Archive for April, 2019

Adams Walkoff Prevents Padres Sweep

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Matt Adams completed an impressive Nationals comeback with a walk off homerun to lead off the 11th inning to give the Nationals a 7-6 win. The shot landed in the upper deck of Nationals stadium. Prior to that at bat Adams was 0 for 5. He only got the start against the lefthanded Joey Lucchesi because of an injury to Ryan Zimmerman.

It was not a good start for the Nationals. Jeremy Hellickson and his pedestrian fastball was fodder to the Padre bats. Fernando Tatis Jr. took his first pitch to the deepest part of left field before Juan Soto caught it with his back against the fence. The next batter Greg Garcia hammered a pitch into the Nationals right field bullpen.

In the second inning Eric Hosmer blasted a line drive over the head of Michael Taylor for a double. Hunter Renfroe followed with a bloop single into left to turn the score to 2-0.

The Padres erupted in the third. An infield single and boot by Brian Dozier put the first two runners on. Manny Machado singled up the middle to score Tatis Jr. After a Wil Myers whiff Eric Hosmer lined a 90 mile per hour fastball from Hellickson into the left field bleachers for a 6-0 lead. It rained down boos from the National fans in attendance, though there appeared to be more Padre jerseys than Nationals.

It looked bleak for the Nationals. In the bottom frame a video replay showed Victor Robles beat out an infield single to first. That was followed by a Brian Dozier single. Juan Soto gave National fans some reason for hope by depositing a pitch into the centerfield grass area, just below the curly W for a three run shot. The Nationals tacked on one more when first baseman Hosmer overthrew pitcher Lucchesi covering first to advance Howie Kendrick to second. A single by Kurt Suzuki drove in Kendrick and cut the lead to 6-4. The Nationals loaded the bases, sending up Adam Eaton to pinch hit for Hellickson. He struck out to end the threat.

In the fifth Victor Robles hit one just beyond the glove of Wil Myers and off the top of the fence of the left field bullpen for a solo shot. Carter Kieboom hit a solo homerun off Adam Warren in the sixth to tie the game, a line drive into the left field bleachers.

It went scoreless after that. The Nationals had an opportunity in the tenth. With a runner on first Robles laid down a bunt. The pitcher Matt Wisler threw to second. Fernando Tatis Jr. stretched for the ball but his foot went off the bag as he did a split. The split also pulled his hamstring sending him out of the game. The Padres did some shuffling, keeping Machado at third and moving Wil Myers to short. Catcher Francisco Mejia went to play left. When Brian Dozier had two strikes on him Machado moved to short and Myers moved to second, with Greg Garcia shifting to third. Garcia and Myers bounced around depending on the batting side of the hitter. With runners on second and third with two out Howie Kendrick bounced a ball up the middle. Machado made a nice sliding grab, bounced back on his feet and threw Kendrick out to save the Padres for another inning. That inning was brief after the Matt Adams lead off homer.

Nat Notes: Howie Kendrick had been on base in every at bat until the ground out to Machado. He had two singles, a walk, got on base via the Hosmer error and also got on base when Austin Hedges tried to tag him after a third strike swing and miss on a pitch in the dirt. When Austin reached out to tag Kendrick the ball dropped out of his glove. Howie only scored once…Michael Taylor struck out in four of his five at bats, all four looking at a called third strike. He walked in his other at bat. The 8th and 9th spot in the order struck out in 8 of their 9 at bats until the Wilmer Difo pinch hit single in the 10th inning…The Nationals chose not to bunt Michael Taylor with runners on first and second and no outs. He struck out, as well as pinch hitter Yan Gomes and Victor Robles…Myworld has seen Victor Robles bunt twice. Both have been hard to the pitcher and should have resulted in two force outs at second, if not for Tatis taking his foot off second…Wil Myers is not a good left fielder…The Nationals bullpen shined this day with eight shutout innings. Recently called up Eric Fedde tossed four shutout innings and could be a good candidate to replace Hellickson in the rotation…Hunter Renfroe showed some good speed beating out a slow grounder to shortstop…In the 9th inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Manny Machado swung at a 2-0 pitch and popped out to third…The homeruns by Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom broke a record. They became the first trio 21 or younger to homer in the same game…Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list because of plantar fasciitis on his right foot. Matt Adams now gets an opportunity to show he can have an impact in the lineup.

Ka-Boom to Ker-Plunk

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

In any sport you can go from hero to goat in a flash. Carter Kieboom discovered that on Friday night. In the bottom of the eighth, with the Nationals down 3-2, Kieboom led off the inning by driving a ball to deep centerfield. Manuel Margot went back on the ball, leaped and came up short as the ball travelled over the fence to tie the game.

Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth Kieboom got another opportunity. The Nationals loaded the bases off Padres closer Kirby Yates. Kieboom worked the count to 2-2. His next pitch, a nasty splitter dove into the dirt, Kieboom swung at it and missed. The catcher tagged him out and the Nationals lost another game the bullpen swallowed.

Max Scherzer was strong at the start throwing four perfect shutout innings, while striking out six. The Nationals gave him a lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two run homer from Yan Gomes that landed on the planters in left field for a homerun. After the Gomes homerun the next 11 hitters failed to get on base.

In the top of the fifth Eric Hosmer drove a 0-2 pitch from Scherzer into the right field bleachers to cut the lead to one. In the seventh he struggled with his control, getting behind in the count to four of the five batters he faced. A double down the left field line by Wil Myers and a single up the middle by Manny Machado tied the score. Another single by Eric Hosmer put runners on first and third with one out. Scherzer K’d Ian Kinsler and Franmil Reyes was picked off third by catcher Gomes.

Matt Strahm stymied the Nationals bats. He gave up a two run homer to Gomes in the fourth but he also struck eight batters in six innings, five of them looking. The Nationals need to be more aggressive at swinging the bat, taking too many called third strikes. Strahm was gone after six and Scherzer was pinch hit for in the bottom of the seventh.

The Nationals bullpen does what it does best in the eighth inning. It implodes. Kyle Barraclough got the first opportunity. He walked the first hitter he faced, Austin Hedges, missing on a 3-2 pitch. Ty France got his first major league hit, pulling a single through the hole into left field. That was it for Barraclough. Wander Suerro came in to replace him. Fernando Tatis grounded one back to the box. Suerro turned to second to get two, threw the ball in the dirt but still got the out at second. Not turning the double play turned critical when Suerro threw a wild pitch that was ruled a passed ball to score Hedges and give the Padres a 3-2 lead.

After Kieboom homered to tie the game the Nationals went to their best reliever Sean Dolittle. He did not prove best enough. Hunter Dozier lined a 1-2 pitch into the centerfield bleachers to give the Padres a 4-3 lead. Kirby Yates was able to protect it, loading the bases but striking out Carter Kieboom for his 13th save. The Padres have only won 15 games.

Nats Notes: Carter Kieboom was the second player out of the dugout after Max Scherzer. The Nationals were also selling Kieboom jerseys at their stores…Max Scherzer struck out the side in the sixth. That put him at 2,500 strikeouts…Myworld was supposed to go to the game today but a volleyball tournament had me running late. We still tried to make it but Metro failed me, shutting down the station I wanted to get on. The still unreliable Metro. They provided shuttle service, but we were already running late so we returned back home…The eight K’s by Matt Strahm were a career high…Fernando Tatis had his 12 game hitting streak broken on an 0 for four day.

Final Two African Teams Determined for African Cup

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

The final two teams have been determined for the Africa Cup. Lesotho withdrew from the Africa Zone South Continental Qualifier, leaving only two teams to play, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The two will play to determine the seeding for the Africa Cup.

Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya have already qualified for the Africa Cup, which will be played May 1 to May 5. The winner of the Africa Cup will advance to the Europe/Africa Qualifier, with the winner of that event qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

Top Ten Mexican Prospects

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Only one player graduated from last year’s top ten. Victor Arano was myworld’s number 5 prospect from Mexico and he appeared in 60 games of relief for Philadelphia last year. We expect a couple players to graduate from this year’s list. A number of new faces to keep this list fresh.

1. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) - Alex was born in Tucson but his dad is from south of the border. That was enough to qualify Alex for the Mexican national team. He probably should have made the list last year. A second round pick of the Dodgers in 2014 Alex is more of a gap hitter than over the fence power. The arm is strong enough for right field but he lacks the speed for center. He will hit for average but the homerun numbers could fall shy of 20. This could put him in the fourth outfielder category. The trade of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig opened up some outfield room for Verdugo this year. The average is there (.345) and his .635 slugging comes with three homeruns. That will be enough to graduate from this list after this year. The Dodgers outfield is crowded so playing time will be dependent on a productive bat.

2. Florencio Serrano RHP (Rangers) - The Cubs had originally signed him for $1.2 million but major league baseball voided the contract after a dispute with Mexico over the distribution of the bonus money. When major league baseball and Mexico came to an agreement the Rangers swooped in and signed Serrano for $850,000. Serrano was born in Texas but moved to Mexico after his freshman year in high school. He signed with the Mexican League team the Tijuana Toros. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has reached the mid-90s in try outs. He also has a decent slider and developing change. At 19 years of age he has time to develop his pitches. After pitching in extended spring training he will join one of the short season leagues.

3. Luis Urias 2B/SS (Padres) - He was supposed to start the season as the Padres shortstop but Fernando Tatis impressed so much in spring training that Urias was sent down while Tatis was kept to play shortstop. Luis was later called up to play second but struggled with the bat and was sent down. In the minor leagues Luis has no problem hitting for a high average. His struggles have come in the major leagues where hitting for an average above .200 has been a struggle. He has the defensive tools to play short but will probably fit better at second base, deferring to Tatis at short. The power is lacking and his legs do not carry enough speed to steal bases, so he needs to hit for average to make an impact. Expect him to be called up again by mid-season and at some point figure out major league pitching.

4. Isaac Paredes 2B/3B (Tigers) - The hit tool is impressive. Isaac was originally a shortstop but his lower half is a bit thick to have the range to play that position. This year the Tigers have moved him to third base where the power could be there to play the position. Last year he hit 15 homeruns. He tends to be a pull heavy hitter where most of his power is and as he rises up the minors the pitchers could become more savvy to that approach. How he responds to being pitched away could have an impact on his major league development. At worst he will become a solid utility player with the Tigers. At best he could be an offensive oriented second baseman or solid third baseman. He is currently playing in AA where last year he hit .321 in 150 at bats last year. He should hit for a high enough average and decent power to be a good major league contributor.

5. Luis Verdugo SS (Cubs) - The Cubs seem to do a pretty good job of mining prospects down in Mexico. They lost Serrano but they have three other prospects in the minor leagues who were discovered in Mexico. Verdugo may be the best, signed in 2017 for $1.2 million. He played on the Mexican National team as a 15 year old. The arm is there to play short but a lack of speed could limit his range for the position. His bat is solid with some potential for power, which could allow for a move to third base if his range is found lacking. Last year he struggled with a .193 average in the Arizona Rookie League. At 18 years old he is young enough to repeat at that level.

6. Andres Munoz RHP (Padres) - The Padres are the closest team to take advantage of the south of the border talent. Andres was signed by the Padres in 2015 for a $700,000 bonus. His fastball has gone from the low 90s as a 16 year old to touching triple digits now that he is 20. Last year he pitched 25 games in relief for the Padres and averaged 100 miles per hour with his fastball. Over his three year minor league career he has only had one start, but his whiffs per nine innings sit at 11.8. Command and the improvement on his slider would make him closer material. It is unusual to find a hard thrower out of Mexico, but Munoz fits the bill.

7. Jose Albertos RHP (Cubs) - The Cubs shelled out $1.5 million in 2015 to sign Jose. There is a lot of talent in his arm, with a fastball that can rise to the mid-90s but often falls to the low 90s. This resulted in a horrible year last year where he could not get anyone out. His ERA was in double digits, hitters whacked him at an over .300 average and his walks to whiff ratio hit an ugly 65/38 in just 30 innings. That is usually not the numbers for a prospect but he has shown the Cubs some good seasons. The 2019 season will be key to determine whether he stays a prospect or becomes a journeyman. Some time in extended spring to work on his delivery is best and perhaps a callup to Low A or wait until the short seasons starts before making his 2019 debut. At 20 years old he needs to start showing more consistency on the mound.

8. Reivaj Garcia SS (Cubs) - Garcia was signed in 2017 for $500,000. He doesn’t have the tools of Verdugo and lacks the power bat to fit at third base. The ability to make contact is there so if he can hit for a high average he could eventually move to second base. Last year in his minor league debut he hit .302, but only nine of his 52 hits went for extra bases. At 18 years of age coming into this season he will probably see another year of short season. As he matures the Cubs hope enough power develops to give him a shot at making it as a utility player.

9. Gerardo Carrillo RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers got a bargain with Carrillo, signing him for just $75,000 in 2016. Despite his lack of size (6′0″, 155) he throws the ball hard, hitting the mid 90s with his fastball. He also has the ability to find the plate and as pitchers in Mexico learn, uses a multitude of pitches to retire hitters. His change is probably his best pitch. Last year when promoted to Low A he put together a 1.65 ERA in nine starts, limiting hitters to a .200 average. He relies more on soft contact than swings and misses to retire hitters, but as he bulks up that could change.

10. Tirso Ornelas OF (Padres) - Tirso signed for $1.5 million in 2016. At 6′3″ he has the potential to hit for some pop, last year hitting eight homeruns in Low A. The speed is lacking but the arm is enough to allow him to play either corner. Once he learns to pull the ball more effectively the power numbers should improve. He makes good contact for a power hitter. As he grows he will have to watch his weight. A move to first base would lesson his value and require that he fulfill his power potential to make it to the major leagues. The big advantage he has is he hits lefthanded.

MLB Salary Rank for 2019 Season

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Below myworld ranked the MLB salaries, as well as listing all the players making $20 million or more. Salary information was obtained from Sports Weekly.

1. Chicago Cubs ($211,546,714)

Jon Lester ($27,500,000)
Yu Darvish ($20,000,000)
Cole Hamels ($20,000,000)
Jasen Heyward ($20,000,000)

2. New York Yankees ($205,443,088)

Giancarlo Stanton ($26,000,000)
Masahiro Tanaka ($22,000,000)
Jacoby Ellsbury ($21,847,142)

3. Washington Nationals ($204,449,127)

Max Scherzer ($42,142,857)
Stephen Strasburg ($36,428,571)

4. Boston Red Sox ($204,335,019)

David Price ($31,000,000)
J.D. Martinez ($23,750,000)
Rick Porcello ($21,125,000)
Mookie Betts ($20,000,000)

5. San Francisco Giants ($199,729,652)

Johnny Cueto ($22,666,666)
Buster Posey ($22,511,111)

6. Los Angeles Angels ($177,328,583)

Mike Trout ($34,083,333)
Albert Pujols ($28,000,000)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers ($170,903,333)

Clayton Kershaw ($31,000,000)
Russell Martin ($20,000,000)

8. Houston Astros ($165,653,000)

Justin Verlander ($28,000,000)

9. St. Louis Cardinals ($165,253,599)

Yadier Molina ($20,000,000)

10. Seattle Mariners ($152,807,076)

Felix Hernandez ($27,857,143)
Edwin Encarnacion ($23,333,333)

11. Colorado Rockies ($150,805,164)

Nolan Arenado ($26,000,000)
Charlie Blackmon ($21,516,666)

12. New York Mets ($149,802,076)

Yoennis Cespedes ($29,000,000)
Robinson Cano ($24,000,000)

13. Philadelphia Phillies ($144,616,127)

Jake Arriata ($25,000,000)

14. Cincinnati Reds ($133,580,714)

Joey Votto ($25,000,000)
Matt Kemp ($21,500,000)

15. Milwaukee Brewers ($127,850,341)

None

16. Cleveland Indians ($122,875,033)

Carlos Santana ($20,500,000)

17. Atlanta Braves ($117,855,753)

Josh Donaldson ($23,000,000)
Freddie Freeman ($21,359,375)

18. Minnesota Twins ($114,901,933)

None

19. Arizona Diamondbacks ($107,485,650)

Zack Greinke ($32,421,884)

20. Texas Rangers ($106,969,999)

Shin-Soo Choo ($21,000,000)

21. Detroit Tigers ($102,242,200)

Miguel Cabrera ($30,000,000)
Jordan Zimmerman ($25,000,000)

22. Oakland Athletics ($101,985,000)

None

23. Kansas City Royals ($100,820,791)

Alex Gordon ($21,000,000)

24. Chicago White Sox ($90,652,000)

None

25. Baltimore Orioles ($80,012,045)

Chris Davis ($21,116,517)

26. Pittsburgh Pirates ($76,082,999)

None

27. San Diego Padres ($75,795,766)

Eric Hosmer ($21,625,000)

28. Toronto Blue Jays ($71,228,671)

None

29. Miami Marlins ($70,610,020)

None

30. Tampa Bay Rays ($53,500,799)

None

McGuire Tosses No Hitter in KBO

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

It was not much of a game. Unless you wanted to watch a no hitter. The Samsung Lions eradicated the Hanwha Eagles 16-0. The highlight of the game was the no hitter thrown by Deck McGuire. He struck out 13 in the game, including striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth, finishing the game with 128 pitches.

The Eagles only had three baserunners. One reached on an error in the first but was later caught stealing. Deck walked a hitter in the fourth and hit a batter in the eighth.

The last no hitter myworld shows was by Michael Bowden in 2016. We could have missed one. It would be the 14th no hitter recorded in the KBO. At nohitters.com they have a list of no hitters in the KBO, but they fail to show the Bowden no-no in 2016 so it may not have been updated.

Ranking the Minor League Systems

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Below is myworld’s rankings of the major leagues minor league farm system.

1. San Diego Padres (46.6) - Pitching seems to be their strength with Chris Paddock impressing at the major league level and MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Logan Allen and Ryan Weathers waiting in the wings at various levels. Baez and Morejon were Cuban signings and Gore may be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues. The biggest impact player could be Fernando Tatis Jr., who is the favorite to win rookie of the year honors after his hot start. Josh Naylor has a big bat but the National League may have to adopt the DH to get his bat in the lineup. Francisco Mejia is sharing the catching duties with Austin Hedges. Luis Urias was recently called up to cover second base. In a couple years the Padres will have to find room for Xavier Edwards. Watch out for Ty France, Hudson Potts and Tirso Ornelas. Buddy Reed, Anderson Espinoza and Cal Quantril were once highly rated but have seen their stock drop.

2. Atlanta Braves (43.91) - Their pitching is stronger than the Padres but they lack the position depth. Mike Soroka, Touki Touissaint, Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Luz Gohara and Bryse Wilson can all see the rotation by the end of the year. Kolby Allard lacks velocity but could fit in the bullpen. The Braves top position player is Austin Riley and he will see time after the Josh Donaldson one year contract is complete. In the outfield Drew Waters and Cristian Pache are ready to join Ronald Acuna in the outfield. The brother of Wilson Contreras, William is one of the better catchers in the minor leagues. Kyle Muller and Joey Wentz are two other pitchers to watch in the Braves assembly line.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (37.62) - The Rays strength is up the middle. Jesus Sanchez is a five tool outfielder. Many expect shortstop Wander Franco to be the next superstar prospect in the minor leagues. Lucius Fox was one of the first major wave signed out of the Bahamas, but beating out Franco may be difficult. Brandon Lowe is already making a major league impact at second base. Vidal Brujan plays the same position in the minor leagues and may have better tools, except for power. Nat Lowe is a big power bat for first base. Brendan McKay can also play first base but his strength may be as a left handed arm. Brent Honeywell is recovering from Tommy John surgery and may be ready for the Rays rotation by mid season. Matthew Liberatore and Shane Baz are other pitchers to watch. Ronaldo Hernandez has a big, power bat for a catcher. Watch out for Moises Gomez to make his mark next year.

4. Chicago White Sox (37.6) - Eloy Jimenez was recently rewarded with a multi year contract and a promotion to the major leagues. Luis Robert is tearing up the minor leagues and is screaming for a promotion from High A. Blake Rutherford made his mark with the United States team but needs to show more power. Nick Madrigal can play either short or second but it will be his bat that will get him promoted. On the pitching front they have had bad luck with Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning sidelined by Tommy John surgery. Kopech should be ready by mid-season. Dylan Cease is close to a promotion. Watch out for the next wave in Micker Adolfo, who is recovering from Tommy John and spending his 2019 season as a DH. Zack Collins has a power bat but some question his defense from behind the plate. Alec Hansen had a rough season last year trying to find the plate, but myworld believes he will recover. Zach Burdi is the White Sox closer of the future and Jake Burger is a big bat that should be available soon after his recover from his Achilles heel injury.

5. Houston Astros (28.72) - Forest Whitley could be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues next year. Josh James is already making an impact in the Astros pen. J.B. Bukauskas is struggling in the minors and may be better suited for the pen as well. Cionel Perez does not throw hard but is a crafty lefty. Corbin Martin and Rogelio Armenteros are two other pitchers gearing toward making an impact in the starting rotation. Kyle Tucker is a superstar ready to happen, but he must solve major league pitching. Yordan Alvarez has a power bat but poor defensively. Seth Beer is another power bat without a defensive position. Next wave to watch is shortstop Freudis Nova who is a middle infielder with power and Myles Straw, whose big tool is his speed.

6. Cincinnati Reds (27.8) - Nick Senzel is moving to centerfield but it is his bat the Reds want in the lineup. Staying healthy has been his biggest challenge. Taylor Trammell has all five tools and comes off winning the MVP of the Future’s Game last year. Jonathan India plays third but may have to move to get his bat in the lineup. Tyler Stephenson is the Reds future catcher. On the mound Hunter Greene is out for the year with elbow issues and Tommy John. Tony Santillan is ready to make an impact this year. On the cusp is Jose Siri, a multi tooled outfielder and Ibandel Isabel, who hit 35 homeruns in the Florida State league.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (26.3) - Good genes here. Vladimir Guerrero is the minor league player of the year. Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio also have good bloodlines and cover the middle infield. Biggio is being considered for centerfield. Danny Jansen is contributing behind the plate this year for the Jays. Kevin Smith does not overwhelm you with tools but could be a solid utility player. Jordan Groshans was the Blue Jays first round pick last year but plays the same position as Guerrero. The pitching is not as strong but Nate Pearson is one of the hardest throwers in the minor leagues, but needs to stay healthy. Eric Pardinho is small in stature but throws hard with a variety of pitches. Next wave to watch is shortstop Miguel Hiraldo who has good power for a middle infielder. He may have to move to second base. Elvis Luciano was taken as a Rule V as a teenager. Demi Orimoloye has tremendous tools but must improve his ability to make contact.

8. Minnesota Twins (23.21) - Royce Lewis is a top ten prospect playing a critical position (shortstop). Alex Kirilloff has a big bat and despite his surgery we like his arm in right field. Nick Gordon may have to settle for a utility role. Trevor Larnach was a big bat for NCAA champion Oregon State and will be a corner outfielder for the Twins. Brusdar Graterol has a blazing fastball that may eventually be moved to the pen. Brent Rooker is a bat in search of a position. The next wave will include Wander Javier at shortstop once he gets healthy. Akil Baddoo is a bat that appears to be finding his power.

9. Washington Nationals (19.65) - They have traded most of the prospects but have a trio of position players that will make an impact. Victor Robles will cover a lot of ground in center and all he needs is to find his power. Carter Kieboom will be at second base next year for the Nationals. Luis Garcia is ready to fill a utility role but his best position is as a middle infielder. The next wave could include Mason Denaburg, there number one pick last year who has a power arm. Seth Romero has all the talent but character issues could get in the way. The lefthander had Tommy John surgery so he has a year to reflect. Tres Barrera is their catcher of the future. Rhett Wiseman is one of the hottest hitters in the minors this year with 8 homeruns in 13 games. Currently the Nationals do not need outfielders.

10.Los Angeles Dodgers (19.52) - Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith make catching the strongest position for the Dodgers. Alex Verdugo is contributing to the outfield. Gavin Lux finally broke out last year and could see himself in a utility role in the middle infield. Justin Dunn is ready to make a contribution in the starting rotation. The next wave could see Dennis Santana become their closer of the future. DJ Peters is a lesser version of Aaron Judge at 6′6″ but needs to improve his contact. Jeren Kendall has all the tools to make an impact.

11. Oakland Athletics (18.85) - Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk are two of the best lefthanders in the minors. Puk is coming off Tommy John and Luzardo is on the disabled list with arm issues. Sean Murphy is a talented defensive catcher who could provide enough bat to be an All Star. Lazaro Armenteros came with a lot of hype but shows some talent. His defense, especially his arm is less than expected but he has speed and an impact bat. Jorge Mateo just needs an opportunity. The toolsy athlete needs to find a position to get his bat in the lineup. The next wave could include James Kaprielian if he can get healthy. The number one pick of the Yankees in 2015 has not pitched in two years.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (16.7) - Mitch Keller has been one of the top righthanders in the minor leagues but the Pirates have been slow to promote him. 2019 should be his year. At 6′6″ O’Neil Cruz could be too big for shortstop but his bat will make a move to the outfield a mute point. Ke’Bryan Hayes is the son of Charlie and plays a mean third base. He needs to find a little more pop in his bat to play the corner infield. Travis Swaggerty has a lot of swag as the Pirates first round pick last year. Calvin Mitchell is a power bat with defensive limitations in the outfield. Eventually Cole Tucker will be the shortstop for the Pirates before the year is out.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (14.29) - The Cardinals are crowded at third base with Nolan Gorman and Elehuris Montero. Tyler O’Neil is making a contribution with the Cardinals this year. Alex Reyes has had trouble staying healthy and may be best used out of the bullpen. The Cardinals are using him in the minors in the rotation to strengthen his arm. Dakota Hudson is ready for the rotation. Andrew Knizner is now the Cardinals catcher of the future now that Carson Kelly has now been traded. On the cusp is Malcom Nunez, signed out of Cuba who also plays third base. His power is impressive.

14. Los Angeles Angels (13.36) - Jo Adell and Jordyn Adams are outfielders who could be flanking Mike Trout in a couple years. Adell is a five tool athlete while Adams has sprinter speed. Brandon Marsh has a big bat but not the tools of Adell and Adams. Jahmai Jones was an outfielder who moved to second base. He struggled last year with the change in positions but the bat is strong. Kevin Maitan has had a big drop in prospect stock but he is still a player to watch because of his bat. Griffin Canning from the right side and Jose Suarez from the left are two arms the Angels see contributing sometime this year. The next wave could include Matt Thaiss, who was a catcher but has moved to first base where his bat has started to show some power. Livan Soto and Luis Rengifo are middle infielders to watch.

15. Seattle Mariners (12.72) - The Mariners have traded for prospects. Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn are two ex-New Yorkers, one from the Mets and the other from the Yankees, who have lots of talent. Justus needs to find his control to make an impact this year. Yusei Kikuchi was a signing out of Japan this year that is already making an impact on the mound. Jarred Kelenic is an outfielder also acquired from the Mets who has five tool potential. Evan White is a first baseman drafted in the first round in 2017 who must find more power. Waiting in the wings is Julio Rodriguez, who will see his first games stateside. He has plenty of tools to show off in the outfield and at the plate. Kyle Lewis is finally getting healthy from a gruesome knee injury. Logan Gilbert is a first round pick last year who did not get to pitch.

16. New York Mets (12.65) - Peter Alonso has taken over the first base position for the Mets. The shortstop position still shows some strength with Andre Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio waiting in the wings. Third baseman Mark Vientos has a power bat that could make an impact soon. The next wave could include Shervyen Newton, who lacks the range to stay at short but the bat has the pop to move to third. Luis Guillorme may have the best glove of the shortstops, but his bat is lacking. Pitching is short, but the Mets have high hopes for two first rounders Anthony Kay and David Peterson, both lefthanders.

17. Detroit Tigers (12.36) - The Tigers have a starting rotation already in the minors in Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Franklin Perez and Beau Burrows. The trick is to keep them all healthy. Christin Stewart is already making an impact for the Tigers in left field. Isaac Paredes has already been moved to third but his future may be at second. The next wave could be outfielders Daz Cameron and Parker Meadows. Daz is the son of Mike and Parker is the brother of Austin. Kody Clemens, the son of Roger could make an impact with his bat. Sergio Alcantara could be the Tigers shortstop of the future if he can find his bat.

18. Miami Marlins (11.13) - Sandy Alcantara has a big fastball and is making a contribution to the Marlins rotation now. Sixto Sanchez was the Phillies top prospect and acquired in the J.T. Realmuto trade. He could be ready for the rotation by the end of the year. Victor Victor Mesa was a star in Cuba, whose father was a legend on the international scene. Mesa covers a lot of ground in center and should carry an impact bat. Monte Harrison has a lot of swing and miss but can hit for pop and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. The next wave could include Jorge Guzman, who is one of the hardest throwers in the minors, but has difficulty finding the plate. Isan Diaz comes with a lot of hype but has not produced to justify the hype. Jose Devers is the younger brother of Rafael and plays shortstop.

19. Colorado Rockies (11.08) - Garrett Hampson is contributing already for the Rockies at second base. Brendan Rodgers plays the same position as Trevor Story, but has a bat that needs to fill the lineup. Colton Welker plays third base but has power and no position. Tyler Nevin is the son of Phil and plays the corner infields. If his bat connects for more pop he could be an impact player. Pitching is short, but the Rockies have hope that Peter Lambert develops with his breaking pitches. The next wave could include Riley Pint a first round pick in 2016 with an impressive fastball. Roberto Ramos hit 32 homeruns last year and has the power for first base.

20. Milwaukee Brewers (9.63) - Corbin Burnes worked well for the Brewers in the pen last year, but struggled in the starting rotation this year and was recently sent down. Keston Hiura has batting titles in his future and will slide into second base. Tristen Lutz is a toolsy corner outfielder who carries some pop. Ready to make an impact are Corey Ray, a first round pick in 2016 who finally flashed his potential last year with 27 homeruns. Brice Turang is a first round pick in 2018 who plays shortstop. Mauricio Dubon is a middle infielder who hit .343 last year before a knee injury ended his season after 27 games.

21. Baltimore Orioles (8.36) - Yusniel Diaz is loaded with tools to be the O’s future rightfielder. Ryan Mountcastle has an impressive bat but no defensive position. D.L. Hall is one of the best lefthanders in the minor leagues. On the rebuilding front the next wave would include Grayson Rodriguez, who at 6′5″ has an impressive fastball and solid secondary pitches. Austin Hays needs to find his mojo after hitting 33 homeruns in 2017. Injuries have limited his playing time. Hunter Harvey has an impressive arm that has not stayed healthy. Cadyn Grenier has an impressive glove that moved Nick Madrigal to second base, but his bat may not play.

22. Texas Rangers (7.28) - The Rangers used to always fill the top of the prospect lists but the well started running dry in 2016. The outfield has a solid corp with Julio Pablo Martinez. Leody Taveras and Bubba Thompson. Leody is a gold glove caliber outfielder who has not found his bat yet. Anderson Tejeda is a shortstop who carries some pop with the bat. On the mound Hans Crouse has a fastball that can do some damage and Cole Winn was a first round pick last year who will make his debut in 2019.

23. Cleveland Indians (7.25) - Triston McKenzie is a talented arm who is spending is second straight season on the Disabled List to start the year. Luis Oviedo has a large frame (6′4″) with a big fastball. Bobby Bradley shows big time pop at first base, but lacks a glove and hits for a low average. Nolan Jones and Yu Chang have power bats who will fight for third base. The next wave could include Bo Naylor, a catcher who was the Indians first round pick last year. George Valera and Will Benson are two impact outfielders. Valera signed out of the Dominican for big time dough has all five tools. Will Benson recently hit four homeruns in one game and could be ready for a break out season. Daniel Johnson was acquired from the Nationals and has some pop to play a corner outfield.

24. San Francisco Giants (7.17) - Their high rankings are the result of two players. The Giants have been waiting for an outfielder since the retirement of Barry Bonds and Heliot Ramos could be that player. Joey Bart will be ready at catcher once Buster Posey makes his move to first base. The next wave could include shortstop Marco Luciano, who recently signed a contract in 2018 for $2.16 million. Melvin Adon and Ray Black are two power arms who could fill the Giants bullpen.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (6.9) - The Phillies have traded the bulk of their prospects for a pennant run this year. Luis Garcia is a shortstop still a length away from making a contribution. Alec Bohm was drafted in the first round last year and has the power to play third. Adonis Medina is the one arm they have kept. He is still a couple years away from making a contribution. Spencer Howard is another arm the Phillies are high on. The next wave could include Adam Haseley who the Phillies hope will have a break out year next year. Dylan Cozens has big time pop and could fit in right field if Bryce did not already occupy that spot.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (5.73) - Jon Duplantier is a talented arm the D-backs have yet to trade. His big issue is staying healthy. Taylor Widener has gotten notice with his high strikeout rate (11.5/nine innings). Jazz Chisholm will play short and Kristian Robinson could play center. Both players were signed out of Bahamas and will bring big time pop to a lineup. Daulton Varsho will try to replicate the numbers of his namesake, Darren Daulton. His arm could be a little shallow for catcher. The next wave could include Pavin Smith, a first baseman who needs to show more pop to fit at the position.

27. New York Yankees (5.25) - The Yankees have fallen far. They still have some arms in Jonathan Loaisiga and Albert Albreu. Estevan Florial is a multi tooled outfielder who had a down year last year. The Yankees do have talent on the horizon. Everson Pereira and Antonio Cabello are two outfielders from Venezuela who have the potential to be five tool players. Luis Medina and Luis Gil are young pitchers who can hit triple digits with their fastball. Anthony Siegler is a solid defensive catcher drafted in the first round last year.

28. Kansas City Royals (3.5) - Brady Singer was the Royals first round pick in 2018 and should be the ace in the rotation by 2020. MJ Melendez is a solid defensive catcher who should be calling his pitches by that time. Khalil Lee has all the tools to play center and become an All Star. Seuly Matias had the power in his bat to hit 31 homeruns last year and has the arm for right field. The future wave could include Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar, two more pitchers drafted in the first round last year. Meibrys Viloria is another catcher who has not replicated his 2016 performance when he hit .376.

29. Chicago Cubs (1.6) - Nico Hoerner was the Cubs first round pick last year who could have an impact bat at shortstop. The only tool he lacks is power. Miguel Amaya is a solid defensive catcher who brings a bat to the game. The next wave will include Brailyn Marquez, a lefthander who saw his fastball rise to the mid to high 90s.

30. Boston Red Sox (1.45) - Michael Chavis was the Red Sox third baseman of the future who became their third baseman of the present with his recent callup. Bobby Dalbec plays the same position but has the pop to move to first base. The next arrivals include Darwinzon Hernandez, a lefthander who has a mean fastball destined to fill the Red Sox bullpen before the year ends. Jay Groome was a first round pick in 2016 and missed last year for Tommy John surgery. His fastball is impressive coming from the left side. Triston Casas was the Red Sox first round pick last year. He has an impressive bat that will start at the corners in the infield and may move to the outfield.

Corbin Leads Nats to Series Win Over Giants

Friday, April 19th, 2019

With only Doolittle effective in the Nationals bullpen, getting eight innings from Patrick Corbin was critical. He gave them one out short of eight and the Nationals bullpen was able to hold off the Giants for the last four outs to preserve a 4-2 win. Even Sean Doolittle gave up a run in the last inning to make the game interesting. For Patrick Corbin it was his first win as a National.

The Nationals scored off Drew Pomeranz in each inning, except the second. A two out walk to Juan Soto in the first was followed by a Ryan Zimmerman blast over the right fielder’s head. Steven Duggar tried to make a diving catch but came up short. Soto was able to easily score from first.

Pomeranz retired the Nats in order in the second. In the third he retired the first two hitters but Anthony Rendon lined a double off the left field wall, just a couple feet short of finding the bleachers. Juan Soto went opposite field, hitting another ball over the head of Brandon Belt to one hop the wall, scoring Rendon.

Wilmer Difo blasted a two out homer in the fourth, a ball that carried at least into the 15th row in left field. The Nationals scored their last run in the fifth on a bases loaded walk to Yan Gomes. That finished the day for Pomeranz.

Myworld was gone after the fifth. We saw seven of his nine whiffs. There were also stellar defensive plays by Wilmer Difo at short and Ryan Zimmerman at first.

Nats Notes: Interesting Brandon Belt was playing left field and Tyler Austin was at first base. Austin was an outfielder in the minor leagues. Belt has spent most of his time at first base and lacks the speed to really cover the outfield. Austin had just returned from the disabled list after a sore left elbow and is not ready yet for the long throws from the outfield. Belt had two balls travel over his head for doubles and threw to third, allowing Victor Robles to advance to second base. In defense of Belt, Crawford was in front of third acting as the cutoff…It was spring break and with a day game there were a lot of kids at the ball park. Attendance was 26,085…Again, the Nats took a lot of called third strikes, including Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded and one out. Myworld would prefer they take a more aggressive approach at the plate, rather than glare at the umpire when the strike call does not go their way…Bruce Bochy was tossed in the fifth for arguing a third strike call against Brandon Belt. It was pretty automatic since he went out immediately to argue the call. Two manager ejections for arguing balls and strikes, though Martinez was tossed from the dugout. For Bochy it was his first ejection after 25 years as manager…Brandon Belt was later tossed in the seventh inning for arguing strikes.

New Ball Stifling KBO Offense

Friday, April 19th, 2019

The KBO went to a newer, heavier ball and the offense has dropped. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in the KBO. What has really fallen off is the number of homeruns that are hit, especially when compared to last year. Last year the KBO hit a record 1,756 homeruns, including five players hitting more than 40 homeruns.

After the first 100 games this year there were 159 homeruns according to Yonhap News Agency. Compared to last year, after 102 games there were 244 homeruns. To address the explosive offense issue the KBO went with a new ball that is larger with less bounce to it than the one used last year and the results have been noticeable.

The league wide batting average has also dropped from .276 last year to .259 this year. This has also created a lower ERA from 4.87 to 4.06. Looking at the ERA leader board has shown some results that you never would have expected in the KBO. The top five leader board for the KBO after 23 games:

Tyler Wilson (Twins) 0.26
Cha Woo-chan (Twins) 0.75
Josh Lindblom (Bears) 1.65
Park Jin-Woo (Dinos) 2.05
Kim Won Joong (Giants) 2.05

It used to be that if you could have an ERA under 4.00 you were accomplishing something. Currently there are 17 pitchers who qualify for the league leader boards who have ERAs under 4.

Seawolves Down Bay Sox

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Myworld went to our first minor league game. Matt Manning was the attraction. He went 4.2 solid innings, being taken out in the fifth because of his pitch count. He has plenty of swing and miss with his pitches, striking out eight. The Erie Seawolves romped over the last place Bowie Bay Sox 8-3.

Veteran minor leaguer Ademar Rifaela was the biggest nemesis for Manning. After Manning walked Yusniel Diaz, Ademar ripped a double down the first base line. Diaz was able to motor home from first. In the fourth Ademar blasted one into right center for a double. He scored on a Jesmeul Velentin single.

Marcus Molina got the start for the Bay Sox. He was at one time a top ten prospect for the Mets. They let him go midway through the 2018 season. A couple weeks later he was suspended for the remainder of the season for a performance enhancing drug violation. He retired the first six hitters he faced, three of them on whiffs. The Seawolves raked him in the third with a walk, three singles and a sacrifice fly to score two.

A four hit inning in the sixth to score three broke a 2-2 tie and put the game out of reach. Chance Numata led the Seawolves with three RBIs. He hit a two run single in the sixth and contributed a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Myworld is impressed with the quick bat of Yusniel Diaz. He also showed some speed on the bases and a strong arm in right field. Sergio Alcantara showed a smooth glove at short. There is some question whether he will hit, but there is no doubt of his defensive qualities. He forced Isaac Paredes to move to third. Matt Manning shoed the ability to get a lot of swings and misses. Didn’t really see too much of his curveball.