Archive for the 'Canada' Category

World Cup 18 Groups

Friday, May 17th, 2019

The under 18 World Cup will be played in Gijang, Korea on August 30 to September 8 at the Gijang-Hyundai Dream Ballpark. The United States has won the last four under 18 championships.

Group A

Korea, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Nicaragua and China

Group B

Japan, United States, Taiwan, Panama, South Africa and Spain

The top three teams from each group advance to the super round. The top two teams from the super round play for the championship. The absence of Cuba could be financial. They have also lost a number of their younger players to the major leagues.

Top Ten Canadian Prospects

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

This list did not change a lot from last year. No players from last year’s list graduated, though Tyler O’Neil was close. The 8th and 9th rated players Miles Gordon and Landon Leach dropped from the list, replaced by recently drafted Bo Naylor and Tristan Pompey, who both have older brothers in the minor leagues. Other than that the names are the same from last year.

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B (Blue Jays) - This is a no brainer. The number one Dominican prospect is also the number one Canadian prospect. He is the top prospect in baseball. The son of Vlad Sr. was born in Canada. His dad played in Montreal and Jr. plays for Toronto. He probably has more Canadian blood than Dominican. The big issue with Jr. is his ability to stay healthy with a body that is not svelte. It is difficult to hit when you are on the disabled list. There is less concern of his ability to play third defensively, though a move to first could be possible to accommodate Bo Bichette, if he gets pushed from short. Once Jr. gets healthy he will be on the major league roster and compete for the Rookie of the year award. Batting and homerun titles could be in his future.

2. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - If not for a shoulder injury that shelved him for the season after just five major league starts, he should have graduated from this list. The 6′4″ first round pick of 2015 should see the rotation by mid-season. His fastball is not overpowering, but still crosses the plate just south of 95. The command of his fastball and the quality of his slider are keys to his success. In five AAA starts last year hitters batted .204 against him. In the same number of major league starts that upped to .288, His K’s to innings pitched also dropped. He’ll bide his time in AAA as the Braves try to figure out who they want in their rotation.

3. Tyler O’Neil OF (Cardinals) - The Mariners traded Tyler to the Cardinals for Marco Gonzalez. His dad was a body builder and the Mariners were concerned that Tyler focused too much on bulk and not quickness. He does seem to hit a lot of homeruns with his bulk, last year going deep 35 times. A major league 7/57 walk to whiff ratio is a cause for concern. Based on the number of major league at bats he has had this year Tyler will have graduated from this list after this year. The Cardinals will be happy with his 30 plus homerun bat. His defense is good enough to cover a corner outfield.

4. Josh Naylor 1B (Padres) - The Marlins drafted him in the first round in the 2015 draft. They traded him to the Padres for Andrew Cashner, concerned about his character issues. Josh can hit the ball as far as anyone. Light tower power is a common phrase used to describe his power. His defense is better suited for DH, but the National League has yet to adopt the position. The Padres tried him out in left field, but that is a desperate move since his lack of speed will not allow him to reach a lot of balls. Eric Hosmer has first base covered for a number of years so the Padres will have to hope the National League adopts the DH to get Josh’s bat in the lineup. Last year his 17 homeruns showed he can hit them far in more than just batting practice.

5. Bo Naylor C (Indians) - Bo may not be able to hit the ball as far as his brother Josh, but he could become the better prospect. He plays a position of need, showing a good arm but still needing refinement in the other areas of the game. Josh is 5′11, 250. Bo is listed at 6′0″ 190. Bo has above average speed and could move to the outfield if catching does not work out. Making contact and hitting the gaps will be more his game than sending balls over the fence. Bo should start the 2019 season in Low A.

6. Cal Quantrill RHP (Padres) - His father was a major league reliever, but Cal hopes to fit in the starting rotation. The first round 2016 pick may get lost in the plethora of starting pitchers in the Padres minor league system. The fastball sits in the low 90s and can reach the mid-90s. The change is the plus pitch that will get swings and misses. Last year he got six starts in AAA. His numbers seem a bit too pedestrian to earn a spot in the Padres rotation, with the offensive batting average is six AAA starts sitting at .300. He’ll pitch in AAA and wait for his name to be called up in 2019.

7. Tristan Pompey OF (Marlins) - The younger brother of Dalton hopes to stay healthier than his older brother. The third round 2018 pick out of Kentucky has a good frame at 6′4″ that should scream power. His defense is not strong enough to play center and his arm is fringe average to discourage a right field settlement. The bat will get him to the major leagues. Before the 2019 season is over Tristan should be showing off his bat in AA.

8. Adam Hall SS (Orioles) - The second round 2017 pick has improved his defense enough that he should be able to stick at short. The bat may not pan out enough to play in the major leagues, especially his lack of power. His legs do carry some speed to steal bases. After two years in short season ball the 2019 season should be his first year in the full season league.

9. Andy Yerzy C (Diamondbacks) - A second round 2016 pick may not have the defensive chops to stick at catcher. The bat appears to have the ability to hit for average as well as power. The acquisition of Carson Kelly may also make it more difficult for Andy to win a job behind the plate. Like Hall, the 2019 season should be his first season in AA.

10. Demi Orimoloye OF (Blue Jays) - He is a five tool athlete. Born in Nigeria, Demi moved to Canada as a youth. He was projected to be a first round pick in 2015 but he dropped to fourth. Despite all his tools he needs to improve his ability to make contact. Last year the Blue Jays acquired him from the Brewers for Curtis Granderson. He has speed, a strong arm, good power in his bat and if he improves his ability to make contact his average should be good. Demi will start the season in High A. It will be a couple years before he sniffs an ability to make the major leagues, but if he makes it he could be the first player born in Nigeria to play.

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)

Premier 12 Set for 2019

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

The top 12 teams from the Premier 12 will compete in November 2019 for two spots in the 2020 Olympics. The 12 teams will be broken out into groups of four similar to the World Baseball Classic. These games will be held November 2-8 in Mexico, Taiwan and Korea. Two teams from each of these these groups of four will advance to the finals in Tokyo. They will play the games November 11-16 in the Tokyo Dome and Chiba Marine Stadium in pool play. On November 17 the finals will be held with the top two teams playing against each other and the third and fourth place teams competing for the bronze. This could be rather anticlimactic since the top two teams have already qualified for the Olympics and third place only gets you a bronze medal. But athletes play for pride.

The 12 teams that are eligible to compete are (in order of ranking):

1) Japan, 2) United States, 3) Korea, 4) Taiwan, 5) Cuba, 6) Mexico, 7) Australia, 8) Netherlands, 9) Venezuela, 10) Canada, 11) Puerto Rico, 12) Dominican Republic

Just missing from qualifying for the event are Panama, Colombia and Nicaragua, which finished 13-15 in the rankings.

Korea is the defending champions of the only Premier 12 to be played to date. The United States finished second and Japan third. The November time frame has been established to allow the countries to bring their top players to compete in this event. The professional leagues from Japan, United States, Taiwan and Korea will be over. Cuba will postpone their Nacional Series schedule as they do for the World Baseball Classic. It will be the best baseball has to offer outside of the World Baseball Classic.

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

United States Puts Exclamation Point to Under 18 Pan Am Championship

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Myworld cannot recall such a dominant performance in a international tournament. The United States were in another league. After beating Panama in the Super Round 9-8 they got their chance to play them again in the gold medal round and won 17-2. Other than the 9-8 game no team got within seven runs. They outscored their opponents in the nine games 131-27, an average of about 12 runs more per game. It is the fifth straight Pan Am championship for the United States 18 and under team.

Bobby Witt Jr. was the big bat hitting for the cycle in a 4 for 5 day, driving in three runs. Corbin Carroll only collected one hit, but it was a homerun. He also drove in a team leading four runs. Tyler Callihan continued to be a hitting maching, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

With all the good hitting it is easy to ignore the pitching efforts. Jack Leiter pitched four innings of no hit ball, striking out nine.

In the bronze medal game Canada downed Nicaragua 5-3. LaRon Smith slugged a clutch two out two run homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie.

The United States, Panama, Canada and Nicaragua all qualify for the 18 and under World Cup that will be held in Korea in 2019. It will be interesting to see if the United States keep the same roster. Many of these players will be drafted in the first round of the major league draft. The United States won the last four 18 and under World Cup in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2012.

Cuba did not get into the Super Round and failed to qualify for the 18 and under World Cup. The last time they won the event was in 2004.

Romak Leads Wyverns to Second Win

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

The truly international baseball star Jamie Romak has been a slugging stud since his arrival in Korea. His 43 homeruns during the regular season was tied for second in the KBO. Yesterday he slugged two homeruns, his third and fourth of the playoffs to lead the SK Wyverns to a 7-2 win over the Doosan Bears. They now lead the best of seven series two games to one.

Romak hit his first shot in the opening frame, a three run blast that ultimately gave the Wyverns all the runs they would need. He added a solo shot in the eighth to flatten any hopes of Bears fans that they would come back. Merrill Kelly made the runs hold up allowing just two unearned runs in his seven innings of work. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out five.

Lee Jae-Won hit a two run homerun for the Wyverns in the eighth to cap their scoring.

Jamie Romak is a Canadian who has played baseball in the major leagues, Japan and Korea, as well as winter ball in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. His success in the major leagues (.167 average) and Japan (.113) were lacking, but he seems to have found a home in Korea. Or perhaps his bat is finally finding the sweet spot a bit more. He is still a strikeout waiting to happen, as his 123 whiffs in the KBO will tell you, but his batting average improved (.242 to .316) and his whiffs dropped from last year.

He has won a gold medal for the Canadian team in the 2011 Pan American games and bronze medals playing for the Canadian team in the 2007 and 2011 Baseball World Cups. The 2011 Canadian baseball team was voted to the Canadian baseball Hall of Fame. During his minor league seasons he did consistently hit 20 or more homeruns per year. In 2017 when the Padres sold his contract to the Wyverns he had hit 11 homeruns in just 25 minor league games with a .800 slugging percentage. So the Wyverns must have seen that power coming more to life when they scouted him.

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.

Japan Women’s World Cup Champs

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Japan shutout Taiwan 6-0 to win the Women’s World Cup in baseball. Ayami Sato gave up six hits in her five innings of work but did not allow Taiwan to score. Akino Tanaka twirled the last two innings to close out the victory. Sato tied for first in wins with three, allowing just one run in her 19 innings of work.

The big bats of Lori Miura and Yuki Kawabata each drove in two runs to lead the Japan offense. Miura led the tournament in RBIs with 12.

In the bronze medal game Canada got some revenge on the United States and beat them 8-5 in 10 innings. Daphnee Gelinas blasted a three run homer in the fifth inning to give Canada a one run lead. Malaika Underwood tied the game with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.

Despite being able to place runners on first and second neither team scored for two innings. Canada erupted for five in the tenth inning, Daphnee Gelinas singling up the middle to score the first run of the inning. Ashley Stephenson ripped a two run single to close out the scoring.

The final standings for the tournament:

1) Japan, 2) Taiwan, 3) Canada, 4) United States, 5) Venezuela, 6) Dominican Republic, 7) Australia, 8) Cuba, 9) Puerto Rico, 10) Korea, 11) Hong Kong, 12) Netherlands

Women’s World Cup - Taiwan to Play Japan for Gold

Friday, August 31st, 2018

The United States won their game to stay alive, but Taiwan beat Canada to earn their trip to the gold, busting the hearts of the American girls. The United States will have to be satisfied with a bronze medal match against Canada.

Taiwan 6 Canada 4

Both teams erupted for seven runs in the first inning. When the dust settled Canada had a 4-3 advantage. Amanda Asay had the big hit for Canada with a two run double. Canada collected four of their nine hits in the first frame. Taiwan loaded the bases with one out in the second inning but failed to score. They scored a run in the third after a Canadian error to tie the game. Shih-Yun Lee rapped a single to break a 4-4 tie. Taiwan added another insurance run in the inning and held Canada scoreless after the first inning to come away with the victory.

Taiwan loaded the bases again in the fourth but could not score and put two runners on in both the fifth and sixth innings and again failed to score. They ended the day stranding 14 runners in only six innings, four less than the maximum. Chiao-Yun Huang recovered after a disastrous first inning and went the full seven innings to get the win.

United States 8 Dominican Republic 1

The United States scored six runs in the opening frame to glide to their win. All six runs were scored after two were out. The United States collected four of their seven hits in the first inning and had back to back to back hit batters to circle the bases. The Dominican Republic pitchers drilled six batters in the game. The United States countered with only one hit batsman. Kelsie Whitmore gave up an unearned run in the first inning but went four to get the win.

Japan 10 Venezuela 0

A game Japan did not have to win but they won with ease. Ririka Tabata drove in four runs to lead the Japanese offense. Japan used four different pitchers to prevent Venezuela from scoring, limiting the innings pitched so players could be available for the gold medal game.