Archive for the 'Colombia' Category

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.

Under 23 World Cup - Day 4 Japan and Venezuela Remain Undefeated

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Only Japan and Venezuela remain undefeated after the fourth day. Japan seems to do it with their pitching while Venezuela relies on their bats.

Japan 5 Netherlands 0

Japan completed their second shutout of the tournament. The European teams remain winless in these events. Hiroki Konda dominated in seven innings, striking out 12 and allowing just three hits. Japan scored all five of their runs in the first, taking advantage of three walks then coasted the rest of the way. Taiga Matsuo drove in two runs with his triple and Hisanori Yasuda drove in two with a single.

Venezuela 7 Dominican Republic 2

Venezuela knocked off a tough Dominican team to remain undefeated. For the Dominicans it is their second loss. They scored both their runs in the second inning on a two run homer by Martin Taveras, his second of the tournament. Ivan Andueza came on in relief after the third inning and held the Dominicans hitless for six innings, striking out 10 and walking two. Carlos Machado hit a two run single in a three run first, which Andueza confirmed was all the runs the Venezuelans needed. Jorna Rodriguez finished a perfect 3 for 3 hitting from the ninth spot in the order with three runs scored. He also stole two bases.

Korea 14 Australia 7

Korea got a big win to take over second place in pool two, tacking a second loss to Australia’s ledger. Australia scored six in the opening frame but could not hold the lead. They again got big production from the bottom of their order, with number eight hitter Mitchel Warke-Edwards going deep twice, once in the first inning with a three run blast and again in the sixth with a solo shot.

Korea bounced back in the second inning with eight runs. Chan-Hyung Kim hit the first of his two homeruns in the inning, a grand slam to pull Korea to within one. Gyeong-Won Jun hit a two run double in the inning to put Korea up 7-6. Kim blasted another homer in the eighth, a two run bomb to give him six RBIs for the game. Dong-Hui Han sealed the victory with his three run homer in the seventh. He finished the day 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

Taiwan 12 South Africa 0

Taiwan got their first win and South Africa extended their scoreless streak to 0 for the tournament. Yun-Chen Tai walloped a grand slam homer in an eight run third that put the game out of reach.

Mexico 7 Colombia 6

Mexico got a big win giving Colombia their first loss. It also put them in second place at 3-1. Mexico had jumped out to an early 5-1 lead. Carlos Morales had pitched five shutout innings. He was taken out in the sixth after issuing a one out walk. The bullpen coughed up the lead in the seventh, giving up five runs. Derwin Pomare got the big hit, a bases clearing double that drove in three. Pomare finished the day with four RBIs, delivering an RBI single in the sixth that gave Colombia their first run.

Not deterred, Mexico battled back. They scored the tying run in the bottom of the seventh on a strikeout/wild pitch, scoring a run without benefit of putting the ball in play. The leadoff hitter walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a wild pitch. The walks continued to hurt Colombia with another leadoff walk in the eighth scoring on a Roberto Valenzuela triple in right field to give Mexico the lead.

Erick Casillas got credit for the win, working his second inning of relief to close out the victory. He gave up a two out double to Milton Ramos but retired the next hitter on a fly out to end the game.

Puerto Rico 20 Czech Republic 0

Puerto Rico got their first win, their bats taking it out on the winless Czechs. The game only went five as Puerto Rico scored in every inning. Gabriel Cancel was the big bat with six RBIs, including a three run homer in the first. Xavier Fernandez clubbed a solo shot in the first, finishing the day 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Lean Marrero and Aldemar Burgos each crossed the plate four times.

Under 23 World Cup Day Two

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The Dominicans are normally not that competitive in international events, except in the World Baseball Classic when they can use their major leaguers. This tournament could be the exception as they beat the Koreans, one of the favored teams in this event for their second victory.

Dominican Republic 8 Korea 2

Michael Santos shutout the Koreans for the first four innings, limiting them to two hits before a rain delay forced the Dominicans to go to their bullpen. Edwin Adon struck out seven in his 3.2 shutout innings. That left it to the bats, who raked 13 hits off the Korean pitchers to win the game.

Won-Joon Lee did not allow a hit to the Dominicans in the first four innings. He struck out seven and allowed just one walk through the first four. He walked the leadoff hitter he faced in the fifth inning and then the game was interrupted by rain. The Koreans went to their pen and it got ugly. The Dominicans scored three in the fifth and one run in every inning except the eighth.

Eguy Rosario hit a solo shot for the Dominicans in the seventh. It was the first loss for the Koreans but the second win for the Dominicans.

Japan 3 Taiwan 1

Japan got seven innings of shutout pitching from Atsuki Taneichi. He struck out nine and gave up just four hits. Hisanori Yasuda gave the Japanese all the runs they needed with a two run blast in the third. Taiwan scored their only run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo homerun from Li Cheng-En.

For Japan it was their second win. The loss dropped Taiwan to 0-2.

Australia 5 Czech Republic 3

Australia got its first win led by Ulrich Bojarski, who hit his second homerun of the tournament. His two run blast in the second inning proved to be the difference in the game. Nicholas Hutchings worked until the seventh inning to get the win, allowing three unearned runs and striking out seven. The Czech Republic is now winless in two games.

Mexico 14 Netherlands 7

Tough day for the Europeans. Mexico slugged four homeruns and collected 16 hits to put a bruising on the Dutch pitchers. Roberto Valenzuela and Orlando Pina tagged solo shots while Fabricio Macias and Jose Urena hit two run bombs. Macias and Urena finished with three RBIs each, while Macias also scored three times.

Netherlands had a 3-2 lead after the first. Urena hit his two run homerun in the fourth to give Mexico a lead they would not relinquish. They go to 2-0 while the Dutch drop to 0-2.

Colombia 11 South Africa 0

The hosts win again. The South Africans failed to score again. They could only get two hits off Hugo Beltran (3.2 innings) and Sergio Palacio (3.1 innings) who split the mound duties. Leandro Emiliani went a perfect 2 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and a two run homer.

Venezuela 7 Puerto Rico 2

Venezuela won their second while Puerto Rico lost their second. Yoel Romero hit a two run single in the top of the fifth to give Venezuela a 2-1 lead. Anthony Concepcion extended that lead to 3-1 with a solo bop in the sixth. Venezuela put the game away in the seventh when they tacked on three runs while getting just one hit. Five Puerto Rican errors allowed four unearned runs to score.

Under 23 Baseball World Cup Day One Results

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

The United States and Cuba are absent from these games, but that gives other countries an opportunity to participate. Below are the results of the games from the first day.

Japan 13 South Africa 0

Japan dominated as they were expected to do against the inexperience of the South Africans. Soichiro Yamazaki got the start for Japan and limited the South Africans to two hits in six shutout innings. Ryosuke Kishisato went deep with a two run homer to close out a five run fifth. Kengo Horiuchi was the big run producer, driving in three with a two run single in the first to get the scoring started and an RBI single in the third to make the score 4-0.

Other homeruns for Japan included a two run shot from Ukyo Shuto in the fifth and a solo blast from Yasuhito Uchida in the sixth. Kairi Shimada hit an inside the park homerun in the sixth. Shimada also led all players with three runs scored.

Mexico 2 Taiwan 1

Mexico scored two runs in the first inning on a two run single from Omar Garcia and made it hold out in their victory. Luis Rodriguez pitched five innings, allowing just the one Taiwan run in the fourth. Four different pitchers closed out the final four innings with Erick Casillas getting the save with a scoreless ninth.

Liang-Chi Chen came on in the second inning and pitched 6.2 scoreless innings to keep Taiwan in the game. They had an opportunity to win the game in the seventh and the ninth innings. In the seventh they loaded the bases with two outs but pinch hitter Wen-Hsien Chang flied out to center. In the ninth Taiwan put runners at first and second with one out, but Casillas struck out the last two hitters to preserve the win.

Venezuela 4 Australia 2

Venezuela got the win banging out 13 hits, Leandro Cedeno leading the charge with three. Juan Yepez got the big hit with an RBI single in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie. Christian Mejias picked up the save working the last three innings.

Australia scored two runs, both on solo homeruns. The first from Jess Williams in the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. The second from Ulrich Bojarski in the ninth.

Korea 14 Czech Republic 3

When the Czech Republic scored three runs in the top of the fourth they took a 3-1 lead. The bats of Korea then came alive, scoring 13 runs in the last four innings to get the win. Hyo-seung Ryu tied the game with his two run blast in the bottom of the fourth. A Ji-Hoon Choi three run triple in the fifth broke the tie. Dong-Hui Han added a solo shot in the sixth and Min-Hyeok Kim crushed a three run job in the seventh to end the game via the slaughter rule. Kim and Ryu led all hitters with four RBIs each.

Dominican Republic 9 Puerto Rico 6

In a game between island neighbors the Dominican Republic reigned supreme. Puerto Rico rallied for three in the eighth but fell short of an opening round win. Jeison Guzman, Andretty Cordero and Julio Rodriguez each contributed two run homers to fuel the offense in the victory.

Puerto Rico brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning with two out, but Eduardo del Rosario got the big whiff to end the game.

Colombia 9 Netherlands 5

The hosts won their opener to make the fans happy. Francinel Martina blasted a three run homer for the Netherlands in the eighth to erase a 8-1 Colombia lead and make the game competitive again. Reiver San Martin pitched six strong innings for Colombia, allowing just one run. Jhon Torres drove in three runs for Colombia with a ground out in the first, a solo job in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

United States, Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela Qualify for 12 and Under World Cup

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The United States, Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela qualified for the 12 and under World Cup that will be played in Taiwan in 2019. There were 12 teams participating in the qualifier in Mexico. Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Brazil fell short of qualifying.

The four teams will join Taiwan (host), Korea and Japan from Asia, Italy and Czech Republic from Europe as nine of the 12 teams in the tournament. One African team, an Oceania team and a wild card team are three unknown teams open to qualify in future tournaments.

In case any of these players become major leaguers, the following players were voted all tournament:

Catcher - Kailand Halstead (United States)

First Base - Dean Moss (United States)

Second Base - Brock Thompson (United States)

Third Base - Carlos Miguel Villalobos (Colombia)

Shortstop - Denilso Aguila (Cuba)

Outfield - David Guzman (Venezuela), Ricardo Orozco (Mexico), Leonardo Nicolao (Brazil)

Pitcher Luis Sarabia (Mexico)

2018 Baseball World Cup to be Held in Barranquilla, Colombia

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Barranquilla, Colombia will be the hosts for the under 23 Baseball World Cup that will be played October 19-28, 2018. As the host they will get an automatic bid to participate in the tournament. It is also hoped that the tournament will help bring new stadiums to Repelon and Manati, which are part of an $8 million investment by the Colombia Atlantico Department, though it would be nice to have some of the funds from the games go to help finance the stadiums. Pending inspection by the WBSC the games will be played at the Santa Marte Baseball Stadium. Don’t know if the stadium will pass muster but the fact there are probably no other alternatives seems to indicate it will pass. The WBSC probably should have waited to inspect the stadium before making the announcement about hosting if they had alternatives.

The following teams have qualified for the tournament. The last event was played in 2016:

Africa: South Africa
Asia: Japan (defending champions), Taiwan, Korea (third place)
Europe: Netherlands and Czech Republic
Americas: Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic
Oceania: Australia (second place)
Host: Colombia

The United States is not eligible for the event because they did not participate in the qualifiers. Because of that they may lose their number one ranking to Japan this year. This tournament is the most important international event this year, distributing the largest amount of points given to teams who do well in this event. Cuba is another traditional baseball power absent from this event.

Top Prospects from South America

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

No major league graduates from the first top prospect list from South America last year. The top prospect Jorge Alfaro got more major league time and the 2018 season should see him as a regular major leaguer. The number two prospect Luz Gohara and the number five prospect Thyago Vieira, both flame throwers from Brazil made their major league debuts. Gohara got five starts for the Braves while Vieira made one relief appearance for the Mariners. After that the cupboard gets bare. Below are the top ten prospects in the minor leagues from South America for 2018.

1. Bo Bichette SS (Brazil/Blue Jays) - He played for Brazil in the World Baseball Classic qualifier. His mother is Brazilian and his father is Dante Bichette, once a Blake Street bomber for the Rockies. His brother Dante Jr. played briefly for the Yankees. Myworld saw him hit three homeruns in an exhibition game and thought he would be a star, but one game does not make a major leaguer, especially in spring training. Now Bo is trying for major league status. Last year was a breakout season for him hitting .384 in Low A and getting promoted to High A and hitting .323. His career minor league average is .372 after getting drafted in the second round in 2016. He does not have the power of his dad, but the batting average will play. Currently, shortstop is his position but there are many who think he does not have the range to play there in the major leagues. The dilemma: his teammate Vladimir Guerrero plays third while another player with major league bloodlines Cavan Biggio plays second. This year Bo is hitting .299 in AA. With Troy Tulowitski seeing his last days as a shortstop the Blue Jays will give Bo every opportunity to succeed at short.

2. Jorge Alfaro C (Colombia/Phillies) - Injuries delayed his permanent arrival to the major leagues. He was signed by the Texas Rangers and included in the deal that got the Rangers Cole Hamel. There is big time power in his bat and his arm has the strength to zip the ball to second base. Those are his strengths. One concern with his bat is his poor walk to whiff ratios (16/113 last year) which could lead to struggles against savvy major league pitchers. Last year he hit .318 with five homeruns in just 29 games to earn the starting catchers job. He lacks speed on the bases and is prone to the passed ball (12 last year), so those are his defensive deficiencies. This year his .235 average with the Phillies is evidence his poor patience could impact his batting average rising to .250 consistently in the major leagues. If the power is there he should stick as the starter.

3. Luiz Gohara LHP (Brazil/Braves) - Despite his ability to throw in triple digits the Mariners traded him to the Braves for Shae Simmons and Mallex Smith. There was concern with his doughy physique keeping him from his major league aspirations. Last year he got five starts for the Braves and overpowered hitters with his high 90s fastball. A lack of a quality third pitch resulted in major leaguers hitting him at a .283 clip. An injury in spring training prevented him from competing for a starting role for the Braves in 2018. His first three starts in AAA have been a struggle to find the plate walking seven hitters in just 12 innings with the opposition assaulting him at a .347 pace. That kind of production will delay any major league appearance until he can start retiring minor league hitters.

4. Jesus Luzardo LHP (Peru/Athletics) - Luzardo was born in Peru but attended high school in Florida. His high school Parkland was involved in a mass shooting and he has done a lot to help the school heal. The Nationals were able to draft him in the third round in 2016 because Tommy John surgery had dropped his draft status. He was one of the players they traded to the Athletics for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Last year he only pitched 43 innings but his lefthanded arm was able to sling fastballs across the plate in the mid-90s, resulting in 48 whiffs. At 6′1″ he is not a tall pitcher but his secondary pitches should augment his fastball. The Athletics promoted him from Rookie ball to High A where he only started three games before they promoted him to AA. A 1.23 ERA and 25 whiffs in just 14.2 innings was a reason for that. If he continues at this rate he could see some major league time in September, though that would be optimistic for the 20 year old.

5. Eric Pardinho RHP (Brazil/Blue Jays) - As a 15 year old he was pitching for Brazil in the World Baseball Classic qualifier. That motivated the Blue Jays to shell out $1.4 million to sign him in 2017. It’s possible Bo Bichette could have recommended him highly after playing behind him. At 5′9″ the righthander is very short. Despite the stature his fastball sits in the low 90s and can hit the mid-90s. He still needs to make improvements on his secondary pitches, though throwing strikes is not a problem. The 2018 season will be his first and it will start in the short season leagues.

6. Luis Escobar RHP (Colombia/Pirates) - Luis has climbed three spots from his ranking last year. The 2017 season was his first in full season ball where he went from 68 innings pitched to 132. A sizzling mid-90s fastball resulted in a lot of swings and misses (168 in 132 innings pitched) resulting in the South Atlantic League strikeout lead. His curveball has a nice break and his change is still in the development stage. Trying to find control of his pitches is his biggest downfall with 60 walks in 132 innings. This year he has started in the Florida State High A where his strikeout rate is not as prevalent (22 in 26 innings) but hitters still have trouble making hard contact (.213 average).

7. Meibrys Viloria C (Colombia/Royals) - Last year he was rated third based on his .376 batting average. The 2017 season saw him debut in Low A where he only hit .259. More strikeouts and less walks were the main culprit in the batting average drop. His power is more gap to gap but as he gets stronger he should reach double digits in homeruns. The arm is strong allowing him to gun down 40 percent of the runners who attempted to steal against him. The Royals have a number of catchers in the minor leagues rated ahead of him so his task will be to find that patience to replicate his 2016 season. After a slow start in High A he has gotten that average up to .250.

8. Oscar Mercado OF (Colombia/Cardinals) - Mercado was five years shy of being a teenager when he left Colombia for Florida. He was impressive enough at his high school the Cardinals drafted him in the second round of the 2013 draft. While a shortstop in his early years he struggled to generate any kind of offense. A move to centerfield last year put the pressure off him and he slugged a career high 13 homeruns with a .287 average. The speed is there to steal 40 bases each season. The Cardinals outfield is crowded but a .319 average in AAA is enough to draw attention to himself. If he can play centerfield and hit for double digits in homeruns he will be more than a fourth outfielder.

9. Thyago Vieira RHP (Brazil/White Sox) - The Mariners signed Thyago two years before they signed Luiz. But like Luiz they were not impressed with his triple digit fastball and traded him to the White Sox for international slot money when they had hopes of signing Shohei Ohtani. Lack of quality secondary pitches have kept him in the bullpen. He also lacks the swing and miss one would expect for his triple digit fastball (7.4 whiffs per nine innings). If he can find a breaking pitch to throw for strikes he could become closer material. His 2018 season in AAA has come with more whiffs (20 in 11 innings) but more walks (9) and a higher opponent batting average (.295).

10. Ronaldo Hernandez C (Colombia/Rays) - The third catcher from Colombia on this list. Myworld smells a trend. Ronaldo played on the 18 and under Colombian team as a 15 year old in 2013. The Rays signed him the next year for $225,000. All he has done since his arrival is hit, with a .326 minor league career average in his first three years, all in Rookie short season ball. Each year his slugging average increased, climbing to .507 last year. A strong arm resulted in a 57 percent success rate against runners trying to steal against him. This year he has made his debut in full season ball and is hitting .302 with a 17 percent success rate in gunning down runners. It is still early so there is plenty of time to change those numbers.

2017 South American Prospects

Panama Upsets Mexico in Under -23 America’s Qualifier

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Mexico came into the Under - 23 Americas Qualifier with a lot of confidence. They had a roster filled with talented players from their Mexican Summer League. Some were even bold enough to declare the championship was theirs to lose.

In the opener against Panama they lost 6-3 against a talented Panama team sprinkled with minor league players from the major leagues. It is only pool play but Mexico will have to regroup.

Yadier Molina made his managerial debut a good one leading Puerto Rico to a 10-0 win over Colombia, who a couple days ago had beaten Panama 6-4 to win the championship in the Bolivian games over four other South American teams. In other games:

Costa Rica 14 Peru 0
Cuba 16 Argentina 1
Dominican Republic 16 Honduras 0
Venezuela 5 Brazil 1