Archive for the 'Colombia' Category

Under 23 World Cup Qualifying Round

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The Under 23 Baseball World Cup qualifying round will be held in Nicaragua and Honduras. Competing in the Nicaragua competition will be Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the hosts Nicaragua. In Honduras, other than the hosts the competition will be Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Panama. Absent from the competition are the United States and Canada. Even Puerto Rico is absent in the tournament.

The Under 23 World Cup will be held October 2-11 in Mexico. Mexico are the defending champions having defeated Japan in 2018 when it was played in Colombia. Other countries who have qualified to play are Germany and Czech Republic (European qualifier), New Zealand (Oceania - Australia dropped out), Taiwan, Japan and China (Asia Qualifier), Korea (wild card selection) and Mexico as the host.

Honduras is an interesting country to choose to be a host for a baseball qualifier since baseball is not a big sport in that country. If you want to grow the game you have to expose the countries not usually exposed to baseball. Not sure why the United States and Canada chose not to participate but the major and minor league pipeline availability probably has something to do with that.

WBSC America’s Qualifier Pool

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics in the Premier 12. Their Southern neighbor Mexico qualified, as well as Korea. This leaves four of six countries qualified for the Olympics, Japan (host), Israel (European/Africa qualifier), Korea and Mexico (both from Premier 12). The Americas qualifier is the next to last opportunity countries have to qualify for the Olympics. The second and third place finishers become eligible for the final qualifier in Taiwan, to be held in April..

Below are the pools:

Pool A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Pool B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States has been fielding a team of minor league prospects. While these players have been competitive they have yet to qualify the United States team for the Olympics. The same prospect heave team is expected for the Americas qualifying round to be held from March 22-26.

The final qualifier will be held in Taiwan from April 1-5.

Puerto Rico Site of 2020 Series del Caribe

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Puerto Rico will be the site of the 2020 Series del Caribe. The last time it was held in Puerto Rico was in 2015. Myworld was there to witness Cuba’s first participation in the event. They ended up Series del Caribe champions that year. Hiram Bithorn stadium will again host the event. The dates are from February 1-7, with the first five days being pool play and the last two days playoffs. Three games will be played each day with the first game starting at 10 AM and the last starting at 8 PM. Usually when you buy one ticket it will allow you to attend all three games that day.

Panama returns after winning the event last year in their first ever participation. There was some thought of Nicaragua and Colombia also participating but that is expected to happen in 2021. The teams participating in the event are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Each of those countries has their winter league season and the winning team from those winter leagues advances to the Series del Caribe.

Baseball America’s Qualifier

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The America’s is another opportunity for the United States to qualify for the Olympics in Japan in 2020. The next to last qualifier will be played in Arizona from March 22 -26. The last qualifier will be played in Taiwan. The second and third place teams from the America’s qualifying round will be eligible to participate in Taiwan. Below are the pools from that group.

Group A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Group B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States would be the favored team in this group.

Puerto Rico Wins Pan Am Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Puerto Rico won the Pan Am Games, defeating Canada 6-1 in the finals. The United States did not participate in the games, choosing to focus on the Premier 12 games to be played in Tokyo. Other teams that participated in the Games - The host Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Nicaragua. For Puerto Rico it was their first Pan Am Gold, defeating the two time defending champs Canada. The poor hosts, Peru, were the only team that did not win a game.

Giovanni Soto got the start and the win for Puerto Rico in the gold medal game. Chris Leroux took the loss for Canada. Jorge Padilla drove in the first run for Puerto Rico with a double. Brahiam Maldonado went deep with a solo shot in the sixth and Edwin Gomez closed out the scoring for Puerto Rico with a two run single in the seventh.

Nicaragua, Colombia, Canada and Puerto Rico all qualified to play in an Olympic qualifier. Cuba had a rough tournament, only winning one game. They had a tough 10 inning loss to the Dominican Republic that was tied 1-1 after regulation time. When they scored 8 in the 10th it appeared they had the game won, but the Dominican Republic scored nine in the 10th to win it.

Puerto Rico won a tight 2-1 game against the Dominican Republic that went 10 innings and then two days later they beat Colombia 2-1. They finished the tournament undefeated.

Nicaragua shutout Colombia in the bronze medal game 6-0. During pool play Colombia had defeated Nicaragua 11-1.

Top Prospects from Colombia

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Last year we included the top prospects in the “Best Prospects from South America” List. Five Colombian players were named on that list. One of them graduated to major league baseball (Jorge Alfaro) and is no longer considered a prospect. The four remaining reappear on the top prospects from Colombia list. Myworld was able to find ten players who we felt had enough skills to make it to the major leagues. Below are the top ten prospects from Colombia.

1. Ronaldo Hernandez C (Rays) - The Rays signed the infielder for $225,000 and then converted him to catcher. His biggest asset is his arm and the ability to hit for power. While the arm can control a running game he is still learning the other aspects of the game such as blocking the ball and framing the pitch that will get him to the major leagues. His defensive mechanics other than his arm would fall below average. On the offensive side, the bat showed it can hit for some power, crashing 21 homeruns last year and slugging .494 at Low A. This year he is trying to tackle High A in the Florida State League which is more of a pitcher’s park. He has five homeruns, but a much worse walk to whiff ratio (6/32), which could be a cause for concern. His batting average is still high (.287) but his OBA has dropped 20 points (.313). He is still a couple years from the major leagues.

2. Luis Patino RHP (Padres) - The Padres signed Patino back in 2016 for $130,000. At the time he was still a teenager lacking meat on his bones. He has picked up 40 pounds since that signing and his fastball velocity has gone up ten miles per hour, hitting the high 90s but sitting in the mid-90s. He also has an excellent slider that crosses the plate in the mid-80s. Finding an off speed pitch (curve or change) would make him effective as a starter. The one concern is his smallish frame, which at 6′0″ is death for right handed starters. Last year he dominated at Low A (2.16 ERA). This year a promotion to High A has not impacted his pitching, his ERA (2.92) and opposition average (.194) still showing he can dominate at that level. The Padres are flush with pitching prospects so there will be no rush to move him up the system. Expect him to make the major leagues sometime in 2020.

3. Luis Escobar (Pirates) - Luis signed back in 2013 for $150,000. He was signed as a third baseman but the Pirates moved him to the mound. He has bulked up another 60 pounds since his signing and his fastball now hits 97, but sits in the 93-95 mile per hour range. He has the secondary pitches to make it as a starter (curve and change) but he lacks the command to get them over the plate with any regularity. Last year he walked 59 hitters in 129 innings. That is almost a walk every other inning. This year he has walked 18 in 40 innings. Last year he got seven starts in AA (4.54 ERA). This year the Pirates have tried him out in the bullpen in High A, then skipping him to AAA where he has been used as a starter and reliever. His career opposition batting average entering the 2019 season was a pretty impressive .216. This year he has gotten it down to .150. The Pirates have had dome frustration as they have promoted their younger pitchers to the major leagues and achieved very little success. With every failure comes a greater opportunity for Escobar to show what he can do. Before the 2019 season ends he could start his career in the Pirates bullpen.

4. Meibrys Viloria C (Royals) - The Royals signed him back in 2013 for $460,000. In his first year stateside he shocked the minor league world in 2016 with a .376 average in rookie ball. The last two years he has been stuck at .260. Last year with the injury to Salvador Perez he got his major league opportunity, appearing in 10 games and hitting .259. That first year batting average appears to be a bit of an outlier. After getting off to a slow start in 2019 he has gotten his average up to .254. He is more noted for his defense and his strong arm that can control the running game than his bat. The Royals appear to have a top flight catcher (M.J. Melendez) ahead of him on the depth chart, which could cause a move to another organization if he wants to get playing time. He is currently in AA and should see some time in September, or earlier if an injury results in a promotion. At worst his solid defense would make him an excellent backup catcher.

5. Oscar Mercado OF (Indians) - Oscar was a second round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013, signing for $1.5 million. He was traded to the Indians last year for two lower level outfielders. Mercado moved from Colombia to the United States when he was eight years old, growing up in Florida and gaining a reputation as an excellent shortstop. He was moved to the outfield in 2017. There is not a lot of power in his game. Playing good defense and stealing bases will be his specialities. Last year he stole 37 bases in AAA, scoring 85 runs. The Indians are very weak in the outfield and that weakness led to a promotion to the major leagues this year. After hitting .294 in AAA Mercado continues to hit for the Indians with a .306 average. He has also shown some surprising pop with three homeruns in just 26 games. If this kind of production continues with the Indians he will graduate from prospect status and not appear on this list next year.

6. Harold Ramirez OF (Marlins) - With the Pirates he was once a big time prospect. Signed way back in 2011 he got a bit heavy and out of shape and his prospect status suffered. The Pirates traded him in 2016 to the Blue Jays and the Blue Jays did not see anything in him and outrighted him last year. That is where the Marlins picked him up as a minor league free agent. He has resurrected his career, killing it in AAA with a .355 average and a .999 OPS. The Marlins promoted him and have been using him in centerfield, where they had hoped Luis Brinson would have been the answer. His success in the major leagues (.325) appears to indicate that he will be another player to graduate from the prospect list.

7. Jhon Torres OF (Cardinals) - Jhon was signed by the Indians in 2016 for $150,000. Ironic that he was one of the two outfielders the Indians traded to the Cardinals for Oscar Mercado. Could be the first trade where two Colombians were traded for each other. He did not make his state side debut until last year when he hit .397 in 17 games at the Gulf Coast League. At 6′4″ he can generate some power in his swing, hitting 8 homeruns last year in just 44 rookie league games. His arm is built to play right field. The Indians may be getting some good use out of Mercado now, but in the future they may regret trading Torres. The Cardinals have him playing Low A, where he has struggled in his 21 games (.167 average). When the rookie leagues begin he will probably be demoted there to get his bat working.

8. Jordan Diaz 3B (Athletics) - Jordan signed in 2016 for $275,000. Last year he played in the Arizona Rookie League where he showed a good ability to get on base (.371). He has the defensive tools to play third base. His power is currently restricted to the gaps. Whether his 5′10″ frame can generate more pop is open to question. Last year he hit his first and only professional homerun. In the New York Penn League he went deep early where in three games he is hitting .364. He is still a long way from the major leagues. A lot of developing needs to be done.

9. Santiago Florez RHP (Pirates) - Signed in 2016 for $150,000 Santiago has the height (6′5″) and the fastball (mid-90s) to get the Pirates excited. His curveball has some promise but there is no real third pitch yet and his command is suspect. Last year he walked 23 hitters in 43 innings and saw his innings limited because of a barking elbow. There is a lot of development to do. He will work on that in the 2019 season when the rookie level leagues begin.

10. Danis Correa RHP (Cubs) - We needed a tenth player but don’t know a lot about Danis other than his fastball has hit triple digits, but sits at the mid-90s. At 5′11″ his height goes against him as a right handed pitcher. Last year he only was able to pitch in two games of relief at the rookie level. The year before he pitched 40.2 innings. At 19 years of age the Cubs are possibly waiting for the rookie leagues to begin before they put Correa on the mound.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

According to a major league baseball press release there are 251 foreign players from 20 different countries or areas who appear on 25 man major league rosters, or are on restricted or disabled lists. That accounts for 28.5% of the players. The Dominican Republic again leads in the most major league players outside the 50 United States. Below is a breakdown of where all those foreign players are from;

1. Dominican Republic (102)
2. Venezuela (68)
3. Cuba (19)
4. Puerto Rico (18)
5. Mexico (8)
6. Japan (6)
7. Canada (6)
8. Curacao (5)
9. South Korea (5)
10. Colombia (4)
11. Aruba (1)
12. Australia (1)
13. Brazil (1)
14. Germany (1)
15. Lithuania (1)
16. Netherlands (1)
17. Nicaragua (1)
18. Panama (1)
19. Taiwan (1)
20. U.S. Virgin Islands (1)

Under 23 World Cup All Tournament Team

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Below are the names of the players who made the All Tournament Team in the Under 23 World Cup.

Catcher - Orlando Pina (Mexico) .320, 2, 8
First Base - Hisanori Yasuda (japan) .393, 1, 8 MVP
Second Base - Brailan Perez (Colombia) .462, 0, 5 with two triples and 4 stolen bases
Third Base - Dervin Pomare (Colombia) .522, 1, 10 with a 1.368 OPS
Shortstop - Jorna Rodriguez (Venezuela) .333, 0, 3
Outfield - Norberto Obeso (Mexico) .500, 0, 5 with 5 doubles, 1.363 OPS
Outfield - Carlos Vidal (Colombia) .387, 1, 7
Outfield - Bojarski Ulrich (Australia) .379, 4, 11 with 1.297 OPS
Designated Hitter - Leandro Cedeno (Venezuela).306, 2, 10
Starting Pitcher - Francisco Haro (Mexico) 2-0, 1.93 with 18 whiffs in 14 innings
Best Relief Pitcher - Kakeru Narita (Japan) 1-1, 1.17 with 1 save

Other Players Worth Note

Australia

Jack Barrie - .391, 3, 8
Mitchell Warke-Edwards - .500, 2, 6 with 1.200 slugging and 1.783 OPS

Colombia

Juan Zabala - .417, 1, 7
Juan Escorcia - 0.90 ERA with 14 whiffs in 10 IP
Reiver SanMartin - 1-0, 0.82, .179 opponent average

Czech Republic

Martin Muzik - .250, 2, 7

Dominican Republic

Claudio Galva - 0.00 ERA, 11 whiffs in 9 innings, .097 opponent average
Raffi Vizcaino - 0.00 ERA, .105 opponent average

Japan

Kairi Shimada - .344, 1, 1 with 12 runs scored with 5 stolen bases
Yasuhito Uchida - .233, 3, 8
Hiroki Kondo - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 17 whiffs in 15 innings, .189 opponent average
Kosuke Sakaguchi - 1-0, 0.77, 16 whiffs in 11.2 innings, .179 opponent average
Soichiro Yamazaki - 1-0, 0.00, .194 opponent average

Korea

Chan-Hyung Kim - .286, 3, 9
Min-Hyeok Kim - .367, 2, 7
Dong-Hui Han - .324, 2, 7 with 12 runs scored
Jin-Won Ye - .410, 0, 4
Sung-Young Choi - 2-1, 2.31, 13 whiffs in 11.2 innings, .171 opponent average
Sang-Hyun Jeon - 2-0, 1.80, .206 opponent average

Mexico

Roberto Valenzuela - .263, 3, 9 with 3 stolen bases

Netherlands

Sherton Apostel - .375, 2, 9
Francinel Martina - .367, 1, 7

Puerto Rico

Isan Diaz - .214, 4, 5 with 8 runs scored
Jonathan Bermudez - 0.00 ERA, 10 whiffs in 7 innings pitched, .048 opponent average
Sidney Duprey - 1-1, 1.04, 11 whiffs in 8.2 innings
Luis Sanchez - 1.17, 1 save, .125 opponent average

South Africa

Tyler Smith - .433, 0, 4

Taiwan

Wei-Han Hong - .367, 0, 1, .472 OBA
Liang-Chih Chen - 0.60, .196 opponent average

Venezuela

Anthony Concepcion - .346, 1, 6
Carlos Machado - .429, 0, 5
Jesus Lujano - .400, 0, 5
Yonny Hernandez - .200, 0, 2 with 6 stolen bases
Nivaldo Rodriguez - 0.00 ERA, .077 opponent average

Taiwan Edges Colombia to Qualify for Super Round

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

In the rain makeups Taiwan edged Colombia to qualify for the Super Round. Unfortunately, they must go into this Super Round 0-2.

Taiwan 6 Colombia 5

It was a tight 1-1 game after five. In the tenth inning when teams are allowed to put two runners on base the game got wild. Taiwan scored five and Colombia could only muster four giving Taiwan the edge and advancement to the Super Round.

Kai-Wei Li got the big hit with a bases clearing double to drive in three. Colombia battled back with three driven in on a triple by Zabala Murillo. Milton Ramos drove her in with a single but Chun-Chang Su retired the last two hitters to win the game.

Reiver SanMartin pitched five innings of shutout ball before Colombia went to the pen. San Martin only gave up one run in the 11 innings he had pitched in the tournament. Liang-Chih Chen pitched 8.1 innings, allowing just one run. He was a bit wild walking seven.

Netherlands 7 South Africa 3

In a game that meant little the Netherlands won their second straight game.

Under 23 World Cup - Day 5

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

The Netherlands won their first game, upsetting Taiwan and the Czech Republic almost shocked the Dominican Republic. Five of the six teams have advanced to the Super Round.

Venezuela 9 Korea 2

The two teams will advance to the Super Round, but Venezuela will advance with no losses while Korea will carry over two losses. And the domination they received at the hands of Venezuela. Nivaldo Rodriguez shutout Korea on two hits for four innings. The Koreans were able to pull to within 3-2 against the Venezuelan bullpen in the sixth. Jose Rodriguez shut them out for the final 3.2 innings. In total the Venezuelan pitchers finished the game with 14 strikeouts.

The Venezuelans were able to spray 13 hits and six walks into nine runs. The top two hitters in the lineup, Yonny Hernandez and Jesus Lujano led the charge with two RBIs each. Hernandez and Carlos Machado led all players with three hits each. Of the 13 Venezuelan hits, only one went for extra bases.

Sung-Ju Moon led Korea with three of their seven hits and drove in both runs with a double.

Japan 7 Colombia 2

Japan remained undefeated with their win over Colombia. Colombia must still beat Taiwan in a makeup game to hope to advance. Colombia scored first to take an early 1-0 lead. Two three run innings, one in the third and another in the seventh was too much for Colombia. Taiga Matsuo got the big hit for Japan with his two run triple in the third to give Japan a 2-1 lead. He later scored on a wild pitch. Hisanori Yasuda also drove in two runs with two sacrifice flies, one in the seventh and the other in the ninth.

Dominican Republic 9 Czech Republic 8

The Dominicans advanced to the super round with a wild win over the Czechs. In the tenth they scored two runs to win the game. Jeison Guzman is credited with the walk off single to give the Dominicans the win. The Czechs remain winless.

The Dominicans had jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after two and all seemed cool after that. Hansel Moreno punched a two run shot in the third and Wendell Rijo went solo. In the fifth Martin Muzik finished off the five run fifth with a three run homer and the game was tied 5-5. The Dominicans called on Eduardo del Rosario to finish the game, throwing 3.2 innings of almost shutout ball. He gave up one unearned run in the 10th on a wild pitch. In extra innings in international play runners are placed on first and second to begin the inning.

Netherlands 10 Taiwan 9

The Netherlands diminished Taiwan’s chances of advancing to the Super Round. They must now beat Colombia to have any hope of advancing. Like the Dominican game, the Netherlands scored two runs in the bottom of the tenth to win the game. The last run was scored when Tijmen Takke was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Taiwan chose to walk Sherton Apostel to load the bases and face Takke, who had come in the game as a pinch runner. Apostel was 3 for 5 with two doubles, a homerun and four RBIs.

Netherlands had jumped out to an early 5-0 lead but could not hold it.

Mexico 13 South Africa 3

Mexico advanced to the Super Round. South Africa scored their first runs of the tournament. Both teams were happy. Roberto Valenzuela and Orlando Pina both went deep, each with their second homeruns of the tournament. The two combined to drive in seven of the 13 runs for Mexico.

Puerto Rico 3 Australia 2

Puerto Rico knocked Australia out of the Super Round with the win. At 2-3 Puerto Rico fails to advance as well. Isan Diaz drove in all the runs for Puerto Rico with two homeruns. He hit a solo shot in the third and a two run blast in the fifth. He came into the game 1 for 12. Luis Sanchez pitched two perfect innings to stamp out the victory and eliminate Australia from the Super Round.