Archive for October, 2017

Heidenheim Wins German Championship

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Heidenheim Heidekoepfe defeated the Bonn Capitals 8-1 to win the German baseball championships. The series went five with Heidenheim winning the decisive fifth match to win the series three games to two. Clayton Freimuth went the distance, striking out 12. Mitch Nilsson and Shawn Larry went deep for Heidenheim to support the pitching of Freimuth.

For Heidenheim this is their third championship, having won in 2009 and 2015. Bonn has yet to win a championship. The Mainz Athletics were the champions last year but they were eliminated by Heidenheim in the semifinals.

Baystars and Eagles Even Series

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

The Yokohama Baystars and the Rakuten Golden Eagles evened their five game series against each other with wins last night

Yokohama Baystars 13 Hanshin 6

The normal power hitting Yoshitomo Tsutsugo slapped four singles to drive in two runs and Tomo Otosaka triggered the rout with a three run pinch hit homer, allowing the Baystars to even the best of five series one game each. Before the six run seventh the game was tied 4-4. Jose Lopez strung together three singles to drive in three runs.

Neither pitcher Shota Imanaga or Tigers starter Takumi Akiyama pitched into the fourth inning. Yusuke Oyama was a triple short of the cycle mashing two doubles, a homerun and a single to drive in three runs in a losing cause for the Tigers.

Rakuten 4 Seibu Lions1

Takayuki Kishi gave Rakuten a masterful start, throwing 6.1 innings of shutout ball. Eigoro Mogi slugged the first pitch he saw from Ken Togame over the centerfield fence sending the Eagles off to a good start. They scored two more runs in the second inning on a double by Shintaro Masuda and a bunt by Motohiro Shima. Yuki Matsui put two runners on in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but struck out the last two hitters to pick up the save.

Dinos Advance for Rematch Against Bears

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Last year the Doosan Bears swept the Dinos in the championship series. After the Dinos blanked the Lotte Giants 9-0 it set up another rematch against the Bears, this time a five game series in the semifinal round.

Eric Hacker pitched 6.1 innings of shutout ball to keep the Giants grounded. A seven run fifth broke a 0-0 tie, turning the deciding game into a rout. Sung-Bum Na drove in the last two runs of the fifth to lead the Dinos. Four walks in the inning doomed the Bears.

Shi-Heon Son collected three singles, two of them driving in runs in the fifth and eighth innings to secure the victory.

NPB Playoffs Begin with Tigers and Lions Begin with Shutout Victories

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

There were two shutouts in the NPB playoffs. A couple aces did well. One did not.

Hanshin Tigers 2 Yokohama Baystars 0

Ex-major leaguer Kosuke Fukudomo drove in both runs with a two run homer in the sixth inning and Randy Messenger pitched six innings of shutout three hit ball to lead the Tigers to victory. Marcus Mateo, Kentaro Kuwahara and Rafael Dolis each worked an inning to preserve the shutout.

Shoichi Ino pitched five shutout innings for the Baystars. In the sixth Yoshio Ito led off with a single and Fukudome took him deep for the only runs of the game. Ino finished the inning for his last inning of work.

The Baystars never really threatened, taking until the eighth inning before they put two runners on base. They were stranded after a groundout to the pitcher and a whiff.

Seibu Lions 10 Rakuten Golden Eagles 0

Not much of a game here. Rakuten ace Takahiro Norimoto got assaulted for seven runs in just four innings of work. Hideto Asamura got the scoring started for the Lions with a two run homer in the first inning. Takeya Nakamura finished off the scoring with a three run homer in the sixth. With his sacrifice fly in the five run third Nakamura had a game high four RBIs. The Lions banged out four hits and walked three times in the five run third off Norimoto.

On the other hand Yusei Kikuchi was brilliant throwing a complete game shutout, striking out 9 and allowing just five hits. According to Sponichi via yakyudb this was the first game in Climax Series history in which both pitchers had recorded 200 strikeouts for the season.

The Lions coaxed seven walks and banged out 12 hits in the rout. Hotaka Yamakawa and Ginjiro Sumitani led the way with three hits each.

NL East Minor League All Stars

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Below are the NL East Minor League All Stars by classification as broken out by Baseball America. Next myworld will take a look at who we think are the top ten prospects at each position. The best prospect in baseball (Ronald Acuna) is not listed here because he did not spend enough time at the three classifications he played at.

Atlanta Braves

Mike Soroka SP (AA) - The Canadian righthander is not the most overpowering pitcher in the game. The number one pick of the Braves in 2015 relies on command and the quality of his secondary pitches to retire hitters. His fastball sits in the low 90s but the opposition hit him at only a .233 clip. At 6′5″ he has good height that makes that low 90s fastball seem like it has more velocity.

Alex Jackson C (High A) - Alex was a first round pick of the Mariners in 2014. A catcher in high school the Mariners moved him to the outfield where he struggled making contact. The Mariners traded him to the Braves last year were he was returned to his high school position. Coincidence or not his bat came alive last year with 19 homeruns and a .480 slugging. There is still a lot of swing and miss with his bat. He has a strong arm but the other tools for catching need to be refined.

Joey Wentz SP (Low A) - The lefthander may have been a supplemental first round pick in 2016 but he was paid a higher bonus than their first round pick that year. Joey has good height (6′5″) and a blazing fastball that hits mid-90s but is more comfortable in the low 90s. His secondary pitches (curve and change) are quality. He should rise quickly once he exercises better command of his pitches.

Bryse Wilson SP (Low A) - The Braves are stocked with pitchers. Bryse was a fourth round pick in 2016. The righthander does not share the same height as his teammate Wentz (6′1″) but his fastball can reach the mid-90s. While he was called on for 26 starts last year his best position with all the arms in the Braves system may be in the bullpen.

William Contreras C (Rookie) - The Venezuelan is the younger brother of Wilson so he has good bloodlines. He still has some work to do on his defense, eliminating the passed balls, but his bat was potent in the rookie league hitting .290 with a 24/30 walk to whiff ratio. He has a 28 percent success rate in gunning down baserunners.

Miami Marlins

None - Derek Jeter has a lot of work to do to make this Marlin team whole.

New York Mets

Amed Rosario SS (AAA) - The Dominican has a smooth glove with a bat that should fit at the top of a lineup. His AAA OBA was .367. That dropped below .300 in the major leagues. If he can show more patience with the big club he could fit in the leadoff spot. The bat also shows enough pop (.466) that he could find himself in the three hole. The glove plays well. Think Francisco Lindor light.

Corey Oswalt SP (AA) - With all their young pitchers you would think they would be set there. Think again. Injuries have played havoc on the rotation and now not even Matt Harvey is in their future. Corey is a 7th round 2012 pick who will fit more in the back end of a rotation. He lacks overpowering stuff but at 6′5″ the low 90s fastball comes at the hitters with the appearance of greater velocity.

Pete Alonso 1B (High A) - The second round 2016 pick carries a little more natural power than Dominic Smith and will be insurance should Smith struggle. His lack of speed prevents any kind of move to the outfield. If Smith succeeds Alonso will be trade bait.

Philadelphia Phillies

Rhys Hoskins 1B (AAA) - If the Phillies had called up Hoskins earlier he may have challenged Cody Bellinger for the rookie of the year honor. He had a nice homerun pace in AAA (29) but enhanced that when promoted to the major leagues (18 in 50 games). His lack of speed makes playing outfield a challenge so one of either Tommy Joseph or Rhys must be moved.

Tom Eshelman SP (AAA) - The second round 2015 pick is noted mostly for his command. He walks hardly anyone. A lack of overpowering stuff means he has to locate his pitches well to achieve success. AAA hitters made soft contact against him (.227 average) but he only struck out 6 hitters per nine innings. His upper 80s fastball will restrict him to a back end of a rotation or emergency starter.

Scott Kingery 2B (AA) - He went on an early homerun binge in AA hitting 18 in just 69 games for a .608 slugging. That homerun pop slowed a bit in AAA (8 homeruns and .449 slugging). History tells us the latter production is more accurate. He can hit for average (.304) and has the speed to steal bases (19). The Phillies have to find a position for him with Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez and J.P. Crawford all fitting the middle infield mold. He may lack the power to move to third, unless he can replicate his AA production.

Darick Hall 1B (Low A) - The 14th round pick in 2016 banged 27 homeruns with a .533 slugging. At 21 he was advanced for low A but his 6′4″ 234 pound frame projects for power. The Phillies appear to be crowded at first base.

Nick Fanti SP (Low A) - Another late round pick (31 in 2015) to have success in Low A. The lefty has a pedestrian fastball that rarely touches 90 but he did pitch a couple no hitters in the minors in 2017. A lot of hitters had trouble with his pitches (.200 opposition average). Whether that can continue as he rises to the higher levels is open to question.

Jhailyn Ortiz OF (short season) - The Phillies shelled out $4 million for the Dominican prospect. Power is his big tool. While he has an above average arm a lack of speed may restrict him to left field. He hit .302 with a .560 slugging to show an impressive bat.

Jhordany Mezquita SP (rookie) - The lefthander was a 8th round pick in 2017. He dominated in rookie ball with a 0.72 ERA in nine starts and a .160 opposition average. His 8.4 whiffs per nine innings indicates a lack of overpowering stuff but myworld does not know really a lot about him.

Leonel Aponte SP (Dominican) - Like Mezquita, other than his 0.77 ERA in 13 starts and his .194 opposition average not a lot is known about Aponte. Pitchers tend to put up good numbers in the Dominican summer league. He appears to have command of his pitches walking only 9 hitters in 81 innings.

Washington Nationals

Victor Robles OF (High A) - A five tool athlete the Dominican was fortunate to see some time in the major leagues. He has the speed to play centerfield and steal bases and the bat to hit for average. The power has yet to come but many project it will arrive as he matures. The arm is powerful enough to move to right. Many suspect Robles will be the right fielder after the free agency departure of Bryce Harper.

Giants Even Series in KBO Playoffs

Friday, October 13th, 2017

The previous night the NC Dinos outhomered the Lotte Giants. Last night it was the Giants turn to homer. Ah-Seop Son hit two homeruns, including a big three run homer in the fifth to lead the Giants over the Dinos 7-1. Dae-Ho Lee and Jun-Woo Jeon also hit solo homers for the Giants.

Paul Lindblom worked eight innings of one run ball, striking out 11 to get the win. The series goes to the deciding fifth game with Eric Hacker going for the Dinos and 21 year old Se-Woong Park given the assignment for the Giants.

Taiwan Playoffs

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

The baseball playoffs for the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) will begin October 20. The first round will see the Uni Lions take on the China Trust Brothers in a best of five series.

The winner of that playoff will face the LaMigo Monkeys on October 28. The Monkeys won both halves of the CPBL. Because of that they will be rewarded with a 1-0 lead over the winner of the first playoff in a best of seven series that will only be six games.

Dinos Go Deep in Rout of Giants

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

The NC Dinos used the Lotte Giants pitchers for batting practice in their 13-6 win. Five balls carried over the fence with Jin-Hyuk No hitting two over the fence in a 4 for 4 day with three RBIs. He was a replacement for the normal third baseman in the third inning. Sung-Bum Na, Xavier Scruggs and Chang-Min Mo also went deep for the Dinos. For Mo it is his second homerun of the playoffs. For Scruggs the first inning homer got the scoring started for the Dinos.

The Dinos are now up on the Giants two games to one. They are one game away from advancing to the semi-finals to face the Doosan Bears.

Otani More Ankle Surgery

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Shohei Otani had additional ankle surgery on October 12 to treat a posterior ankle impingement syndrome. Otani did not pitch in the World Baseball Classic because of ankle issues. It will take him two to three months of rehabilitation before he is healthy.

It is anticipated the Nippon Ham Fighters will post Otani to play major league baseball. With his injury riddled year and the international salary cap teams have to bid for foreign players under 25 years of age, the salary Otani will get will be restricted. If he waited two more years he would get Yu Darvish money.

Brave Pitchers Shine in AFL Opener

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

A number of the best prospects continue their baseball careers in the Arizona Fall League. The Atlanta Braves had many of those prospects on the mound for the Peoria Javelinas in their 3-0 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs. Max Fried struck out seven in three innings of shutout ball and Touki Toussaint followed with two innings of shutout ball, striking out four. Touki was given credit for the victory.

Josh Graham, another Braves pitcher worked an inning and struck out two. Corbin Clousse got in two innings of work and struck out four. That gives Braves pitching prospects a total of 16 whiffs on the day. The only non-Brave to pitch was Blue Jays Andrew Case. He did not strike out any hitters in his one inning of work, but pitched the last inning to pick up the save.

Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis drove in two runs with a double and Lourdes Gurriel drove in one run with a single.

Justus Sheffield threw five innings of one hit shutout ball in the Scottsdale Scorpions 7-4 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. Sheffield struck out six in his outing. He was supported by a Billy McKinney three run homer in the third and a solo shot from Tomas Nido in the eighth.