Archive for June, 2017

Myworld’s Top Ten International League Prospects

Friday, June 30th, 2017

They may not be the best prospects in the league but myworld either likes what we’ve seen from them or the numbers they are putting up in the International League. A couple of these players have already been called up to the major leagues.

1. Yoan Moncada (Charlotte/White Sox) 2B - He got knocked from his perch as the best prospect in baseball by Andrew Benintendi, who is now playing for the Red Sox. There are a lot of tools to his game such as speed and the thunder in his bat. There are also some issues to be concerned about, such as his 85 strikeouts in his 66 games and his 10 errors at second base. His .281 average is also a bit pedestrian for a man of his talent. The White Sox are being patient with him so do not expect any major league playing time until possibly September. Yoan will hope to improve on his .211 average and his 12 whiffs in 20 major league at bats.

2. Willy Adames (Durham/Rays) SS - Adames has a smooth glove for short. He made a number of impressive defensive plays in the four game series myworld witnessed against Norfolk. If his bat can hit .270 or above he should be fine as a major league shortstop. His power seems to be limited for the gaps. The Rays picked him up from the Tigers a couple years ago and he is filtering up their system one level at a time. Expect a September callup with more major league time expected next year.

3. Rhys Hoskins (Lehigh Valley/Phillies) 1B - Many felt the Reading park helped him with his 38 homeruns last year. He is not playing at Reading this year and leads the International League in homeruns with 19. He is also hitting .303 with a league leading 63 RBIs. What you have to like about him is his ability to make contact with only 48 whiffs in 80 games. He also shows a good eye with 44 walks. The Phillies are in no rush to promote Hoskins for a last place run in 2017 but a September callup could be possible.

4. Brent Honeywell (Durham/Rays) RHP - Myworld does not like the 89 hits he has given up in just 73 innings or his 4.91 ERA. He also did not look too good in the one start myworld witnessed him pitch. But we still like his ability to miss bats (90 whiffs) and throw in the mid-90s. It may take another season in AAA to enhance his secondary pitches before he sees significant time with the Rays. With Blake Snell (no longer a prospect), Jacob Faria and Ryan Yarbrough the Rays have four excellent starters in their AAA rotation.

5. Jacob Faria (Durham/Rays) - There is not much velocity in his game. Jacob relies more on his plus change to make his low 90s fastball that much tougher to hit. It shows in his 84 strikeouts in his 58.2 innings of work. Jacob is also not giving up a lot of hits with just 44 hits given up. He is a tenth round pick from 2011. His success in AAA has resulted in a callup where he has earned quality starts in each of his four major league appearances.

6. Ozzie Albies 2B/SS (Gwinnett/Braves) - Dansby Swanson won the shortstop job, moving Ozzie to second. An injury late in the year prevented him from being promoted with Swanson. With the acquisition of Brandon Phillips it will be tough for Ozzie to find playing time this year. He has the tools to play shortstop but the Braves have moved him to second because that will be his future position with the Braves. He is hitting .280 with 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts. There will not be a lot of power in his game. The Braves would like to see a reduction in the 65 whiffs and an increase in his .327 OBA. Coming into this season his career OBA was .377. With his speed he would be an ideal lead off hitter with an improved OBA, Expect a September callup or an injury to Brandon Phillips to initiate his major league debut.

7. Dustin Fowler (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) OF - His season ended after crashing into a fence in his major league debut. Clint Frazier, a number one pick by the Indians in 2013 who the Yankees acquired in the Andrew Miller trade may have more tools. Dustin has the better numbers in AAA including slugging (.542), batting average (.293), homeruns (13) and stolen bases (13). His power appeared to break out last season when he hit 12 homeruns to go with his 15 triples. He has the speed to play centerfield but his arm falls short of Frazier as a right fielder.

8. Zach Granite (Rochester/Twins) - Coming into this season the 14th round pick was not a highly touted prospect. His minor league career average was just .282. His speed is not centerfield quality and his arm is probably better suited for left field. The pop is not there to fit the profile of a left fielder. The one thing he has done well this year is lead the International League in hitting with a .367 average. The power is still absent with only three homeruns but the Twins have been using him in centerfield, where his bat will profile better. If Byron Buxton stays with the Twins it will be difficult for Zach to dislodge him from centerfield, but any team will make room for a bat hitting .360.

9. Lucas Sims (Gwinnett Braves/Braves) RHP - The Braves traded for a bevy of number one picks to stock their pitching depth in the minors. Lucas is one of their originals, drafted by them in the first round of 2012. He is starting to make the Braves take notice that maybe the best they had was already in their system. He is second in the International League in whiffs with 92 and the opposition is hitting him at a .229 clip. That is much better than the .280 they hit against him last year. His biggest problem is giving up the long ball with 16 homeruns in just 86 innings of work. That is a reason for his high 3.98 ERA. Lucas has good velocity to his fastball at 93-95 with an above average change. Improving a third pitch is critical if he wants to stay in the starting rotation.

10. Nick Williams (LeHigh Valley/Phillies) OF - Nick got a callup to the major leagues. This year he is breaking out all his tools, hitting for average (.280) and power (15 homeruns and a .511 slugging). There are still too many whiffs in his game (90 in 78 games) but if he continues to hit the ball hard the Phillies will tolerate the swings and misses. His defense is centerfield caliber but may be more suited to left field. His arm is not a rocket but it is adequate for a right fielder. It would not surprise me if Nick struggles in his major league debut, with a whiff percentage at greater than 50 per cent.

Others worth noting

Dylan Cozens (Lehigh Valley/Phillies) - He has recovered from an average that was below the Mendoza line. His 18 homeruns are second in the International League to teammate Rhys Hoskins but last year he won the Eastern League homerun title with 40. Low batting averages and strikeouts will be a part of his game but the big time power is there. Dylan has the arm to play right field.

Johnny Field (Durham/Rays) OF - Not a player blessed with a lot of tools. What myworld witnessed was he made the diving catch in centerfield routine. At 25 he is about as good as he is going to get. He will hit .260 and give you moderate power with the bat for double digit homerun totals. If he could walk more he might be more attractive. His speed will also give you double digit totals but he falls short of being a 20/20 player.

Clint Frazier (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) OF - The Indians made him a first round pick in 2013. The Yankees traded Andrew Miller to acquire him. He has all five tools, with speed, power, arm and the ability to play defense. His one big challenge is his ability to make consistent contact, which could impact his average. The Yankees just called him up as a replacement to Dustin Fowler.

Tyler Wade (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) SS - In this age of seven to eight man bullpens it is important to find a player who is comfortable at multiple positions. Tyler appears to be that player. His .313 batting average is second in the league and his 24 stolen bases is tops in the league. Most of his time in the minor leagues was at shortstop, but he also played second, third and the outfield. Expect him to be a utility player in the mold of Marwin Gonzalez.

Ryan Yarbrough (Durham/Rays) LHP - He does not have an overpowering fastball but there is still a lot of swing and miss with his pitches. He leads the International League in whiffs with 92. The opposition is hitting him at a .248 clip. On his own team he shares the rotation with Honeywell, Blake Snell (recently called up) and Faria but don’t be surprised if Yarbrough gets an opportunity. If the Rays are in a pennant race it is not the starters with the most potential who get the callup, but the starters who show they can get the job done.

Sean Newcomb (Gwinnett/Braves) LHP - Sean pitched well in the International League (2.97 ERA) and is now transferring that success to the major league team (1.48 ERA). The Angels had drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft and the Braves acquired him in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Not overpowering with a fastball in the low 90s but he hides the ball well and has an excellent curve ball.

Lucas Giolito/Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer (Charlotte/White Sox) RHP - It is a talented group of pitchers but the numbers they put up are not major league quality. The biggest issue for all three is their ability to throw strikes. Each of them walks close to a hitter every two innings. The biggest concern with Lucas was his drop in velocity. Reynaldo has a mid-90s fastball but stands only 6′0″. Based on their press clippings all three will get an opportunity to achieve success in the major leagues, but press clippings fail to get hitters out.

Austin Meadows (Indianapolis/Pirates) OF - Staying healthy has always been a problem for Austin. Without health the numbers are not there to show case his tools. A pulled hamstring put him on the disabled list just recently. Last year he was limited to just 80 games. He makes more contact than Frazier but his averages his last two years have fallen far below his norm. His power has been limited to the gaps but last year he hit 12 so there could be a break out season there. His arm is best suited for left field but his defensive instincts and speed could see him in centerfield.

United States Versus Taiwan Exhibition Series

Friday, June 30th, 2017

The United States college national team defeated the Taiwan team in the first three games the two teams played in North Carolina. The fourth game was cancelled because of rain. There are two more games on the schedule, with one being played at Cary and the other at Durham. After that series Cuba comes to North Carolina for a five game series. The team will then close with a five game series versus Japan on an East Coast swing.

United States 6 Taiwan 3

Konnor Pilkington threw four innings of no hit ball to get the United States off to a good start. Jake McCarthy broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning with an RBI single. The United States broke the game open in the eighth inning with four runs to up the score to 6-1. Grant Koch and Johnny Aiello each contributed two run singles in the eighth.

United States 3 Taiwan 0

Casey Mize got the start for the United States team and gave up the only two hits for Taiwan in his four innings of work. Steven Gingery followed him and pitched four innings of no hit ball. Steele Walker and Andrew Vaughn each hit solo homeruns in the sixth to provide the bulk of the offense.

United States 3 Taiwan 1

Sean Wymer pitched four innings of shutout ball to extend the scoreless streak for the United States starting pitchers to 16 innings. Steele Walker drove in another run, this one with a sacrifice fly in the third. Travis Swaggerty scored a run after tripling in the third and drove in a run with a single in the sixth.

Strasburg Dominates Cubs

Friday, June 30th, 2017

It is a little late but between volleyball camps, softball games and attending baseball games myworld has been a little busy. Strasburg started on Thursday and struck out 13 Cubs in seven innings of work, leading to the Nationals 8-4 win. He allowed three runs, two coming on a Wilson Contreras two run homer in the fourth and the other coming as a result of a Ryan Zimmer boot.

John Lackey of the Cubs was not so fortunate. He gave up eight runs in just a little over five innings of work, six of those runs coming in the first three innings. He retired the first two hitters he faced but a Bryce Harper double into the right center field gap and a Ryan Zimmerman single into left center gave the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

They poked a hole through Lackey in the second when Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters led off the inning with back to back homeruns. A Strasburg single followed by a Trea Turner single seemed to unnerve Lackey. Walks to Brian Goodwin and Bryce Harper forced in a run and a boot by Kris Bryant scored another run. Daniel Murphy grounded into a double play to keep Lackey in the game.

In the third a Rendon leadoff double led to the sixth run to up the lead to 6-0. Albert Almora took a poor route to the ball and let it get by him. Rendon advanced to third on a ground out to second and scored on a fly ball to Almora in center. Lackey settled down after that, shutting the Nationals down in the fourth and allowing only a solo homerun in the fifth to Daniel Murphy.

A one out Trea Turner double down the third base line in the sixth finished the day for Lackey. A Bryce Harper hustle double up the middle off lefty Brian Duensing scored Turner and notched eight runs given up by Lackey to his total, raising his ERA to an unsightly 5.24.

Strasburg was dominant for most of the game. He struck out the side in the second and third innings. In the fourth Kris Bryant doubled down the left field line. Wilson Contreras got ahead of Strasburg 2-0 and then drove a pitch high and far into the left field bleachers. That made the score 6-2.

Albert Almora drove a pitch over the head of Brian Goodwin for a double to lead off the fifth. He scored from second when Ryan Zimmerman booted a Mark Zagunis grounder. A first baseman that could throw the ball may have been able to get Almora at the plate but the Cubs recognized the bad limb of Zimmerman and had Almora break for home. After that Strasburg retired the final eight hitters he faced.

The Cubs added another run in the eighth inning when Anthony Rizzo drove an Enny Romero 98 mile per hour fastball into the second deck of the right field bleachers.

Game Notes: In a fluke play the Cubs will miss Kris Bryant for a couple weeks. He caught a routine pop up, evidently did not know where the third base bag was and when he made a step forward he caught the corner of the bag and twisted his ankle. Cubs trainers had to help him off the field. The final injury report is a high ankle sprain, which can take some time to heal. The Cubs anticipate two days but myworld believes it will be longer…The Cubs also released Miguel Montero after he was critical of Jake Arrieta keeping runners on base. He faulted Arrieta for failing to hold the runners, resulting in seven National steals, adding to his poor 1 for 32 success rate in caught stealing. The Cubs did not like him airing his grievances in public and released him…John Lackey did not give in to Bryce Harper when he walked him in the second inning to load the bases. All four pitches to him were breaking balls…Seeing Jon Jay hitting fifth for the Cubs makes me wonder if I was dreaming that the Cubs won the World Series last year…Stephen Strasburg was forced to leave his start after seven innings because of back spasms.

Future Games Rosters Selected

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The futures game is played before the All Star team and features the best prospects outside of the United States against the best prospects inside the United States. The game is scheduled for July 9. Below are the rosters of the two teams.

World Team

Pitchers

Domingo Acevedo (Dom Rep/Yankees), Yadier Alvarez (Cuba/Dodgers), Jaime Barria (Panama/Angels), Luis Escobar (Colombia/Pirates), Tayron Guerrero (Colombia/Marlins), Jonathan Hernandez (Dominican Republic/Rangers), Jairo Labourt (Dom Rep/Tigers), Cal Quantrill (Canada/Padres), Mike Soroka (Canada/Braves), Thyago Vieira (Brazil/Mariners)

Catchers

Tomas Nido (Puerto Rico/Mets), Francisco Mejia (Dom Rep/Indians)

Infielders

Yordan Alvarez (Cuba/Astros), Josh Naylor (Canada/Padres), Yoan Moncada (Cuba/White Sox), Mauricio Dubon (Honduras/Brewers), Lucius Fox (Bahamas/Rays), Ahmed Rosario (Dom Rep/Mets), Rafael Devers (Dom Rep/Red Sox), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Dom Rep/Blue Jays)

Outfielders

Ronald Acuna (Venezuela/Braves), Estevan Florial (Haiti/Yankees), Eloy Jimenez (Dom Rep/Cubs), Victor Robles (Dom Rep/Nationals), Alex Verdugo (Mexico/Dodgers)

United States team

Beau Burrows (Tigers), Jon Duplantier (Diamondbacks), Jack Flaherty (Cardinals), Foster Griffen (Royals), Jimmy Hegert (Reds), Brent Honeywell (Rays), Michael Kopech (White Sox), Triston McKenzie (Indians), A.J. Puk (Athletics), Tanner Scott (Orioles)

Catcher

Zack Collins (White Sox), Chance Sisco (Orioles)

Infielders

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Ryan McMahon (2B/3B) Rockies, Scott Kingery (Phillies), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays/Brazil), Nick Gordon (Twins), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Brian Anderson (Marlins), Nick Senzel (Reds)

Outfielders

Lewis Brinson (Twins), Derek Fisher (Astros), Corey Ray (Brewers), Bryan Reynolds (Giants), Kyle Tucker (Astros)

Florida Gators Win First Championship

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

The Florida Gators have had some pretty good baseball teams over the years. None of them could call themselves champions. The 2017 version became the first to win an NCAA championship with their 6-1 win over LSU. Florida becomes the first school to win a championship in football, basketball and baseball.

Tyler Dyson got the start for Florida. He gave up one run in six innings of work. Michael Byrne relieved him in the seventh. Byrne appeared to have given up a second run after getting a double play ground out. The umpires ruled interference on the runner sliding into second base and since no runner can advance on an interference play the runner who had scored had to return to third. The next hitter flied out and Florida still had a 2-1 lead.

They blew the game wide open with a four spot in the eighth. Nick Horvath was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Deacon Liput smacked a single to drive in two runs. Liput had also singled in the second inning to drive in a run. J.J. Schwarz drove in the fourth run with a sacrifice fly. He had also driven in the first run in the opening inning with a single.

Jackson Kowar got the last five outs. He was the lucky guy to be on the bottom of the pile up after the game was won.

Cubs Hold Off Nationals in Opener

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Joe Maddon has got to be in the head of Ryan Zimmerman. Last year Maddon walked Bryce Harper six times in a game to face Zimmerman who struck out in a number of those at bats. With the tying run on third and the winning run on second and first base open after a wild pitch scored a run, Maddon chose to pitch to Zimmerman rather than walk him to face Murphy. Zimmerman struck out swinging at a pitch in the dirt and the Cubs held on to win 5-4.

Gio Gonzales had a strong outing. Wilson Contreras was a surprise selection for the leadoff spot and Maddon looked like a genius when he sent the fourth pitch from Gio into the left field bleachers. It was the last run Gio would give up in his six innings of work. A high pitch count triggered by eight whiffs and four walks led to his early departure.

The Nationals had trouble scoring off Cubs starter Eddie Butler. He worked five innings and did not allow a National to reach third. With runners on first and second and two out in the top of the sixth the Cubs chose to pinch hit for him. Addison Russell struck out to end the inning.

The Nationals could not get to the Cubs bullpen until the ninth inning. The Cubs were able to take advantage of a Nationals fielding miscue in the eighth to score a second run. Javier Baez hit a one out single off Blake Treinen. Jeimer Candelario grounded a ball to Murphy who chose to throw to second. Javier Baez beat the throw, with a video replay reversing the umpire’s initial out call. Baez stole third and scored on a bunt single by Albert Almora junior.

The Nationals had an opportunity to score in the bottom frame. Brian Goodwin and Bryce Harper hit back to back two out singles. Maddon chose to have Justin Grimm face Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a weak grounder to third to keep the Nationals scoreless.

Matt Grace came on to pitch the ninth. Tommy Lastella topped a slow roller down the first base line. Grace pounced on the ball, whirled around to throw it, but fired it on the inside part of the bag. The ball ended up in right field and La Stella stopped at second. Anthony Rizzo beat the Nationals shift with a slow roller to the left side that trickled into left field. Brian Goodwin charged the ball, fired the ball home but six feet over the head of the catcher, hitting high off the netting of the back stop. Bryant was intentionally walked. Rizzo was thrown out at third on a double steal. Ian Happ singled to right. Bryce Harper appeared to have a play on Bryant racing home but chose to throw to second. Javier Baez finished the scoring by lacing a double into the right centerfield gap off Matt Albers.

Down 5-0 the escape to the Metro had begun. Daniel Murphy gave the few faithful sticking the game out some hope leading off the inning with a double. A single into right field by Matt Wieters scored the Nationals first run, averting their first shutout of the year. Wade Davis replaced Hector Rondon on the mound. Michael Taylor doubled off the right centerfield wall. Stephen Drew doubled down the right field line to score two bringing the tying run to the plate. Trea Turner walked and with two outs Bryce Harper singled to load the bases. A wild pitch scored the fourth run and with runners on third and second Mr. used to be clutch struck out to end the game.

Game Notes: Blake Treinen used to be 96 to 97 miles per hour with his fastball up until this week. Now he is hitting triple digits consistently…Javier Baez made two spectacular plays at shortstop filling in for Addison Russell. He made a diving back hand grab on a liner by Bryce Harper in the third and in the eighth he made a sliding catch into the third base fence to take an at bat away from Adam Lind…Wilson Contreras picked Trea Turner off first in the third. He was initially ruled safe but a replay confirmed the Contreras throw beat Turner to the base…Carl Edwards Jr. struck out the side in his one inning performance in the sixth. He hit 97 with his fastball…Blake Treinen had a brain cramp. With a runner on first and one out Rizzo hit one back to him. Blake turned to throw to first, must have heard someone screaming second and made an awkward throw to second to get the out. Fortunately the Cubs did not score, but Blake has a habit of forgetting about baserunners…The Nationals have yet to be shutout this year…The Nationals showed their desperation about the bullpen situation by signing Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league contract. This could end up like the Joe Nathan contract, who was eventually released after not appearing on the major league club. Rodriguez has not seen 90 with his fastball in a couple years and was released by the Detroit Tigers this year, one of the two teams with a bullpen that is worse than the Nationals.

Gators Win Opener

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The Florida Gators are one win away from their first championship after their 4-3 opening day win. Florida took advantage of three walks to load the bases in the fourth, then got a sacrifice fly from Austin Langworthy and a two run double from Jonathan India to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Brady Singer worked seven innings to keep the lead before yielding to Michael Byrne in the eighth after giving up a lead off double. Byrne gave up an RBI single to Josh Smith but then retired the last four hitters to earn his third save of the College World Series. Singer struck out 12 Tigers in his seven innings of work.

2017 Top Cuban Prospects - National League

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Myworld only includes those Cubans signed prior to April so Luis Robert and Hector Mendoza would not be included on this list. They will probably appear on the 2018 list. The Dodgers seem to control the Cuban market in the National League, though they have not been getting their money’s worth yet as far as major league contribution. Alex Guerrero is leading the NPB in homeruns with 20, but that does not do the Dodgers much good.

1. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - His fastball has tweaked triple digits on the radar gun but sits in the mid-90s. That is something not common with Cuban pitchers. While he throws hard he struggles with command. He did not make the Cuban 18 and under team because of his inability to throw strikes. The potential exists for a plus curve and change, which would put him in the rotation. Last year he started 14 games in rookie ball and Low A. The Dodgers controlled his pitches limiting him to under five innings per start. This year he is pitching in the California League which can be tough on pitchers. For Yadier it has been tough on him with a .275 opposition average and a 5.32 ERA.

2. Adrian Morejon LHP (Padres) - He does not throw as hard as Yadier but he is more a complete pitcher. While Yadier did not make the 18 under team because of his lack of control Adrian won the MVP award in the 15 and under World Cup tournament. He sits in the low 90s, touching the mid 90s, pretty good for a lefthanded arm. His curve and change are a little more developed than Yadier and his command of the strike zone is better. The tools may not be as great but his potential to succeed is better. The two starts at Tri-City are his first as a professional. He did not walk any in his 11 innings but the opposition hit him at a .333 clip.

3. Yusniel Diaz OF (Dodgers) - Yusniel left Cuba after his first season in the Cuban Nacional Series. He has decent speed, but like many Cubans does not steal bases because of poor jumps. Power is lacking in his bat but he should hit the gaps and hit for average. His speed and a strong arm will make him a good fit defensively in center field. He signed with the Dodgers after the 2015 season for $15 million and hit .272 in the California League. He is repeating the California League and is showing slightly better numbers across the board. His stolen base success is still poor going from seven out of 15 to five out of 13.

4. Jorge Ona OF (Padres) - The Padres paid Jorge a $7 million bonus in July 2016. His tools are not as impressive as Yusniel. His lack of speed will restrict him to a corner outfield with an average arm pinning him to left. What he does have is the potential to hit for power. The Padres are being aggressive with the 20 year old starting him at Low A for his first season. The power has not shown yet with a .406 slugging, but he has hit six homeruns with a .283 average. He needs to reduce the strikeouts (55 in 55 games) to keep that average up at the higher levels. The Padres have played him mostly in right field, but he has also played 12 games in left.

5. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - The Reds signed him for $4.75 million in 2016. He left his Cuban national team prior to their tournament in the Caribbean Series in 2015. His curveball was considered the best in Cuba and his fastball sits in the low 90s but has hit the mid-90s. He needs to develop his change to make it in the starting rotation. In Cuba he pitched as a reliever, picking up 13 saves. In his first minor league season he shows an ability to get the whiff with 74 in 68 innings. He does give up too much of the barrel on bats (.268) which has driven up his ERA (4.63). A couple poor starts have accounted for his pedestrian numbers.

6. Jose Adolis Garcia OF (Cardinals) - His older brother is Adonis. He is bigger than his brother which allows him to carry more power. The NPB Yomiuri Giants signed him but he struggled with them, hitting only .234 with a .396 slugging average in the minor leagues. He went 0 for 7 with three K’s with the Giants. His outfield defense is more suited for the corner and at 23 years of age he needs to move quickly. His brother Adonis was 27 when he defected and did not make his major league debut until he was 30 years old. The Cardinals have started Jose in AA where he is hitting .284 with six homeruns and a .432 slugging.

7. Randy Arozarena OF (Cardinals) - Randy played on the same 18 and under team as Yoan Moncada in 2013. The Cardinals only paid $1.25 million for him, a good bargain for a player with good speed and outfield skills that could see center. His bat will not hit for power but it should pepper the gaps. He played last year in the Mexican League struggling with a .100 average in only 20 at bats. The Cardinals have started him in High A and he is doing better, with a .276 average and eight homeruns with a .480 slugging. Most of his time has been spent in left field but he has played some center and right. The Cardinals were hoping for a leadoff type hitter but with the power he is showing in High A they could have a middle of the order hitter.

8. Albert Almora OF (Cubs) - A superb defender, the Cubs made him a first round pick in the 2012 draft. He is probably the Cubs top centerfielder but his bat is a little too quiet and may limit him to being a fourth outfielder. Despite his Cuban background he has played on a number of youth United States national teams. His father played baseball in Cuba before he defected but Albert was born in Florida. Albert has stayed up with the Cubs for the 2017 season, mostly as a backup, hitting a decent .270.

9. Omar Esteves 2B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers paid $6 million to a player lacking in above average tools. His defense at second is below average, his speed is not great and his arm is weak. His bat could play but it will be limited to gap power. Omar made his debut in 2015 hitting .255 with a .389 slugging. He was an 18 year old playing in Low A. This year he is playing in High A hitting just .232. Myworld doesn’t believe the Dodgers will get much major league production from their $6 million investment.

10. Alfredo Rodriguez SS (Reds) - Alfredo has some defensive tools but his bat is lacking. The Reds signed him for $7 million at the same time they signed Vladimir Gutierrez. He hit .234 in the Dominican League absent any power (.299 slugging). He does have the speed to steal bases. While he hit his first minor league homerun in the Florida State League this year his slugging sits at .308 but his batting average has improved to .266. At best he could end up as a utility player or a number 8 hitter in a potent offense that can ignore his bat for his glove.

Lamigo Monkeys Win First Half Title in CPBL

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The Lamigo Monkeys won the first half title with a 5-3 win over the Chinatrust Brothers. Chen Chun-Hsiu broke a 3-3 tie with a two run homer in the seventh inning. This gives them the opportunity to play in the championship Taiwan series. There are still six games left to play before the first half ends. The Chinatrust Brothers were the second place team. The Uni Lions will finish third and the Fubon Guardians fourth.

The playoffs are determined by the following:

First half winner versus the second half winner

If the same team wins both halves then the teams with the second and third best record will engage in a playoff series to see who plays the Monkeys.

If for some reason a team does not win either half but finishes with the highest winning percentage when both halves are taken into account, they will play against the half season winner with the lowest winning percentage. Myworld does not see that scenario entering the picture since the Monkeys won the first half on a pace to break their franchise record for wins in a season.

A team who wins both halves will be rewarded one win before they even start the seven game championship series.

Nats Blow Up Reds with TnT Demolition

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The Nationals brought out the TnT with Trea Turner stringing together five hits and a walk in a five for five day and Michael Turner going deep twice in a 4 for 5 afternoon, resulting in a 18-3 slaughter of the Cincinnati Reds. Joe Ross did his magic again. For the sixth time in his 10 starts the Nationals have scored 10 or more runs. Unfortunately for Joe he has only won three of the six starts when the Nats have scored more than 10 runs.

Homer Bailey got his first start of the year, trying to come back from bone spur surgery. It was not a promising start with the Nationals bats tagging him for eight runs before he could get the third out in the second inning. Ryan Zimmerman drove in the first two runs with a line drive double into the right field corner in the first inning. Daniel Murphy emptied the bases in the second inning with a three run double with the Nationals scoring six in the inning. Bailey had walked the two previous batters to load the bases for Murphy.

The Reds showed a little sloppiness in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman had struck out for what appeared to be the second out but the pitch went to the back stop allowing Ryan to reach first. After two were out Lisalverto Bonilla walked Anthony Rendon. Matt Wieters singled to right field scoring Zimmerman. Right fielder Scott Schebler threw to third but the ball skipped past Suarez and into the dugout to allow Murphy to score the second run of the inning. It was the third error of the game for the Reds. Michael Taylor followed with his first of two homeruns.

Patrick Kivlehan came in to pinch hit for Joey Votto to lead off the sixth with the score 13-0. He drove a ball into the left field bleachers to put the Reds on the score board. Joe Blanton would give up the other two Red runs. He came on to pitch in the eighth entering the game with a 9.19 ERA. He gave up hits to the first three hitters he faced and left the game with a 9.72 ERA.

Both Turner and Taylor scored four runs. Daniel Murphy drove in four.

Game Notes: Brian Goodwin and Bryce Harper were heroes in the game the day before. Goodwin hit two homeruns and Bryce had the walkoff single. In this game Goodwin walked twice but also struck out twice. He got his only hit in the eighth inning. Bryce struck out his first three times up, getting his only hit in his fourth at bat. Ryan Raburn batted for him in the sixth. This offense can provide different heroes every night…Adam Duvall showed a strong arm in left field…Joe Blanton lacked command and velocity in the one inning he pitched…For Michael Taylor it was the first four hit game of his career.