relief - Sergio Romo (Mexico) 1-0, 0.00

Dominicans Stay Alive

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

The Dominicans stayed alive by sending the Panamanians to their first defeat 5-3. Wilkin Castillo had the big bat for the Dominicans with two doubles. His first drove in the Dominicans first run in the fourth. His second double in the sixth drove in three runs to give the Dominicans a 4-2 lead. He finished the day with three hits, upping his Series del Caribe average to .571.

Elmer Reyes hit a solo homer for Panama in the fourth. He also drove in a run with a ground out in the first inning. The two RBIs gave Panama a quick 2-0 lead. Allen Cordoba had three hits for Panama and drove in the third run in the eighth.

Jumbo Diaz pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the tournament. The 300 pounder has been responsible for each of the three Dominican wins with two saves and one victory. There is a reason for him to be called Jumbo. His fastball also comes in at the high 90s, or used to. Myworld has not seen him pitch in some time.

Mexico kept their hopes alive with a 9-4 drubbing of Venezuela. Victor Mendoza crammed in four hits and drove in four runs. He hit a big three run homer in the sixth to turn a 5-4 lead into a rout. Rafael Martin got the win with 2.1 innings of shutout relief, giving up just one hit and striking out three.

Two big games being played today to close out the pool play. If Venezuela can beat Cuba they clinch their pool. If not Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela will be all tied at 2-2 and it will go to a tie breaker. Panama needs to beat the winless Puerto Rican team to tie the Dominicans. A loss will send them to second. Is this enough to motivate the Puerto Ricans to play? At least Cuba still has a horse in this race. Run differential will be the tie breaking formulae in both pools.