Archive for the 'Czech Republic' Category

Cervenka Named July Player of the Month in Eastern League

Monday, August 6th, 2018

We did not name Martin Cervenka as one of our top ten catching prospects in the minor leagues but we still like the Czech born catcher. That like got stronger as he was named the Eastern League player of July. Before his arrival to Bowie Cervenka was used mainly in a back up role. Last year for Lynchburg he finally got over 400 at bats and did well with a .278 batting average with 8 homeruns. At 6′4″ he has a large frame for a catcher, which makes it more difficult to limit the passed balls (9). He became a six year free agent after the 2017 season and signed with the Orioles.

Cervenka hit .364 for the month of July playing for the AA Bowie Bay Sox. He finished second in homeruns (7) and RBIs (25) and led the Eastern League in slugging (.725) and OPS (1.191). The hot month has given him a career high 12 homeruns for 2018 and put his slugging average at .458. With the Orioles rebuilding they could have some roster spots to promote him to the major leagues in September.

There have been four players born in the Czech Republic that have played in the major leagues. Myworld would guess they moved to the United States in their early years and played baseball as youngsters in the United States. Frank Rooney played in the most games (12). All of them were position players but had limited careers in the majors.

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.

Bay Sox Homeruns Deflate Rubber Ducks

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

The Akron RubberDucks had won 9 straight games over the Bowie Bay Sox, including a 12-5 thrashing Monday night that reminded the Bay Sox of previous 15-0 and 18-2 losses that also happened at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie. Perhaps that is why Akron is in first place and the Bay Sox are in last.

It was a different story last night with Aderlin Rodriguez hitting a three run homer in the first and catcher Audry Perez going deep with two solo shots to give the Bay Sox a 8-4 win over the RubberDucks. For Perez he has hit 8 homeruns in his 27 games with the Bay Sox.

The Bay Sox ace pitcher Keegan Akin got the start. He showed no command, walking six hitters in his four innings of work. He walked the leadoff hitter in his first three innings, twice resulting in runs for the RubberDucks. His best inning was the fourth when he retired the side in order. This is the first time myworld has seen Akin and with a 8-5 record and 2.53 ERA we were hoping for some stuff. We came away a bit disappointed, especially with his lack of control. His fastball is not overpowering and with 32 walks in 81.2 innings he needs to learn the strike zone. At best he could be a mid-rotation starter. His breaking pitch found too much dirt, and though it got some swings and misses it will not be as effective against major league hitters if he does not find the strike zone more.

Bobby Bradley went deep with his third homerun in two games. His inability to play first base and his propensity for the swing and miss make his major league prospects doubtful. That inability to make contact has brought his average to .199, although his strikeout rate the last couple years has been better than it has been his first three years.

Branden Kline impressed me the most with his stuff. His fastball sits at 95-97. Bobby Bradley was the first batter he faced and he took his 96 mile per hour fastball over the right field fence. After that Kline settled down, striking out two and retiring the next six hitters he faced. Kline was a second round pick of the Orioles way back in 2012 but injuries have prevented him from reaching his potential. That has always seemed to be a problem for Oriole pitchers. Hunter Harvey is taking the same career path as Kline, currently on the disabled list where he has spent most of his minor league career.

Some interesting international notes about the rosters of these two teams. Leadoff hitter Tyler Krieger played for Israel in the last World Baseball Classic. He plays centerfield but myworld can’t say we see a major league player in him. Danny Salters was the son of missionaries and lived in Kenya for eight years (ages 5-13). We did like his ability to block pitches from behind the plate, but at age 25 he probably has a couple more years in the minor leagues. We did not see Kieran Lovegrove pitch, but he was born in South Africa, moving to Los Angeles at the age of five. He was a third round pick of the Indians in 2012, with 13 games in relief. He has a 0.95 ERA but 12 walks in 19 innings.

The Orioles are usually pretty boring when it comes to drafting international players. Most of their international players are signed by other teams. They do have a connection in Curacao with Calvin Maduro there. Ademar Rifaela is one of their promising outfielders from Curacao that they actually signed. His power has been a big disappointment this year. After clubbing 24 homeruns in 2017 he only has two with the Bay Sox this year. Martin Cervenka was originally signed by the Indians but the Orioles picked him up as a minor league free agent this year. He is a catcher from the Czech Republic. Myworld first saw him play in a tournament in Taiwan. His batting average has dropped to .232 and he may never hit enough to make it to the major leagues, though we were impressed with his abilities to catch.

European Tournaments

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Going to Europe and want to watch some baseball. Below is a list of adult tournaments in Europe you can check out to see the level of baseball played there. Hopefully I’ve identified the correct countries.

C.E.B Cup - Ostrava Czech Republic (June 5th - 9th)

Champions Cup - Rotterdam, Netherlands (June 6th - 10th)

Federations Cup - Brasschaat, Belgium (June 11-16)

Federations Cup Qualifier Pool 1 - Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria (June 12-17)

Federations Cup Qualifier Pool 2 - Rybnik, Poland (June 12-17)

Playoff European Championship A Pool - Wiener Neustadt, Austria (June 29th - July 1)

European Championship C Pool 1 - Ashbourne, Ireland (July 23-28)

European Championship C Pool 2 - Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine (July 23-28)

European Championship Qualifier u 23 - Bratislava, Slovakia (August 6 - 12)

Super 6 - Hoofddorp, Netherlands (September 18-23)

Top European Prospects

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

The pickings are a bit thin. Prospects from Curacao are included in this list since they are considered a part of the Netherlands. Even players from Curacao have dropped in talent. From the list last year Ozzie Albies and Dovydas Neverauskas saw major league time, with Ozzie getting enough playing time at second base to lose his rookie eligibility. Myworld is generous in our classification of European. If they are eligible to play on a World Baseball Classic team they will be included on this list. The only exception we made was for Israel since religion and not birth of a sibling or residence determine origin. For the most part it is the same cast of characters from last year.

1. J.B. Bukauskas RHP (Lithuania/Astros) - This could be a stretch. His Wikipedia page identifies him as having a Lithuanian background. There is an article detailing that background linked but it is in Lithuanian. He was actually born in Ashburn, Virginia but if Lithuania ever got a WBC team they would find a way for J.B. to play on it. After dominating at the high school and college level he was a first round 2017 pick of the Houston Astros. He is not a tall pitcher at 6′0″ but he carries a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can hit the mid-90s. The slider is his swing and miss pitch and what will bring him success in the major leagues. Last year he only pitched 10 innings of minor league ball after a heavy college workload. As a college pitcher he will start the season in a Low A full season league.

2. Carter Kieboom SS (Netherlands/Nationals) - Another player born in the States whose dad played baseball as a youngster in Netherlands only to leave for college in the United States. Kieboom was the Nationals first round pick in 2016. With Trea Turner ahead of him and no exceptional tools to stay at short could force a move to second. Last year he played all his games at short. The bat will get him to the major leagues with decent power (.497) and hit tools (.296) at Low A Hagerstown. The 2018 season should see him play at High A. For the short term the Nationals see no need to move him from short.

3. Dovydas Neverauskas RHP (Lithuania/Pirates) - Dovydas made headlines for being the first Lithuanian to pitch in the major leagues. There has been some discussion that Joe Zapustas, who debuted in 1933 lived in the area that would be considered Lithuanian but was considered Russia during that time. He played two games in the outfield. So without a doubt Dovydas is the first pitcher from Lithuania. He has pitched his whole career in the bullpen, carrying a fastball that hits the high 90s. The absence of quality secondary pitches prevents him from pitching in the rotation. Last year he made his major league debut (3.91 ERA) earning the right to continue his roller coaster ride up and down the transaction ladder when bullpen help is needed. A good spring will see him in the major league bullpen but myworld suspects he will begin the season in AAA.

4. Ray-Patrick Didder OF/SS (Netherlands/Braves) - The Curacao native is one of the better athletes in the Braves minor league system and one of their fastest players. His ability to fly had the Braves move him from short to center where he can cover maximum acreage. The bat needs to be more dangerous for him to be considered for a major league job. There is little pop in his bat and last year he hit .230 in High A. There are also too many swings and misses (123 whiffs) with his bat. The speed and defense could allow him to be a fourth outfielder type. At 23 years of age he needs to be promoted to AA to have relevance.

5. Tom de Blok RHP (Netherlands/Tigers) - A strong performance in the World Baseball Classic with the Netherlands got him a contract with the Tigers. He had originally signed with the Mariners as a 17 year old but was not ready for baseball. He made his debut a couple years later with the Tigers pitching in Low A. At 6′4″ he has good height for a pitcher. It is possible that with more work in his delivery his low 90s fastball could gain velocity. He pitched in both the bullpen and as a starter but myworld suspects he will settle in the bullpen. The 2018 season should see him begin at High A.

6. Sven Schuller RHP (Germany/Dodgers) - Sven has good height at 6′3″ allowing him to put up some good numbers in Low A (1.49 ERA) but struggled a bit when promoted to High A (5.25 ERA). All his appearances were in relief. His command abandoned him in High A with lefthanded hitters battering him at a .310 clip. Up until last year he had pitched his first three years in rookie ball. A repeat of High A is expect for the 2018 season.

7. Ademar Rifaela OF (Netherlands/Orioles) - The Curacao native had a breakout year last year slugging 24 homeruns at High A Frederick. A lack of speed prevents him from being a defensive asset in the outfield but if his bat continues to produce the Orioles will find a place for him. His lefthanded bat seemed to have good success against left handed pitching (.265) so that could prevent a platoon role for him. The big test is whether he can replicate his numbers when promoted to AA where he will face better pitching.

8. Marten Gasparini OF (Italy/Royals) - He surpassed Max Kepler with his $1.3 million bonus being the highest paid for a European player. The Royals signed him as a shortstop but his fielding was very erratic resulting in the Royals shifting him to center field last year. His speed will allow him to be an adequate defender once he learns his routes. The bat is the big question mark. He just has not shown he can hit. A repeat of Low A saw his average rise from .196 to .227. Poor plate discipline are the big cause of his troubles, not being able to recognize pitches as they come to the plate. This will get tougher as he rises up the minor league ladder. Myworld suspects the Royals will promote him to High A for the 2018 season, but spring training could have an impact on that.

9. Martin Cervenka C (Czech Republic/Orioles) - Martin signed with the Orioles as a six year minor league free agent. Myworld liked the way he handled himself when he watched him in Taiwan a couple years ago. An Oriole scout was sitting with me during one of the games myworld was watching him play. Don’t know if this had any influence in his signing with the Orioles. Last year he replicated his 2016 break out season with a .278 average and a .418 slugging percentage. He also threw out 40 percent of those runners who tried to steal against him. Myworld should see more of him if he is assigned to Bowie for the 2018 season.

10. Spencer Kieboom C (Netherlands/Nationals) - The older brother of Carter. His best bet to make it is as a backup catcher in the major leagues. In 2016 he did appear in one game when he replaced the injured Wilson Ramos. His bat is not strong enough to produce a lot of offense and his defense does not justify putting his soft bat in the lineup. In the last two years he has only thrown out baserunners at less than a 25% clip. An injury to the Nationals catching corp could give him an opportunity to fill a back up role, but that would require him to be added to the 40 man roster. He will bide his time in AAA for the 2018 season, possibly reuniting with his brother at some point.

Top Ten European Teams

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Mister Baseball came up with the Top 50 European teams. You can go to their site to see the complete list. Myworld lists below the top ten.

1. Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands)
2. T&A San Marino (San Marino - plays in Italian League)
3. ASD Rimini Baseball (Italy)
4. L&D Amsterdam (Netherlands)
5. CNF Unipolsai Bologna (Italy)
6. Draci Brno (Czech Republic)
7. Heidenheim Heidekopfe (Germany)
8. Bonn Capitals (Germany)
9. Rouen Baseball 76 (France)
10. Tenerife Marlins P.C. (Spain)

Nicaragua to Host U-23 WBSC Championship; Panama Under 15

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Nicaragua will host the Under 23 WBSC championship in 2018, playing the games at the newly constructed 15,000 seat Dennis Martinez stadium at a date yet to be determined. Despite all the points awarded for this event the No 2 United States and No 5 Cuba will not be playing in the tournament. The United States did not play in the qualifying round, while Cuba did not qualify. Below are the teams who have qualified for the games:

Africa (1) - to be determined
Americas (4) - No. 9 Venezuela, No. 6 Mexico, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 16 Dominican Republic
Asia (3) - No1. Japan, No.4 Taiwan and No. 3 South Korea
Europe (2) - No. 8 Netherlands, No. 14 Czech Republic
Oceania (1) - to be determined
Wildcard (1) - No 13 Nicaragua

The Under 15 Hosts will be Panama. The teams competing in that tournament are:

Africa (1) - to be determined
Americas (5) - No. 2 United States, No. 16 Dominican Republic, No. 5 Cuba, No. 15 Panama, No. 18 Brazil
Asia (2) - No. 1 Japan and No. 4 Taiwan
Europe (2) - No. 20 Germany and No. 8 Netherlands
Oceania (1) - to be determined

Japan Wins Gold at Universiade

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Japan defeated the United States team 10-0 in a tournament played in Taiwan named the Universiade. The United States team is not affiliated with the U.S. National team, or at least the players do not appear to be the same.

Japan erupted for six runs in the second inning to take an overwhelming lead. Masato Morishita went seven innings and allowed just two hits for Japan, striking out 11.

In the game for third place Korea defeated the Czech Republic 6-2. Yun Hee yeong pitched a complete game, striking out eight. He did allow two runs on seven hits.

2017 World Cup Under 12 All Tournament Team and Other Deserving Players

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Below are some of the awards that were given out to players for their performance in the 12 and under World Cup. These awards were normally handed out to players who performed on winning teams. Below the all tournament team myworld lists some other players who performed well in the tournament.

All Tournament Team

MVP Kai Caranto (United States) - .391 average, 2 homeruns and 17 RBIs with 9 stolen bases

Top Hitter Reiji Toi (Japan) - .706, 1, 7 with 7 stolen bases

Top Pitcher - Chia-Cheng Chao (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.69 with 15 K’s

Top Defensive Player - Pai Chen An (Taiwan) - .556, 5, 14

Starting Pitcher - Chao Chia Cheng (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.69 with 15 K’s
Relief Pitcher - Joshua Atomanczyk (United States) - .381, 5, 12, 2-0, 1.24 ERA
Catcher - Pai Chen An (Taiwan) - .556, 5, 14
First Base - Raffaele Velazquez (United States) - .455, 1, 8
Second Base - Cesar Monjeras (Mexico) - .393, 3, 15 with 11 runs scored
Third Base - Chan-Seo Lee (Korea) - .385, 0, 4
Shortstop - Kai Caranto (United States) - .391, 2, 17, 9 stolen bases
Outfield - Adan Sanchez (Panama) - .750, 4, 7 with 15 runs scored
Jose Tirado (Mexico) - .654, 5, 15 with 13 runs scored
Toi (Japan) - .706, 1, 7 with 7 stolen bases

Other Players to Recognize

United States

Benjamin Reiland - .643, 1, 9 with 16 runs scored and 9 stolen bases
Spencer Butt - .600, 1, 3 with 6 stolen bases
Brad Burnes - .391, 2, 9 with 10 runs scored and 11 stolen bases
Brandon Olivera - 1-0, 1.71

Taiwan

Yi-Lei Sun - .524, 2, 5 with 11 runs scored and 9 stolen bases
Yu-En Chien - .467, 2, 6 with 13 runs scored and 8 stolen bases
Yi-Cheng Yang - .444, 2, 10 with 14 runs scored and 10 stolen bases
Shuo-Heng Han - 1-0, 0.75 with 15 K’s, .409, 4, 12 with 11 runs scored
Sheng-Wei Yang - 1-0, 1.06

Mexico

Juan Saldana - .450, 2, 9
Antonis Macias - .417, 2, 8 with 13 runs scored
Juan Hernandez - 4-0, 1.32

Japan

Koki Yamaguchi - .563, 1, 9
Daisuke Mori - .348, 2, 7 with 13 runs scored and 7 stolen bases

Korea

Jeong-Gyu Woo - .474, 0, 3
Seong-Mu Jang - .444, 0, 6

Nicaragua

Bryant Machado - .417, 1, 7 with 8 runs scored

Panama

Dimas Oda - .529, 0, 4 with 5 doubles
Emanuel Villarreal - 2-0, 1.44 12 K’s

Czech Republic

Lukas Hurta - .450, 1, 4 with 4 doubles

Brazil

Gabriel Ota - .412, 0, 5

Australia

David Hyde - .409, 0, 5, 1-1, 1.33

Russia

Jared Riffel - .417, 2, 5

Germany

Kilian Redle - .333, 1, 3

12 and Under World Cup - Day 4 Play Returns

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The tsunami or storm has passed. Most of the teams were able to get their games in. The big game between Taiwan and Mexico was one of the two games postponed. That gives Taiwan two big games they have to make up tomorrow, one against Japan and the other against Mexico. Japan had their game against Brazil postponed after three innings with Japan leading 5-0. Four teams will play double headers tomorrow (Taiwan, Mexico, Japan and Brazil). In the games played there were no big upsets.

Nicaragua 10 Australia 4

Nicaragua enhanced their chance of making it to the playoffs improving their record to 3-1. Australia dropped to 1-3 with their loss. A six run fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game with Bryant Machado slashing a two run single and Jeral Bravo powering a two run homer to contribute to the inning. Machado closed out the scoring with a two run homerun in the sixth to finish the game with a team leading four RBIs. Leadoff hitter Jarold Montealto went 3 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored. The Aussies banged out 10 hits, one shy of Nicaragua, but they failed to plate many of their opportunities.

United States 7 Panama 3

Panama can take consolation they were not blown out by the United States team. Their record dropped to 2-2 with the loss while the United States improved to 4-0. Joshua Atomanczyk pitched the four middle innings, allowing just one run on one hit. Adan Sanchez got the start for Panama and was just a little wild, walking six, with three wild pitches and two hit batters. Benjamin Reiland was the offensive hero, going 2 for 2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Raffaele Velazquez also had a perfect day, finishing 3 for 3 with two RBIs, one run scored and a walk.

Korea 7 Germany 2

Korea improved to 2-2 while Germany remained one of the two winless teams in the tournament, dropping to 0-4. Germany actually had a 1-0 lead after three innings but Korea pounced in the last two innings for seven runs. Germany committed five errors in the game, one contributing to the first Korean run and another error allowing the go ahead run to score in the bottom of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie. Korea would score two more runs in the five run fifth on another error and a balk.

Czech Republic 10 Russia 0

Russia has still not scored a run this tournament and the Czech Republic improved to 2-3, which will probably find them fall short of a playoff spot. Filip Votava got the win, pitching the last 2.1 innings and striking out six of the seven hitters he faced. Jakub Winkler drove in three runs on a 2 for 2 day, walking twice and stealing a base.