Archive for the 'Colombia' Category

Top Prospects from South America

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Last year myworld did a breakout of the top prospects from Colombia. Most of those players struggled last year and it would be pointless to create a top ten of players, many of whom struggled to get above the Mendoza line. So we added a couple players from Brazil and created a top South American prospect list.

1. Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies/Colombia) - Injuries have slowed his ascent to the major leagues. Last year he got 16 at bats in a September call up but struck out in about half of them. His defense is solid with an arm strong enough to throw out 44 percent of those runners who tried to steal against him. There is power in the bat with 15 homeruns last year with a .458 slugging percentage. One major weakness is his lack of patience at the plate with a 22/105 walk to whiff ratio. This could keep his average down once he hits the majors. The 2017 season has not seen an improvement in his walk to whiff ratio (2/32 in 26 games). Cameron Rupp is ahead of him in the major leagues so the Phillies can show patience with his development. He won’t turn 24 until June.

2. Luiz Gohara LHP (Braves/Brazil) - The Mariners signed Luiz in 2012. For a pitcher who can hit triple digits with his fastball the Mariners seemed to trade him on the cheap, obtaining Shae Simmons and Mallex Smith for him. Hard throwing lefthanders are tough to find. Luiz is currently in the starting rotation but with only two pitches (fastball/slider) he could eventually move to the bullpen. He can be tough to hit if his command is right, but that is not always the case. This year in seven starts his ERA sits at 1.98 with just 10 walks in 36.1 innings. Luiz has a body type that can pack on the pounds so he needs to watch his weight to stay effective.

3. Meibrys Viloria C (Royals/Colombia) - Last year was a break out season for the player signed out of Colombia in 2013. He led the Pioneer League in hitting (.376), doubles (28) and RBIs (55). He also threw out 34 percent of those base stealers who tried to take the extra base against him. His arm is not a gun and he still has a lot of work to do to enhance his craft but his left handed bat would be valuable behind the plate. He started out slow this year but a recent hot streak has brought his average up to .263. His power is more towards the gaps than over the fences.

4. Bo Bichette SS (Blue Jays/Brazil) - The son of Dante Bichette and the younger brother of Dante Bichette Jr. His mother is from Brazil. The Blue Jays drafted him in the second round of the 2016 draft. There is some question whether he can stay at short. The arm is strong but the range could be lacking. In his debut season he hit .427 in the Gulf Coast League with four homeruns and a .732 slugging percentage. His bat has the pop to make him an offensive oriented shortstop should he stick at the position. The Blue Jays have him playing in the Low A Midwest League where he continues his assault on pitchers with a .360 average and three homeruns. Myworld witnessed Dante Bichette Jr hit three homeruns in three at bats in a rainy spring training game, so Blue Jay fans should not get too excited with the offensive exploits of Bo until he reaches the higher levels.

5. Thyago Vieira RHP (Mariners/Brazil) - The Mariners signed Vieira in 2010. Vieira can also hit three digits with his fastball, but he pitches out of the pen where it is easier to show velocity. The Mariners are grooming him to be their closer. He still has trouble finding the plate with 9 walks in his first 12 innings of work this year. An improved curve ball has made him tougher to hit, with the opposition hitting him at only a .200 clip. The lack of command has kept his ERA at 5.67. Depending on how he progresses this year Vieira could see a September call up.

6. Tayron Guerrero RHP (Marlins/Colombia) - At 6′7″ Tayron has some impressive height, especially when he is throwing his fastball in the high 90s. The Padres signed him in 2009 then traded him to the Marlins last year with Andrew Cashner for Jarred Cosart and Carter Capps. Last year Tayron made his major league debut with one appearance. With all the long limbs he has trouble keeping to one delivery so it is easy for him to get out of whack. He walks a lot of batters with six walks in just three innings this year before being placed on the disabled list with a sore foot. At 26 years of age Tayron needs to advance past AA. With only two pitches and no command Tayron has been pitching out of the bullpen since 2014.

7. Harold Ramirez OF (Blue Jays/Colombia) - Last year myworld put him at the top of the list. An inability to stay in shape soured the Pirates on his potential and they traded him to the Blue Jays to rid themselves of the salary of Francisco Liriano. The last three years he has kept his average above .300 but has hit for very little power. The added weight eats into his range and the below average arm makes him a better fit for left field, which isn’t suited for slap hitters. This is a big year for him to punch up that power.

8. Erling Moreno RHP (Cubs/Colombia) - The Cubs signed Moreno in 2013 but lost a season because of Tommy John surgery. As a starter the most innings he has pitched was last year when he threw 62 innings. The velocity is coming back with his fastball hitting the low 90s, still a little down from his pre surgery heat. His change is a pretty good pitch. In his first start this year he was hit hard giving up six hits and three runs in three innings. The Cubs put him on the disabled list shortly after the outing.

9. Luis Escobar RHP (Pirates/Colombia) - Signed by the Pirates in 2013, Luis has the three pitches necessary to make it in the rotation. His fastball hits the mid-90s with a change and curve to complement those pitches. The opposition is hitting only .222 against him but he has bouts of inconsistency where he can not find the plate, hitting 8 batters last year in only 62 innings. This year he pitched well in his first five starts but a seven walk outing ballooned his ERA to 4.99 when he gave up seven runs in less than four innings.

10. Mauricio Ramos 3B (Royals/Colombia) - Signed by the Royals in 2010 Ramos may lack the power to play a corner position. He has a minor league career .391 slugging average and has yet to reach double digits in homeruns. He also needs to work on his patience with a 19/92 walk to whiff ratio which could stunt his average with good pitching. Mauricio is repeating the AA Texas league but is not improving with a 4/29 walk to whiff ratio and a .354 slugging percentage. At age 25 he needs to have his break out season or become a journeyman minor leaguer.

Extra Innings Galore in WBC; United States Advances

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Japan and the Netherlands were the first team to play past the tenth inning to initiate the extra inning rule. Japan pulled off a successful bunt followed by a two run single from Sho Nakata to give Japan an 8-6 lead. The Netherlands chose to have Jurickson Profar swing away and he popped to first. With no runners in scoring position Xander Boegerts grounded out and Kalian Sams popped out to end the game.

The two battled it out like punch drunk boxers with both teams scoring a run in the second and four runs in the third. Jonathan Schoop hit a solo homerun in the second and Wladimir Balentien hit a two run homerun in the third to spice up the Netherlands offense. Sho Nakata continued to stay hot with a three run homerun in the third. He finished the game 3 for 6 with 5 RBIs.

The Netherlands took the game into extra innings on a Jonathan Schoop RBI single in the ninth inning. With runners on second and third and two out and a chance to win the game Curt Smith struck out.

Japan threatened in the tenth, loading the bases with one out. Norichika Aoki grounded into a double play, with many thinking Curt Smith was off the base when he caught the relay throw from Andrelton Simmons.

While the starting pitching was disappointing for both teams the relief pitching was stellar. The Japanese bullpen allowed only the one run in the ninth inning. The Netherlands also limited Japan to one run until the eleventh inning. There were over 44,000 who attended the game.

Dominican Republic 10 Colombia 3

Colombia battled Dominican Republic to a 3-3 tie after 10 innings. The Dominican Republic exploded for seven runs in the eleventh inning with Jean Segura providing the big hit with a bases clearing three run double.

Colombia had an opportunity to win the game in the ninth. After Jorge Alfaro hit a solo shot in the eighth to tie the game at 3-3 Colombia put their first two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Donavan Solano grounded out to put runners on first and third with one out. Reynaldo Rodriguez lined a shot to Jose Bautista in left field. Pinch runner Oscar Mercado tagged from third but Bautista threw a strike home to cut off the winning run. Myworld would have liked to have been there to hear the roar from the Dominicans after that play.

Close to 37,000 watched the Dominican Republic advance to the second round. Colombian fans can take satisfaction that their win over Canada automatically qualifies them for the 2021 WBC, or whenever the next WBC is played.

United States 8 Canada 0

The United States advanced to the second round with another opportunity to play the Dominican Republic in their future with their win over Canada. Canada will have to qualify to play in the next WBC after their last place finish. The United States put the game away with seven runs in the first two innings. Nolan Arenado hit a three run homer in the second. Eric Hosmer hit the first of his two doubles in the first to drive in two runs.

Danny Dufy got the start for the United States throwing four shutout innings, allowing just two hits. Ryan Dempster had his second poor start of the WBC failing to get out of the first inning before allowing three walks and two hits in the three run first. Only 22,000 showed up to watch the game between the two North American teams, evidence the WBC is being financed by the party atmosphere of the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Rico 9 Italy 3

Puerto Rico scored all their runs in the first five innings to romp over Italy and advance to the second round undefeated. Italy will have to wait until the results of the Mexico/Venezuela game to determine their fate. Puerto Rico will also get another opportunity to play the Dominican Republic after losing to them in the finals of the 2013 WBC.

Carlos Correa hit a three run homer in the fourth to fuel the offense. Jose Berrios worked five innings to get the win. The only two hits he allowed were solo shots from Drew Butera and John Andreoli. The bullpen of Hiram Burgos and Miguel Mejia shutout the Italians on one hit the remaining four innings.

Israel Rolls Past Cuba; Venezuela Wins Wild Game

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Israel proved they are a team to contend with after their 4-1 win over Cuba, keeping them undefeated in WBC play. Jason Marquis went 5.2 innings, allowing just one run in taming the Cuban bats with his assortment of breaking pitches. Cuba scored their only run off him when Alfredo Despaigne lined one of his pitches over the centerfield wall in the second inning to give Cuba an early 1-0 lead.

Israel tied the game in the fourth when Ryan Lavarnway doubled into left field. Despaigne took long enough getting to the ball to allow Ike Davis to score from first. Noelvis Entenza would retire the next hitter, but the Lavarnway double was the first hit he had given up in the game. He left after the fourth inning with three walks, the third one costing him a run.

Israel scored two more in the sixth. Walks again hurt the Cubans. A Ty Kelly single and Nate Freiman walk set the stage for Zach Borenstein, who broke the tie with a single to right field, scoring Kelly. Blake Gailen doubled to increase the score to 3-1. The Israelis managed to load the bases but Livan Moinelo got Scott Burcham to fly out to end the inning.

A lead off walk in the eighth led to the fourth Israeli run. Zach Borenstein advanced to third on a Ryan Lavarnway single. Blake Gailen laid down a bunt to score Borenstein.

Cuba did not really mount much of an offensive threat until the eighth inning. They loaded the bases on a single and two walks, Despaigne walking to load the bases. Josh Zeid came on to pitch and retired William Saavedra on a ground out to end the threat. The Cubans were retired in order in the ninth, Josh Zeid picking up the save.

Venezuela 11 Italy 10

It took 10 innings but Venezuela made up for their disaster of a game against the Puerto Ricans. Jose Altuve stroked a one out single in the tenth and Martin Prado drove him in with a double. For Prado it was his fifth hit of the game. Jose Castillo retired the Italians in order in the tenth to cap the win.

It was not easy. The Venezuelans thought they had the game won after scoring two in the ninth to take a 10-8 lead. Salvador Perez hit a two run homer for what appeared to be a victory.

The pesky Italians who scored five runs in the ninth the previous night to beat Mexico again proved formidable. Rob Segedin reached second on a throwing error by Alcides Escobar. He scored after two ground outs but still Venezuela had a one run lead. An Alex Liddi single and walk to Drew Butera put two runners on. Gavin Cecchini singled to score pinch runner Drew Maggi. Butera was not pinch run for and he tried to score on the hit but was thrown out at home. Myworld wonders where the pinch runner was for Butera. The game went to extra innings.

Italy had taken an early 5-0 lead after four innings. Daniel Descalso had driven in three runs with his two hits. Alex Liddo and Brandon Nimmo blasted solo homeruns in the fourth.

Venezuela stormed back, led by the 5 for 5 night from Martin Prado. He drove in three runs. The Venezuelans tacked on eight runs in the fifth through seventh innings. Italy scored one in the seventh and two in the eighth to send it into the ninth tied 8-8. There were 12,187 in attendance enjoying the slugfest.

Colombia 4 Canada 1

Julio Teheran pitched five innings of two hit ball to lead the Colombians to an upset win over the Canadians. Now all they have to do is beat the Dominicans for an opportunity to advance to the second round, or a Canadian win over the United States team. Canada has shown you can’t use the success of a 2011 roster to fill your 2017 roster if those players have taken off a couple years from playing.

The game did not start out well for Teheran. In the first inning a walk and two singles, the last by Freddie Freeman gave the Canadians an early run. Freedie Freeman was then caught stealing second as Tyler O’Neil struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Teheran settled down after that, allowing just one hit over the next four innings.

Colombia scored their first run in the third when Donavan Solano drove in his brother Jhonatan with a single. Donavan was thrown out at second trying to advance a base on the throw home. For the Colombians it was the Solano show on offense.

Colombia added another run in the fifth to take the lead. Tito Polo slapped a two out single to center, stole second and scored on another Donavan Solano single. The Solano brothers struck again in the sixth with Jhonatan taking a walk with the bases loaded to drive in the third run. Jhonatan ended his day in the ninth with a leadoff double. Oscar Mercado pinch ran for him and scored on a Tito Polo bunt single after Scott Mathieson threw the ball away.

Canada could not mount any kind of offense against the under rated Colombian pitching staff. Yohan Pino came in to replace Teheran and tossed three innings of one hit shutout relief. Dayan Diaz gave up two back to back singles after striking out the first two hitters, but ended the inning and the game with a strikeout to secure the victory.

Puerto Rico 9 Mexico 4

In two games Mexico has now given up 9 runs in the ninth inning. Puerto Rico scored four in the top of the ninth to turn a close 5-4 game into a 9-4 rout. Javier Baez had the big hit with a three run homer. Francisco Lindor hit two homeruns for Puerto Rico, a two run homer in the first and a solo shot in the seventh that gave Puerto Rico a 5-1 lead. Mexico bounced back scoring three runs in the bottom half to make the game close.

Jorge Lopez got the start and the win for Puerto Rico allowing just one run on two hits in his 4.1 innings of work. A crowd of over 15,000 showed up to watch Mexico get almost eliminated from any shot of advancing to the second round. They have to beat Venezuela and hope Puerto Rico is fired up enough to beat the Italians to create a three way tie for second. Puerto Rico guaranteed themselves an opportunity to advance, but they must still beat Italy to advance as the first seed.

Major leaguers by Country

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Baseball America broke out the top countries who have players in the major leagues. The top ten is listed below.

1. United States - 5,043 (67.34%)
2. Dominican Republic - 1,117 (14.92%)
3. Venezuela - 628 (8.39%)
4. Puerto Rico - 163 (2.18%)
5. Canada - 92 (1.23%)
6. Mexico - 91 (1.22%)
7. Cuba - 82 (1.09%)
8. Panama - 52 (0.69%)
9. Colombia - 38 (0.51%)
10. Australia - 29 (0.39%)

If you combined Curacao and Aruba, both colonies of the Netherlands and included them with the players from the Netherlands that count would also be 38, putting the Netherlands in tenth place.

You can go to the International section of Baseball America to see the complete list.

United States Slides Past Colombia; Puerto Rico Routs Venezuela

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Adam Jones hit a walk off single in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the United States a 3-2 scrapper over Colombia. For Jones it was his second RBI of the game.

The big bats of the United States were contained in the first four innings by Jose Quintana. They were held hitless against Quintana with the only baserunner a Paul Goldschmidt walk to lead off the second. He was quickly erased when Buster Posey grounded into a double play. On the United States side Chris Archer was perfect for 12 innings to tame the Colombian bats.

When the United States went with Mychal Givens to pitch the fifth the Colombians struck, doing it all after the first two hitters struck out. Jesus Valdez, Adrian Sanchez and Mauricio Ramos hit back to back to back doubles to put the United States in a deep hole.

The sixth inning did not look promising for the United States after the first two hitters struck out. A single by Brandon Crawford and the mandatory pitch count ended the day for Quintana to the relief of the United States bats. William Cuevas replaced Quintana and gave up a single to Ian Kinsler. Adam Jones drove in his first run with a double to left. Nolan Arenado struck out but the ball skipped past the catcher allowing Ian Kinsler to score from third with the tying run.

The bats went quiet again for both teams. Nate Jones made things exciting by walking two Colombian hitters in the top of the eighth. Pat Neshek bailed him out by getting Donavan Solano to line into a double play. Tito Polo strayed too far off first on the liner and Arenado doubled him off. In the bottom half of the inning the United States put runners on first and third with one out but Adam Jones struck out and Nolan Arenado lined out to end the threat.

In the top of the ninth two two out singles by Jorge Alfaro and Jhonaton Solano put runners on first and third with two outs. Jesus Valdez struck out swinging to end the threat. Greg Nappo came on for Colombia and retired the United States team in order in the ninth.

In the tenth Nappo was not so sharp. He walked Christian Yelich and Brandon Crawford after retiring the first batter. Ian Kinsler grounded out to second but Yelich and Crawford advanced a base. That brought up Adam Jones who struck out in his last at bat with a runner on third. Nolan Arenado was hanging out on deck. The Colombians pitched to Jones and he lined a single to center to give the United States a 3-2 win.

The next game for the United States will be against the Dominicans. There were 22,580 at the park to see the United States victory. It could be a donnybrook tonight. Myworld is expecting a sell out.

Puerto Rico 11 Venezuela 0

It was an embarrassment to the Venezuelans. Maybe the players were protesting their government and decided not to show up. Seth Lugo went 5.1 innings allowing just one hit. The lineup of Jose Altuve, Martin Prado, Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Gonzalez did not get their first runner on until Miguel Cabrera hit a two out single in the fourth. How that many bats can remain silent for that long a time against Seth Lugo is a mystery. The game only went seven, mercifully ending for the slaughter rule. Myworld remembers when the United States lost by the slaughter rule and it wasn’t pretty watching them trudge off the field like a beaten boxer.

Puerto Rico was also hitless against the Venezuelan ace Felix Hernandez for the first two innings. Eddie Rosario changed that, leading off the third with a triple. He scored on a T.J. Rivera sacrifice fly. The Puerto Ricans would not end their assault on Felix there. Reymond Fuentes singled and Francisco Lindor walked. Carlos Correa reached on a fielding error by Martin Prado to load the bases. A walk to Carlos Beltran forced in a run and drove Felix from the game. Gregory Infante came on to pitch, retiring Yadier Molina on a fly out to end the inning.

That is the way it stayed until the sixth. Venezuela brought some of their fans to life after Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Carlos Gonzalez could not take advantage of his opportunity, swinging and missing for strike three.

In the bottom half Carlos Correa struck quickly with a lead off homer. Carlos Beltran walked and Yadier Molina went deep. Three batters in and it was 5-0. The rout was on.

The Puerto Ricans put the game away in the seventh, scoring most of their runs after two were out. Eddie Rosario stroked the fourth consecutive hit for the Puerto Ricans with a two run double to make it 9-0. T.J. Rivera followed, invoking the slaughter rule with his two run homer to make it 11-0. The Venezuelans had to walk off the field knowing the Puerto Ricans gave them a bruising beat down.

A crowd of 14,806 came to watch the game, a very good turn out since the local team from Mexico was not playing.

Colombia 2017 WBC Review

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Overview - Baseball is a curiosity sport in Colombia but it is picking up steam in popularity. Not everyone is enamored with soccer so the niche sports can prosper. In Colombia baseball is the niche sport for those kids who are outclassed by the soccer super stars. If you are not good with your feet perhaps you are better with your hands.

Colombia got in the WBC by winning a qualifier over teams from France, Panama and Spain. Panama was the favorite but a homerun from Dilson Herrera in the eighth inning gave Colombia the 2-1 win in the finals. It was the second time Colombia had defeated Panama in the tournament so they have earned their right to play. Unfortunately, they will be placed in one of the toughest pools with the United States, the defending champion Dominican Republic and Canada.

While many think baseball is in its infancy in Colombia they do have a record of winning medals in the baseball World Cups. The last medal they won was in 1974, though they have won gold medals in 1947 and 1965. Silver medals were earned in 1945 and 1971 while another bronze was taken in 1948. In both years they won the gold medal the games were hosted by Colombia in Cartagena. Interestingly, those are the only two world cups they have ever hosted for baseball. So there is some winning history for baseball in Colombia, who had an overall record of 91-84 in World Cup competetion.

This will be their first time playing in a WBC. They have competed in two qualifiers, not advancing in the first but advancing to the big show in the second.

Current World Ranking - Colombia falls out of the top 12 listed as the 19th ranked country for baseball. The United States is number two and Canada sits at number eight. The Dominican Republic may be ranked 13th but they are the defending champions. They do not fare as well in international tournaments without their major leaguers so their ranking for the WBC is probably lower than it should be.

Roster

Pitchers - Horacio Acosta (DPP), Nabil Crismatt, William Cuevas, Dayan Diaz, Ernesto Frieri, Tayron Guerrero, Sugar Ray Marimon, Guillermo Moscoso, Gregg Nappo (DPP), Javier Ortiz, Yohan Pino, Jose Quintana, Julio Tehran, Karl Triana

Designated Pitchers Pool - Kendy Batista, Randy Consuegra, Luis Escobar, Erling Moreno, Reiver SanMartin, Angel Vilchez, Ezequiel Zabaleta

Catchers - Jorge Alfaro, Jhonatan Solano, Meibrys Viloria

Infielders - Dilson Herrera, Mauricio Ramos, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Adrian Sanchez, Donovan Solano, Giovanny Urshela

Outfielders - Efrain Contreras, Tito Polo, Jesus Valdez

Strengths - While they are the underdogs Colombia should not be overmatched, not when you have two aces like Jose Quintana and Julio Teheran in your rotation. The challenge will be finding the third starter to finish out the pool. Tayron Guerrero throws in the mid 90s but Ernest Frieri and Sugar Ray Morimon have more experience. They also have some strength behind the plate. If you want tools you’ll go with Jorge Alfaro and if you want experience call on Jhonaton Solano. Meibrys Viloria is one of the hottest prospects in the low minors hitting over .340. The middle infield should be solid with Dilson Herrera and Donavan Solano taking up those spots. Herrera got the game winning homerun to put Colombia into the WBC and Solano is a utility infielder good enough to make the major leagues. Giovanny Urshela is a good defensive option at third but he was demoted by the Indians a couple years ago because of a lack of offensive production.

Weakness - The starters will not go nine so that is where a solid bullpen comes into play. Colombia is weak there. If Guerrero does not start he may be asked to be their closer. They also do not have a lot of depth and zero major league experience in their outfield. While they have some talented players, many of them are only highly touted prospects in the minor leagues. The only major leaguers on this roster Quintana, Tehran, the Solanos and Frieri with Herrera also seeing some time are not enough to compete in this pool. They are playing in a pool with three teams whose rosters are filled with major leaguers. For Colombia you can only say their roster is dotted with major leaguers.

Prospects to Watch - They have a ton of them. The most talented pitcher is probably Tayron Guerrero. He can throw the ball hard but lacks command. Two catchers are future potential stars in the major leagues. Jorge Alfaro is a top prospect who will make his name known in 2017 with his power bat and solid defense behind the plate. Meibrys Viloria is a prospect on the rise who will probably not see a lot of playing time in these games. Dilson Herrera should compete for playing time at second base for the Reds now that they have traded Brandon Phillips. Tito Polo is a fringe outfield prospect while Giovanny Urshela made the Indians roster as a third baseman but was demoted because of his lack of offense.

Expected Finish - With Quintana and Teheran they could surprise with one win and Canada is a team they can beat. They may choose to start their two aces against the United States and Dominican Republic, which will leave a lesser starter to do battle against Canada. Myworld does not see them advancing past the first round.

30 Players Confirm for WBC

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Final rosters are not due until February with games beginning in March, but as a fan before you buy those tickets you want some assurances you will be seeing a quality product out on the field. These are some of the names of players who the WBC state have committed to participating in the WBC. Japan, Korea and Cuba already have 30 to 50 man rosters that they can choose from that are not affiliated with major league baseball.

United States - Andrew McCutchen, Max Scherzer, Nolan Arenado, Chris Archer, Adam Jones, Buster Posey
Venezuela - Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Carlos Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez, Salvador Perez
Puerto Rico - Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Correa, Yadier Molina
Dominican Republic - Manny Machado, Dellin Betances, Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz
Mexico - Roberto Osuna, Adrian Gonzalez, Oliver Perez
Netherlands - Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons
Canada - Russell Martin
Colombia - Jose Quintana, Julio Teheran

Make a 25 man roster from this 30 and you would have a championship team. Add in the names of the Japanese, Taiwan and Korean allstars such as Shohei Otani (perhaps the best player in baseball now), Shin-Soo Choo and Hyun Soo Kim and you should have some competitive baseball. Japan is the number one rated team in baseball with Korea rated number three.

The down side is the Cuban talent will be watered down with most of their players in the United States not eligible to play on the Cuban team. Yasiel Puig is talking about playing for Mexico since that is the country Puig chose as residency once he left Cuba.

Brazil Wins South American Baseball Championship

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Brazil defeated Argentina 10-4, the second time they had defeated them to win the South American baseball championship. Brazil finished the tournament 7-0. Argentina had upset the defending champions Colombia 12-9 to get into the championship. Brazil was able to waltz over Peru 12-0. Venezuela did not appear in the tournament.

The final standings for the tournament:

1) Brazil, 2) Argentina, 3) Colombia, 4) Chile, 5) Peru, 6) Bolivia

2017 WBC Pools Announced

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Below are the pools for the 2017 WBC held in March. The United States will have a tough haul to advance, placed in the same pool as the defending champion Dominican Republic.

Pool A (Tokyo at the Tokyo Dome March 7-10)

Australia, China, Cuba and Japan

Pool B (Seoul at Gocheok Skydome March 7-10)

Taiwan, South Korea, Netherlands (and winner of final WBC qualifier between Great Britain, Pakistan, Israel and Brazil)

Pool C (Miami at Marlins Park March 9-12)

Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic and United States

Pool D (Guadalajara, Mexico at Estadio Charros de Jalisco March 9-12)

Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela

Second Round

Pool E (March 12-15 in Tokyo at Tokyo Dome)

Pool A winner and runner up and Pool B winner and runner up

Pool F (March 14 - 18 in San Diego at Petco Park)

Pool C winner and runner up and Pool D winner and runner up

Semifinals (Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium March 20-21)

Pool F winner versus Pool E runner up and Pool E winner versus Pool F runner up

Championship (Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium March 22)

Semifinal 1 winner versus semifinal 2 winner

Top Players in the Under 15 Tournament

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Cuba beat Japan in the finals while the United States took third. Rather than pick an All tourney team myworld will name the top players of each team who performed well in the tournament based on their numbers. Myworld was not there so we could not witness their performances.

Cuba

Loidell Chapelli may have been the MVP of the tournament with his 5 for 5 day in the championship. Overall he hit .444 with 10 RBIs and a 1.028 OPS.

Malcolm Nunez hit .613 with 9 walks and one strikeout and a 1.375 OPS

Victor Mesa hit .375 with 9 runs scored.

Darian Palma hit .324 with 11 runs scored and 5 stolen bases.

Livan Chaviano appeared in four games and picked up two wins. He picked up one save and had a 0.00 ERA in 13.2 innings

Edgar Martinez struck out 20 in his 15 innings of work with a 0.60 ERA.

Japan

Shota Katekaru hit .467 with 9 RBIs and a 1.100 OPS.

Kenji Ino had a .389 average with 11 RBIs and a 1.115 OPS. He scored 13 runs and stole 5 bases.

Kanta Okada started three games and finished with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings of work.

United States

Anthony Volpe hit .419, stole 8 bases, drove in 10 runs and scored 10 runs with an OPS of 1.010. He did everything.

Cade Doughty hit .419 with 13 runs scored.

Justin Campbell did not give up an earned run in his two starts covering 7 innings, but did give up 8 hits. The United States seemed to lack a dominating pitcher in this tournament based on the numbers. No big strikeout numbers like Japan and Cuba.

Panama

Jordan Agrazal was their top hitter with a .375 average and 9 runs scored. His OPS was .901.

Venezuela

Pedro Martinez showed it all with a .481 average, 11 runs scored and five stolen bases. His OPS was 1.090.

Jesus Orecchia may have been the best hitter with his .438 average, 13 RBIs and 1.003 OPS.

Ronier Lascarro hit .379 with three triples and a 1.072 OPS. He also scored 9 runs and stole 4 bases.

Miguel Rondon had five appearances and two saves. He did take a loss when he gave up 4 unearned runs but his ERA was 0.00 in 7.1 innings.

Colombia

Marshall Cantillo hit .476 with 2 doubles and three triples to put his OPS at 1.399. He drove in 8 runs.

Luis Arzuza hit .400 with a 1.011 OPS.

Taiwan

Jui Wen Chien hit .500 with 4 doubles and two triples with a 1.360 OPS. He drove in 10 runs.

Yao Tsung Weng also hit .500, drawing 8 walks and scoring 11 times. His OPS was 1.193.

Po Yu Chen hit .444 with a .997 OPS.

Korea

Jun-Woo Shin hit .571 with 6 doubles and a 1.504 OPS. He drove in 10 runs.

Kyung-PYo Ko hit .524 with a 1.286 OPS. He walked 9 times.

Seung Ho Lee hit .393 to score 9 runs.

Hyung-Jun Park appeared in three games with one start stringing together a 1.17 ERA.

Mexico

Jared Guerrero hit .423 with 9 RBIs.

Asis Berrones struck out 15 of the 30 batters he faced but his 6.14 ERA was ugly.

Czech Republic

Marek Krejcirik hit .389 but his 14 walks put his OBA at .656 and his OPS at 1.267. He hit two triples.

Martin Grundman was 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts.

Australia

Caleb Shepherd hit .400 with a double and two triples for a 1.145 OPS. He also coaxed 8 walks in a weak lineup.

New Zealand

No worthy players of note though Taichi Nakao did walk 9 times but his average was .238, the second best average on the team for those players with 10 or more at bats.