Archive for November, 2017

Puerto Rico to Play Shortened Schedule

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Because all of the five ballparks have been damaged by Hurricane Maria and the priority is to fix the infrastructure and not the ball parks the Puerto Rican season has been delayed. Power is still a prized commodity so playing day games may be the preferred route when the season begins. When the power in the area is not capable to operate traffic lights on the street it would be difficult for that power to light up a ballpark for night play.

The Roberto Clemente Baseball League is hoping to play an abbreviated 21 game schedule running from January 6 -21. By playing baseball again it would be establish normalcy to Puerto Rico, a condition that many would like to see come to pass. Some in the island have not seen power since Hurricane Irma smashed through the island in September.

The four teams that plan to participate in this abbreviated season are the Santurce Crabbers, Caguas Creoles, Carolina Giants and the Mayaguez Indians. Financial restraints have forced the Aguadilla Sharks to merge with the team from Mayaguez.

Play will occur at two ballparks, Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan and the Isidoro “Cholo” Garcia Stadium in Mayaguez. Games will be played from Thursday to Sunday at 1 or 1:30 PM with doubleheaders involved. Admission to the games will be free.

When the 21 game regular season is over the top three teams will advance to the playoffs. The top team will get a bye while the second and third place team battle in a one game playoff. The winner will then play the first place team in a five game playoff. The winner of that playoff game will go to Mexico to represent Puerto Rico in the Caribbean World Series. Puerto Rico and the Caguas Creoles are the defending champions.

Because of salary restrictions no imported players will be allowed to play. It will be an all Puerto Rican league, though many of their players have already scattered to the other winter leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Information for this piece was acquired from

Liz Throwing Shutouts in Dominican

Monday, November 27th, 2017

The last time we heard from Liz it was last year while he was pitching in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, appearing in just five games with a 6.94 ERA, with most of his time spent in the Japanese minor leagues. The Eagles were not happy with his production and chose not to sign him to a 2017 contract.

Liz had some success in the KBO between 2011 to 2013, returning to the United States in 2014 in the hopes of pitching in the major leagues. Two years in the minor leagues and a brief appearance with the Pirates in 2015 convinced him to give Japan a shot. In three years in the major leagues from 2007 to 2009 Liz pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and could not get his ERA below 6.72, motivating him to give Korea a shot.

Liz is now attracting some interest while pitching in the Dominican Republic. A free agent, but 35 years of age, he has allowed just three unearned runs in six starts covering 30.2 innings. On Sunday he had his longest start, throwing seven innings of two hit ball, striking out five in Estrallas 8-0 win over Aguilas. It is unclear if he still has the clicking sound when he pitches, but Dominican hitters are finding his stuff tough to hit, click or no click, batting just .135 against him. Righthanded hitters are batting just .118.

At 35 years of age his best bet may be to sign another contract with a KBO club. If he keeps throwing zeros a lot of major league teams may be interested in him as bullpen depth.

Ho Ho Not a Merry Christmas for Kang and Park

Monday, November 27th, 2017

While they were teammates in Korea they were called the Ho brothers because of their same last name, even though they are not related. Jung-Ho Kang was the first to go the United States to play in the major leagues. He had a successful first couple years but things have not been going so well lately. Byung-Ho Park followed him to the major leagues a year later and found major league pitching and the game a little more challenging than the Korean version.

It has not been a Happy Holidays for these two Korean superstars. Jung-Ho Kang, who was hoping to get his swing back after missing all of last year because of visa issues, was released by the Aguilas Cibaenas. The Dominican team did not have a lot of time to wait for him to start hitting. After 31 games into the season Kang was hitting just .143 with a .219 OBA and a .202 slugging percentage. In the competitive Dominican Winter league the Aguilas is .5 games behind the leading Cibao Gigantes. They needed a bat in their lineup to generate offense, not an automatic out who has trouble making contact (31 whiffs in 91 at bats). Even after his last 10 games his slugging average stood at .194. He was hitting just .125 against right handed pitching.

Kang sat out last season after his third drunk driving conviction in Korea. He was unable to get a work visa to come to the United States based on his last conviction, a hit and run which resulted in a felony conviction. He was also suspected in a sexual assault case in a hotel room in Chicago that has remained unresolved, possibly because of his time out of the country.

For Byung-Ho Park the news is not quite as bad. He signed a contract with the Nexen Heroes for about $1.4 million. The bad news is that he may have to forfeit his contract with the Twins for $6.5 million, $12 million for the next two years. In order to finalize his one year contract with the Heroes details of his remaining contract with the Twins must still be ironed out.

For the Twins he was playing in the minor leagues. His first year in the major leagues he hit just .191 with 80 whiffs in 62 games. The power appeared with his 12 homeruns but there was just too much swing and miss in his swing. Last year he did not see the major leagues, hitting just .253 with only 14 homeruns and a .415 slugging percentage in AAA. That is not what the Twins were looking for when they paid him his big contract four year multi million dollar contract.

If Jung-Ho Park can not get his work visa to come to the United States finalized the Nexen Heroes could sign him to a one year contact and the two Ho brothers could be reunited, though not in a fashion they were hoping when they went to the major leagues a couple years ago.

Panama Upsets Mexico in Under -23 America’s Qualifier

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Mexico came into the Under - 23 Americas Qualifier with a lot of confidence. They had a roster filled with talented players from their Mexican Summer League. Some were even bold enough to declare the championship was theirs to lose.

In the opener against Panama they lost 6-3 against a talented Panama team sprinkled with minor league players from the major leagues. It is only pool play but Mexico will have to regroup.

Yadier Molina made his managerial debut a good one leading Puerto Rico to a 10-0 win over Colombia, who a couple days ago had beaten Panama 6-4 to win the championship in the Bolivian games over four other South American teams. In other games:

Costa Rica 14 Peru 0
Cuba 16 Argentina 1
Dominican Republic 16 Honduras 0
Venezuela 5 Brazil 1

Cuban League Update

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Myworld has been remiss in our reporting of the Cuban Nacional Series. They have already completed the first half of the season and are now in the round robin portion. With the many defections the power structure of the league has changed. Myworld was not able to get numbers on relievers because many of the websites we normally relied on for stats either have an innings limit for their pitchers or their stats are incomplete or only provide second half numbers. So we did the best with what we could piece together. Below are the standings of the league to date:

Las Tunas Lenadores (44-20)

Jorge Yhonson is second in the league in hitting (.425) but lacks power (3 homeruns). He is second on the team in runs scored with 48, though all of his runs scored have been with Las Tunas. His bat has gotten particularly hot in the second round with a .580 average. Rafael Vinales (.363, 11, 55) has been the power bat, though his bat has cooled during the second round (.269, 1, 9). At 25 years of age he is a player to keep an eye on. Junior Paumier (.344, 7, 49) has been another productive bat for Las Tunas leading the team with his 49 runs scored, though 33 of those runs were scored when he was playing for Holquin in the first round. He also splits the gaps with 22 doubles, tops in the league. Yosvany Alarcon (.314, 11, 41) is another veteran bat that provides power in the lineup and leads the pitching staff from behind the plate. At 41 years of age Daniel Castro (.350, 8. 42) still knows how to hit.

Yoalkis Cruz may not have an impressive ERA (3.98) but he leads the league in wins (12-3) which is all that counts in this game. He and Yudiel Rodriguez (9-4, 3.10) have combined for 21 wins, the most for a twosome in the league. A third pitcher Yariel Rodriguez (8-3, 2.99) gives them an impressive threesome. Yariel was picked up from Camaguey for the second round playoff run.

Matanzas Cocodrilos (42-23)

Osvaldo Vazquez (.242, 11, 44) drives in the runs for Matanzas though his average is disappointing. Eduardo Blanco (.323) leads the league in stolen bases with 18 but his rare 17/41 walk to whiff ratio shows his lack of patience. Most players in the Cuban League walk more than they strikeout. Yasiel Santoya (.334, 5, 42) and Jefferson Delgado (.330, 4, 36) are two other bats to note.

Matanzas has the top two pitchers in ERA in Roy Hernandez (2.14) and Yoaanni Yera (2.16). At 22 Cruz is a rookie and his innings (67) and wins (4-4) have been limited. Even though Yera is a veteran he is still only 28 and is second in the league in wins with 11 (11-2). His 113 whiffs leads the league by more than 40. Jonder Martinez (5-4, 3.18) is still their steady veteran ace at 39. Dachel Duquesne (8-5, 3.59) was grabbed from Ciego de Avila to provide consistent starts. He is a work horse who leads the league in innings pitched (115).

Industriales Leones (38-26)

The 36 year old veteran Yordanis Samon (.317, 9, 48) leads this team in RBIs, but his second round production (.223) has been disappointing. Another veteran Alexander Malleta (.300, 11, 40) is still sending balls over the fence even at 40 years of age. Juan Torriente is hitting .387 but the power is lacking with only three homeruns. He is a contact hitter with only four whiffs in close to 200 at bats.

Freddy Alvarez (2-8, 3.82) was another pitcher drafted from Ciego de Avilla. He used to be one of the premier pitchers in the league but is struggling to find wins. His second half performance (0-3, 5.29) has not been of much help. Yunior Gamboa (6-6, 3.53) was a starter for Isla dela Juventud but the Industriales have been using him in relief. Jose Rodriguez (4-4, 2.46) was picked up from Camaguey and has not liked his new surroundings (0-1, 9.00).

Granma Alazanes (38-26)

At 24 years of age Guillermo Aviles is still attractive to major league scouts. He is hitting .369 with 12 homeruns though the park is small. Guillermo has slumped a bit in the second round (.314) but his 57 RBIs and 59 runs scored are among the league leaders. Carlos Benitez is the other big bat (.366) with his 11 homeruns second on the team and his 62 RBIs leading the league. Lazaro Cedeno has taken advantage of the small park with his league leading 16 homeruns and his 60 RBIs is just two short of Benitez. With all those big power hitters someone has to be scoring runs ahead of them. That is the job of Raico Santos (.315, 3, 23) a 23 year old who leads the league in runs scored with 61. Alfredo Despaigne is probably their best bat but he plays in Japan and saves himself for playoff time.

They have a solid three starters to rely on. Ulfrido Garcia (9-4, 3.17) is turning into their ace at 22. He made his debut in 2012 as a 17 year old for Santiago de Cuba and has now turned into the ace of the Granma staff after being drafted for the second round. Alain Sanchez (7-5, 3.09) was picked up from Villa Clara and has struggled with Granma (2-2, 4.54). They need him to get back to form to stay in the race. Leeandro Martinez (8-4, 4.75) is the main stay of their staff who has been banged around (1-3, 8.56) in the second round. At 22 Yanier Gonzalez (6-5, 3.75) is another youngster they are now relying on for their rotation. His 30/24 walk to whiff ratio is not very impressive.

Pinar del Rio Vegueros (34-32)

The veteran Frederich Cepeda leads the league in hitting (.437) at 37 years of age. Myworld thought he was on the down side of his career but with many of the stars leaving he is able to compete. Cepeda does run well but 11 balls have carried over the fence to drive in 38 runs. Pitchers still fear him walking him 74 times. The veteran was drafted from Sancti Spiritus to energize an impotent offense. Raul Gonzalez (.325, 7, 33) was a second player drafted (Ciego de Avila) but his production has been lacking (.163, 0, 6). The 36 year old William Saavedra (.312, 7, 30) has been the original bat on the team, though all of his homeruns came in the first round.

Erly Casanova (8-4, 2.46) is the ace of their staff. He has had some second half struggles with the opposition improving their hitting against him to .282 from .202. This has raised his ERA from a league leading 1.94 to 2.46, though he has allowed 12 unearned runs. Yosvany Torres (7-6, 3.53) has been a consistent member of the rotation.

Artemisa Cazadores (34-33)

Yunier Mendoza was picked up from Sancti Spiritus. While he is hitting .395 his bat has slowed down for Artemisa (.277). He has gone from a 1.050 OPS for Sancti Spiritus to a .718 for the Cazadores. Lazaro Hernandez (.324) is their big homerun bat with 11 but at 24 needs to develop more patience (19/43 walk to whiff). Dennis Laza (.335, 10, 39) was a second round pickup but with the improved pitching his bat has gotten cold (.241).

At 24 Misael Villa (7-3, 3.21) has been giving Artemisa some solid starts. They drafted Vladimir Garcia (6-4, 3.66) from Ciego de Avilla to be their ace but his second half performance has been disappointing (0-2, 7.10).

Myworld’s Top Ten Shortstops

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

These are the players who can make or break a major league team. Many of these players move on to other positions such as second base, third base or centerfield because of their athleticism and there are only 30 spots open to them in the major leagues. This is probably the most crowded position, with many of the major league teams already filled at shortstop. The Yankees have Didi Gregorius, the Mets will have Amed Rosario, the Nationals Trea Turner, the Indians Francisco Lindor, the Astros Carlos Correa, the Dodgers Corey Seager and on and on we can go. Some teams still need shortstops to make their lineup complete. They are the quarterback of an NFL team, the point guard in the NBA. Without a quality player at this position it is difficult to win in the major leagues. Below are some of the best that are waiting for their opportunity to prove themselves.

1. Willy Adames (Rays) - Signed by the Tigers but traded away in the David Price deal. Now that the Tigers are rebuilding he would be a good piece to have in that quest. The defense is there to make the plays and the bat will be productive. The strikeouts need to be tamed (132) but his high walk total (65) gave him a .360 OBA in AAA. He has the potential to hit 30 plus doubles with double digit homerun power approaching 20. Tampa is still looking for a shortstop and Willy could grab the position out of spring training in 2018.

2. Royce Lewis (Twins) - The Twins first round pick in 2017 and the first pick overall. His bat is solid and his defensive tools are strong. The big criticism is his lack of power and an average arm that could create a move to second base. Currently his power is built for the gaps with the speed to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. He makes consistent contact with the patience to draw walks. With his speed he could steal 40 plus bases. Royce is still a couple years away and won’t be introduced to the major leagues until 2020 at the earliest as a possible September callup.

3. Gleyber Torres (Yankees) - Gleyber was signed by the Cubs in 2013 for $1.7 million. They traded him to the Yankees to acquire Aroldis Chapman for half a season. Didi Gregorius stands in his way at the major league level and Tommy John surgery cut his 2017 season short by 100 games last year. The bat seems to be his most impressive tool with the ability to hit for average and power. This would allow a move to third base if Didi stays at short. The arm is strong but his range may not be as great as Didi. Don’t be surprised if Gleyber makes an impact to the 2018 season after spending the first couple months in the minors rehabbing his elbow.

4. Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres) - The son of Fernando Sr. he carries the power of his father with the speed and tools to cover ground in the middle infield. At 6′3″ he may eventually have to move to third. He made a brief appearance at AA, combining for 22 homeruns at the two levels. There is still a lot of non contact with his at bats (77 walks with 141 whiffs) but the walks but his OBA close to .400 (.379). The Padres currently lack a shortstop so a good year at AA could convince the Padres to promote him by mid-season in 2018.

5. Kevin Maiten (To be determined) - The Braves signed him for $4.25 million in 2016. He immediately appeared on Top 100 lists as a 16 year old. His bat was a little quiet in his first season, producing an unimpressive .629 OPS in rookie ball. He didn’t show the bat or the defensive tools to justify the high bonus, but some have to remember he would still be a high school kid if still in the United States. Kevin is one of 13 players the Braves had to release because of the shenanigans the team practiced in circumventing the international salary cap.

6. Carter Kieboom (Nationals) - His father played in the Netherlands. His brother Spencer is a catcher and was first drafted by the Nationals, but lacks the tools of Carter. Carter was a first round pick in 2016 and struggled to stay healthy in 2017. The bat will be strong and spray the gaps, but he may need to move to third. At 6′2″ he may lose the range to stick at short. Whether he can move to third will depend on his gap hits turning into homeruns. He is still a couple years away so Trea has no worries to peer in the rear view mirror until sometime in 2020.

7. Brendan Rodgers (Rockies) - A first round pick in 2015 Brendan’s bat is ready for the major leagues in 2018. Trevor Story stands in his way at shortstop. One will have to move to second base if the Rockies want to get Brendan’s bat in the lineup. The power exists for 30 plus homeruns in Colorado, which would make him a offensive force in the middle infield. Neither Story or Rodgers has the speed to cover a lot of ground at short so it could be rock, paper, scissors to see who moves to second.

8. Delvin Perez (Cardinals) - The Cardinals first round pick in 2016. He may have not fallen to them if not for a drug failure prior to the draft. At 6′3″ the Puerto Rican reminds scouts of Carlos Correa, with less power but a more consistent glove. He also has good stolen base speed. A taller Francisco Lindor may be a better comparison, with Lindor not developing the power until he hit the major leagues. Last year Delvin was limited to 34 games because of injury. His bat was disappointing with a .203 average and .585 OPS. Delvin is still a couple years away from thinking about the major leagues.

9. J.P. Crawford (Phillies) - The Phillies keep waiting for his tools to make an appearance. His bat has produced two consecutive years of disappointing performances. Most were expecting him to move Freddy away from shortstop by now, but based on performance Freddy is the better shortstop and J.P. may have to move to second or third. He does draw a lot of walks which makes his .243 average more tolerable and he did hit a career high 15 homeruns. A .214 major league average and .656 OPS may keep him in AAA to start the 2018 season. The Phillies may make him earn his promotion to shortstop.

10. Andres Gimenez (Mets) - His defense at short would make him gold glove eligible but his lack of hitting tools makes him better as a utility player. His speed should give him 20 plus stolen bases. His lack of power stunted his slugging (.349). In 2016 in the Dominican Summer League he walked more than he struck out (21/13). Against better pitching state side those numbers were reversed (28/61). At 19 the Mets can be patient with him so don’t expect him to sniff the major leagues until 2020.

Others to Consider

Jorge Mateo (Athletics) - The acquisition of Gleyber Torres moved him to second. Dealt to the Athletics in the Sonny Gray trade he has returned to short. Speed is his best asset though he has shown some surprising pop. The Athletics are a little crowded at short so a move to center field to take advantage of his speed is still in the cards.

Cole Tucker (Pirates) - Not a lot of tools. A Jody Mercer clone once Jody leaves as a free agent. Does have the speed to steal 30 plus bases.

Richard Urena (Blue Jays) - A defensive shortstop who lacks a strong bat. Injuries to Troy Tulowitski will give him opportunities to prove himself at the position, but last year only hit .206 in his major league debut.

Wander Javier (Twins) - The Twins shelled out $4 million for Wander in 2015. Royce and Wander are the same age, but Royce has seen Low A. Wander is still in Rookie ball with injuries in 2016 restricting him to 9 games. He has the tools to play the position and the bat to be an impact player but needs the reps to let those tools shine.

Alfredo Rodriguez (Reds) - Not a lot of Cubans to fill the shortstop position. The glove is there to play the position but the bat is light, lacking power and the patience.

Yu-Cheng Chang (Indians) - Chang is the atypical Asian shortstop. He hits for power but his defensive tools may force a move to third. Too many swings and misses (134) kept his average low (.220).

Hoy-Jun Park (Yankees) - An expensive sign out of Korea ($1 million), Park has a smooth glove but a silent bat.

Richie Martin (Athletics) - The 2015 first round pick has the best glove in the Athletics organization. A questionable bat that lacks power may make him fall short as a major leaguer.

Kevin Newman (Pirates) - Another Jody Mercer clone that lacks the speed of Cole Tucker. His bat lacks power but makes solid contact to hit .270 plus.

Wander Franco (Rays) - At 16 years of age he is still a long ways away. The Rays paid $3.8 million to sign him. His bloodlines are good being the nephew of Eric Aybar. Dominicans have a tendency to outgrow shortstop.

Lucius Fox (Rays) - A defensive wizard with good speed the big impediment towards Lucius making an impact is a weak bat. Willy Adames will have claimed the position by the time Fox is ready so a move to second base or center field is a possibility. He has the speed to cover the grass in center.

Logan Warmoth (Blue Jays) - The Jays 2017 first round pick hit .302 in his half season professional debut. Not great defensive tools with power more suited for second base.

Japanese Postings and International Free Agents

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

It appears that the Japanese posting procedures have been finalized. They will grandfather in the posting procedure that was in place last year for this coming season and then next year move to a system where the Japanese team only gets a percentage of a players contract, with that percentage rising the lower the contract. With the salary restrictions placed on Shohei Otani’s potential contract this year because of international salary cap ceilings, the rules for a percentage of the contract would not provide enough money to the Nippon Ham Fighters to give them any incentive to post Otani. So below are the top possible postings and the free agents that may be coming from Japan next year.

Shohei Otani (RHP/OFer) - enough has been written about him. The Babe Ruth of Japan will get the maximum posting of $20 million from at least a dozen major league teams who would like to negotiate with him. His contract will be cheap so if you don’t get him you don’t lose any money. Myworld’s concern with Otani is his injury history. That may restrict his ability to be a two way player. He is currently rehabbing from ankle surgery.

Dennis Sarfate (RHP) - After breaking the Japanese save record in a season and being the first reliever to save over 50 games the Softbank Hawks signed the 36 year old to an extension. A number of major league teams have expressed an interest in signing Sarfate. To do that the Hawks would have to release him or post him. Sarfate has redefined his career in Japan with a split fingered fastball. In the major leagues he would probably not be a closer but a set up man.

Kazuhisa Makita (RHP) - At 33 years of age he has asked to be posted. The Seibu Lions have agreed to post him. He will not break the bank with his posting. A set up pitcher in Japan he relies on a funky delivery to achieve success. Those types of pitchers have early success in the major leagues but their effectiveness wanes as hitters get more accustomed to their delivery. Because of his time in the NPB he will not be subject to international salary cap restrictions.

Free Agents

Hideaki Wakui (RHP) - A pitcher for the Chibba Lotte Marines, did not pick one of his better years in which to declare free agency. His best seasons were from 2007 to 2010. Last year he was 5-11, 3.99. He is an arm and at 31 does have some years left. He is not overpowering, relying on an assortment of pitches and a high left leg kick to add some funk to his delivery. Teams who need arms for the bullpen will look at signing him.

Yoshihisa Hirano (RHP) - The closer for the Orix Buffaloes is 33. His fastball hits the mid-90s and he has a forkball. His most likely role in the major leagues will be as a set up pitcher. His strikeout numbers have not been overwhelming since 2014. He began his career as a starting pitcher but after three years converted to relief, where he was first the set-up man and after 2012 converted to closer for the Buffaloes. Teams who need arms to fill their bullpen will look at signing him.

Two other international free agents, Shinya Tsuruoka and Shota Ono are catchers who will probably stay in Japan. Tsuruoka is an older catcher (36) who is not even a starter for his NPB team (Softbank Hawks). Ono is younger and catches for Otani. Teams could try to attract Otani by signing Ono as his personal catcher if they feel there is a connection. Ono does not have much of a bat with a .216 career average.

North Beats South in Mexican League All Star Game

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

The North got a solo homerun from Jose Amador in the seventh and went on to beat the South in the Mexican League All Star game 3-1. Other offensive heroes for the North include Jovan Rosa who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Alejandro Flores, who drove in a run with a single.

The North also got solid pitching performances from their first eight pitchers throwing eight shutout innings. The South was finally able to score in the ninth inning on a RBI single by Amadeo Zazueta, the third hit of the inning. Derrick Loop, who pitched for the South, was the star pitcher of the game, facing four batters in relief and striking out all four hitters.

Japan Blanks Korea to Win Asian Championship

Monday, November 20th, 2017

In the first ever Asian championship from the three professional Asian Leagues featuring players 23 and under Japan continued their domination, blanking Korea 7-0 in the final and finishing undefeated in the three games. Kazuto Taguchi pitched seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits to lead Japan to the victory. Tsuyoshi Ishizaki and Yasuaki Yamasaki each worked a perfect inning of shutout ball to complete the shutout. The attendance figure was listed at 30,498, a little less than the crowd that would attend Yomiuri Giants games, but a good crowd for this series.

The first two runs of the ball game were driven in by series MVP Shuta Tonosaki. He contributed RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings to give Japan an early 2-0 lead. Ryoma Nishikawa drove in two more runs in the fifth inning with a double.

Nishikawa also slammed a solo homerun in the seventh to finish the game with three RBIs. Hotaka Yamakawa drove in two runs with a single in the sixth inning.

Korea strung together back to back two out singles in the fifth inning to place two runners on base for the first and only time in the game. Min-Woo Park grounded out to end the threat. The Japanese pitchers retired the next 12 hitters to sweep through the series.

The MVP of the tourney was Shuta Tonosaki, who finished the series driving in four runs. The All Asian Series team was:

Catcher - Ju-Suk Ha (Korea), First Base - Yu-Hsien Chu (Taiwan), Second Base - Min-Woo Park (Korea), Third Base - Ryoma Nishikawa (Japan), Shortstop - Ha-Seong Kim (Korea), Outfield - Shuta Tonosaki (Japan), Go Matsumoto (Japan) and Po-Jung Wang (Taiwan), designated hitter - Kensuke Kondo (Japan), Pitcher - Kazuto Taguchi (Japan)

Japan Eliminates Taiwan from Asian Series

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

The championship of the Asia Series will see powerhouse Japan duke it out with Korea. This after they had clobbered Taiwan 8-2. Japan will have a rematch with Korea who they had beaten earlier this year 1-0.

Yota Kyoda led the Japanese offense with a two run single in the fifth and an RBI single in the eighth. Shuta Tonosaki got the scoring started for Japan with a solo shot in the second inning. He added an RBI double in the ninth to close out the scoring.

Shoto Imanaga went six innings to shut out Taiwan, giving up just three hits and striking out 12. Taiwan scored their first runs in the ninth inning after the game was pretty much decided. Yu-Hsien Chu started the inning with a solo homerun. Chieh-Hsien Chen was hit by a pitch to force in a run. With the bases loaded Pin-Chieh Chen grounded into a double play to end the game.