Archive for the 'Marlins' Category

Twins Blast Marlins in Spring Training Tuneup

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Myworld returned to Jupiter for our last spring training game of 2017. The next two games will be WBC. The Twins took it to the Marlins today 8-2 on the day Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich left to represent the United States in the WBC.

The Marlins scored the first run in the opening frame when Ichiro lined a single through the second base hole. J.T. Realmuto sliced a double down the right field line. Ichiro had to stop at second when the ball bounced over the fence. Justin Bour grounded a ball up the middle but right at the shortstop in the shift for the ground out, but Ichiro scored on the play.

That was the last lead for the Marlins. The Twins scored the next two runs, John Ryan Murphy hitting a solo shot over the left field wall in the second inning after two were out. Byung-Ho Park also hit a solo homerun in the third inning after two were out. For Park it is his third homerun of the spring.

The Twins put the game away in the last three innings scoring six runs. Kyle Barraclough hit a batter and walked four to score two runs in the seventh. Dan Rohfing grounded into a double play just as the bullpen was warming up to put the Marlins out of their misery.

The Marlins scored a run in the eighth on a walk and passed ball. Eduardo Escobar singled to drive in a run. Miami loaded the bases in the bottom frame but Brandon Barnes struck out to strand the runners.

In the top of the ninth Rohlfing made amends for his grounding into a double play with the bases loaded by crushing a three run homer over the left field wall to give the Twins a 8-1 lead. In his only at bat for the Marlins Brian Anderson hit a two out homerun off a J.T. Chargois three digit fastball over the centerfield fence to end the game at 8-2.

Game Notes: Byung-Ho Park seems to have trouble hitting any pitch that has a bend to it. His homerun came off a fastball…J.T. Realmuto had a nice throw to second to get Eduardo Escobar caught stealing. He has a nice arm…This game had its own WBC flair to it with Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan) starting on the mound, Adeiny Hechevarria (Cuba) at short, Miguel Rojas (Venezuela) at third, Marcel Ozuna (Dominican Republic) in right field, Ichiro Suzuki (Japan) at DH, Byung-Ho Park (Korea) playing first base and Max Kepler (Germany) in right field…The Jupiter stadium has the best concessions on the East Coast. Tacos, bbq nachos, various types of hot dogs, sliders and the traditional flair…All spring training parks now charge $10 for parking. That may be standard now.

Nationals Battle Marlins to a Tie

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Prior to the WBC game between Dominican Republic and Canada myworld was in West Palm Beach to watch the Washington Nationals tie the Miami Marlins 2-2. It was why we were late to the WBC game. Neither team got a hit until the Nationals Adam Eaton led off the fourth with a single. Nothing worse than watching a tie in a baseball game.

The 5′9″ Dillon Peters threw three shutout innings. He walked leadoff hitter Trea Turner but retired his next nine batters. A.J. Cole worked four innings without giving up a hit. He walked the leadoff batter in the third inning.

The Marlins scored their only two runs off Joe Nathan in the fifth. His fastball was in the high 80s with Destin Hood doubling off him while singles by Ramon Cabrera and Adeiny Hechevarria drove in the two runs. Dee Gordon grounded into a double play to end the inning. Joe needs to show more if he wants to make the Nationals roster.

The Nationals scored their two runs on a solo leadoff homerun by Bryce Harper in the sixth and another solo leadoff homerun by Derek Norris in the seventh. The Harper homeruns was a line drive into left field.

Game Notes: For a small pitcher Dillon Peters threw hard, hitting 92-94 miles per hour with his fastball. That is more than enough velocity for a lefthander. He threw only 13 pitches in the second and third innings…Ryan Zimmerman is still not hitting. The spring is too long for him but he may need that length to get his first hit…Adam Lind has not gotten off to a good start. He had two strikeouts, swinging and missing or taking 6 pitches for the two strikeouts. It is early in the spring but his bat is very slow…The Presidents race for spring training has William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge, or the B-team Presidents…Screech walks around the field trying to entertain the crowd. One group called him the big chicken…Moises Sierra was caught off second looking at the third base coach to see if he should advance to third on a single. Clint Robinson threw behind him to pick Moises off. The Marlins third base coach was not too pleased with the baserunning blunder.

Mets Pound Marlins in Spring Game

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

On Sunday myworld drove to Florida to begin our one week of spring training baseball. The first game was in Jupiter to watch the New York Mets pound the Miami Marlins 8-2. A six run eighth inning broke a 1-1 tie to put the game out of reach.

Homeruns scored the first two runs. Travis d’Arnaud led off the fourth inning with a solo shot into left field. The Mets later loaded the bases with one out but Matt Reynolds grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Giancarlo Stanton hooked a homer into left field in the sixth inning to tie the game 1-1.

Nick Maronde came on to start the eighth and could only get one hitter out. Doubles by Travis Taijeron and Phillip Evans and a homerun by L.J. Mazilli put five runs on the board before Maronde was forced to leave the mound.

Two poor fielding plays in the bottom of the eighth by Dominic Smith almost allowed the Marlins to get back in the game. Two flips to the pitcher never reached the pitcher, one was ruled a hit and the other an error putting two runners on base. They scored a run on a Moises Sierra single with a walk loading the bases with no outs. A strikeout, ground out pitcher to home and fly to right ended the inning.

Game Notes - Victor Payano looks taller than 6′5″. Tayron Guerrero is listed at 6′8″ and Victor appeared as tall as him or taller…Tayron Guerrero was the hardest thrower in the game, hitting 96-98 on the radar. He is too slow to the plate with his all arm and leg delivery and runners stole second off him easily…Ben Rowen is another tall pitcher who throws submarine. Not one of his pitches went over 76…Myworld was not impressed with the arm of J.T. Realmuto. Two warmup tosses and another throw to second on a pitch out were very loopy…Myworld was also not impressed with the speed of Amed Rosario on two ground outs to third…Tyler Moore had a ball glance off his glove, hit the wall and then caught it, but Wuilmer Becerra was credited with a double…Brian Anderson impressed on defense at third base…Drew Steckenrider is a big guy with a 95 mile per hour fastball. An error by J.T. Riddle on a double play grounder should have ended the inning with no runs scored but with the inning extended Drew got wild, walked two and was replaced by Payano…The first at bat for L.J. Mazzilli this spring was a two run homer…Dominic Smith did not look good at first defensively. He made two straight flips to the pitcher to first that did not reach the pitcher. He also swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt for a strikeout and a late swing and miss on a 94 mile per hour fastball for another strikeout…Juan Lagares made a nice over the shoulder catch on a drive by Brian Anderson in the eighth. Brian would have finished the day 2 for 2 if not for the Lagares catch.

Myworld’s Top 100 Prospects - 70 - 61

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

70. Kevin Maitan SS (Braves) 3 - The Braves shelled out $4.25 million for him in 2016. At 17 years of age he has no minor league experience so this rating may be a bit optimistic. He can hit for power from both sides of the plate and is expected to hit for average. The Braves compare him to Chipper Jones. At 6′2″ he may have to move to third, but Dansby Swanson could also be a reason for that move. It will be interesting if the Braves have him start in the Dominican League or bring him to the United States for the rookie leagues.

69. Aaron Judge OF (Yankees) 3.15 - With a good spring he could win the right field job, though Aaron Hicks will have a say about that. At 6′7″ Judge has tremendous athleticism. He can cover ground in right field and has a strong throwing arm. What makes Yankee fans drool is his Giancarlo Stanton type power possibilities. What is a cause of concern is his plethora of strikeouts. He cut down on the whiffs last year in the minor leagues, but when promoted to the majors the whiffs returned, 42 of them in less than 100 at bats.

68. Raimel Tapia OF (Rockies) 3.25 - In the minor leagues Raimel has yet to hit less than .300. His career minor league average is .317. The Rockies outfield situation is a bit crowded so he will have to again spend most of his time in the minor leagues. With a little more meat on his bones he could surpass 20 homerun power but 40 double gap power is his current projection. The arm is good enough for right field and his defensive prowess should put him at the top of the league. If he wants to steal bases he must improve his jumps. A 63 percent career success rate will not allow managers to give him the green light.

67. Dominic Smith 1B/Of (Mets) 3.32 - Dominic may be the second coming of James Loney, with a little better bat and less of a glove. In 2016 he did break out for 14 homeruns after hitting only seven in his first two years. Also at 250 pounds Dominic will have to watch his weight so Pablo Sandoval comparisons do not creep into the conversation. He is a Lucas Duda injury away from making the Mets. His glove is solid despite his girth, however his speed would make him a liability in the outfield. Dominic hits the gaps and should consistently hit near the .300 neighborhood. If he could sprinkle in some power that would be ideal.

66. Braxton Garrett LHP (Marlins) 3.35 - The Marlins 2016 first round pick. He pitched for the gold medal winning United States team in the 18 and under World Cup of baseball. His fastball does not have great velocity, sitting in the low 90s. The curve is his best pitch, allowing him to strike out two hitters per inning in high school. He did not pitch in 2016 so extended spring training with rookie league action seems a possibility.

65. Kevin Newman SS (Pirates) 3.47 - Kevin was the Pirates first round pick in 2015. He should replace Jody Mercer at shortstop at some point in 2018. He’ll start this season in AA with a possible late season callup to get him acclimated to the major leagues. He is not a player who will light you up with his tools, but neither was Jody Mercer. He makes contact, does not have a lot of power, is consistent at shortstop but lacks gold glove type range.

64. Leody Taveras OF (Rangers) 3.5 - Leody is a $2.1 million bonus baby out of the Dominican Republic. He is a potential five tool talent, though he only took one ball over the fence in over 300 at bats in rookie ball last season. At that point he was a high school player competing against first round picks. He makes solid contact, is patient enough to draw walks, has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. He should begin the 2017 season in full season Low A.

63. Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) 3.53 - Anthony would be a five tool player with a better arm. His speed and range are good enough for center, but if that doesn’t work out he will be a better fit in left field. A top notch defensive back in football he has the speed to steal bases but the power to sail balls over fences. He did strike out 117 times in 92 games but the Blue Jays hope that gets reduced now that his focus is on baseball. A knee injury in 2016 slowed him down so the Blue Jays hope a healthy 2017 will show the real Alford.

62. David Paulino RHP (Astros) 3.57 - A history of injuries may keep Paulino in the bullpen. At 6′7″ with a mid to high 90s fastball he can be a very intimidating presence on the mound. He missed the 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery and has not pitched close to 100 innings in his last two seasons. David did make his major league debut last year, throwing seven innings. With potential for a plus slider and change Paulino has the requisite number of pitches to be a successful starter. He just needs to stay healthy.

61. Jorge Mateo 2B/SS (Yankees) 3.6 - The acquisition by the Yankees of Gleyber Torres will move Jorge to second base. It is unclear how he will take that since the Yankees had to suspend him last year after he pouted about not being promoted to AA last season. Compared to the numbers he put up in 2015 Jorge was not deserving of the promotion, his stolen base totals dropping from 82 to 36 and his batting average slipping 20 points. Speed will be his game but Jorge has deceptive power. Last year he showed it with 8 homeruns.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch - NL East

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

This is the last group of prospects myworld will look at who have a chance to make a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States but were stars in Cuba. Today myworld takes a look at the NL East.

Atlanta Braves

Breakout Prospect (Dansby Swanson) - The Diamondbacks are going to regret trading Swanson to the Braves for an established pitcher Shelby Miller who struggled last year. Even if Miller bounces back in 2017 Swanson will be the starting shortstop for the Braves. He got a brief 100 at bat callup last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS. Most teams would trade a starting pitcher to get a shortstop who can hit .300 or better. Defensively he is not a stellar shortstop, but he has the tools to play the position. If a better shortstop comes along his bat is good enough to move to second or third, though his lack of immense power will limit him to the low teens in homeruns. Hitting doubles in the gap will be his forte.

Prospects to Watch (Balbino Fuenmayor 1B, Touki Touissant RHP and Max Fried LHP) - With Freddie Freeman at first base and no DH Balbino will not get a big opportunity to play. He was the Independent League player of the year a couple years ago when the Royals picked him up. Last year he struggled with his bat so the Braves were able to pick him up on a waiver claim. An injury mid-season that ended his season in 2015 probably prevented him from making his major league debut after he had a monstrous season in batting average and homeruns. Myworld really likes the long limbed Touki who the Diamondbacks also traded to the Braves to rid themselves of a large contract (Bronson Arroyo). Dave Stewart did not think Touki would ever make it to the major leagues, but myworld begs to differ. His command must improve (71 walks in 132.1 innings) but you have to like his tools. The curveball may be his best pitch, but his fastball can zip past the plate at 95 miles per hour. If he can’t develop a third pitch the bullpen is always an option. Max Fried was a high school teammate of Lucas Giolito. Scouts flocking to see Giolito pitch were also impressed with Fried. When arm problems and scholarship offers scared scouts away from Giolito the Padres drafted Fried in the first round before Giolito was drafted. Tommy John surgery could have been the motivating factor for the Padres to trade Fried to the Braves during their fire sale, but Justin Upton was not going to be traded away cheap by the Braves. Fried was able to get 20 starts last year after being restricted to just five in the 2014 season and missing all of 2015. A low 90s fastball packs plenty of heat for a lefthander and his curveball is one of the best. Last year he pitched in Low A so expect him to begin in High A with a promotion to AA if he does well.

Miami Marlins

Breakout Prospect (Tayron Guerrero RHP) - Myworld was going to say Luis Castillo but the Marlins traded him a second time. They originally traded him to the Padres last year but got him back after Colin Rea came back as damaged goods. This year they traded Luis Castillo to the Reds as part of the package for Dan Straily. Myworld is not impressed with the rest of their farm system for a break out major leaguer. Tayron Guerrero is a pitcher to be watched for the bullpen. The 6′8″ Colombian throws hard, hitting triple digits with his fastball. As long as he continues to pitch out of the bullpen he could be a quick callup.

Prospects to Watch (Destin Hood OF) - Tayron was our player to watch, but we’ve bumped him up so our prospect to watch is Destin Hood. Once a highly touted prospect with the Nationals he made his major league debut with the Marlins last year. His .240 batting average did not overwhelm last year and he had some defensive lapses. With a good spring he should make the team as a fifth outfielder behind Ichiro. Stanton is also always getting hurt so he could be insurance against that. His defense is best suited for a corner.

New York Mets

Breakout Prospect (Ahmed Rosario SS) - Ahmed is a fireplug who will beat you many different ways. Power is the one tool he currently lacks, but as he matures he should hit in the teens in homerun. The Mets have Asdrubal Cabrera signed through next year but Ahmed is probably the better defensive shortstop. All Ahmed is lacking is consistency. The bat is also filled with explosiveness with many of his future hits destined for the gaps. If the Mets fail to contend Cabrera will be traded and the job will be given to Rosario. It has been a long time since the Mets have had a natural shortstop who could also hit. Ruben Tejeda was the last Met true shortstop, but he lacked the offensive swag.

Prospect to Watch (Thomas Szapucki LHP) - Myworld has to admit we don’t know a lot about Szapucki. The lefthander was a fifth round pick in 2015 but an opposition batting average of .145 with 86 whiffs in 52 innings is pretty impressive. At the lower levels pitchers with good breaking pitches can amass a lot of strikeouts but Szapucki has good velocity on his fastball, hitting 92-96. A full season of work in Low A will determine whether his body of work in 2016 was a mirage or the real thing. The Mets always seem to have a knack for finding good pitchers from the lower levels of the draft.

Philadelphia Phillies

Breakout Prospect (Jorge Alfaro C) - Injuries have prevented him from making a major league impact. The Phillies already have a pretty good catcher in Cameron Rupp, but Alfaro has more tools in his tool box. The bat has power and the arm is a rifle that will limit the run game. The intangibles need to be improved such as calling a game and managing a pitching staff but that will come as he stays healthy to catch more games. A 22/105 walk to whiff ratio is a bit worrisome, which could result in a low batting average. He also struck out in close to 50 percent of his major league at bats. Jorge is the second player from Colombia on this list.

Prospect to Watch (Mickey Moniak OF) - He was the first player drafted in 2016. Those kind of players draw your attention. A .409 slugging average and one homerun gives myworld the impression power may be lacking so if his defense is not of centerfield quality he could be a bust. He runs well and makes consistent hard contact but the ball does not carry over the fence. For 2017 the Phillies should give him an opportunity for a full season league. The high school pick is still a couple years away from the major leagues,

Washington Nationals

Breakout Prospect (Koda Glover RHP) - The Nationals need a closer and Glover throws hard, hitting the high 90s with his fastball. The Nationals will probably not trust the closer role to a rookie, but expect him to get in a lot of innings as the set up reliever before the season is over. Last year he was promoted to three different levels before making his major league debut. At each level his strikeouts to innings pitched ratio was reduced but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .197 clip. That continued to ring true in the major leagues with a .200 opposition average but only 16 whiffs in 19.2 innings. At 6′5″ and 225 he is a pretty imposing force on the mound.

Prospect to Watch (Carter and Spencer Kieboom SS/C and Victor Robles OF) - Most teams wanted Victor Robles when the Nationals looked at enhancing their playoff roster. Victor is that five tool athlete with gold glove defensive ability and the speed to steal 50 plus bases, ideal for a leadoff hitter. The power is still lacking in his game but the Nationals expect it will break out once he matures. When Bryce Harper is ready to sign his $400 million free agent contact with the Yankees Victor will be ready to take his place with an outfield role in centerfield. The Kieboom brothers have a father who played baseball in the Netherlands. Carter is considered the better prospect after being drafted in the first round last year. Carter has the tools to play shortstop, but that defensive capability will not win him any gold gloves. His bat will carry him to a major league lineup. His older brother Spencer is a fringe prospect who was drafted in the fifth round in 2012. He is still down a couple levels in the totem pole of catchers ready to make a major league impact. His defense behind the plate is average, but his bat is lacking and his speed is non-existent. It would be nice if the two of them make it to the Nationals major league roster, but only Carter really has a chance for that.

Rosters From Drafts of the Florida Teams

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Myworld is in San Diego for a week so posts will be sporadic. We did have time to put together the rosters for the two teams located in Florida based on their drafts from 2005 to present.

Florida/Miami Marlins

2005 - Chris Volstad (1) RHP, Aron Thompson (1) LHP, Brett Hayes (2) C, Logan Morrison (22) 1B
2006 - Chris Coghlan (1) 2B, Chris Hatcher (5) RHP
2007 - Matt Dominguez (1) 3B, Giancarlo Stanton (2) OF, Steve Cishek (5) RHP, Jake Elmore (48 - DNS) UTL
2008 - Brad Hand (2) LHP, Edgar Olmos (3) LHP, Dan Jennings (9) LHP, Tom Koehler (18) RHP, Mike Mahtook (39 - DNS) OF
2009 - A.J. Ramos (21) RHP, Ken Giles (44 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Christian Yelich (1) OF, Rob Rasmussen (2) LHP, J.T, Realmuto (3) C, Mark Canha (7) OF, Blake Treinen (23 - DNS) RHP, Brandon Cuniff (27) RHP, Seth Maness (41 - DNS) RHP
2011 - Jose Fernandez (1) RHP, Adam Conley (2) LHP, Austin Barnes (c)
2012 - Andrew Heaney (1) LHP, Bryon Ellington (16) RHP, Kendall Graveman (36 - DNS) RHP
2013 - Colin Moran (1) 3B

Roster

C - Brett Hayes, Austin Barnes, J.T. Realmuto
1B - Logan Morison
2B - Chris Coghlan
3B - Matt Dominguez, Colin Moran
SS - Jake Elmore
OF - Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Mike Mahtook, Mark Canha
SP - Jose Fernandez, Andrew Heaney, Aaron Thompson, Chris Volstad, Tom Koehler
RP - Ken Giles, A.J. Ramos, Steve Cishek, Chris Hatcher, Brad Hand, Edgar Olmos, Dan Jennings, Rob Rasmussen, Blake Treinen, Brandon Cuniff, Seth Maness, Adam Conley, Bryan Ellington, Kendall Graveman

Tampa Bay Rays

2005 - Bryan Morris (3 - DNS) RHP, Jeremy Hellickson (4) RHP, Tommy Hunter (18 - DNS) RHP, Ike Davis (19 - DNS) 1B, Wade Miley (20 - DNS) LHP
2006 - Evan Longoria (1) 3B, Alex Cobb (4) RHP, Shawn O’Malley (5) UTL, Desmond Jennings (10) OF, Mike Minor (13 - DNS) LHP,
2007 - David Price (1) LHP, Matt Moore (8) LHP, Stephen Vogt (12) C, Joey Terdoslavich (35 - DNS) 1B, Will Smith (40 - DNS) LHP
2008 - Tim Beckham (1) 2B, Kyle Lobstein (2) LHP
2009 - Andrew Heaney (24 - DNS) LHP, Zac Rosscup (28) LHP, James Pazos (40 - DNS) LHP
2010 - Justin O’Connor (1) C, Derek Dietrich (2) 2B, Ryan Brett (3) 2B, Michael Lorenzen (7 - DNS) RHP, Cody Anderson (17 - DNS) RHP, C.J. Riefanhouser (20) LHP, Adam Liberatore (21) LHP, Kevin Kiermaier (31) OF
2011 - Mike Mahtook (1) OF, Blake Snell (1) LHP, Taylor Guerrieri (1) RHP
2012 - Richie Shaffer (1) 3B/1B, Luke Maile (8) C, Joey Rickard (9) OF
2013 - Nick Ciuffo (1) C

Roster

C - Justin O’Connor, Stephen Vogt, Nick Ciuffo, Luke Maile
1B - Ike Davis, Joey Terdoslavich
2B - Tim Beckham, Derek Dietrich, Ryan Brett
3B - Evan Longoria, Richie Shaffer
SS - Shawn O’Malley
OF - Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Rickard, Desmond Jennings, Mike Mahtook
SP - David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Micahel Lorenzen, Blake Snell
RP - Tommy Hunter, Bryan Morris, Wade Miley, Mike Minor, Will Smith, Andrew Heaney, Zac Rosscup, James Pazos, C.J. Riefanhouser, Adam Liberatore, Cody Anderson, Taylor Guerrieri

NL East Predictions and Looking Forward

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

We under estimated the impact of young arms pitching in playoffs and surpassing their innings pitched limits. The Nationals have recovered from their collapse of last year and sit comfortably in first. The Marlins are just a Giancarlo hot streak away from catching the Nationals. The standings so far and myworld’s preseason predictions in parenthesis.

Washington Nationals (2) - Stephen Strasburg has recovered from an injury plagued year and is combining with Max Scherzer to give the Nationals a good 1/2 punch in their starting rotation. Daniel Murphy left the Mets and is now fueling the Nationals first place run with an MVP year that could result in a batting title. Wilson Ramos lasik surgery has made him one of the better hitting catchers in the game. The acquisition of Mark Melancon solidifies the bullpen. Now if they can get Bryce Harper, Ben Revere and Ryan Zimmerman contributing to the offense in the last two months of the season first place is guaranteed.

The Nationals did not sacrifice any of their top prospects in acquiring a closer. Trea Turner will get too many at bats to qualify for this list. 1) Lucas Giolito is considered the best pitching prospect in baseball. He has had a couple hiccups in his call up to the major leagues but massive heat will make him tough to hit and an ace in the rotation. 2) Victor Robles has at least four tools with a little power expected to develop. He will be the centerfielder of the future for the Nationals, not Michael Taylor. He makes much better contact. 3) Reynaldo Lopez also throws some heat but at 6′0″ is not a big guy. If he can’t fit in the rotation because of durability concerns he could fit as the closer. Command of pitches needs improvement. 4) Eric Fedde is following in the footsteps of Lucas Giolito, missing his first season with Tommy John surgery and then comes back strong the next season. He does not throw as hard as Giolito but has a wide variety of pitches that he can throw for strikes. 5) Dane Dunning was one of two Nationals first round picks in 2016. He needs to develop his secondary pitches but his fastball has good velocity.

Miami Marlins (3) - The Marlins are just a Giancarlo Stanton hot streak away from catching the Nationals. Getting back Dee Gordon will help the RBI opportunities. Jose Fernandez keeps shutting down opponents but a lack of a second starter has hurt the team. They need to get Wei-Yen Chen back from the disabled list and pitching effectively. Despite the acquisition of Andrew Cashner they are still looking for another starter. The team has to be glad they did not trade Marcell Ozuna last year. He is having an All Star year. An argument could be made that he, Stanton and Christian Yelich are the best outfield in baseball. Holes at first, behind the plate and the lack of depth in the rotation will doom them to an almost status.

The Marlins traded some good prospects to acquire an arm in Andrew Cashner. It was not a strong system prior to that trade. 1) Luis Castillo was one of the players traded to the Padres in the Cashner deal but was returned after the Marlins complained of an injury to Colin Rea. He has a three digit fastball but his other pitches are rudimentary. 2) Tyler Kolek was the Marlins first round pick in 2014 but Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching in 2016. His fastball is high 90s but lack of command and secondary pitches could move him to the bullpen. 3) Braxton Garrett was the Marlins first round pick in 2016. The lefty is not overpowering but he has good secondary pitches, especially the curveball and he shows good command. 4) Stone Garrett - We like his name and his pop but his glove and arm will keep him in left field. 5) Jarlin Garcia is a lefty who throws in the mid-90s with a solid curveball. You keep those kind of pitchers in your rotation.

New York Mets (1) - They made the playoffs last year, pushing their young arms to get there. Matt Harvey is done for the year and Noah Sydegaard and Steven Matz have bone spurs. Bartolo Colon has turned into one of their more consistent pitchers in the rotation and he was supposed to be replaced by Zach Wheeler by mid-season. Still no Wheeler sighting. Neil Walker is playing well but the Mets may have done better keeping Daniel Murphy so the Nationals could not use him for their pennant run. Yoenis Cespedes is battling leg injuries so his inability to play center field and stay healthy leaves the Mets with too many corners. Michael Conforto has found the sophomore slump. The back problems ending the season for Lucas Duda and Daivd Wright’s continued brittle health have left them a hole at the corners.

1) Amed Rosario is going to be a very good shortstop with a productive bat. The Mets have been lacking one of those for a couple years now. 2) Robert Gselman has a good repertoire of pitches that will be ideal to fit in the middle of a rotation. A promotion to AAA has led to a bit of a struggle but he should be a solid pitcher if the Mets can find room for him in the rotation 3) Wuilmer Becerra has more power than Brandon Nimmo and will fit better in right. 4) Dominic Smith needs to develop pop to justify his first base position in the lineup. His hit tool says .300 but his defense does not spell Keith Hernandez. 5) Gavin Cecchini will have to learn to play second if he wants to play for the Mets. His power is lacking and his defensive tools are short of Rosario.

Philadelphia Phillies (5) - It has been a rebuilding year for the Phillies though they have played better than many expected. Tommy Joseph has replaced Ryan Howard at first base and has shown good power. Odubel Herrera hit well early in the season but the Phillies are concerned about his recent at bats. Maikel Franco will soon welcome Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins for a power studded 3-4-5 in the order. The rotation is young and taking its lumps. They still need an ace to lead them.

The Reading franchise is one of the best in the minors but the hitters home and away splits are a concern. 1) J.P. Crawford will replace Freddy Galvis at short. His bat and glove are superior to Galvis. He just needs more minor league time to gain consistency. 2) Nick Williams has faced some discipline problems for lack of hustle. More patience could produce a better average with more power. 3) Jorge Alfaro hits everything hard. His arm is a rocket. Staying healthy has kept him in the minors. 4) Micky Moniak was the first pick in the draft in 2016. His power falls short which means playing center is a must. 5) Jake Thompson has a lot of stuff and has recently been called up to pitch in the Phillies rotation. A good fastball slider combination keeps hitters guessing.

Atlanta Braves (4) - They still have Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran. Everything else is a rebuild.

1) Dansby Swanson was the first pick in the 2015 draft. The Diamondbacks traded him for the debacle season of Shelby Miller. Dansby is sharing the shortstop job with Ozzie Albies but his bat is lethal. 2) Ozzie Albies is the better defensive player and carries more speed than Swanson, but he has no power. 3) Sean Newcomb was drafted number one by the Angels in 2014 but traded for Andrelton Simmons. Sean has a good left handed arm that can hit the mid-90s with a knee buckling curveball. 4) Kevin Maitlan is a $4 million bonus baby who should have the tools to play short with a power bat to provide offense to the position. At 16 his development is still a mystery. 5) Touki Touissaint has a nice pitcher’s frame and a good fastball/curveball combination. He just needs to find command, something Dave Stewart does not think he will ever develop, which is why they traded him to the Braves to rid themselves of the suffocating contract of Bronson Arroyo.

Ichiro Reaches 3,000

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Lots of threes for Ichiro when he reached his 3,000 hit. He hit a triple to become the 30 major league player to reach 3,000 hits. No player has more hits than Ichiro (4,278 hits) if you include his hits in Japan. In Japan he will be noted as the hit king. In the United States Pete Rose (4,256 hits) will be considered the hit king. It will be Ichiro who will be in the Hall of Fame before Rose. He will also be the first professional ball player to appear in both the Major League and the Japanese Hall of Fame.

It would have been ideal if Ichiro had gotten his 3,000 hit in the third inning in his third at bat, but that would be asking for a lot. He does become the oldest player to begin his major league career (27) to reach 3,000 and the third player to get his 3,000 hit after his 40th birthday. Cap Anson (45) and Ricky Henderson (42) are two other players who achieved their 3,000 hit after their 40th. He also holds the major league record for most hits in a season with 262, lashed out in 2004.

He has indicated that he wants to play this game until he is 50 years of age. That will give him an opportunity to collect a few more hits. Some of those may have to occur in Japan if he hopes to end his career there.

NL East Review of Number One Picks

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The last of our reviews of the divisions number one picks the last five years. A slight delay in putting this one together because of my travel schedule. The Marlins, Nationals and Mets each picked up a franchise player from this time period. The Phillies hope to have one. The Braves hope to see their franchise players via the trade market.

Atlanta Braves

2015 - Kolby Allard LHP - Back problems sidelined him early in the season. He has returned to pitching at Low A but his first two starts were a struggle. He was recently sent to rookie ball to work on his pitches. In his last two starts covering 9 innings he has struck out 11 hitters without walking a batter.

Mike Soroka RHP - The Canadian is not overpowering, with a fastball in the low 90s, but he has excellent command of his pitches. Only one of his pitches in 112 innings has left the park. Wins have been difficult in Low A (2-6) but he has been having success.

2014 - Braxton Davidson OF - The Braves first round pick is a bit overshadowed by all the number one picks the Braves have traded for the last couple years. He has some pop to hit balls over the fence but this year is having trouble making contact. Last year his walk to whiff ratio was 84/135 which gave him an acceptable .381 OBA despite a .242 average. This year it is 34/90 in just 71 games giving him a .337 OBA and a .235 average. He has the arm for right but needs to make more consistent contact to give him the bat for the position.

2013 - Jason Hursh RHP - The Braves have moved Hursh to the bullpen where his fastball has more velocity. A struggle with the strike zone and a lack of a third pitch foiled his ability to continue as a starter.

2012 - Lucas Sims RHP - Not overpowering, AAA was a bit of a challenge for him this year (7.56 ERA in 10 starts). Giving up a long ball every four innings did not help the ERA. A demotion back to AA where he had some success last year has been met with success this year (2.29 ERA) with 32 whiffs in just 19.2 innings. It will be difficult for him to make the rotation with all the new talent the Braves have moved to the organization.

2011 - Sean Gilmartin LHP - The Braves traded him to the Twins in 2013 for catcher Ryan Doumit. The Mets acquired Sean in the Rule V draft in 2014. Myworld saw him pitch for the Mets last night. He had some success with the Mets in the bullpen last year but the Mets sent him to Vegas to start this year only recently calling him up to help in the pen. At best a back of the rotation pitcher of middle inning reliever.

2010 - No pick

Miami Marlins

2015 - Josh Naylor 1B - A second Canadian drafted in the first round. Naylor has tremendous power with the ability to make contact. At 6′0″, 225 Josh is a big boy who doesn’t move fast, despite his 9 stolen bases this year. Now that he is in full season ball his average has dropped 70 points (.327 to .257) but he is still showing an ability to make contact.

2014 - Tyler Kolek RHP - Another big boy at 6′5″ 260 pounds with a triple digit fastball coming out of high school. The Marlins will have to wait to see what they have with him. Tommy John surgery will force him to miss the 2016 season. He was quite hittable the last two years (.261 average) with a paucity of whiffs for a pitcher who shows his velocity (6.8 K’s per 9 innings).

2013 - Colin Moran 3B - He led the college circuit in RBIs in 2013. The Marlins traded him to the Astros for Jarred Cosart. May lack the power to fit at third base. He also has a number of talented prospects in the Astros system that will move him back on the depth chart.

2012 - Andrew Heaney LHP - Andrew was packaged to the Dodgers to acquire Dee Gordon in 2014. The same year the Dodgers traded him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. He will fit in the middle of a rotation though injuries have sapped him of his effectiveness and limited him to just one start this year. Instead of Tommy John surgery he is exploring stem cell to heal arm.

2011 - Jose Fernandez RHP - A true ace. An automatic win for the Marlins when he is on the mound. The problem is they will not sign him after he becomes a free agent so they may have to trade him.

2010 - Christian Yelich - A weak arm prevents him from playing centerfield. Lacks the traditional power of a corner outfielder, but provides centerfield defense and has the potential to win batting titles. A solid pick.

New York Mets

2015 - No Pick

2014 - Michael Conforto LF - Not a good defensive player but the Mets love his power. He shined with them last year and after a good April he nose dived to a .150 average after that month. Perhaps the Mets rushed him. He has been sent back down to the minors to find his bat.

2013 - Dominic Smith 1B - Despite the injury to Lucas Duda the Mets were not confident to give him the first base job. A solid defensive firstbaseman lacking a power bat. He could become a James Loney type player but needs to improve the .259 average.

2012 - Gavin Cecchini SS - Another player that should have seen a call up if the Mets were confident in his ability to handle the position. A second straight .300 average (.327) with a 24/26 walk to whiff ratio is impressive. Many feel he lacks the range to play shortstop, but his power is absent to play third. If he continues to hit .300 the Mets will find a position for him.

2011 - Brandon Nimmo OF - The first player from Wyoming to be drafted in the first round. He was called up to replace Michael Conforto in the outfield. Myworld thought he would be playing centerfield instead of Yoenis Cespedes, but the Mets have put him in left field. If he can’t beat out Cespedes in centerfield and needs to play a corner he may lack the power to play the position.

2010 - Matt Harvey RHP - The Mets ace with a fastball at 95-98 miles per hour.

Philadelphia Phillies

2015 - Cornelius Randolph OF - Cornelius needs to hit for power if he plays a corner outfield. A sore shoulder has prevented him from playing since April. He was only hitting .240 with a .340 slugging when he got hurt.

2014 - Aaron Nola RHP - Aaron had some success pitching in the major leagues last year and early this year. In his last four starts he has not reached the fourth inning, giving up at least four or more runs in those starts. Not an overpowering fastball so without command he can give up a lot of hits. Aaron may need some more time in the minors to find his stuff.

2013 - J.P. Crawford - The future shortstop of the Phillies recently promoted to AAA. The Phillies have no reason to promote him and eat up valuable service time. Needs to figure out AAA (.219 average) but expect a September promotion.

2012 - No Pick

2011 - No Pick

2010 - Jesse Biddle LHP - The local boy never quite made it. The Phillies traded him to the Pirates this year for much released Yorvis Medina. The Pirates took him off the 40 man roster and the Braves picked him up on waivers. Probably will not pitch in 2016 because of Tommy John surgery.

Washington Nationals

2015 - No Pick

2014 - Erick Fedde RHP - He doesn’t have the talent of Giolito but the Nationals drafted him in the first round despite Tommy John surgery delaying his debut until 2015. Lacks the fastball of Giolito but he commands it well.

2013 - No Pick

2012 - Lucas Giolito RHP - He was rumored to be the first pick of the 2012 draft but arm issues and a commitment to Stanford dropped him down to the Nationals. He did have Tommy John surgery delaying his start until 2013. Lucas made his major league debut last night showing a fastball that sizzles at 95 thrown from a 6′6″ frame.

2011 - Anthony Rendon 3B - The Nationals starting third baseman has been hampered by injuries.

Alex Meyer RHP - The Nationals traded the 6′9′ giant with the triple digit fastball for Denard Span. His inability to find the plate appears to cement him in a bullpen role. The Twins hope to make him a closer. Continues to battle arm injuries.

2010 - Bryce Harper - Not much needs to be said about the MVP last year.

Ichiro Ties Rose for Most Hits in Baseball

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Pete Rose does not believe hits from Japan should count. Ichiro Suzuki collected 1,278 hits in Japan with a team called the Orix Blue Waves. He came to the major leagues in 2001 and today legged out an infield single to give him 2,978 major league hits. That gives him 4,256 hits for his career, the same amount amassed by Pete Rose.

Rose played 24 years in the major leagues. Ichiro played 16 seasons in the major leagues and nine season in Japan with the Blue Waves. In Japan they play a 144 game season so Ichiro lost a full 162 games with the shortened seasons.

Because major league baseball does not recognize combined stats Pete Rose will always be recognized for being the hit king in the major leagues, even though he is banned from entering the Hall of Fame. Myworld and others who follow international baseball will recognize Ichiro as the hit king of baseball, similar to the way Sadaharu Oh (868) is recognized as the homerun king and not Barry Bonds (762), who also may be prevented from entering the Hall of Fame because of performance enhancing drugs.