Archive for November, 2016

Korea 28 Man WBC Roster

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Below are 28 players Korea is considering for the World Baseball Classic in March. Korea won the Premier 12 tournament and would like to continue their international success with a WBC championship. They are currently ranked third in the international baseball rankings behind Japan and the United States.

Pitchers

Kyu-Min Woo, Dae-Eun Rhee, Jong-Hyun Won, Shi-Hwan Jang, Jung-Woo Im, Yong-Chan Lee, Chang-Yong Lim, Won-Jun Jang, Hyun-Jong Yang, Kwang-Hyun Kim, Hyun-Seung Lee, Hee-Soo Park, Woo-Chan Cha

Catchers

Min-Ho Kang, Eui-Ji Kang

Infielders

Tae-Gyun Kim, Dae-Ho Lee, Keun-Woo Jung, Geon-Chang Seo, Suk-Min Park, Kyung-Min Heo, Jung-Ho Kang, Jae-Ho Kim

Outfielders

Byung-Heon Min, Hyun-Soo Kim, Yong-Kyu Lee, Hyung-Woo Choi, Shin-Soo Choo

Samurai Japan Wins Opener Against Netherlands

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

The Netherlands had rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth on back to back doubles from Yurendell de Caster and Kalian Sams to take the lead 8-7. Japan was able to tie the game at 8-8 after a walk and two Netherlands errors. In the bottom of the tenth Shota Ono stroked a walk off single into right field to give the Samurai a 9-8 win in their first of two exhibition games.

In the fifth inning it appeared the Netherlands had taken a commanding 5-1 lead after an error was followed by a two run homerun from Kalian Sams. In the bottom of the fifth Japan got a lead off solo homerun from Shohei Otani. Two walks and a single later the bases were loaded, setting the stage for Hayato Sakamoto, who drove in three runs with a double into left field. Sho Nakata drove in Sakamoto with a single and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo completed the scoring with an RBI double. That gave Japan a 7-5 lead until the ninth.

Jair Jurrjens got the start for the Netherlands, giving up four runs. Loek Van Mil, who pitched briefly in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles took the loss. Toshiya Okada was the last pitcher standing for Japan to capture the win.

Blue Jays Sign Lourdes Gurriel

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

The Blue Jays signed Lourdes Gurriel to a seven year $22 million contract. Gurriel is the younger brother of Yuliesky Gurriel, who was one of the stars of the Cuban national team. The to defected this year just as spring training was starting. They were quickly declared free agents and Yuliesky signed with the Houston Astros soon after, receiving his callup to the major leagues by mid season.

Lourdes does not have the pedigree of his older brother Yuliesky, but he has the talent to make his mark. In his last season in the Nacional Series he hit .344 with 10 homeruns and a .570 slugging percentage. The 6′2″ slugger has the potential to hit close to .300 with 20 plus homeruns. In the Nacional Series he was prone to making errors when playing the infield so his best position may be the outfield.

The Japanese team the Yokohoma Bay stars signed both Lourdes and Yuliesky to a contract last year, but Lourdes never reported to play with the Bay Stars. The Gurriel family is considered baseball royalty in Cuba with their father managing the national team for a number of international tournaments.

A rift was developing between the Cuban baseball association and the Guriels after the Guriels did not honor their baseball contracts to play for the Bay Stars, citing injury issues. There was another incident where Lourdes was left off a national team roster for an international tournament and Yulieski declined to play because of that in protest.

It will be interesting to see if they can create the same legacy they created in their native Cuba.

Japan Routs Mexico in Game Two

Friday, November 11th, 2016

After losing the opener the Japanese bats awoke for 13 hits in an 11-4 exhibition win against a team from Mexico to finish the series at a game apiece. Japan nickel and dimed the Mexican pitching staff for runs in every inning but the fourth and sixth innings. Shogo Akiyama drove in four runs on three hits and one walk, driving in one run in four different innings. Shohei Otani scored three times collecting two hits with two walks.

Yusuke Nomura got the start for Japan and gave up three solo shots. Rakuten Eagles Japhet Amador accounted for a solo shot in the second inning. Ramiro Pena and Alex Verdugo connected for solo shots in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3. Japan scored the next five runs in the fifth and seventh to pull away.

Japan will next play Netherlands in a two game exhibition series.

Mexico Downs Samurai Japan in Exhibition Game

Friday, November 11th, 2016

In the first of two exhibition games to prepare for the World Baseball Classic in March Mexico defeated Japan 7-3. Esteban Quiroz hit a solo shot in the fifth to give Mexico a 2-1 lead. An RBI double by Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, his second RBI of the game after walking with the bases loaded in the opening frame, tied the game at 2-2. Mexico scored two runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good, Amadeo Zazueta providing the clutch infield single to drive in the go ahead run.

A three run ninth by Mexico put the game out of reach. Mexico used nine different pitchers to get through the game. Jonathan Castellanos pitched the longest with his two innings of work.

After Japan finishes their two game series against Mexico they have another two game test against Netherlands.

Dominican Winter League Review

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Below is a summary of the Dominican winter league, some of the players to watch for when the major league season gets into swing next year. The league began play two weeks ago and myworld has yet to provide an update. Shame on me. This is the first.

Gigantes del Cibao (10-5)

Rhys Hoskins is the big bat for Gigantes. He hit 38 homeruns in the Eastern League in 2016 and is now getting hot in the Dominican with his three homeruns occurring in the last four games. His 11 RBIs leads the Dominican League and he has also added two stolen bases in three attempts. Ramon Torres also has three homeruns but his .390 average is more than 100 points better than Hoskins and leads the league. He has driven in 9 runs and his 15 runs scored also leads the Dominican League. Hanser Alberto (.340, 2, 10) and Torres have been sharing the shortstop position and both have been providing good offensive numbers.

Alec Asher will be looking for a spot in the Phillies rotation in 2017. In four starts for the Gigantes he has limited the opposition to a .162 average. He has only struck out 10 in his 21.2 innings of work.

Tigres del Licey (9-6)

Rymer Liriano would like to get his major league career started after it has been derailed by injuries these last two seasons. He is hitting .356 for Licey though he has been caught stealing all three times he has attempted. His two triples show the speed is still there but perhaps his initial burst is lacking. A lot is expected from shortstops Raul Mondesi (.214) and Willy Adames (.179) but both players are struggling.

Jonathan Dziedzic (2-0, 0.63) has been a surprise in his three starts. The opposition is hitting him at only a .192 clip. Brave prospect Matt Wisler has had two starts covering 9 total innings in which he has yet to give up a run. He has struck out 12 and walked just one in those two outings. Rafael Soriano (1.23) shows he still has some stuff to get hitters out, fulfilling the setup role for the Tigres.

Aguilas Cibaenas (9-8)

Ronny Rodriguez (.400, 3, 8) has been a big time power source. He also has gapped 7 doubles to lead the team. Dylan Cozens was a teammate of Hoskins in the Eastern League and slugged 40 homeruns. His power source has not flamed out in the Dominican with four homeruns, more than anyone in the league. His 10 RBIs lead the team as does his alarming 22 whiffs in just 16 games.

Forrest Snow is a six year minor league free agent. His Dominican numbers (0-1, 1.59 with 19 whiffs in 17 innings) in three starts will convince some team to sign him. Josh Judy has picked up five saves and allowed only one unearned run in his seven appearances. Norge Ruiz (2-1, 3.77) is the undersized Cuban free agent who all the scouts are watching. We weren’t impressed with his stuff when we watched him pitch and Dominican hitters are putting bat to the ball at a .264 clip off him.

Leones del Escogido (8-8)

Rafael Bautista (.276 with 5 stolen bases) and Ruben Sosa (.295 with 6 stolen bases) have each scored ten runs as they give the Leones two base running threats at the top of the lineup. The six stolen bases by Ruben are more than anyone in the league and Rafael sits tied for second. Carlos Asuaje (.237) leads the team in RBIs with 10 but only two of his 14 hits have gone for extra bases. Asuaje is one of the players the Padres acquired from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade.

Mike Hauschild (0-1, 2.95) is second in the Dominican League in whiffs with 21. While he is starting in the Dominican League his future may be in relief with right handed batters hitting .214 against him. Lefthanded bats are raking him at a .333 clip.

Estrellas Orientales (7-8)

Tigers prospect Jason Krizan (.324, 1, 6) has been a surprise. He has a 8/4 walk to whiff ratio.

Estrellas has gotten solid pitching from Alexis Candelario (1-0, 0.53) and Evan MacLane (2-0, 1.77), both journeymen pitchers. Candelario has been showing dominating stuff with 18 whiffs in his 17 games, including a 10 strikeout performance in his second start and a .148 opposition average. At 34 years of age Candelario is not much of a prospect and is destined for another summer in the Mexican League. Ivan Pineyro (0-1, 2.25) threw five innings of shutout ball in his most recent start, his third of the season.

Toros del Este (4-12)

Dan Black (.268, 2, 8) has drawn 13 walks to his 11 whiffs. Manuel Margot, another player the Padres acquired in the Kimbrel trade, is the biggest prospect to watch. He is hitting .288 with five stolen bases in six attempts.

Alexi Ogando has yet to give up a run and picked up three saves in his 7.2 innings of closing work. Not a lot of closing to do for a team with just 4 wins, three of them Alexi gets credit for saving. Panamanian Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.45) leads the Dominican League in whiffs with 22. The veteran 29 year old has only walked two in his 18.1 innings, relying mostly on command since his fastball is challenged to break 90.

Mariners and Padres Rosters Based on Draft Picks

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Below would be the rosters for the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres based on their domestic draft looking at major league players drafted from 2005 until present. The Padres seem to do well drafting players who can play second base but that is not how you build championship teams. The Mariners have some impressive starting pitchers but lack any offensive players.

San Diego Padres

2005 - Cesar Ramos (1) LHP, Chase Headley (2) 3B, Ryan Hundley (2) C, Will Venable (2) OF, Josh Tomlin (11 - DNS) RHP

2006 - Wade LeBlanc (2) LHP, David Freese (9) 3B, Matt Latos (11) RHP

2007 - Eric Sogard (2) UTL, Corey Kluber (4) RHP, Christian Colon (10 - DNS) 3B/SS, Brandon Gomes (17) RHP

2008 - Logan Forsythe (1) 2B, Jason Kipnis (4 - DNS) 2B, Anthony Bass (5) RHP, Andrew Albers (10) LHP, Nick Vincent (18) RHP, Sean Gilmartin (31 - DNS) LHP, Brad Brach (42) RHP

2009 - Keyvius Sampson (4) RHP

2010 - Jedd Gyorko (2) 2B

2011 - Corey Spangenberg (1) 2B, Joe Ross (1) RHP, Jace Peterson (1) 2B, Austin Hedges (2) C, Matt Andriese (3) RHP, Matt Wisler (7) RHP, Kevin Quackenbush (8) RHP, Colin Rea (12) RHP

2012 - Travis Jankowski (1) OF, Mallex Smith (5) OF

2013 - Hunter Renfroe (1) OF, Trevor Gott (6) RHP

2014 - Trea Turner (1) OF

C - Austin Hedges, Nick Hundley

1B - David Freese

2B - Logan Forsythe, Jason Kipnis, Jedd Gyorko, Corey Spangenberg

3B - Chase Headley

SS - Jace Peterson, Christian Colon, Eric Sogard

OF - Trea Turner, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, Mallex Smith, Will Venable

SP - Josh Tomlin, Corey Kluber, Matt Latos, Wade LeBlanc, Joe Ross, Colin Rea, Matt Wisler, Matt Andriese

RP - Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes, Anthony Bass, Andrew Albers, Nick Vincent, Sean Gilmartin, Brad Brach, Keyvius Sampson, Kevin Quackenbush, Matt Stites, Trvor Gott

Seattle Mariners

2005 - James Russell (17 - DNS) RHP, Xavier Scruggs (50 - DNS) 1B/OF

2006 - Brandon Morrow (1) RHP, Chris Tillman (2)RHP, Doug Fister (7) RHP

2007 - Shawn Kelley (13) RHP, Brett Oberhaltzer (4 - DNS) LHP, David Carpenter (49 - DNS) RHP

2008 - Josh Fields (1) RHP, Brandon Maurer (23) RHP

2009 - Dustin Ackley (1) OF 1B , Steve Baron (1) C, Nick Franklin (1) UTL, Kyle Seager (3) 3B

2010 - Taijuan Walker (1) RHP, James Paxton (4) LHP, Jabari Blash (8) OF

2011 - Brad Miller (2) SS, Carter Capps (3) RHP, John Hicks (4) C, Carson Smith (8) RHP, Keone Kela (29 - DNS) RHP

2012 - Mike Zunino (1) C, Edwin Diaz (3) RHP, Chris Taylor (5) SS, Dominic Leone (16) RHP

C - Mike Zunino, Steve Baron, John Hicks

1B - Xavier Scruggs, Dustin Ackley

2B - Nick Franklin

SS - Brad Miller, Chris Taylor

3B - Kyle Seager

OF - Jabari Blash

SP - Lance Lynn, Chris Tillman, Doug Fister, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Brett Oberholtzer

RP - James Russell, Brandon Morrow, Shawn Kelley, David Carpenter, Josh Fields, Brandon Maurer, Carter Capps, Carson Smith, Keone Kela, Edwin Diaz, Dominic Leone

My World’s Under 23 All Tournament Team

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

We were not at the games, but based on the numbers this is myworld’s All Tournament team for the under 23’s.

C - Robbie Perkins (Australia) .313, 1, 3

1B - Connor MacDonald (Australia) - .313, 4, 14

2B - Cesar Diaz (Nicaragua) .400, 3, 17 with 4 stolen bases

3B - Jean Rodriguez (Panama) .417, 1, 4 with a 1.131 OPS

SS - Jacob Younis (Australia) .571, 2, 7 with a 1.525 OPS and 17 runs scored and 3 SBs. A 7/1 walk to whiff ratio

LF - Yusuke Masago (Japan) .379 , 3, 13 with 5 2Bs and 1.214 OPS

CF - Kengo takeda (Japan) .483, 1, 9 . 559 OBA

RF - Norberto Obeso (Mexico) .433, 1, 6

DH - Moises Gutierrez (Mexico) .367, 2, 14

SP - Keisuke Honda (Japan) 1-0, 0.60, .120 oppo average and 3/15 walk to whiff
Jiseob Lim (Korea) 2-0, 1.13, 5/14 walk to whiff and .106 oppo ave
Daiki Aoyama (Japan) 1-0, 1.38 3/15 walk to whiff
Abdiel Velasquez (Panama) 1-0, 0.68

Closer - Sang-Hyun Jeong (Korea) - 1.17 with 13 K’s in 7.2 innings and a .167 oppo ave

Jacob Younis would get my MVP vote and the best pitcher award given to Keisuke Honda.

Japan Wins Under 23 Championship

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Japan routed Australia for the second time to win the under 23 championship. This was an event that did not have the United States or Cuba appear, two of the top teams in the rankings of World Baseball. Except for a blemish against Panama the Japanese team cruised through the opposition.

Australia jumped to an early 3-0 lead. Aaron Whitfield, who had a perfect 4 for 4 day from the lead off spot drove in the first two runs with a two run single in the third. Zach Shepherd made it 3-0 after a solo homerun in the top of the fourth.

Nicholas Veale had retired the Japanese in order in the ninth. He gave up a single in the third but picked the runner off. He should have retired the first two hitters in the fourth but an error by second baseman Samuel Kennelly put a runner on and another error in the inning, this one by third baseman Connor McDonald with the bases loaded allowed two runs to score. A sacrifice fly by Takumi Miyoshi and an RBI single by Tomoya Kakinuma gave them a lead they would not relinquish.

The Japanese put on their hitting shoes in the sixth with Yusuke Masago leading off the inning with a homerun. For Yusuke it was his fourth homerun of the tournament and 14th RBI. Another error by Australia extended the inning, allowing Taishi Hirooka to blast a 3-run homer to capture a 9-3 lead in the game. Because of the error the last three runs were unearned.

Japan scored a final run in the 8th inning on an RBI double by Kengo Takeda. Japan used five different pitchers in the game but Keisuke Honda was the best pitcher striking out five of the six hitters he faced. Hiroaki Saiuchi struck out the side in the ninth, but also issued a lead off walk. Japanese pitchers struck out 14 Aussie hitters before the game was done.

Korea won the bronze medal game over Panama 5-3. They scored four of their five runs in the first two innings. Woo-Jun Sim slashed two doubles to drive in two runs and scored one run to lead the Korean offense. Sim collected a hit in all nine games he played. The two doubles he hit in the win over Panama were his first extra base hits of the tournament. Sug-gon Jung pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits and falling two pitches short of the century mark.

Rodrigo Orozco was the hitting star for Panama with a homerun and double to drive in two of the three Panama runs. Gabriel Henry pitched 5.1 innings of no hit relief without allowing a run, but he did walk seven hitters. His 88 pitch count was almost equal to Jung in almost four innings less of work. In total Panama pitchers only gave up six hits, enough to win a ball game, but the three pitchers combined for 13 walks.

Under 23 - Japan and Australia to Compete for Championship

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Japan routed Australia in their pool play encounter 11-2. The championship game will be a new encounter, with the under 23 championship on the line. Korea and Panama will battle for the bronze. Below is a summary of day two and three of the super round.

Panama 3 Japan 2

Panama sent Japan to their first loss of the tournament, scoring a run in the eighth inning to win the game. Jean Rodriguez was the hitting star for Panama driving in two runs with a solo shot and a RBI single. Abdiel Velasquez pitched 7.1 innings to give Panama the opportunity to win the game. He gave up two runs in the second inning, including a solo shot from Koki Yamashita. It was Alberto Guerrero who got credit for the win with his 1.2 innings of work.

Australia 9 Korea 7

Australia scored early taking a 6-0 lead after two. Korea bounced back with seven runs in the next three innings to leave the game tied 7-7 after five. Single runs in the seventh and eighth gave Australia the victory in this slugfest. Robbie Perkins went deep for Australia. He also doubled to drive in three runs in the game. Guy Edmonds also drove in three runs with his three singles in four at bats. Jacob Younis scored three times contributing a double and two singles in his four at bats. Joshua Guyer got the victory pitching the last 2.2 innings in relief without allowing Korea a run. He struck out four of the 10 hitters he faced.

Mexico 7 Nicaragua 4

Mexico put themselves in gold medal contention rallying for four runs in the seventh to pull out a victory. Norberto Obeso and Manuel Cruz did the bulk of the damage driving in seven of the nine runs. Cruz homered to drive in four and Obeso rapped two singles and a homer for his contribution to the offense.

Japan 3 Mexico 2

Japan knocked Mexico out of medal contention, scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth to win their game and qualify for a gold medal appearance. Mexico scored both their runs on a two run homerun for Carlos Diaz in the seventh. Mexico committed four errors to allow two unearned runs to score and gift wrap the game to Japan. Two errors in the ninth, the last by Mexican pitcher Francisco Haro allowed the game winning run to score. Except for the two run homer in the seventh Japanese pitcher Daiki Aoyama pitched well with seven innings of four hit ball. He struck out nine, striking out the side in his last inning of work when he gave up the two run homer.

Australia 8 Panama 4

Australia knocked Panama to the bronze medal game with Connor McDonald leading their high powered offense with two dingers and four RBIs. McDonald also walked twice, spreading fear in the pitchers hearts with his four homeruns and 14 RBIs for the tournament. Jacob Younis continued his torrid hitting with three hits and two runs scored. Jacob is hitting .571 for the tournament with 17 runs scored. He has only failed to score in one of the eight games he has played.

Korea 13 Nicaragua 8

Korea put themselves into the bronze medal game by winning the slugfest over Nicaragua. A six run fifth turned a 6-4 deficit into a 10-6 lead proving to be the back breaker for Nicaragua. Korea hammered out 12 hits and drew 9 walks to score their 13 runs. Byeong-Wuk Lim was the big offensive contributor with a homerun and four RBIs. Tae-Jin Kim and Woo-Jun Sim each scored three times. Cesar Diaz did his part for Nicaragua, driving in four runs with a homerun, double and single, falling a triple short of the cycle. Diaz has driven in 17 runs in the tournament.