Archive for the 'Puerto Rico' Category

Puerto Rico Site of 2020 Series del Caribe

Monday, November 25th, 2019

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

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

Baseball America’s Qualifier

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

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

Group A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Group B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

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

Japan Crushes Taiwan

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

While both teams were advancing to the Super Round, the game had meaning because the loser of this game would advance with one loss. Japan put the hurting on Taiwan, crushing them 8-1.

Japan opened the scoring in the first after the issuance of a two out walk. Seiya Suzuki tripled him in and Yoshida Masataka drove in Suzuki with a single. Suzuki then blasted a two run homer in the third to up the Japanese lead to 4-0.

Taiwan had opportunities, stranding two runners in the first and loading the bases with one out in the third, but the lack of a clutch hit proved to be their undoing. They stranded two more in the fourth and fifth and then had to watch Yoshihiro Maru blast an RBI double in the top of the sixth to advance the Japanese lead to 5-0.

The rallies ended for Taiwan after the fifth. Sosuke Genda hit a two run triple in the top of the ninth to extend the Japanese lead to 8-0. In the bottom of the ninth Taiwan was able to score their first run on a Jin-de Jhang single, but it was too little too late.

Venezuela lashed out 16 hits off Puerto Rican pitching in their 7-1 win. The game did not mean anything since both teams were eliminated from advancing to Tokyo.

Taipei and Japan Clinch Superround playoff spot

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Not much to play for in Taiwan on the third day as both Asian teams won their second games, shutting out both Puerto Rico and Venezuela to clinch a Super round playoff spot in Tokyo.

Rei Takahashi pitched six innings of one hit ball to stymie the Puerto Rican bats in their 4-0 victory. Japan scored all their runs in the third, three of them on a Seiya Suzuki three run homer. Giovanni Soto gave up all four runs in his five innings of pitching, Japan scoring all the runs after the first two hitters were retired. Considering they have a lineup of professional hitters, the Japan offense has been pretty disappointing.

Chang Yi blanked the Venezuelan bats for 7 innings, limiting them to just four hits. No team scored until the seventh inning. Taipei put two runs across on back to back doubles from pinch hitter Yu-Hsien Chu and leadoff hitter Wei-Chen Wang. That made a winner of Yi, who only pitched one more inning.

Asia defeats Americas in the Taiwan Premier 12 Pool

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

The Asian countries reigned supreme with Japan beating Venezuela 8-4 and Taiwan downing Puerto Rico 6-1 in the opening round of the Taiwan pool.

Venezuela was ahead for much of their game, but Japan exploded for six runs in the eighth to turn a 4-2 Venezuela lead into an 8-6 deficit. Venezuela pitchers walked 12 hitters, with seven of those walks occurring in the eighth. Four of the first five hitters in the inning walked. Ryosuke Kikuchi tied the game with an RBI single. A fifth walk in the inning gave Japan the lead.

Felix Doubront got the start for Venezuela and pitched well, limiting Japan to just one hit in four innings. Finding the strike zone was also a problem for him with three walks, but he did not allow a runner to cross the plate. Japan started Shun Yamaguchi and he gave up one run in his four innings of work.

Venezuela put a scare to the Japanese professionals with a three run sixth that gave them a 4-2 lead. They out hit Japan 10-8 but the pitchers had trouble finding the plate, walking 12 to the two walks Japanese pitchers issued. Jeff Gosney from the United States was behind the plate.

Shao-Ching Chiang threw six innings of one run ball to lead Taiwan. He gave up just three hits. A bullpen of three Chens each worked one inning of shutout ball to close out the victory, none of the Chens allowing a hit or run to score.

Taiwan got all the runs they needed in the first inning on a two run homer from Lin Lee. Puerto Rico gave Taiwan most of their runs with sloppy fielding. They opened the game by booting the first ball turning Lin’s homerun into a two run shot rather than a solo blast. They also made an error in the fifth that allowed two more unearned runs to score. Two errors in the sixth brought in a fourth unearned run.

Puerto Rico Premier 12 Roster

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

It would be nice if Puerto Rico could have Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez and Carlos Correa on their roster. That would be a pretty impressive infield. But players on the major league 40 man roster are not eligible to participate in these games. There is not even a player rated as one of the top ten minor league prospects on this roster. So Puerto Rico will have to settle for some retired or released major league players, borderline prospects, journeyman and players who participate in their winter league season. There best player may be their manager Juan Gonzalez. It will be a tough road for them, but they will battle. They will be playing in the Taiwan pool with Japan, Taiwan and Venezuela

Pitchers

Fernando Cabrera, Freddie Cabrera, Fernando Cruz, Orlando Roman, Ivan Maldonado, Andres Santiago, Bryan Escanio, Miguel Mejia, Adalberto Flores, Miguel Martinez, Luis Cintron, Efrain Nieves, Giovanni Soto, Ramesis Rosa

Catchers

Wilfredo Rodriguez, Kevin Torres

Infielders

Jesmuel Valentin, Luis Mateo, David Vidal, Jeffry Dominguez, Ozzie Martinez, Jack Lopez, Ivan Dejesus Jr.

Outfielders

Anthony Garcia. Yariel Gonzalez, Edwin Gomez, Jay Gonzalez, Danny Ortiz

Puerto Rico Wins Pan Am Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.

Top Puerto Rican Prospects

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

The 2014 list will probably be one of the greatest top ten list for any country. Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Eddie Rosario, Victor Caratini, Edwin Diaz and Jose Berrios have all made their marks on major league rosters. The list from last year revealed some questionable players who may not make a lasting mark such as Joe Jimenez, Victor Caratini (finally graduating), Jorge Lopez and Tomas Nido. They will not have the impact of the 2014 class, filling roles as back end starters, middle relievers and back up catchers with minimal time in the major leagues. Since the 2014 list a number of academies have located in Puerto Rico, but it has not yet resulted in the appearance of any big time superstars that can match the players from that list.

1. Heliot Ramos OF (Giants) - He was a first round pick of the Giants in 2017. His first year he hit .348 with a 1.049 OPS. Those numbers dropped last year to .245 with a .709 OPS. To be an impact player he will have to fall somewhere in between those numbers, preferably falling nearer the former. The speed is there to fit in centerfield, but as he gets bigger his best position may end up in right. The power is there to hit 30 plus homeruns in the majors but he will need to do a better job of making contact. A 35/136 walk to whiff ratio is evidence he will not hit for a high average and his 2018 numbers will be closer to his mean. Early this season the walk/K numbers have been promising (14/20) for his 19 games and his average (.270) and his OPS (1.009) have been closer to his 2017 season.

2. Isan Diaz 2B (Marlins) - Isan was a second round pick of the Diamondbacks back in 2014. His power numbers have always been impressive but his batting average and ability to make contact have been disappointments. His defense is not that strong and second base or left field may be his only defensive options. He also lacks the speed to do any damage on the bases. If he wants to be in the starting lineup he will need to hit. The Diamondbacks and Brewers have already traded him, though players like Jean Segura and Christian Yelich have been players going to other teams. This year with the Marlins his average has been low (.248), his power disappointing (.390 slugging) but his strikeouts reduced (24 in 27 games). This will be the year he should make his major league debut if he puts up good numbers.

3. Tomas Nido C (Mets) - The Mets released Travis d’Arnaud to bring up Nido to be their back up catcher to Wilson Ramos. Those are the tools Nido has, the ability to be a back up catcher. His bat does not possess much major league power and will hit around .250. His defense is above average behind the plate, with a good ability to frame pitches to give pitchers more strikes than they may deserve. Last year Nido got 84 major league at bats but only hit .167. With his recent callup he will have too many at bats to appear on this list next year. An injury to Wilson Ramos could give him an extended opportunity to show what he can do. There are a lot of defensive catchers surviving in the major leagues.

4. Nelson Velasquez OF (Cubs) - The best tool of this fifth round pick in 2017 is his arm. His below average speed will make right field a perfect position for him. The bat has some pop, with the ability to hit for 20 plus homeruns, but he has not shown he can hit for a high enough average to be an impact player. Last year he had a 30/124 walk to whiff ratio in rookie/Low A. He will need to improve on that patience to raise the average. This year after 24 games the power has disappeared, but he has hit for a better average (.326) even though the patience is not there (3/25). The power needs to be plus for him to make an impact in the major leagues. He still has some time to mature and develop that power.

5. Edwin Rios 1B/3B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers will need to find a position for him. He lacks the speed to play outfield. At 6′3″ and 220 pounds the mobility is lacking to play third, though his arm is strong. If he wants to play first the power needs to come out. The 2015 sixth round pick has hit for 27 and 24 homeruns in 2016 and 2017. Last year injuries limited him to just 88 games where he was able to hit 10 homeruns and slug .482. His career minor league slugging percentage is .528. He does hit lefthanded, which is an advantage for those power hitters who wish to play first. This year in AAA he has gotten off to a slow start (.219 average and .354 slugging) but a 4/36 walk to whiff ratio could be a cause for that.

6. Jose Miranda 2B/3B (Twins) - Jose was a second round pick of the Twins in 2016. His range is limited for a middle infielder but if his bat works out he could become an offensive second baseman. The power may be lacking to play third. Last year he did hit 16 homeruns split between High A and Low A. His best use may be as a utility player. The arm is strong enough to play short over the short haul and he could take a liking to the grass if given an opportunity to roam the outfield. This year he has gotten off to a slow start with no homeruns and a .226 average in High A.

7. Delvin Perez SS (Cardinals) - He was number two on this list last year after being a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2016. He was compared to Carlos Correa. Things have not gone well for him since then. A violation for performance enhancing drugs stained his drafting position. An inability to get out of Rookie ball has dropped his prospect status. Last year he hit only .213 with a .272 slugging percentage. That will make you a footnote in the pages of prospect handbooks. Myworld puts him in the top ten because he carries some tools so perhaps they will begin to emerge. There are many players he will have to leap frog over on the depth chart if he hopes to make an impact.

8. Mario Feliciano C (Brewers) - A second round supplemental pick in 2016 Mario has enough defensive tools to make it as a back up catcher. Shoulder issues limited him to just 46 games last year resulting in surgery. The bat will not be super impactful, with occasional pop and the ability to hit in the .250 range. Prior to his surgery his arm was strong. Last year he saw an increased propensity to swing and miss, which could impact his ability to hit for a decent average. This year he continues to strikeout at a higher pace than is desired (38 whiffs in 28 games) but his average has not suffered yet (.272). Depending on how he develops he could make a career out of being a backup catcher or a lower level starter on a team that continues a search for a top notch catcher.

9. Jonathan Rodriguez OF (Indians) - The third round 2017 pick has all the tools that scream out fourth outfielder. At 6′3″ he could develop power, but his lack of speed will limit him to the corners, where power is expected. A strong arm will make playing right field viable. Currently his power is restricted to the gaps. The last two years in rookie ball he has hit just one homerun with a .382 slugging average. He needs to carry more balls over the fence if he wants to shake that fourth outfielder look.

10. Emmanuel Rivera 3B (Twins) - A 19th round pick in 2015 who may get an opportunity on a rebuilding club. The speed and range are not there to fill a middle infield slot and the power may be lacking to fill a corner. He could end up one of those tweener/organizational slugs that fills out the minor league rosters for a number of years. Last year he hit for a decent average (.280) and shot enough balls into the gaps (25 doubles) to fill the corner position. This year his slugging average has fallen below .400 (.381), a location you don’t want to be when trying to fill a corner infield position.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

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

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