Three Brazilian players who played on the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier team for Brazil have decided to go to France to play for Stade Toulousain. Mister Baseball reports that Felipe Burin (Mariners) and Rojo Samper (Phillies) have given up their minor league aspirations to play for the green grass in France. Allan Belen Fanhoni came from the Japanese independent league to play for the French team.
Archive for April, 2015
Dylan Bundy has had four three inning starts this year. Yesterday he faced the minimum nine hitters, striking out five. This matched his opening day start when he faced 10 hitters in three innings of shutout ball. In between he has given up two runs in his two starts to give him two losses. Many forget Bundy is only 22 so throwing in AA is still within the timetable for a 22 year old.
His brother J.D. gets more publicity because he was a first round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2013. Dustin Peterson was a second round pick by the Padres, but was traded to the Atlanta Braves in the Justin Upton trade. His bat started out slow, staying below that Mendoza line until a 4 for 4 day lifted it up to .246 in the High A Carolina League. He fell a triple short of the cycle, hitting his second double and third homerun in addition to two singles. Despite the low average Dustin is still drawing his share of walks with nine putting his OBA at a respectable .346.
The player of the day for April 29 is Matt Davidson. Many thought he would have been the third baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks by now, but they traded him to the Chicago White Sox. He stumbled last year with a .199 average, but still showed a power bat with 20 homeruns. Strikeouts (164 in 2014) have always been a problem. Yesterday he drove in a career high six runs on a 3 for 5 day with two doubles and his fourth homerun of the season. The three hits rose his average to .261.
Not a lot of great performances to find a minor league player of April 28. Mychal Givens always had a good arm for shortstop. His biggest challenge was yielding a productive bat. Now that he is on the mound swinging a bat is not important. Givens pitched three innings in relief, allowing only one hit while striking out six. His ERA falls to 0.71 and he has struck out 19 in just a little over 12 innings of work. Expect him to be in the Orioles bullpen before the year is out.
It almost seems like de ja vu, but Brent Honeywell threw six innings, gave up just one hit and struck out seven. That is what we said about him six days ago. We know it was a different outing because this time he did not walk a batter, picked up his second win and lowered his ERA to 0.82. If he was not doing all this in Low A myworld would say the Rays have a lot to get excited about, but don’t expect him up with the major league club until late 2016 at the earliest.
Adam Plutko is dominating the Carolina League. The Indians pitcher tossed six innings of two hit ball to pick up his first win, lowering his ERA to 1.14 in the process. Plutko has not given up more than one run in any of his four starts. Opponents are hitting less than .155 against the ex-Bruin righthander with an impressive 0.63 WHIP.
Daniel Fields is a veteran minor leaguer with little room in the Tigers outfield. He would like to force some room to be made after a 4 for 5 day raised his average to .356. What is most impressive about his early season success is his five triples, which surpasses the total he hit all of last season. He has hit triples in back to back games, three triples in four games and four in his last six games. His career high for triples in a season is 6 which he has almost reached in the month of April. In his last two games Daniel is 7 for 11.
Phil Ervin gets our player for April 28 with his two jolts yesterday to give him six for the season. The number one pick of the Reds in 2013 has not had more than 8 in his two previous seasons, one of those years limited to just a half a season. He has six in April and is just one behind the minor league lead leader, pretty good production for a hitter jacking his homeruns in the Florida State league. Phil is also hitting .343, more than 120 points over his average of last year, when wrist surgery may have hurt his 2013 production.
The 11th Asian Cup Eastern Division championships will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from May 3 to May 8. The teams participating are Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The winner gets to be beat up by Taiwan, Korea and Japan in the Asia Baseball Championships to be played in 2016. The last time a country other than the three mentioned above finished in the top two was in 1954, during the first year of the Asia Baseball Championships when the Philippines were the winners.
Below are the major league team salaries with the 20 million plus players from each team named, or if they lack a 20 million plus player the highest salaried player from the team.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - $230 million (Clayton Kershaw $31 million, Zack Greinke $27, Adrian Gonzalez $21.8, Carl Crawford $21.3)
2. New York Yankees - $213 million (Mark Teixeira $23.1, C.C. Sabathia $23, Alex Rodriguez $22, Masahiro Tanaka $22, Jacoby Ellsbury $21)
3. Washington Nationals $174 million (Jayson Werth $21)
4. Detroit Tigers $172 million (Justin Verlander $28, Miguel Cabrera $22)
5. Boston Red Sox - $168 million (Hanley Ramirez $19)
6. San Francisco Giants - $166 million (Matt Cain $20 million)
7. Los Angeles Angels - $146 million (Josh Hamilton $25, Albert Pujols $24)
8. Texas Rangers - $144.8 million (Prince Fielder $24 million)
9. Philadelphia Phillies - $133 million (Cliff Lee $25 million, Ryan Howard $25, Cole Hamels $23)
10. San Diego Padres - $126 million (Matt Kemp $21 million)
11. Seattle Mariners - $123 million (Felix Hernandez $24. 8 million, Robinson Cano $24 million)
12. St. Louis Cardinals - $120 million (Adam Wainwright $19.5 million)
13. Baltimore Orioles - $118 million (Adam Jones $13 million)
14. Cincinnati Reds - $117.7 million (Joey Votto $14 million)
15. Chicago Cubs - $117.1 million (Jon Lester $20 million)
16. Toronto Blue Jays - $116 million (Jose Reyes $22 million, Mark Buehrle $20 million)
17. Kansas City Royals - $112 million (Alex Gordon $13.7 million)
18. Chicago White Sox - $110.7 million (John Danks $15.7 million)
19. Minnesota Twins - $108 million (Joe Mauer $23 million)
20. New York Mets - $100 million (David Wright $19 million)
21. Milwaukee Brewers - $98.6 million (Aramis Ramirez $14 million)
22. Colorado Rockies - $98.2 million (Troy Tulowitski $20 million)
23. Atlanta Braves - $89 million (Trevor Cahill $12.2 million)
24. Cleveland Indians - $87.7 million (Nick Swisher $15 million)
25. Pittsburgh Pirates - $85.8 million (Francisco Liriano $11.6 million)
26. Miami Marlins - $84.6 million (Martin Prado $11 million)
27. Oakland Athletics - $80.7 million (Scott Kazmir $13 million)
28. Tampa Bay Rays - $74.8 million (Evan Longoria $11 million)
29. Houston Astros - $69 million (Scott Feldman $10 million)
30. Arizona Diamondbacks - $65.7 million (Aaron Hill $12 million)
The usual suspects stood out with their bats. Pete O’Brien and Preston Tucker each hit their seventh homeruns, which is tied for the minor league lead. O’Brien finished the day 3 for 4 and is now hitting .397. Tucker also went 3 for 4 and is hitting .343.
Josh Bell is a new name on the list. He went 4 for 5 with two runs driven in to raise his average to .333. Bell has six hits in his last 10 at bats. Trevor Story almost got player of the day with his two homeruns to give him three in two days. He drove in five runs with his three hits and with three consecutive multi-hit games he raised his average to .397.
Those stories about Noah Syndergaard being done are greatly exaggerated. Yesterday he threw seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out nine. In his previous game he had walked five hitters in less than four innings. Yesterday he yielded no walks. His first win of the season lowered his ERA to 2.45.
The player of the day goes to the Dodgers Julio Urias, who faced the minimum number of batters in his six innings of work. He allowed one hit and struck out 10, tying a career high. The lone hit in the first inning was erased on a pick off. Urias did not give up a run in his first two outings covering 10 innings. His last outing he got ripped for five runs on six hits. This was his third start in four in which he did not give up a run.
Some top prospects are doing it with the bats. Two shortstops combined for 7 RBIs yesterday. Trevor Story continues to hit, going 2 for 4 with four RBIs. He hit his second homerun and is batting .373. With Troy Tulowitski playing shortstop his future may be as a third baseman. Carlos Correa has no one holding him down but his own development. That seems to be on schedule with his 3 for 5 day, driving in three RBIs for his AA team. He hit his 10th double and 4th homerun and raised his batting average to .375. Carlos has six hits and two homeruns the last two games.
Domingo Santana is hitting one level above Carlos and has been mentioned before because of his bat. He smashed two homeruns and a double yesterday in a 3 for 4 day, driving in four runs. After a slow start his average has climbed to .306.
Brewers catcher Clint Coulter went 4 for 5 with three RBIs. He smashed his sixth homerun of the season. The four hits raised his average to .338 and the six homeruns gives him an early lead in the minor league homerun race.
A speedster for the Padres, Travis Jankowski slashed four singles in six at bats. This allowed him to steal two bases to give him eight for the year. His batting average also sits at .356. The only extra base hits Travis has collected this year is two doubles, but nine walks has given him a .441 OBA. He is 8 for 8 in stolen base success.
A couple good outings for pitchers. Lance McKullers had a good outing in relief for the Astros AA team, striking out 9 in four innings of work. He allowed four hits and one unearned run. He picked up his first save in the outing. Mike Wright struck out 10 in his four innings of work at AAA. He gave up six hits and two runs throwing 82 pitches in the abbreviated outing.
The player of the day for April 26 is Dace Kime, who worked seven innings, only allowed two hits and struck out 12. This was his first win against two losses and lowered his ERA to 1.85. The 12 strikeouts almost equaled the number of whiffs he had in his first three games (13).
Because of the political situation in Venezuela there seems to be a negative impact on the number of baseball prospects coming from Venezuela. With visa requirements in place and violent crime and kidnapping an every day occurrence fewer scouts are travelling to Venezuela to find prospects. Many of the combines in Venezuela are sending their players to places like the Dominican Republic to improve their exposure. In a couple years Cuba will surpass Venezuela as a baseball hub. They already surpass them now with the level of talent coming from there.
Top Prospect Roughned Odor made it to the major leagues as a result of the season ending injury to Jurickson Profar. The number five prospect Victor Sanchez died as a result of a boating accident, the second death among the top ten list. Franklin Barreto rose from the tenth player on the list to the top spot.
1. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - The Blue Jays signed Barreto in 2012 for $1.45 million. He was one of the players the Blue Jays traded to the Athletics for Josh Donaldson. He is at least three years away from making a contribution to the major leagues. Last year was his first year playing in the United States and it was at the rookie level where he hit .311 with six homeruns in the Northwest League. The tools are there to play shortstop defensively but 27 errors could cause a move if it is not reduced. Barreto has the speed to steal bases (29 in 34 attempts) and the power to eventually hit in the double digits for homeruns. This is his first year in a full season league and after the first month he has been challenged (.172 average and .472 OBA).
2. Eduardo Rodriguez LHP (Red Sox) - Teams are motivated to keep lefthanders who can hit 95 on the radar gun. The Orioles were in a pennant race and Eduardo was the bait to acquire Andrew Miller. Eduardo also has an excellent change and a slider. Prior to the trade Eduardo struggled at Bowie (4.79 ERA). Once he was traded to the Red Sox and arrived in AA Portland he was unhittable. In six starts he crafted a 0.96 ERA with career bests of 9.4 K’s per nine innings and a .222 batting average against. Eduardo has started his 2015 season at Pawtucket just as hot (1.93 ERA) with a smaller strikeout average and a lower batting average against.
3. Renato Nunez 3B (Athletics) - The Athletics signed Nunez for $2.2 million in 2010. It’s a wonder the Athletics did not trade him as they did so many other prospects to enhance their playoff race last year. His power is massive but his speed is limited. This lack of speed limits his range at third base. If he continues to hit 29 homeruns as he did last year the Athletics will find a position for him or trade him to a team looking for power. First base is probably in his future. There is a lot of swing and miss to his game (113 whiffs last year), but less than what you would expect from a power hitter. Nunez will start the season in AA but has yet to play in the 2015 season.
4. Bruce Rondon RHP (Tigers) - The velocity of his fastball hits Triple Digits. The Tigers were hoping he would develop last year to eventually become the closer the Tigers are so desperately seeking. Instead, he found himself undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the whole season. The surgery has not impacted the velocity of his fastball. The last time he pitched in the major leagues was in 2013 where he appeared in 30 games, piecing together a 3.45 ERA. His two other pitches, a slider and change are not as effective as the fastball. One concern with the big 6′3′ 275 pound Rondon is his weight. The Tigers do not want him to be a 300 pound pitcher. His first appearance for 2015 should be for rehab and then a trip to AAA with a possible promotion to the Tigers if he achieves some success.
5. Carlos Sanchez SS/2B (White Sox) - Carlos had a great spring but the White Sox seemed to be convinced Micah Johnson is their secondbaseman. He started the season with the White Sox, hitting .667 in the only game he played. The White Sox wanted to get him more at bats in AAA rather than playing a utility role in the majors. Down in AAA he is raking (.367), which should earn him a promotion if Micah Johnson struggles. Carlos can play either short or second base and has been playing mostly second in AAA this year. Carlos does not walk enough for a high OBA. While his minor league OBA is .353 a brief trial in the majors saw his OBA slide to .269. Carlos lacks power, with seven of his eight homeruns hit last year. He has a career .362 slugging. His best bet for the major leagues will be as a middle infield utility player.
6. Hernan Perez SS/2B (Tigers) - The Tigers have Jose Iglesias at shortstop and Ian Kinsler at second. If Jose can show a decent bat the best bet for Perez is as a utility player. The same issues with Carlos Sanchez above also applies to Perez. His minor league career OBA is low (.304) and his power is lacking (.357). In his brief callups to the major leagues those numbers have been worse (.234 OBA and .233 slugging). He also fits better at second than at short. Hernan has started the season as the utility player for the Tigers and his offensive struggles continue with a .100 batting, on base and slugging average in just 10 at bats.
7. Luis Torrens C (Yankees) - The Yankees always seem to shell out big money for international catchers with weak defensive tools stopping them from making the major league team. Torrens was signed for $1.3 million in 2012, discovered in a Panama winter league. His defensive tools are better than most foreign players the Yankees have signed with a rifle for an arm. The Yankees feel his bat will hit for average and the power will come once he fills out. Last year he rose from two rookie leagues to Low A. At Low A he struggled to hit .154 in just 26 at bats, but he coaxed enough walks for a .353 OBA. Unfortunately for the Yankees Torrens had season ending surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder that will have him miss the entire 2015 season. How that will impact his strong throwing arm has yet to be determined.
8. Edwin Escobar LHP (Red Sox) - The Red Sox traded Jake Peavey for another good lefthanded arm during the same season they traded for Eduardo Rodriguez. Edwin was originally signed by the Rangers back in 2008. He does not throw as hard as Rodriguez, with his fastball sitting in the low 90s, but his slider is a nice strikeout pitch. One of his issues is getting right handed hitters out. At AAA Fresno they hit .334 against him while flailing for a .188 average against right handers. Those extremes did not exist at Pawtucket. Last year he made his major league debut with two relief appearances, not allowing a run in two innings of work. Because of his extreme batting average split and the surplus of starting pitchers the Red Sox have in the minor league system, the Red Sox may want to use him in relief at the major league level to get lefthanded hitters out.
9. Dixon Machado SS (Tigers) - Dixon has filled out since signing in 2008. Early in his career he had popgun power. Last year in close to 300 at bats at AA Erie he slugged .442 with a .305 average. Defensively he is a quality shortstop. The big concern with him was his bat. That seemed to have changed after his success last season. With Johnny Peralta at short Dixon will start his 2015 season at AAA Toledo, where he is hitting .308. His power has still not appeared with a .338 slugging average. Expect Dixon to be promoted to the Tigers by August of this year to make his major league debut.
10. Jesus Aguilar 1B (Indians) - The Indians have a crowd at first base with Carlos Santana, Brandon Moss and the soon to be arriving Nick Swisher. Jesus is not short on power, but he has struggled playing defense and lacks any kind of speed. At 6′3″ 250 pounds the bat looks like a toothpick in his hands. Last year his homerun total (19) at Columbus was disappointing but his slugging average (.511) as a result of 31 doubles gave him his major league debut. He only hit .121 with four singles for the Indians. The Indians have started him at Colombus with no room at his favorite position in Cleveland. At Columbus he is only hitting .219, almost 100 points less than what he hit last year. His power has produced four homeruns and a slugging average of .469.
To see the list from last year go to the link:
2014 Venezuelan prospects
Ichiro Suzuki broke a Japanese record for most runs scored by a Japanese player that was held by legend Sadaharu Oh. Suzuki scored his 1,968th run in the April 25th game between the Marlins and Nationals. The major league record for runs scored is held by Rickey Henderson at 2,295. Ichiro would sit in ninth place in the major leagues if you transferred his runs scored from the NPB and added them to his major league numbers.
Only two players have more hits than Ichiro, Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,189). Suzuki (4,134) needs only 55 hits to surpass Ty Cobb to sit in second place. He will be the first player ever to be elected to both the NPB Hall of Fame and the major league Hall of Fame.
The Quebec Capitals have signed four Cuban players, one of whom supposedly has signed with the Yokohama Bay Stars, but was unable to play because of injury. Yuniesky Gouriel and Lourdes Gouriel (brothers of Yulieski) have signed with Quebec. Lourdes is a big time prospect who supposedly had signed a contract with the Yokohama Bay Stars with brother Yulieski. The contract with Yulieski was voided because of injury, but Lourdes contract still seemed to be in play with the Bay Stars placing him on the restricted list. Odd that he is heading to Canada to play. Alexei Bell and Yordan Manduley are the two other players who have signed to play. A few years ago Bell won the Nacional Series homerun crown, but his power has stalled since then.
This is a nice coup for the Can Am League, but the contracts are probably very affordable. Three of the four players have major league potential. Yuniesky is an older player who lacks the power of his brothers, but can patrol centerfield.