Archive for the 'Mets' Category

Myworld’s Top Pacific League Prospects

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

This appears to be a more offensive oriented league. Myworld was not too impressed with the collection of pitchers, but this may be a result of the offensive conditions many of the parks offer their hitters. The assessment is based on numbers. Potential does not arrive until you put up the numbers to prove you can produce.

1. Amed Rosario SS (Mets) - The Mets signed Amed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million in 2012. Myworld was impressed with his defense this spring. Now he is putting up some impressive offensive numbers in Las Vegas, a hitter friendly park where he is hitting .330. His seven homeruns are a career high. The Mets need a shortstop. Don’t know what their reluctance is in not promoting Amed. Perhaps they are saving some service time. Expect a September promotion. The Mets have a lot of depth at this position percolating up through their minor league systems, with some of them moving to second base but Amed is ready to make an impact now.

2. Luke Weaver RHP (Cardinals) - Luke was a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2014. The Cardinals gave him his major league debut last year but he struggled in 8 starts (5.79). This year he has appeared in two games in relief. He has been the most dominant pitcher in the Pacific Coast League this year (9-1, 1.91 ERA). With more innings he would be leading the league in ERA by close to two runs. His command is good with a fastball that sits in the low 90s made faster with an excellent changeup. The Cardinals have found themselves struggling this year. If they fall out of the pennant race they may give Weaver some more opportunity to pitch to major league hitters. Expect a September callup if not sooner if the Cardinals fall out of the race.

3. Derek Fisher OF (Astros) - Derek was a 2014 number one pick of the Astros. He got a brief callup to the major league club where he did well, slugging two homeruns. At AAA his 21 homeruns is tied for third in the league. He also has the ability to steal bases with 16 in 26 attempts. At this point he has to be a better offensive alternative than Nori Aoki, though the Astros like to use Marwin Gonzalez out there as well. His defense is below average but the offensive numbers he can put up are excellent. Of course, at this point the Astros have plenty of offense, even with the injury to Carlos Correa.

4. Ryan McMahon 2B (Rockies) - He made our Eastern League list. The Rockies made him their second round pick in 2013. Last year his bat was very quiet, only hitting .242 with 12 homeruns. That kind of production is not going to usurp Nolan Arenado from his third base job. This year his bat has been explosive. After tearing up AA pitching for a .326 average with six homeruns in 49 games the Rockies promoted him to AAA. He has been even better there with a .379 average and 9 homeruns in 41 games. They have also been playing him at second base where he has the potential to be an offensive oriented player at that position. And he does not have to worry about Nolan.

5. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) - Another second round pick, this one by the Dodgers in 2014. Alex is a line drive swinger with battle title possibilities. His balls filter the gaps rather than travel over the fence. Because his lack of speed makes centerfield difficult on the defensive side of the equatione, he needs to play corner where many teams look for power. A plus arm allows him to play right field. If Tony Gwynn can survive as a rightfielder winning batting titles without hitting homeruns Verdugo can find a spot there as well.

6. Lewis Brinson OF (Brewers) - Brinson was originally a first round pick of the Rangers in 2012. He was part of the Jonathan Lucroy trade that saw him go to the Brewers. He is assaulting AAA pitchers, which led to a brief promotion to the Brewers where he struggled for a .097 average. Back in AAA he is hitting .346 while showing some power with his 10 homeruns. There is some pop in his bat and there is speed in his legs to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. Expect the Brewers to give him another opportunity in September.

7. Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - Listed at 5′8″ the 14th round pick in 2014 snuck up on a lot of people with his 27 homeruns last year. He did show some power in junior college hitting 31 homeruns in 61 games. After a slow start to the season this year the power has returned. Willie has slugged 20 homeruns that has come with a .302 average. His defense at second base is a bit spotty which could create a move to left field. The Dodgers have used him in 11 games this year but most of his time has been spent at second base.

8. Dinelson Lamet RHP (Padres) - Dinelson was a bargain, signing for just $100,000 out of the Dominican Republic. He only got eight starts in the Pacific League before being promoted by the Padres. His 3.23 ERA would have been second to Weaver in the Pacific League ERA race. At 6′4″ he has a little more meat than Weaver with a fastball hitting the mid-90s, to go along with a slider/change combination. While his ERA is higher in the major leagues (6.40) his opposition average is equal (.222 in AAA versus .229). What has been a challenge for Lamet is keeping the ball in the park. He has given up 11 dingers in his 45 major league innings.

9. Carson Kelly C (Cardinals) - The Cardinals second round pick in 2012 is expected to be the successor to Yadier Molina behind the plate. The Cardinals recently called him up to the major league club. This after he hit .283 with 10 homeruns. Last year he made his major league debut and only hit .154. There is power in the bat with gold glove caliber defense, tools that should get him to the major leagues. All he has to do is hit .250 to be an impact player. Carson began his career as a third baseman but the Cardinals moved him behind the plate after they drafted him.

10. Colin Moran 3B (Astros) - Colin was a first round pick of the Marlins in 2013 after he led the NCAA in RBIs. The big question with Colin was his lack of power at what is a power position. The Marlins traded him to the Astros for Jarred Cosart in 2014 when the power numbers did not show. Last year he hit a career high 10 homeruns, but still not what you want to see from a third baseman who does not have stellar defensive tools for third base. At 6′4″ you would expect the power to come. This year it arrived with 18 homeruns in 79 games with a .308 average. It was enough to get him a promotion to the major leagues after the injury to Carlos Correa. Last year in his major league debut he hit .130. In his first game this year he hit a triple and homerun. Times may be looking good for Moran.

Others to Mention

Dominic Smith 1B (Mets) - Another player criticized for his lack of a power bat. The Mets drafted him in the first round in 2013. What myworld saw of him in spring was a lackadaisical way of playing defense where he committed two errors on bone head plays in a span of three innings. With missing power defense was supposed to be his road to the major leagues. Last year the power began to show with 14 homeruns. This year it has crashed the minor league party with 13 homeruns, a .336 average and a career high .515 slugging. If the Mets trade Lucas Duda expect Dominic to see some major league time.

Tony Kemp 2B (Astros) - Not one of those toolsy players who will make prospect lists. The fifth round pick in 2013 also plays the same position as Jose Altuve. But his .333 average could see him as a utility player in the major leagues. Right now Marwin Gonzalez has the patent on that and the defensive capabilities for Kemp are not strong. Kemp though is playing some outfield but is limited to left field by a weak arm. He mostly finds himself at second base, where his defense is considered fringe. At 25 his time is now so myworld expects the Astros to use him as a trade piece with no role for him on their current roster.

Harrison Bader OF (Cardinals) - The outfield is crowded for the third round 2015 pick. His defense is more suited for the corner but there was some concern for his lack of power for a corner spot. Last year he slugged 19 homeruns. This year in 94 games he has already hit 19 homeruns, to go along with a .302 average. Harrison has been playing centerfield. With the recent acquisition of Tyler O’Neil it might be best he stay there, even though his range is just average for a centerfielder.

Brett Phillips OF (Brewers) - Brett was a sixth round pick of the Astros in 2012. The Astros traded him to the Brewers in mid 2015 for Carlos Gomez. With the Astros his batting average never dropped below .300. With the Brewers he had trouble staying healthy and the average last year dived to .229. Scouts began pegging him as more of a fourth outfielder. This year he has found his lost swing breaking out with a .293 average and 17 homeruns. His .582 slugging was just short of his career high. The Brewers have now promoted him to the major leagues where he is hitting .227 with two homeruns in 12 games. He does show a tendency to swing and miss so expect a lot of streaks in his season.

Renato Nunez 3B/1B (Athletics) - The best position for the Venezuelan who signed for $2.2 million in 2010 is probably DH. The positions he is listed for are first base and third base. The Athletics are crowded at those positions. Currently he leads the Pacific League in homeruns with 25. A .254 average, a propensity for strikeouts and poor defense are big downsides for Renato, but you have to like the power. A lack of speed makes moving him to the outfield a concern, but he has seen some time there.

A.J. Reed 1B (Astros) - Reed was a second round pick for the Astros in 2014. The Astros were so impressed with his power possibilities he competed for a major league job right out of spring training in 2015. He continues to show a power bat with 20 homeruns this year but a low average (.248) and sub par defense makes his wait continue. Last year he struggled with major league pitching (.164). Yuli Gurriel does not show as much power but he is more consistent with the bat and plays better defense. A.J. will just have to wait. He could still be used as a trade chip in the Astros playoff run.

Wilmer Font RHP (Dodgers) - At 27 years of age the prospect winds have probably passed him by. But he leads the Pacific Coast League in whiffs with 138 in only 101 innings. The opposition is hitting him at only a .225 clip and he shows good command of his pitches. The Dodgers have some depth in their starting rotation but if Wilmer keeps putting up the numbers it will be tough to keep him down. Look what happened to Brandon Morrow.

2017 Top Venezuelan Prospects - National League

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

The 2016 group of prospects did a better job of making the major leagues last year. The number one prospect Orlando Arcia earned the starting shortstop job for the Brewers to begin the season. The number two prospect Wilson Contreras saw significant playing time behind the plate and in the outfield by mid season. The number four prospect Jose Peraza earned playing time at second base for the rebuilding Reds. With all that success new players will fit the bill. Below are the top Venezuelan prospects in the National League, some of them already getting enough playing time in the major leagues this year not to be eligible for this list next year.

Below is the list of National League top prospects from Venezuela:

1. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Padres) - Injuries have delayed the start to his 2017 season. Last year he pitched in Low A and had some success, though his ERA was at 4.49 and his whiff rate was below one per inning. The opposition hit him at a .276 clip. Someone with his mid-90s fastball and top of the class change should put up better numbers at Low A, though he was one of the youngest players in the league. The Red Sox signed him in 2014 for $1.8 million then traded him to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Missing a full year could have an impact in his development, especially as he tries to develop a work load that will allow him to pitch 200 innings in the major leagues. At 6′0″ he draws comparisons to Pedro Martinez and Yordano Ventura, with the potential to be a top shelf starter. If his small stature makes it difficult for him to stay healthy he could always move to the bullpen as a closer.

2. Kevin Maitan SS (Braves) - It is unusual for a 2016 international signing to find himself on top 100 prospect lists. That is the case for Maitan, but the $4.2 million the Braves shelled out for him could have had an influence. Maitan did not play last year and at 17 years of age had to wait until July for the Rookie Leagues to begin to make his debut. His .302 batting average in minimal at bats (43) validates the Braves faith in his offense. Power should develop as he matures. Maitan has the tools to play short, but if he physically matures he has the bat to move to third base.

3. German Marquez RHP (Rockies) - The Rays signed German in 2011 for $225,000. The Rockies acquired Marquez in the Chris Dickerson trade. Last year he made his major league debut. This year he has cemented himself in the Rockies rotation after two starts in AAA. The fastball hits the mid 90s and his curve ball is considered above average. The change will need to develop more consistency if he hopes to stick in the rotation. Currently he has a 4.34 ERA after 15 starts with the Rockies. His .276 opponent batting average is influenced by the High Colorado air. Staying in the rotation will require improved consistency.

4. Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - Acuna signed for only $100,000 in 2014. Despite his young age the Braves are speeding him through their minor league clubs. This year he has played at three levels despite his 19 years of age, currently at AAA where he is hitting .250 with two homeruns in his first six games. All the tools are there with the speed to play defense in center and the arm for right. He should hit for both average and power as he matures. His strikeout numbers are up this year but he appears to have improved his stolen base numbers with a career high 33 in just 91 games. In his first two years he stole 30 bases. It would not surprise my world to see Acuna get a September callup. The biggest comp for Acuna is Andrew Jones. Expect him to have an impact in 2018.

5. Elias Diaz C (Pirates) - The Pirates signed Diaz in 2008. Last year he made his major league debut as a September callup. This year he returned to the major league team after injuries to their catchers. Nobody questions his defense. Elias has a strong arm with good mobility behind the plate. The big question mark with him is his inability to hit major league pitching. The Pirates turned to Elias once injuries decimated the catching staff. After a hot start his average has dropped to .266. If he can show a decent bat he should at least make it as a back up in the major leagues.

6. Antonio Senzatela RHP (Rockies) - Another Rockie pitcher. Antonio signed in 2011. He was limited to seven starts because of a shoulder problem. That did not stop the Rockies from promoting him to the major leagues after only one start in AAA. Last year he only pitched 35 innings. The previous year he threw a career high of 154 innings. This year he has already gone over 100 innings with a 4.57 ERA, not bad when half of your games are played in Colorado. Antonio has a low 90s fastball with excellent command. In between he can throw a slider, curve and change.

7. Luis Torrens C (Padres) - The Yankees like to sign catchers with offensive potential but limited on defense, as evidence by Gary Sanchez and Jesus Montero. Luis was considered the better defensive catcher early in his career, one of the reasons the Yankees signed Torres for $1.3 million. Injuries have limited his ascent up the minor league ladder with 62 games in 2014 his minor league career high. The Padres acquired him in the Rule V draft and despite never getting past Low A kept him on the major league roster. Luis is hitting .188 with a .225 slugging in limited playing time. At 20 years of age he is young enough to develop in the minor leagues next year.

8. Jose Martinez OF (Cardinals) - Jose Martinez is a hitting machine. In 2015 he combined for a .382 average. Last year he slipped to .278 but made his major league debut, hitting .438 in 12 games. The Royals traded him to the Cardinals mid season and this year Jose has spent most of the year on the major league club as a fourth outfielder. He is best suited for left field defensively but lacks the power for the position. The Cardinals have been using him at first and the two corners. Expect him to stick in the major leagues as a fourth outfielder/pinch hitter.

9. Andres Gimenez SS (Mets) - The Mets signed Andres in 2015 for $1.2 million. With Amed Rosario a couple levels ahead of him second base may be his best position. Gimenez does not have a lot of power but the tools are there for him to play shortstop. This year in Low A he is making his domestic debut, having played in the Dominican Summer League last year. A .274 average with a .676 OPS shows his offensive limitations. The Mets have a bevy of depth in the minor leagues at shortstop so the Mets will be patient with him as he rises up the minor leagues.

10. Ricardo Sanchez LHP (Braves) - The Braves acquired Ricardo from the Angels for Kyle Kubitza. For a lefthander he has good velocity on his fastball throwing in the mid-90s. Command is the area that results in his ERA rising above 5 and the opposition hitting .296 against him. At 5′11 he is not a big guy, but lefthanders under 6′0″ have a better opportunity to survive as a starter.

2016 National League Prospects - Venezuela

In Battle of Atrocious Bullpens Mets Lose

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Or win. Depending on how you apply atrocious. In a game that would be dictated by two of the worst bullpens in baseball it was the leftfielders play that ultimately determined victory. The Nationals two leftfielders executed their jobs. The Mets leftfielder did not. The Nationals pull out a 3-2 win, with thanks not given out to either bullpen.

The two starting pitchers Steven Matz and Stephen Strasburg were excellent. Both went seven innings without allowing a run. Strasburg allowed just two hits while he struck out six. His curveball was inconsistent resulting in three walks, all in the fourth inning. Matz gave up four hits and struck out four.

The fireworks started a little early when the teams turned to their bullpens. In the top of the eighth Matt Grace got two outs, but the opposition batting average against him was 1.000. Brandon Nimmo started the inning with an infield single. Steven Matz came up to bat even though he would not pitch the eighth and laid down a bunt. Grace was a little casual fielding the play, made a soft toss to first and Matz was out by half a step. Jose Reyes grounded a single through the hole on the left side of the infield. Nimmo streaked home but the throw from Brian Goodwin one hopped to the plate and Nimmo was out. A walk to Cabrera finished the inning for Grace - two hits and one walk, his only two outs a sacrifice bunt and a runner thrown out at home. Chalk one positive for the Nationals left fielder.

Joe Blanton came on to pitch with his 8.44 ERA to face the right hander Yoenis Cespedes. He got ahead of Cespedes 0-2, grooved too good a pitch and Cespedes hit a 97 mile per hour grounder right at the shortstop for the third out. It was a hard hit ball but it was an out. Chalk one negative for the Mets left fielder.

In the bottom frame the Mets brought in ex-National Jerry Blevins. He retired pinch hitter Dan Murphy on a ground out to short. Ryan Raburn pinch hit for Brian Goodwin and took his second walk of the season. Michael Taylor drove a ball high just over the right field wall for a two run homer to give the Nationals the lead. A walk to Bryce Harper finished the day for Blevins and Paul Sewald came on to get the last two outs. The walk by Raburn was another positive for the Nationals left fielders.

In the top of the ninth the Nationals brought in Sammy Solis to face two lefthanders. He came in with an ERA just short of 9. He retired the two lefthanded batters but gave up a single to T.J. Rivera, the one right handed batter he faced. Frank Robinson called on Matt Albers to get the last out. Matt has been pretty good in a set up role but as a closer he has blown two saves. The Mets called on Curtis Granderson to pinch hit. He has been bothered by a sore hip, but he hits lefthanded. Granderson blasted an 0-2 pitch into the right field bleachers to tie the game. The sagging look of Bryce Harper as he leaned against the wall in hopes of catching the ball said it all. The Nats bullpen had squandered another lead.

The game went into the bottom of the ninth. Sewald walks Matt Wieters on four pitches. After Wilmer Difo pops out on a failed bunt attempt Stephen Drew is announced as the pinch hitter for Adrian Sanchez. The Mets call on their lefty Josh Edgin. Josh does not get the job done throwing four straight balls to Drew to put runners on first and second. Pinch hitter Adam Lind drives a pitch deep enough into centerfield to allow Wieters to tag and advance to third. Fernando Salas comes on to face Ryan Raburn, who slays lefthanders but struggles against righthanded pitching. The only player the Nationals have on the bench is the below Mendoza line Jose Lobaton. Raburn has to hit, despite his struggles against right handed pitching.

Raburn pokes the second pitch from Salas into left field. Cespedes tries to make a sliding catch but comes up short. Raburn had the walk off single. Chalk up another positive for the Nationals leftfielder Ryan Raburn and another negative for the Mets leftfielder Yoenis Cespedes for not reaching what appeared to be a catchable ball hit to left. He did limp off the field and said he was cramping up as he was trying to catch the ball.

Game notes: Terry Collins was very animated with the umpires asking them to look at the replay to confirm that Cespedes did not catch the sinking liner by Raburn in the ninth. He had already lost one replay challenge. It took the umpires five seconds to look at the replay to confirm the ball was not caught…A sellout crowd of 41,681 showed up for the game which included fireworks after the game. Dusty Baker had criticized the attendance at the Cubs series where there seemed to be more Cub fans than Nationals fans. In what should have been sellouts there were just barely over 30,000 at the Cubs games. This was the Lerners playing it cheap, charging the highest ticket prices for the Cubs series and not allowing season ticket holders to switch their games to the Cub series. They may have gotten more revenue by charging the higher prices but they lost the home town support…Matt Wieters had Orlando Cabrera picked off at second in the fourth inning. Cabrera continued on to second and Zimmerman did not make the throw. Zimmerman seems hesitant to throw the ball and teams may use this strategy of getting picked off first and continue to second if Zimmerman does not throw to second…Cespedes was having leg cramps as he attempted to make the sliding catch on the Raburn game winning hit. With his leg issues he may be better suited in the American League as a DH. Myworld has never been impressed with his defense, even when he played for Cuba…The Nats relief pitching is an NL worst 5.16. The Mets are a little better at 4.93, ahead of the Twins (4.96) and the Tigers (5.09). The Mets .351 OBA by relief pitchers is the worst in the major leagues while the Nats .812 OPS is a major league worst.

Future Games Rosters Selected

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The futures game is played before the All Star team and features the best prospects outside of the United States against the best prospects inside the United States. The game is scheduled for July 9. Below are the rosters of the two teams.

World Team

Pitchers

Domingo Acevedo (Dom Rep/Yankees), Yadier Alvarez (Cuba/Dodgers), Jaime Barria (Panama/Angels), Luis Escobar (Colombia/Pirates), Tayron Guerrero (Colombia/Marlins), Jonathan Hernandez (Dominican Republic/Rangers), Jairo Labourt (Dom Rep/Tigers), Cal Quantrill (Canada/Padres), Mike Soroka (Canada/Braves), Thyago Vieira (Brazil/Mariners)

Catchers

Tomas Nido (Puerto Rico/Mets), Francisco Mejia (Dom Rep/Indians)

Infielders

Yordan Alvarez (Cuba/Astros), Josh Naylor (Canada/Padres), Yoan Moncada (Cuba/White Sox), Mauricio Dubon (Honduras/Brewers), Lucius Fox (Bahamas/Rays), Ahmed Rosario (Dom Rep/Mets), Rafael Devers (Dom Rep/Red Sox), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Dom Rep/Blue Jays)

Outfielders

Ronald Acuna (Venezuela/Braves), Estevan Florial (Haiti/Yankees), Eloy Jimenez (Dom Rep/Cubs), Victor Robles (Dom Rep/Nationals), Alex Verdugo (Mexico/Dodgers)

United States team

Beau Burrows (Tigers), Jon Duplantier (Diamondbacks), Jack Flaherty (Cardinals), Foster Griffen (Royals), Jimmy Hegert (Reds), Brent Honeywell (Rays), Michael Kopech (White Sox), Triston McKenzie (Indians), A.J. Puk (Athletics), Tanner Scott (Orioles)

Catcher

Zack Collins (White Sox), Chance Sisco (Orioles)

Infielders

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Ryan McMahon (2B/3B) Rockies, Scott Kingery (Phillies), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays/Brazil), Nick Gordon (Twins), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Brian Anderson (Marlins), Nick Senzel (Reds)

Outfielders

Lewis Brinson (Twins), Derek Fisher (Astros), Corey Ray (Brewers), Bryan Reynolds (Giants), Kyle Tucker (Astros)

Tebow Timeout

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Myworld watched Tim Tebow in a spring training game. He struggled, striking out a couple times and grounding into a double play. The ground out double play brought some positives because it scored a run. Based on what myworld saw, a major league career was a long way from happening. Now that the minor league season is close to two months old myworld thought we would take a look at Tebow to see how his minor league career is progressing.

The New York Mets sent Tebow to Low A Columbia to begin his minor league career. At 29 years of age most would expect him to dominate. Many players dominate at a level where those they are playing against are younger than them. Tebow is not. He is still struggling, but the attendance at games he plays is good. So the opportunities for him to make every effort to succeed will continue. The Tebow experiment continues.

Tebow is hitting .230 with three homeruns. When Michael Jordan began his baseball career he was 31 years of age. He started in AA where he hit .202 with just three homeruns. Michael was able to steal bases with 30 in 48 attempts. The inability to make contact was there too with 114 whiffs in 127 games. At 6′6″ Michael had a strike zone that was three inches larger than Tebow.

Tebow has yet to steal a base, though his speed is stated to be above average. He has also struck out 37 times in 35 games. His .688 OPS is higher than what Jordan could generate at .556. While about 24 percent of the hits Jordan collected went for extra bases, only 22 percent of the hits Tebow has put together have gone for extra bases. The slugging percentage of Tebow is still higher (.369 vs .266) but that is because he has strung together a greater number of singles and his homeruns are equal to Jordan with much fewer at bats. With Tebow the Mets would like to see him generate a little more power and that may come as he gains more experience.

One thing myworld did not know about Tebow is he was born in the Philippines. Perhaps Tebow could play on the Philippines next World Baseball Classic qualifying team. It might not improve their chances of winning a game, but it will generate a lot of publicity, which could attract more youth to baseball in the Philippines.

It has been at least 10 years since Tebow has last played baseball competitively. The Columbia Fireflies and the South Atlantic League is benefiting from his playing. As long as Tebow continues to have fun and he senses progress in the improvement in his skills there is no reason not to let the experiment continue. If Tebow quits too soon he will always have those doubts when he turns 50 that if he had just played a little bit longer he may have gotten his opportunity. Myworld suspects Tebow is not going to have an issue with finding another career once it is recognized that major league baseball will not be a part of his life.

We suspect that if he can not lift his average above .250 and hit double digits in homeruns the Tebow experiment will end after one year.

Bay Sox Nip the Rumble Ponies

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Aderlin Rodriguez lined a pitch over the left field fence to break a 1-1 tie and the Bay Sox held on for a 4-3 win. Brandon Barker pitched well allowing just one run in his five innings of work. His first 11 pitches in the game were strikes with his fastball hitting 93-95.

The Rumble Ponies started catching up to Barker in the second. After two were out they collected three consecutive singles to load the bases. Champ Stuart came up and swung at and missed on a 94 mile per hour heater, the second of what would be four whiffs to end the threat. They had runners on first and third with two outs in the third but David Thompson lined out to center field.

It was an error by third baseman Sean Coyle on a leadoff grounder by L.J. Mazilli that broke the shutout in the fourth. Colton Plaiai blooped a single into left center. Mazilli was going on the pitch and easily took third. The only time Champ made contact on the night he bounced one to short. The Bay Sox tried to turn two but the speedy Stuart stepped on first just as the throw hit the mitt. Mazilli scored on the play to put the Ponies up 1-0.

Corey Oswalt was pitching well for the Rumble Ponies, his fastball hitting 96 but sitting in the 93 mile per hour range. The Bay Sox threatened, putting runners on first and third with one out in the third but a Jay Gonzalez strikeout and D.J. Stewart ground out prevented them from scoring. A one out double in the fourth had Garabez Rosa at third with two out when Erick Salcedo struck out.

Down 1-0 into the fifth Sharlon Schoop grounded a two out single into left field, the second hit for Schoop in the game. Jay Gonzalez drove a pitch into the left center field gap. A poor route by the left fielder and two weak throws could not get Schoop as he raced home, the throw from the cutoff man Jio Mier off line. The Bay Sox were to load the bases later in the inning for their top hitter Garabez Rosa but he grounded to short to end the inning tied at 1-1.

Aderlin Rodriguez led off the sixth with his line drive homerun. The Bay Sox upped the advantage to 4-1 in the seventh scoring two off reliever Cory Burns, who at 29 last appeared in the major leagues in 2013. Jay Gonzalez hit a one out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. D.J. Stewart lined a pitch down the right field line for a double, cruising into second and just barely beating the throw from right field. Austin Wynns walked and this time Garabez Rosa came through with a single over the shortstop to score Stewart from second. Austin Wynns got caught straying too far off second and was picked off by the cutoff throw trying to dive back into second. The rally ended with the Bay Sox up 4-1.

Lucas Long pitched four innings of relief. He stranded runners on second and third with two out in the eighth striking out Colton Plaia, his third strikeout of the inning. In his four innings of work Long struck out 8. With two outs in the ninth Kevin Taylor rifled a single up the middle. Cody Decker lifted a 1-1 pitch over the tall wall in left field to pull the Ponies to within one. Kevin Kazmarski lined the first pitch he saw for a single into left field. Long got ahead of David Thompson 0-2, threw a breaking pitch in the dirt and got Thompson swinging and missing for the third out.

Game Notes: The Bay Sox are one minor league team that does not have netting to stop foul balls lined into the third base and first base areas. That proved tragic last night when a line drive from left handed hitter Luis Guillorme struck a child as it rifled over the third base dugout. The game was delayed for 30 minutes while Bay Sox officials tended to the child and before emergency medics could arrive to take the child to the hospital on a stretcher…Champ Stuart had a rough day going 0 for 5 with four whiffs. Luis Guillorme also went 0 for 5 to drop his average below .300. He was playing second base as the Mets recognize Amed Rosario will be the shortstop of the future…D.J. Stewart has some speed for a big guy. His arm is best suited for left field and his bat (.239 average and .769 OPS) has still not convinced my world he will be an impact major leaguer. Stewart was selected by the Orioles in the first round in 2015, the 25th player selected in the draft…Sean Coyle does not appear comfortable at third base. At one point he was considered a Red Sox prospect as a second baseman. He has bounced around between second and third with the Bay Sox, but his glove work at third last night was poor…Garabez Rosa made a nice catch in centerfield. His .344 average is fourth in the Eastern League but at 27 he is an organizational player. If the Orioles have room on their 40 man roster they may call him up, but it would be at the expense of another player being removed from the 40 man roster…Austin Wynns is third in the Eastern League in average at .344 but at 26 he is also more an organizational player…Corey Oswalt came into the game with a 2.04 ERA, which was third in the Eastern League. He was a seventh round pick of the Mets in 2012. This is his first season in AA.

Hot Prospects to Start May

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Many ballparks are promoting Star War giveaways on the fourth of May. These are the players who have the force with them as April turns to May.

Yandy Diaz 3B (Indians) - The first two days of May Yandy drove in 8 runs. He finished the first three days of May 6 for 11 to raise his average to the magical .400 spot. Yandy began the season with the Indians. With a 10/2 walk to whiff ratio he deserves another call back for his bat alone, though a .236 average and 5 for 14 walk to whiff ratio shows major league pitching is a little tougher than AAA. The 25 year old Cuban has been playing some outfield as well as third base.

A.J. Reed 1B (Astros) - Marwin Gonzalez has five more homeruns than A.J. and Gurriel is over .300 so there will not be a lot of first base action for Reed. He did have a 10 for 15 streak that raised his average to .306. He did not hit any homeruns during that streak and has only four for the year so the Astros would like to see more power from his bat before they promote him ahead of Gonzalez or Gurriel.

Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) - Red Sox third baseman have made 12 errors on the year, the most in the league. Rafael has only made three. A five for five day with two homeruns at AA shows a pretty good bat. With a .333 average and a .590 slugging percentage the Red Sox will only show so much patience before promoting him. They will wait for Pablo Sandoval to come back from the disabled list to see if he can perform better. They can always try to null and void the Travis Shaw trade that got them Tyler Thornburg.

Zack Granite CF (Twins) - The Marlins have got Stone but the Twins have got Granite. Myworld will take Granite. Zack started the year on the disabled list but two three hit games in his first five has put his average at .368. Only two of his seven hits have gone for extra bases. Power will be lacking but steals should be prevalent, with three already in his first five games.

Aneury Tavarez RF (Red Sox) - Aneury was a Rule V pick of the O’s. He failed to make the major league roster and the O’s returned Aneury to the Red Sox. After tearing up AA with a .377 average the Red Sox promoted him to AAA. In his first two games he was 5 for 8 with two homeruns for a .625 average. The Red Sox do not have a lot of room in their outfield, but if his bat keeps stinging they will find a spot for him.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Raimel currently has a 11 game hitting streak. In his first 20 minor league games he has failed to get a hit in only one of them. The Rockies outfield is also a bit crowded, especially with Ian Desmond playing some outfield. Raimel had a streak of seven straight games in which he got at least two or more hits. He is currently hitting .376 with seven stolen bases in 9 attempts.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is in the stretches of a 10 game hitting streak that has raised his average to .340. The stolen bases are absent, with just six in 8 attempts but he has shown some pop with five homeruns and a .536 slugging average. Myworld doesn’t expect him to be the in minors for too long, especially with no one blocking him at second base.

Patrick Mazeika C (Mets) - An eighth round player to watch. Patrick hit .354 after being drafted in 2015, leading the Appalachian League in doubles with 27. The 2017 season is seeing some of the same with a recent 8 game hitting streak (14 for 28) raising his average to .361. With a .602 slugging percentage in the Florida State League this could be a player to watch.

Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - Despite Marcus Semian’s injury the Athletics have kept Franklin in AAA where he is raking with a .364 average. The strikeouts are high with 34 in 25 games but the need is there.

Franchy Cordero CF (Padres) - Franchy had the force with him on May 4 with a 5 for 5 day raising his average to .253. He drove in four runs on the fourth and has four triples, four homeruns and four stolen bases on the year.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike also had a 5 for 5 game, but that was the day before the fourth. That raised his average to .310. He has been playing CF in the 24 AA games he has played, giving the Tigers another option for the black hole on their major league club. Mike is better suited for right, but so are many of the other Tiger outfielders. They might as well put someone there with a bat.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh got his second 12 K performance on the first day of May. The whiffs are coming with 38 in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting just .188 against him. Too many walks (16) has left his ERA at 3.81.

Logan Allen LHP (Padres) - Logan is one of the obscure players the Padres got for Craig Kimbrel. In five starts for the Padres at Low A Logan has a 1.50 ERA with 34 whiffs in 24 innings and just a .146 opposition average. Manuel Margot is already making his presence felt on the major league roster but Logan could be there in a few years.

Hot Prospects at the Close of April

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Hard to believe that the baseball season has already finished April. Some of those hot prospects we have identified have already been called up. Others have been promoted. Even though April has ended there are still five more months of baseball to be played, with those coveted September call ups a reward for an outstanding season.

Gleyber Torres SS (Yankees) - Gleyber spent a little time on the disabled list. He was hitting .237 with nary a homerun. Upon his return the ball started jumping off his bat. His last two games he has gone 5 for 7 with his first homerun and four RBIs. Now his average has climbed to a more respectable .292. He still needs to work on his stolen base efficiency, going 2 for 4 in stolen base success rate.

Elias Diaz C (Pirates) - Elias is noted for his superb defense. A four game hitting streak in which he has gone 7 for 15 with a homerun and six RBIs, plus a Francesco Cervelli toe injury has gotten him a call up to the Pirates. For the season Elias is hitting .305. Last year Elias had trouble staying healthy, playing in only 34 games. The year before he won the Captains Choice award for being the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues.

Yanio Perez RF (Rangers) - Yanio has five straight multiple hit games to go with an 8 game hitting streak that has his average shooting to .348. The Cuban has also homered in three consecutive games and in his last four games driven in 12 runs. A 1.095 OPS could result in a promotion to High A for the 21 year old. Yanio signed a minor league contract with the Rangers in September 2016.

Danny Jansen C (Blue Jays) - The 22 year old is raking in the Florida State League. A 4 for 5 day put his average at .416. The 16th round pick in 2013 has been a bit of a surprise with the bat. The last two season injuries have limited him to less than 60 games.

Jon Kemmer OF (Astros) - Jon was another late round draft pick, drafted by the Astros in the 21st round in the 2013 draft. In his last three games Jon has been raking at a 10 for 15 clip with two homeruns and seven RBIs. At 26 Jon is a little old to be considered a prospect, but 5 got 5 days are enough to get him major league attention.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - In a couple years Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy will be gone and the Orioles will be looking for a replacement. Ryan could be that guy, especially after a 4 for 5 performance in which he hit a homerun and drove in four. The homerun was his fifth to go along with his blistering .323 average.

Garrett Stubbs C (Astros) - The 8th round 2015 pick has been smoking in the Texas League. A five game hitting streak in which he has gone 10 for 20 to raise his average to 341. Garrett has homered three times in his last two games, which equals his number for the year.

Trent Clark RF (Brewers) - Trent was a first round pick of the Brewers in 2015. The Brewers outfield is crowded in the minor leagues. Last year Trent hit just .231 with hamstring issues limiting his season to 59 games. He got off to a slow start this year with a .183 average entering the Sunday game. A 5 for 6 performance raised that average to .239.

Luis Guillorme SS (Mets) - Luis is noted more for his glove and takes a back seat on the prospect ladder to Amed Rosario. A 4 for 5 day put his average in AA to .342, almost 100 points higher than his average from last year. Luis has no power with just one homerun as he enters his fifth year in pro ball. Only five of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases, all of them doubles.

Dustin Fowler OF (Yankees) - Dustin hit for the cycle on Sunday, going 5 for 6 with a walk off homerun in the 11th inning to complete the cycle. A 9 for 13 spurt has raised his average to .293 with a .573 slugging average. Dustin was an 18th round pick in 2013 that is starting to show that he could be a five tool player.

Anderson Franco 1B and Carter Kieboom SS (Nationals) - On the same day Anthony Rendon drove in 10 runs in the Nationals 23-5 win over the Mets, the Hagerstown team beat the Lexington Legends 22-4 with Anderson and Carter combining for 10 RBIs. Carter exploded for three homeruns and five RBIs on his 5 for 7 performance. Anderson only hit one homerun but he drove in five runs in a 4 for 6 day.

Sean Newcomb LHP (Braves) - Not a day noted for pitching highlights, but Sean had a game with 11 whiffs in seven innings of work. He allowed just one hit. This is his second shutout performance in a row in which he has only allowed three hits in 12 innings. After his first three starts his ERA was 5.65. Now it is 3.08.

Austin Sodders LHP (Tigers) - Austin also pitched his second shutout start in a row and has three in the four games he has started. In the six inning outing he struck out 10 and allowed just three hits. He has struck out 19 in his last two starts covering 11 innings. Austin lacks a power packed pitch, with a fastball that sits at a pedestrian 88-92. He gets outs with command of his pitches.

Conforto Powers Mets Over Nats

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Michael Conforto mashed two homeruns in the Mets 5-3 win over the Nationals. The Nationals had just completed a 9-1 road trip and the Mets were floundering at 8-13 with a six game losing streak entering this series, but it is the Mets who look like the better team after the first two games resulted in wins. The Nationals had the opportunity to bury the Mets, but now it is the Mets who have shown some life.

The Nationals were playing without Adam Eaton and will probably have to do so for the rest of the year, a torn ACL on Friday leaving him done for the season. That leaves a big hole in centerfield if Michael Taylor does not hit. Taylor started the game off with a bang by doubling over the head of Curtis Granderson in the first inning. Granderson broke late for the ball looking like a deer staring at the headlights of a car coming right at him. After a Bryce Harper whiff on a slow curve ball Ryan Zimmerman salvaged the inning with a line drive single into left center to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

The way Strasburg was pitching the one run appeared enough to win the game. Michael Conforto and Zack Wheeler were the only Mets to get hits in the first four innings. The fifth inning Jose Reyes started with a broken bat single into right field. T.J. Rivera powered a ball into the left centerfield gap for a double, Reyes stopping at third. Daniel Murphy made a heads up play on a Travis d’Arnaud grounder. He threw to third to get T.J. Rivera out, but Reyes scored to tie the game. A bunt by Wheeler advanced d’Arnaud to second. Michael Conforto got ahead of Strasburg 3-1 then blasted a meat ball pitch into the right field bleachers to break the tie and give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Wheeler could not survive the fifth, denying himself the victory. A Jose Reyes error at third put a runner on and Michael Taylor got his third hit of the game by squeezing a pitch past the glove of Reyes to put two runners on. Bryce grounded into a 1-6-3 double play, but Zimmerman again saved the day by beating out a slow roller to short to score Trea Turner. If myworld had a stop watch we could swear Zimmerman went down the first base line faster than Harper did when he grounded into a double play.

Michael Conforto got his first hit against a lefthander in the game. Enny Romero and his 99 mile per hour fastball was the victim with Conforto blasting it at 101 into the Mets bullpen, the ball caught by Addison Reed who was warming up.

The Nationals got a run back in their half of the inning with Ryan Zimmerman crushing a ball over the left field bullpen. Jayson Werth hit a two out double. Matt Wieters pinch hit for Jose Lobaton and skied a ball into right field for the third out.

Jose Reyes gave the Mets an insurance run. His fielding has been ugly and he came into the game batting under .150. His second hit of the game came off Shawn Kelley, a two out blast into the right field bleachers, almost in the same spot Conforto hit his first homerun. That about broke the spirit of the Nationals who were retired in order by Jeurys Familia for his first save of the year.

Game Notes: Michael Taylor started out strong with hits in his first three at bats. His last two at bats were filled with swings and misses as he struck out twice. The three hits got his average above .200 but the two whiffs brought it back down to .192…Rafael Bautista was brought up to replace Adam Eaton. He may see some playing time in centerfield if Taylor struggles to provide any offense. The Nationals need a closer and now with Eaton out for the year they may also need a centerfielder…Bryce Harper had a rough day with three whiffs and a ground into double play. Two of the whiffs were swings and misses at 72 mile per hour curveballs. The other whiff was taking a 94 mile per hour fastball. Yesterday he also had a three whiff game and a bases loaded game ending double play ground out…Enny Romero hit 100 twice with his pitches….Jayson Werth made a poor decision after stealing second. When the ball skipped past second and rolled into centerfield he tried to advance to third thinking he had gotten it on a obstruction call. He was easily thrown out at third and at the discretion of the second base umpire he was not entitled to third.

Hot Prospects for the Weekend - Arroyo Makes the Most of the Weekend

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Myworld was coaching volleyball over the weekend in Minnesota. The Twins were in town but all my time was spent in the gym. Now that we are back it is time to look back to see who was hot over the weekend.

Christian Arroyo SS (Giants) - My world has never been enamored with Arroyo but his bat is certainly changing my mind. It is difficult to find a hitter hotter than Christian. He had his first 0 for of the season on Thursday but bounced back with a 4 for 6 Sunday that raised his average to .446. After that outburst the Giants promoted him to their major league team to help at both third base and shortstop. His OPS for his first 16 games in AAA is 1.171.

Demi Orimoloye OF (Brewers) - Unlike Christian Demi is a player who flashes some impressive tools. His challenge has always been in his ability to make contact with the ball. An 8 game hitting streak raised his average to .300. He hit four homeruns while driving in 9. What is most impressive about his at bats is only two whiffs in his last 24 at bats. For the year Demi has five homeruns with five stolen bases. Before the season is over his average will probably dip below .250.

Luis Urias 2B/SS (Padres) - Back to back four hit games raised his average to .357. Luis scored five runs in his second four hit game. The native from Mexico is not supposed to carry any power in his bat but a .650 slugging percentage includes a couple homeruns with six doubles and three triples. Eleven of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases. A second baseman coming into this season the Padres have used him 14 games at short early in the season.

Amed Rosario SS (Mets) - Met fans are clamoring for the promotion of Rosario. He is a better fielding shortstop than what they currently have on their major league roster. A 6 for 9 streak in his last two games has raised his average to .403. Only four of his 27 hits have gone for extra bases but the Mets will not complain about his 23 singles when combined with his gold glove fielding potential.

Marcus Wilson CF (Diamondbacks) - Marcus sprayed the Midwest league with four three hit games in a six game span to raise his average to .411. He drove in 11 runs during that streak with three homeruns. The Diamondbacks drafted Marcus in the second round of the 2014 draft, moving him up slowly because of his .244 career average coming into this season. His biggest challenge is an ability to make consistent contact.

Bo Bichette SS (Blue Jays) - The son of Dante has a 12 game hitting streak that has raised his average to .373. He was able to play for Brazil in the qualifier last year because of his Brazilian mother. Brazil failed to qualify for the 2017 WBC but Bo was not the reason hitting .400 with a .538 OBA. Bo has hit one homerun this year and that was on opening day as he splits his time between shortstop and second base.

Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) - Another Blue Jay prospect with a hot bat is Alford who had a streak of five games of two hits or more in six games to raise his average to .469. He hit two homeruns and drove in five during the streak with four stolen bases. Anthony has a potent combination of power and speed that will result in a quick ascent through the minors now that his focus is on baseball.

Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) - Tyler threw the first nine inning no hitter of the season, a perfect game 1-0 win over the Mobile Bay Bears. He threw only 88 pitches in his complete game no hitter striking out eight. Tyler was a seventh round pick of the Reds in 2013 and has a checkered minor league career. The 2017 season has started out well with only two runs given up in his four starts for a 4-0 record and a 0.68 ERA. The opposition is hitting him at a .082 clip.

Jack Flaherty RHP (Cardinals) - Another pitcher who has started his season 4-0. In his four starts Jack has only given up one run for a 0.33 ERA. In his last two starts he has not allowed a run in 13.2 innings, giving up just eight hits. A 3/24 walk to whiff ratio and .161 opposition average could result in a promotion to the big club before the year is out.

Merandy Gonzalez RHP (Mets) - The Colombian has yet to give up a run in his three starts in the Low A South Atlantic League. The 20.2 shutout string has been because of a 1/18 walk to whiff ratio with a .143 opposition average. Merandy stands only 6′1″ but his fastball can still cross the plate in the mid-90s with an above average curve ball to keep hitters off balance.