Archive for the 'Cuba' Category

Top 14 Countries for Women’s Baseball

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

There are not as many countries that participant in woman’s baseball. Japan is the most dominant, currently carrying a 30 game world cup winning streak. Canada, the number two rated team came the closest to beating Japan in the World Cup, losing 2-1 in a Super Round game. Taiwan jumped three spots after finishing second in last year’s World Cup. Most of the top United States players are encouraged to play softball because of a lack of baseball programs for women. They dropped a notch after failing to medal the last two years. Below are the top 14 countries for woman’s baseball:

1. Japan - 2000 points
2. Canada - 1300
3. Taiwan - 1297
4. United States - 1094
5. Venezuela - 989
6. Australia - 904
7. Cuba - 537
8. Korea - 500
9. Dominican Republic - 433
10. Hong Kong - 363
11. Netherlands - 311
12. Puerto Rico - 267
13. India - 104
14. Pakistan - 67

Top 25 Latins at or Under 25

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

La Vida provided a list of the top 25 Latins at or Under 25 years old. Below is their list. You can read more about their assessment at lavidabaseball.com. Teaser - four of the top five are players from Puerto Rico.

25. Jeimer Candelario (3b/1b) - Detroit Tigers (Dominican Republic) 24 years of age
24. Willy Adames (SS) - Tampa Bay Rays (Dominican Republic) 23
23. Orlando Arcia (SS) - Milwaukee Brewers (Venezuela) 24
22. Ramon Laureano (OF) - Oakland Athletics (Dominican Republic) 24
21. Yoan Moncada (2B) - Chicago White Sox (Cuba) 23
20. Seranthony Dominguez (RHP) - Philadelphia Phillies (Dominican Republic) 23
19. Ketel Marte (SS) - Arizona Diamondbacks (Dominican Republic) 25
18. Roberto Osuna (RHP) - Houston Astros (Mexico) 23
17. johan Camargo (Utility) - Atlanta Braves (Panama) 24
16. Nomar Mazara (OF) - Texas Rangers (Dominican Republic) 23
15. German Marquez (RHP) - Colorado Rockies (Venezuela) 23
14. Rafael Devers (3B) - Boston Red Sox (Dominican Republic) 22
13. Gary Sanchez (C) - New York Yankees (Dominican Republic) 25
12. Roughned Odor (2b) - Texas Rangers (Venezuela) 24
11. Jose Berrios (RHP) - Minnesota Twins (Puerto Rico) 24
10. Gleyber Torres (2b/SS) - New York Yankees (Venezuela) 21
9. Ozzie Albies (2B) - Atlanta Braves (Curacao) 21
8. Miguel Andujar (3B) - New York Yankees (Dominican Republic) 23
7. Juan Soto (OF) - Washington Nationals (Dominican Republic) 20
6. Ronald Acuna Jr (OF) - Atlanta Braves (Dominican Republic) 20
5. Edwin Diaz (RHP) - Seattle Mariners (Puerto Rico) 24
4. Luis Severino (RHP) - New York Yankees (Dominican Republic) 24
3. Carlos Correa (SS) - Houston Astros (Puerto Rico) 24
2. Javier Baez (2b/SS) - Chicago Cubs (Puerto Rico) 25
1. Francisco Lindor (SS) - Cleveland Indians (Puerto Rico) 24

The Orioles Lose Out to the Victors

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

There were two teams with the international bonus money competing for two Cuban prospects, Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. They were the Orioles and the Marlins. The Marlins will have a press conference on Monday and it is expected that this press conference will announce the signings of the two Mesa brothers.

The Two Mesa brothers were considered to be a package duo, not unlike the Gurriel brothers when they defected from Cuba a couple years ago. The Mesa brothers are sons of a superstar in Cuban international baseball, who played for Cuba before there were defections, Victor Mesa, who also played with the father of the Gurriels, another superstar in Cuban baseball Lourdes Gurriel. They were dominant in winning international baseball events, but never really got the opportunity to play against major leaguers. Now their sons will get to show off their talents.

It may be too late for Yuli Gurriel, who shows he belongs in the major leagues but at 33 his time is short. His younger brother Lourdes looks to be a solid player. Now it will soon be the opportunity for the Mesa brothers to show off their skills.

Victor Victor Mesa is the oldest at 22 and the most talented of the two. It is rumored he will get a $5 million bonus. His younger brother Victor Mesa Jr. is only 17 and is not blessed with the skills of his older brother, but they could develop. He is expected to sign for a $1 million bonus. The father of the two couldn’t be prouder and now richer with their sons bonus money. You are not going to earn that amount of money playing baseball in Cuba.

Now that the Marlins have eaten up most of their international bonus money, the Orioles can focus on signing another Cuban prospect, Cuban righthanded pitcher Sandy Gaston. Gaston is a 6′0′ 17 year old with a fastball that can hit high 90s. The pitches are there but it will take him time to develop.

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)

Baltzell Goes Deep for Team USA

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

There’s a saying - “Chicks dig the long ball”. So do dudes. Megan Baltzwell went deep for the United States for the first homerun in the Women’s World Cup. It gave the women some breathing room, turning a 2-1 game into 3-1 lead over Venezuela. It was the closest a team had gotten to the United States.

Martina Sementelli held the Venezuelans to one run in her six innings of work. Megan Meidlinger pitched the seventh inning to close out the victory. The United States scored two runs in the second inning courtesy of a Jade Gortarez two run single. Venezuela strung together three consecutive singles in the bottom of the second to trim the lead to one, Leonela Reyes driving in the lone run with her single.

Venezuela got seven innings from Kisbel Vizcaya, who restricted the until then powerful United States bats to just five hits. For Venezuela they dropped to 1-2.

Japan got a bit of a scare from Cuba. Maraisy Perez silenced the Japanese bats for the first five innings. Cuba scored their lone run on a steal of home by Katherine Vals in the bottom of the fifth.

Japan finally erupted in the top of the sixth, an RBI double by Lori Miura and an RBI single from Chihiro Funakoshi giving them a 2-1 lead. Miura drove in two more runs in the seventh with a single. Rina Taniyama secured the victory retiring the Cubans in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Taiwan stayed in the super round race with their 13-0 win over Korea, improving their record to 2-1. Chia-Wen Shen drove in three runs with two doubles and Chiao-Yun Huang also drove in three runs.

Puerto Rico stomped over the Netherlands 16-1 to also stay in the Super Round. The Netherlands committed seven errors. Lisandra Berrios drove in five runs for Team Puerto Rico. In addition to the seven errors, the Dutch woman walked 9 batters.

The Dominican Republic crushed Hong Kong 19-1. Yocarla Guerrero drove in four runs for the Dominicans. Kimberly Almonte ran wild around the bases, pilfering four bags and scoring four times without the benefit of a hit.

The Canadians stayed alive with a 9-6 win over the Australians. They scored six runs in the last three innings to eek out their victory. Jenna Flannigan drove in three runs including two in the sixth inning with a double that broke a 6-6 tie.

Under 15 World Cup All Tournament Team

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

MVP - Cody Schrier (United States) SS - .476, 2, 8 with 17 runs scored and 4 for 4 in stolen bases

Catcher - Edgar Quero (Cuba) - .400, 0, 6

First Base - Brady House (United States) - .448, 1, 16 with 10 runs scored

Second Base - Seiya Fukuhara (Japan) - .296, 0, 9 with five stolen bases in six attempts

Third Base - Luke Leto (United States) - .364, 0, 9 with three doubles and one triple and 13 runs scored

Shortstop - Reginald Preciado (Panama) - .393, 0, 9

Outfield - Oscar Aude (Dominican Republic) - (.417, 2, 12, 11 runs scored), Luis Durango (Panama) - (.296, 0, 1 with 9 runs scored), Ryan Spikes (United States) - )375, 0, 8

Starting Pitcher - Andrew Painter (United States) - 2-0, 0.70 with 13 whiffs in 10 innings and a .200 opposition average

Relief Pitcher - Alexis Bernal (Panama) - 1-0, 0.68, .152 opposition average and 13 whiffs in 10.1 innings

Designated Hitter - Aoi Sugishita (Japan) - .438, 0, 8

Defensive Player - Kai-Yu Liu (Taiwan) - .059, 0, 2

Others to Applaud Based on Stats

Australia

Jake Burns - .267, 2, 8
Charlie Collins - .412, 2 doubles and 2 triples
Quinn Johnson - .471

Brazil

Pedro Lemos - 2-0, 0.54 18 whiffs in 13 innings and .184 opposition average
Joao Sakurai - 1.31 ERA, 12 K’s and 10 walks in 10.2 innings but a .061 opposition average.

Cuba

Frank Gonzalez - .348, 2 triples, 9 runs scored and 10 RBIs
Brander Guevara - 1-0, 0.66, .189 opposition average

Dominican Republic

Ronny Polanco - .385, 1, 5, 10 runs scored

Japan

Asahi Hanada - .419, 0, 8 with 10 runs scored and four stolen bases in five attempts

Taiwan

Ying-Chieh Mao - .500, 0, 6 with 6 doubles
Ping-En Wu - .474, 0, 5 with two doubles and one triple

United States

Samuel Dutton - 1-0, 0.00 with .143 opposition average.

Under 15 World Cup - A Panama versus United States championship

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

The United States defeated Japan to set up a Panama versus United States gold medal championship. The two time defending champion Cubans came into the Super Round as the only undefeated team but a third straight loss, this time to Taiwan knocked them out of the medal status. Taiwan will play Japan for the bronze medal.

Taiwan 8 Cuba 5

A tough loss for Cuba will have them go home without any hard wear. Taiwan gave them their third straight defeat, coming back from a 5-0 deficit to score eight in the fourth and fifth innings to seize the victory and earn a spot in the bronze medal game. Yu-Min Lin sprayed three hits to drive in three runs to lead the come back. Chan-I Li also drove in three and scored two runs. Ping-En Wu pitched the last 2.1 innings to earn the save.

Cuba got two hits and two RBIs each from Frank Gonzalez and Leyfi Llanez.

United States 8 Japan 2

Japan took an early 2-0 lead but the United States responded with eight runs in three innings to clinch a gold medal appearance. Cody Schrier has been carrying a hot bat with a homerun and two RBIs to raise his average to .526 with two homeruns and eight RBIs. Brady House drove in three runs with his bases clearing double in the sixth that put the game away. He leads the tournament with 14 RBIs. Ryan Spikes had two hits and two doubles for two RBIs.

The bullpen was lights out for the United States. Samuel Dutton walked just one in his three innings of work and Brady House pitched a perfect seventh to close out the victory. The last time the United States won the gold in the 15 and under was in 2011.

Panama 3 Dominican Republic 2

Panama got their gold medal opportunity with a win over a stubborn Dominican team. Edwin Hidalgo had an RBI single in the second and an RBI double in the fourth to lead the Panama offense. Francisco Cardenas pitched five solid innings, but struggled in the sixth, giving up two runs. Jose Sianca got the last five outs to secure the victory. For Panama this is their first appearance in a gold medal game in the 15 and under.

The United States gave Panama its only loss with a 4-1 win. Taiwan gave the United States it only loss.

Day Two of Super Round - Panama Shocks Japan

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

A couple upsets and the four 2-1 teams facing off against each other left two teams tied for first, Panama and the United States. Panama shocked Japan with a grand slam proving the difference. The Dominicans upset Taiwan and dropped them out of any gold medal round consideration.

Panama 7 Japan 3

The crowd was barely settled when two Panamanian errors in the first inning gave Japan an early 2-0 lead. Japan also made an error to load the bases in the bottom of the first when Carlos Gonzalez changed the complexion of the game with a grand slam homerun. Japan pulled to within 4-3 but in the fifth Panama put the game away with a three spot.

Eight errors were committed in the game, five of them by Panama. Rance Pinilla retired all ten batters he faced in relief to pick up the win.

United States 10 Cuba 0

The pitching of Joshua Hartle was too much for Cuba. He worked five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. Cody Schrier went a perfect 2 for 2 with a triple, homerun and walk to score three times. Joshua Hartle not only pitched a good game but his triple in the third fueled the five run inning by driving in three runs.

Dominican Republic 4 Taiwan 3

The Dominican Republic rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out a surprise win over Taiwan. Julio Torres pitched the full seven innings for the Dominicans to get the win.

Day one Under 15 World Cup - Super Round Panama Upsets Cuba

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Cuba went into the Super Round as the only undefeated team. After their opening match against Panama they are no longer undefeated. Japan and United States wins make it a four way tie for first.

Panama 4 Cuba 2

Reginald Preciado roped a two run double to drive in two runs in the top of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie. A third runner was thrown out at home to end the inning with Panama leading 4-2. Preciado had driven in a run in the third inning on a ground out.

Cuba came back and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Gabriel Agrazal was able to get a strikeout and ground out to preserve the victory.

Japan 5 Taiwan 2

Japan rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to down Taiwan. A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out. Reiya Saka was hit by a pitch to force in a run and tie the score at 2-2. A ground out when Taiwan could not turn a double play allowed the go ahead run to score. RBI singles from Aoi Sugishita and Asahi Hanada extended the lead. Hanada finished the game with three hits and two RBIs.

Yu-Min Lin shut down the Japan bats for the first five innings, allowing just four hits on one run while striking out nine. When Taiwan went to the bullpen chaos broke loose.

United States 13 Dominican Republic 7

The Dominican Republic jumped to an early 3-0 lead but then the United States bats got hot, scoring 13 runs in the second through fifth innings. No bat was hotter than Luke Leto who finished the game a homerun short of the cycle going 3 for 3 with four runs scored and two RBIs. The Dominican pitchers walked 9 hitters to give the United States baserunners to drive in.