Archive for the 'Czech Republic' Category

Top European Prospects

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

There is one graduate from the 2016 list which is a good thing for Europe. Max Kepler put up decent numbers for the Twins and will get another opportunity to start in right field. The current list is filled with players from Curacao (a colony of the Netherlands). Ozzie repeats as the number one prospect on this list. There are only two other countries represented in this list, the other eight are from the Netherlands. Perhaps next year Netherlands gets its own billing.

1. Ozzie Albies 2B/SS (Braves) Curacao - Ozzie was the number one last year and if not for an elbow injury he may have made his major league debut with a September callup. The tools are there to play shortstop but the Braves have chosen Dansby Swanson to play there. Ozzie will move to second base. The speed is there to steal 20 plus bases per year. Coming into the 2017 season his career minor league average was .310. With the combination of speed and high OBA Ozzie could find himself perched in the leadoff position for the Braves with a good spring.

2. Carter Kieboom SS (Nationals) Netherlands - His father was born in the Netherlands, moving to the States at 17, His brother Spencer was drafted by the Nationals a couple years ago, but Carter was a first round pick. Carter also plays the middle of the diamond while Spencer is a catcher. Carter has all the tools to play shortstop and his bat showed some life with a .452 slugging percentage. The one area of concern was his tendency to strike out in bunches. Last year he struck out 43 times in just 36 games. Expect Carter to start the 2017 season in Low A Hagerstown

3. Davydas Noverauskas RHP (Pirates)Lithuania - Myworld is not aware of any major leaguer born in Lituania. Dovydas could be the first. The Pirates spotted him at a European academy in Italy and signed him for $60,000. His fastball climbs the radar guns into the high 90s and he mixes in a slider and cutter. Last year he pitched in relief moving all the way to AAA. While he limited the opposition to a .129 average in AA, in AAA that shot up to .308. He was suspended last year for a week towards the end of the season because of his involvement in a fight at a bar. With a good season next year could be his major league debut.

4. Marten Gasparini 2B/SS (Royals) Italy - Marten broke the signing bonus record held by Max Kepler, the Italian signing for $1.3 million in 2013. He has had trouble keeping up with the hype, last year hitting only .198 in his first year of full season ball. His actions are smooth at shortstop but he needs to develop some consistency fielding the ball, last season committing 48 errors. Those errors may force a move to the outfield where centerfield could be a pretty good fit. He could repeat Low A for the first part of the 2017 season, then get promoted once he finds some success.

5. Ray-Patrick Didder (Braves) Aruba - Aruba is also a Dutch colony. Didder has the speed to play centerfield and the arm to slot into right field. The one tool he is missing is power, but that does not prevent him from lining the ball into the gaps. With his lack of power he needs to show he can play centerfield with the corners reserved for the outfielders who show the power. Last year the speed of Didder copped him 37 stolen bases in 49 attempts.

6. Juremi Profar 2B/SS (Brewers) Curacao - His younger brother Jurickson was at one time the top prospect in baseball until injuries delayed his major league career by two years. Juremi does not have the range or speed of Jurickson to fit at shortstop. In fact most of his tools fall below his older brother. Last year he did break out for some power, hitting a career high 13 homeruns with a .473 slugging average. He has never stolen more than one base in any league. If Juremi can hit .250 with 20 plus homeruns he has a major league career ahead of him.

7. Chris Pieters RHP (Cubs) Curacao - Chris signed out of Curacao for $350,000 in 2011 as a lefthanded pitcher. He was converted to a hitter in 2015 and showed enough promise the Cubs decided to keep him. The arm is good enough for him to slot in any outfield position. While he does not have great speed he was good enough to steal 20 bases last year in 23 attempts. There was more swing and miss in his bat last season than he had in the 2015 season. He also drew fewer walks. Expect Chris to start the 2017 season in Low A.

8. Stijin Vandermeer SS (Astros) Netherlands - Myworld saw him play in the Honkball tournament in Haarlem last year. He was voted the MVP of the tournament. With Carlos Correa cemented at short for the next ten or so years Stijin may want to learn to play another position other than shortstop. Stijin was recently named to the Dutch roster for the WBC to replace outfielder Chris Garia. Last year the 34th round pick hit .329 in his 29 game professional debut. He had a nice 7/12 walk to whiff ratio.

9. Spencer Kieboom C (Nationals) Netherlands - Spencer was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. The Nationals have a number of good young catchers ahead of him in Pedro Severino, Jakson Reetz and Raudy Read. Spencer continues to be a better glove man than bat, hitting only .230 with a .314 slugging. He will probably always be considered a back up catcher type if the bat does not improve. His ability to make contact continues to excel with a 43/61 walk to whiff ratio, but that contact does not result in hits.

10. Martin Cervenka C (Indians) Czech Republic - We were impressed with what we saw of Cervenka when we watched him in a tournament in Taiwan two years ago. He was one of the better hitters on the team and a leader of the pitching staff. Unfortunately, the bat did not translate to the minor leagues. Until this year when Martin hit .263. There is little to brag about from the power side but give him a couple more years to see if he gets increased playing time. The 2017 season could be his make or break year. With Francisco Mejia behind the plate the best hope Martin has for the major leagues is as a backup.

2016 top European Prospects

Top 50 European Teams

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Mister Baseball has the 2016 end of season top 50 European baseball teams. Myworld will list the top ten below. If you are curious about the Top 50 you can go to the Mister Baseball site. In parenthesis was their finish from 2015.

1. L&D Amsterdam (Netherlands) 32.92 (5)
2. Unipol Bologna (Italy) 32.75 (2)
3. Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands) 32.67 (1)
4. ASD Rimini Baseball (Italy) 30.75 (3)
5. Mainz Athletics (Germany) 27.17 (NR)
6. Draci Brno (Czech Republic) 25.58 (7)
7. Rouen Baseball 76 (France) 24.50 (8)
8. Vaessen Pioniers (Netherlands) 23.67 (13)
9. Kinheim H1 (Netherlands)23.17 (6)
10. T&A San Marino (San Marino) 23 (10)

Under 23 Day 5

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Japan and Panama were the two teams to remain undefeated as teams were selected for the second round matches. The records against teams advancing to the super or consolation round carry to that round.

Panama 5 Korea 4

Panama shocked Korea by erupting for four runs in the ninth inning to win their game. Korea went to their bullpen after Chae-Hueng Choi pitched two outs into the seventh inning. Jin-Su Byeon got the final out in the eighth but could only get one out in the ninth to take the loss giving up four hits and a hitbatsman. Gerald Chin drove in two runs in the ninth with a two run double for the big hit in the inning. Carlos Sanchez hit a solo shot earlier for Panama. Up until that point Tae-Hun Lee was the offensive hero for Korea with his double and homerun giving him two RBIs. Korea had scored three runs in the last two innings to break a 1-1 tie.

Japan 11 Australia 2

Australia was not that competitive against the Japanese team. Yusuke Masago and Takumi Miyoshi each went deep and drove in two runs to lead the rout. Ryota Yoshimochi went a perfect 3 for 3 to drive in three runs from the bottom spot in the order to trigger the offense. After tossing six shutout innings Taiga Kasahara tired in the seventh and gave up two runs.

Nicaragua 6 Argentina 0

Nicaragua advanced to the super round with Walter Lopez pitching six shutout innings. After losing their first two games Nicaragua won their next three to advance to the super round.

Mexico 15 Russia 0

Tournament organizers were happy with the advancement of Mexico, the only team that is bringing out decent attendance to the park. Close to 8,000 watched two Mexican pitchers limit the Russians to two hits in the six inning game. Jorge Gonzalez went the first five while Misael Verduzco pitched the last inning to complete the shutout. Jose Urena drove in five runs with his homerun and two singles for five RBIs. Carlos Diaz and Moises Gutierrez also combined for 5 RBIs with their two homeruns.

Taiwan 3 Austria 0

Chi Tseng pitched eight innings of two hit shutout ball to give Taiwan the win. Despite the victory they must be satisfied to compete in the consolation round. Po-Yi Wu slugged a solo shot in the opening frame to lead the Taiwan offense. He finished the day a perfect 3 for 3.

Venezuela 10 Czech Republic 9

Both teams must satisfy themselves with a consolation round appearance.

Under 23 - Day 4

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The undefeateds remained the same but that should change after today when Panama plays Korea and Japan does battle with Australia.

Panama 9 Russia 1

Russia had a 1-0 lead after two innings. Panama ran away with the game after a 6 run fifth. Gabriel Henry pitched seven innings of three hit ball allowing just one unearned run. Panama took advantage of 9 walks to run away from this game. Rodrigo Orozco was the most patient with three walks.

Nicaragua 10 Taiwan 5

Nicaragua scored five in the top of the tenth to win this game. Cesar Diaz blasted two of his three hits over the fence to drive in five. Javier Robles also hit a homerun, a solo shot for his one hit in the game. Taiwan scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on a Chung-Yu Chen solo shot to send the game into extra innings. It was the only blemish off Adolfo Robles who worked two innings to get the win.

Korea 7 Venezuela 2

Korea got a pinch hit 3-run double from Byeong-Wuk Lim to fuel a 4-run eighth that put the game out of reach for Korea. Joong-Hyun Yoon pitched 4.1 innings of relief to get the win for Korea, striking out seven.

Australia 15 Argentina 2

Aaron Whitfield drove in four runs with his three hits and Jacob Younis went a perfect 3 for 3 including a homerun, two walks, two stolen bases and two RBIs to lead the Aussie offense. Argentina pitches walked 10 and hit four batters. Once the Aussies got on base they ran wild stealing seven bases. Ben Leslie was a perfect 1 for 1 with three RBIs, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

Japan 16 Austria 0

Austria was a bit overmatched in this five inning game. Yusuke Masago, Tomohiro Anraku and Koki Yamashita each drove in three runs.

Mexico 14 Czech Republic 4

An eight run first put this game out of reach but the Czechs extended the game to eight innings. Every starter in the Mexican lineup except one player contributed an RBI in the game. Gilberto Carrera, Norberto Obeso and Hector Ponce led the charge with three hits each. Mexico finished the game with 19 hits

Under 23 - Day 3

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Australia and Panama are showing they are the teams to watch after the first three days of the Under 23 in Mexico. Taiwan has been a bit of a disappointment. Japan is still the team to beat in the tournament and Korea stays undefeated. The only teams with winning records in the tournament are those four teams who have not yet lost a game.

Australia 8 Taiwan 7

The Aussies got their second straight one run victory, winning it again in the final inning. This time it was a walk off win, but a run scored in the top of the tenth kept them undefeated in this tourney. They should remain undefeated until their last game with Japan. Jacob Younis and Connor MacDonald showed the power in this game with homeruns. Younis finished the game with two RBIs and was a triple short of hitting for the cycle. MacDonald tallied three RBIs to lead the team and now has two homeruns for the tournament. Zachary Shepherd spread fear in the hearts of the Taiwan pitchers, drawing four walks.

Australia erupted for four runs in the opening frame. Taiwan bounced back with one in the first and five in the second to take an early 6-4 lead. Conor Lourey worked 4.2 innings of shutout relief to allow Australia the opportunity to come back and take the victory. Joshua Guyer pitched the last two innings of shutout ball to pick up the victory.

Chung-Yu Chen went deep for Taiwan in a losing cause.

Panama 11 Venezuela 3

Panama had a relatively easy time beating Venezuela to remain undefeated, scoring the first seven runs to take a commanding lead. Rodrigo Vigil went deep to drive in three runs. He has homered in two straight games and driven in three runs in both games. He has also contributed an RBI in each of the three games Panama has played. Abdiel Velasquez worked six innings to get the win. He gave up two unearned runs in the fourth inning.

Japan 10 Argentina 2

Argentina scored two runs in the opening frame to put a scare in the team from the rising sun. Japan committed four errors in the game, a couple of them leading to the two unearned runs in the first. Japan bounced back accumulating runs in the third through seventh innings. Yusuke Masago went deep to drive in two runs. Despite giving up the two unearned runs in the first Daiki Aoyama went six innings without allowing another runner to cross the plate to pick up the victory.

Nicaragua 15 Austria 0

Nicaragua finally got itself in the win column with a convincing victory over Austria. The game lasted only six innings after an eight run first inning put the game out of reach. Javier Robles went deep and led all players with three RBIs. Jesus Garrido pitched a complete game six inning shutout, giving up only two hits.

Czech Republic 12 Russia 4

The Czechs also got their first win scoring at least one run in all nine innings of play except two. The European contingent banged out 15 hits, Jacub Ondracek leading the charge with three hits. The big run producer was leadoff hitter Adam Hajtmar with four RBIs. Pitching was not something the Czech pitching staff could be proud of, walking nine batters. Despite the lack of control Russia could only score four runs, stranding 11 men on base.

Korea 6 Mexico 1

Korea remained in the ranks of the undefeated, waiting until the fifth inning to score, but racking up a couple tres in back to back innings to account for their offense. Hyeok-Jae Won drove in two runs and scored twice from the last spot in the order to fuel both rallies. Jiseob Lim went six innings to get the win, limiting the Mexican bats to a first inning run and two hits.

Standings after three days:

Group A

Korea (3-0), Panama (3-0), Czech Republic (1-2), Mexico (1-2), Venezuela (1-2) and Russia (0-3)

Group B

Australia (3-0), Japan (3-0), Argentina (1-2), Nicaragua (1-2), Taiwan (1-2) and Austria (0-3)

Under 23 Tournament - Day 2

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

No major surprises in the second day of the under 23 tournament. A few mild surprises such as how easy Japan handled Taiwan and the Australian win over Nicaragua. Mexico had a nice bounce back after their opening day loss, shutting out a tough Venezuelan team.

Japan 15 Taiwan 3

Myworld expected this game to be a little more competitive but an eight run second inning knocked the sails out of Taiwan. The game only went seven innings. Taiwan did show some life by rallying for three runs in the third but Japan bounced back by scoring three of their own in the bottom half to put a dagger to the Taiwan hopes. Yu-Chieh Kao hit a solo shot for Taiwan in their three run third.

Taiwan pitchers lacked control walking eight batters in just six innings. Japan lead off hitter Kengo Takeda ripped two doubles and a homerun in his four RBI day, falling a triple short of the cycle. He also scored three runs. Cleanup hitter Yusuke Masago also collected four hits to drive in four runs, three of those hits finding the gap for doubles.

Mexico 4 Venezuela 0

After scoring 14 runs the day before against Russian pitching the Venezuelans could not find the plate against the three Mexican hurlers. Jesus Anguamea pitched six innings of one hit ball, striking out eleven. The two remaining pitchers completed the shutout, limiting the Venezuelans to just one additional hit with three more whiffs. The bats scored all their runs in the first two innings, Gilberto Carrera driving in two and scoring one to lead the offense. After Mexico scored four runs Venezuela brought in Alexander Diaz to pitch and he quieted the Mexican bats for 6.2 innings, limiting them to just three hits. But the Venezuelan offense was absent in the game yesterday and could not take advantage of the superior bullpen relief by Alexander.

Argentina 13 Austria 3

Argentina got the win in a battle between the two newbies in the tournament. A seven run seventh by Argentina put the game out of reach and ended it early. Nine different players drove in runs for Argentina with Augustin Talevi and Julian Pedrouzzo leading the charge with two runs driven in each. Federico Robles pitched all seven innings to pick up the victory.

Australia 6 Nicaragua 5

Australia used 10 walks, including three in the last inning when they scored the game winning run to defeat Nicaragua. Guy Edmonds hit his second homerun of the tournament and drove in three runs, including the game winner to lead Australia. Nicaragua got two solo shots from Benjamin Alegria and Ronald Rivera to keep this game close. Rivera led all hitters with three hits.

Panama 17 Czech Republic 3

The Czechs committed five errors and three Panama homeruns proved to be too much for the Czech Republic in this seven inning shortened game. Allen Cordoba, Gerald Chin and Rodrigo Vigil each went deep for Panama. Cordoba and Chin each drove in four runs while Vigil and Anthony Amaya paced the bottom of the order with three RBIs each. Amaya finished the game 3 for 3 with a walk.

Korea 17 Russia 3

Korea bounced on Russia by the same score, scoring all their runs in the first four innings of a seven inning shortened game. Korea had a homerun from Tae-Hun Lee and three RBI performances from Lee, Jun-Tae Kim and Hyun Jung. Kim scored three times and led all players with three hits. Korea used six different pitchers to complete the game, starter Seo-Jun Im working two perfect innings in the longest outing for the pitchers.

Opening Salvos of Under 23 Tournament Begin

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

The United States and Cuba, two of the top teams in the world are not participating in this tournament, but their absence opens the opportunity for other teams to play. Austria and Argentina are two new countries who took advantage of the absences to participate in the tournament. They found the going rough but the experience will be beneficial for their development in baseball. There were no surprises on this first day.

Japan 6 Nicaragua 1

Nicaragua hung with Japan for eight innings. A three run assault in the ninth allowed Japan to pull away 6-0. Keisuke Honda quieted the Nicaraguan bats on two hits in the first seven innings to bring Japan the victory with a paucity of offense. Tomo Otosaka and Koki Yamashita each drove in two runs to lead the Japan offense.

Australia 8 Austria 1

In their first big tournament Austria scored the first run in the opening frame on a two out solo homerun from Ferdinand Obed. Unfortunately that would be all the runs Austria would score. Australia used three big innings to score their eight, Zachary Shepherd, Connor McDonald and Guy Edmonds all going deep for the Australian team. Shepherd and McDonald each drove in three runs. Nicholas Hutchings recovered from the first inning homerun to pitch six innings to get the win, allowing just two more hits in those innings.

Taiwan 10 Argentina 0

Taiwan went eight innings to beat Argentina, the game ending an inning early because of the 10-run rule. Argentina squeaked out five hits and drew five walks but could not use the Taiwan generosity to cross the plate. Yi-Chung Liao went five innings to pick up the win, striking out eight. Chung-Ting Chen was the big bat for Taiwan driving in three runs with a homerun. Tzu-Wei Lin also homered from the leadoff spot, finishing the day 2 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored.

Venezuela 14 Russia 1

Venezuela only needed seven innings to dispose of Russia. They scored 13 runs in the first three innings to make it an early run away, Francisco Martinez going a perfect 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Jonathan Linares also drove in three runs with a homerun and sacrifice fly on a perfect 1 for 1 day in his three at bats. Joscar Alvarez lashed out three hits from the lead off spot scoring three runs. Russian pitchers walked 8 hitters and gave up 14 hits.

Korea 6 Czech Republic 1

Woo-Jin Sim drove in three runs with his three hits to lead Korea to victory. Chae-Hueng Choi pitched 6.2 innings allowing just one run to pick up the victory.

Panama 3 Mexico 1

Panama was not too kind to the hosts of the tournament. Carlos Sanchez drove in one run with a solo homerun and Humberto Mejia shut down the Mexican bats for seven innings on three hits. Mexico rallied in the ninth for one run, but it came up short.

Under 23 World Cup Pools

Monday, September 19th, 2016

The under 23 World Cup will be held in Monterrey, Mexico from October 28 to November 6. Noticeably absent from this group is the United States and Cuba. Since this event awards the third most points of all the tournaments based on performance, the United States and Cuba will suffer in the next rankings. Only the Premier 12 and the World Baseball Classic distribute the most points. If the major baseball powers are not attracted to participate in any event, it calls into question the significance of the event, i.e. dates or location not attractive. The United States national team office seems to shut down after the summer with international events.

The absence of some of the big time powers provides opportunities for newer countries to compete such as Argentina and Austria. South Africa is another country listed low in the rankings that will have an opportunity to bring out their baseball skills.

The teams for this event are (with their world rankings in parenthesis):

Pool A

Mexico (8), Korea (3), Venezuela (7), Czech Republic (14), Panama (15) and South Africa (35)

Pool B

Japan (1), Taiwan (4), Australia (13), Nicaragua (18), Argentina (27), Austria (33)

European Championship Recap

Friday, September 16th, 2016

The two top European teams slugged it out and Netherlands found themselves on top. For Italy it was their second loss which puts them in a tie for third place, meaning they may not be playing in the championship game.

Netherlands 6 Italy 5

Kalian Sams hit a two out infield single in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the tying run to send the game into extra innings. Italy took advantage of a Dutch error to score two in the top of the tenth. The Netherlands tied the game on a Stijn Van Der Meer RBI single and won the game on a Christopher Garia walk off single. Tiago Da Silva pitched five innings of shutout relief for Italy but after he was removed Netherlands rallied for five of their six runs.

Spain 9 Czech Republic 3

Spain got back into second place with a win over the Czechs. With the loss the Czechs were eliminated from any championship game. Daniel Martinez drove in three runs and Blake Ochoa bashed a solo shot in the fifth to lead the Spanish 17 hit attack.

Germany 14 Belgium 2

Christopher Howard and Maurice Wilhelm went deep for Germany, but lead off hitter Eric Brenk drove in five runs with a double and triple to lead the German offense. The German win put them in a tie for third place with Italy.

Spain needs to beat Germany to take second place. The Netherlands even with a loss in their last game against Belgium has clinched an appearance in the championship game. A loss by Spain to Germany would complicate things especially if Italy wins their game to create a three way tie for second place.

European Championships - Second Round Games

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The top six teams have been identified and they will play each other to determine the European champions. All the games except one were close.

Czech Republic 4 Belgium 3

Petr Zyma drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single to send the game into extra innings. Belgium scored a run in the top of the tenth but the Czechs rallied for two in the bottom frame, Matej Heijma driving in both runs with a two run walk off double.

Netherlands 1 Spain 0

The battle of the undefeateds saw a pitcher’s duel. Shairon Martis went seven innings for the Netherlands and Ricardo Hernandez only allowed one run in just over four innings. Christopher Garia hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to drive in the only run. Tom De Blok and Loek Van Mil each threw a perfect inning to close out the win. For Spain it was their first loss of the tournament.

Italy 12 Germany 0

Orlando Oberto threw a complete game nine inning shutout and the Italian bats banged out 14 hits to give Italy the win. A six run ninth inning made the game appear more lopsided than it was.