Archive for the 'Colombia' Category

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

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)

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.