Archive for January, 2020

Top Dominican Prospects in the National League

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

The top two prospects from last year’s list, Fernando Tatis and Victor Robles made significant contributions to their major league teams. Another Padre Francisco Mejia, the fourth rated Dominican prospect lost his rookie status. Number nine prospect Sandy Alcantara started 32 games for the Marlins. That leaves four new spots with injuries knocking Alex Reyes off the list, though with all his time on the major league disabled list he may have lost his rookie status. Below are myworld’s top ten Dominican prospects in the National League.

1. Cristian Pache OF (Atl) - Last year he was the 7th rated Dominican prospect in the National League. What a difference a year of accomplishment can make. His defense is at the gold glove level and his bat has been showing some increasing pop the last two years. Pache did not hit any homeruns his first two years but nine in 2018 and 12 last year show the kind of pop that is there. He also peppered the gaps for a career high 36 doubles. He has the speed to steal bases, but after his 32 in 2017 he has failed to reach double digits his last two years. The arm is a rocket but with his defense there would be no need to move him away from centerfield. The batting average may hover around .250 but his defense should make him an asset to the Braves for a long time. That should start with the 2020 season.

2. O’Neil Cruz SS/OF (PGH) - Cruz was number 10 on this list last year. While he currently plays shortstop, myworld believes his 6′6″ height will eventually move him to the outfield. If he can stay at shortstop there would be no shortstop that could equal his power. A little too much swing and miss could limit his batting average and lesson his power numbers. A fractured foot last year also limited him to just 73 games. He was able to reach AA but hit only one homerun in over 120 at bats. The Pirates have always been patient with their prospects, trying to squeeze out every last year of prospect eligibility to their club. The injury and the Pirates conservative approach will keep Cruz in the minor leagues until 2021 at the earliest.

3. Ronny Mauricio SS (NYM) - Amed Rosario struggled on defense at shortstop last year for the Mets and Andres Gimenez is another defensive option. The most complete shortstop could be Mauricio. At 6′3″ he may eventually have to move to third if his body fills out. His lack of speed limits his range and if he continues to fill out that range could be further impacted. He has the hands and arm to play short. His bat is what gets the Mets excited. The bat should eventually hit for 20 plus homeruns, though he has yet to hit in double figures for power. He does show a lack of patience at the plate with a 4/1 strikeout to walk ratio, which could limit his average. Still a teenager Mauricio should be ready for High A in 2020 with a possible promotion to AA. Don’t expect him to see the Mets infield until 2021.

4. Brailyn Marquez LHP (CHC) - Lefthanders who can dial their fastball into the mid-90s are valuable commodities on any club. At 6′4″ Brailyn has the height to be a durable starting pitcher. Last year was his first year eclipsing 100 innings of work. A solid curveball and improving change give him three pitches to fit in the rotation. Last year the opposition hit him at .224, which is twenty points below his career minor league average. He also continued to strike out more than one batter per inning. One area he needs to work on is improving his control. Last year he walked about a hitter per two innings. The Cubs have not had a lot of success developing pitching. Next year he should see AA and if the Cubs can exercise patience he will not appear on the Cubs pitching rotation until 2021.

5. Sixto Sanchez RHP (Mia) - The Phillies signed Sixto in 2014, then traded him to the Marlins in 2019 for J.T. Realmuto. The fastball is explosive, cracking triple digits on the radar gun. His 6′0″ height makes his durability a question. He missed much of 2018 due to injury but averted the disabled list in 2019 to throw over 100 innings for the first time in his minor league career. He and Sandy Alcantara should make for an intimidating mound duo. Plus command of his fastball, curve and change trifecta should result in more swings and misses but he generally averages less than a whiff per inning. His 18 starts in AA should make him ready for the major league rotation some time in 2020.

6. Jesus Sanchez OF (Mia) - No relation to Sixto. Jesus got his start with Tampa Bay and then was traded to the Marlins a couple years ago for pitching help. Jesus has the potential to be a five tool player. His speed is not burner’s speed but it is enough to play centerfield. His arm is strong enough for right field, but with J.J. Bleday on the roster left field could be his eventual position. His bat lacks patience (39/100 walk to whiff ratio) which could limit his average to the .250s. His power is not massive but it should be enough to hit 20 plus homeruns. Despite his above average speed Jesus does not steal bases, failing to reach double digits in any of his minor league seasons. He should be in the Marlins roster sometime mid season of 2020.

7. Marco Luciano SS (SF) - Don’t know if the Giants can wait for Marco to be ready to replace the aging Brandon Crawford. They shelled out $2.6 million to sign him in 2018. Last year was his first season state side where he hit .322 in rookie ball. His 10 homeruns gave him a .616 slugging. That kind of power will not continue, but his bat is one of his strengths. The arm is there to stay at short but if his 6′2″ frame fills out too much he may have to move to third. Marco has the bat to make multiple All Star appearances. He will debut in the full season league in 2020 but is probably still three of four years from making the Giants. That will probably mean four years on this list.

8. Luis Garcia SS/2B (Was) - Not to be confused with the Luis Garcia on the Phillies. Teams have inquired about Luis, but despite their playoff run the Nationals kept Garcia off the market. With Anthony Rendon gone and temporary veteran replacements to cover second and third, Garcia’s time to wear a Nationals uniform should be soon. He lacks the power to play third and he will not usurp Turner from short. So second base could be his ultimate position. His minor league numbers have not been impressive (.257 average and .617 OPS) until you realize he is only a 19 year old trying to solve AA pitching. His speed is not great so if Luis hopes to make an impact his bat has to be in the neighborhood of .300 with double digit homerun power less than 20. National fans should see his major league debut in 2020.

9. Edward Cabrera RHP (Mia) - Make that a threesome. With Alcantara, Sixto and Cabrera in the rotation the Marlins should be scary. Cabrera is another arm that can hit triple digits, but for the most part will sit in the mid-90s. If he can refine his change to make it a more swing and miss offering he will fit in the rotation. If not he could be the Marlins closer. Last year he limited the opposition to a .190 average and struck out more than a hitter an inning. His eight starts in AA make debuting in the Marlins rotation in 2020 a slight possibility. Because 100 innings pitched in 2018 has been his maximum innings level, the Marlins need to leave him in the minor leagues to control his innings.

10. Geraldo Perdomo SS (Ari) - The Diamondbacks only paid $70,000 for him back in 2016. Advance three years and Geraldo has turned himself into a top level prospect. His tools should be sufficient to stay at shortstop, but as with any 6′3″ Dominican this could change as he fills out. The bat makes good contact with more walks than whiffs last year (70/67). There is not a lot of power in his bat so if he can keep his average in the .300 neighborhood he could become a useful starter. His lack of speed does not project for high stolen base totals. Last year he got 26 games in High A so he is at least a couple years away from the Diamondbacks.

Japan is Number one in Both Men’s and Women’s Baseball

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Japan has achieved the top rating in both men’s and women’s baseball. The United States is second in men and fifth in women. For men the United States team bypasses a number of tournaments such as the World Cup Under 23, and play amateurs in the Premier 12, which prevents them from accumulating the points that Japan earns. The United States women are hampered by the culture of forcing talented players to pursue softball, where it is a high school recognized sport, abandoning baseball. This eliminates talented female baseball players from continuing with the sport.

Below is the Top 12 Ranking for each gender.

Men’s Top 12

1. Japan (6,127 points)
2. United States (4,676)
3. Korea (4,622)
4. Taiwan (4,352)
5. Mexico (3,375)
6. Australia (3,249)
7. Netherlands (2,690)
8. Cuba (2,641)
9. Venezuela (2,624)
10. Dominican Republic (2,512)
11. Puerto Rico (2,013)
12. Canada (1,873)

The top 12 is significant since a team qualifies for the Premier 12 by being ranked in the top 12 for baseball.

The women’s top 12.

1. Japan (2,505 points)
2. Canada (1,947)
3. Taiwan (1,852)
4. Venezuela (1,736)
5. United States (1,524)
6. Australia (1,182)
7. Korea (955)
8. Cuba (947)
9. Dominican Republic (717)
10. Hong Kong (520)
11. Netherlands (500)
12. Puerto Rico (371)

In women’s softball the United States is ranked number one with Japan at number two. For the men in softball Japan is ranked number one. The United States is sixth, behind Argentina, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Significant Major League Roster Rule Changes

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The major leagues have established some significant rule changes that will have an impact on how teams build their rosters for the 2020 season. Below is a list of the rule changes.

1) Teams can expand their roster to 26 players, 27 when playing a double header.

2) Of those roster players only 13 can be pitchers. To be identified as a pitcher a player must have pitched in at least 20 innings in a major league game during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Myworld is not aware of a restriction on the number of position players a team can have on their major league roster, but to be designated as a position player he must have played in at least 20 games and accumulated at least three plate appearances in each of those games. This seems to eliminate games in which a player had less than three plate appearances, which means you cannot assume that because a player has appeared in 20 games and has 60 plate appearances he qualifies as a position player.

3) A position player cannot appear in a game to pitch until after the ninth inning or if a team is ahead or behind by more than six runs.

4) Pitchers must face at least three batters or finish an inning when they make an appearance on the mound. An exception would be made for a pitcher that suffered an injury prior to him facing three hitters. This appears to eliminate the lefthanded pitching specialist strategy.

5) When September rolls around you can only have a maximum of 28 players on the roster. This eliminates the September callup rule, but teams can still massage this restriction by using their full 40 man roster in September, just like they do in the regular season. They will have to find players who have options available and rotate players up and down in September, knowing that if a player is optioned down they cannot be called up for ten days unless for injury. Just like the regular season there could be a number of players designated for assignment as teams try to manage their rosters.

6) The amount of time players must spend on the disabled list has been raised from 10 to 15 days.

Under 23 World Cup Qualifying Round

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The Under 23 Baseball World Cup qualifying round will be held in Nicaragua and Honduras. Competing in the Nicaragua competition will be Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the hosts Nicaragua. In Honduras, other than the hosts the competition will be Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Panama. Absent from the competition are the United States and Canada. Even Puerto Rico is absent in the tournament.

The Under 23 World Cup will be held October 2-11 in Mexico. Mexico are the defending champions having defeated Japan in 2018 when it was played in Colombia. Other countries who have qualified to play are Germany and Czech Republic (European qualifier), New Zealand (Oceania - Australia dropped out), Taiwan, Japan and China (Asia Qualifier), Korea (wild card selection) and Mexico as the host.

Honduras is an interesting country to choose to be a host for a baseball qualifier since baseball is not a big sport in that country. If you want to grow the game you have to expose the countries not usually exposed to baseball. Not sure why the United States and Canada chose not to participate but the major and minor league pipeline availability probably has something to do with that.

Cuban Playoff Update

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

They have gotten to the championship round in the Cuban playoffs. Camaguey swept Industriales in a best three of five while Matanzas allowed Las Tunas to win the opener before taking the next three to advance to the finals.

Leslie Anderson was the hero in game one with his homerun and four RBIs on a 4 for 4 day in the Camaguey opening day 9-8 win over Industriales. In game two Yosamar Cousin threw six shutout innings to win 7-5. The Camaguey bullpen almost let the lead get away, giving up five runs in the last two innings. Yariel Rodriguez quieted the Industriales bats for eight innings, giving up just two runs in their 3-2 win. Lazaro Blanco pitched the ninth inning to close out the victory.

Las Tunas won the opener 5-4 tallying a run in the bottom of the ninth to take the game. Matanzas took the next three to win the series. Freddy Alvarez pitched six strong innings to give Matanzas a 4-2 win and even the series. Yurisbel Gracial drove in two runs in the fifth with a single to give Matanzas a 3-2 lead. Tamichel Perez pitched three innings of shutout relief to close out the victory. Matanzas completed the sweep with a 11-6 win, scoring 10 runs in the first three innings. Again Gracial was the hitting star with four RBIs.

In the championship Matanzas has jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the best of seven series. Matanzas won the opener over Camaguey 5-3, with Javier Camero driving in all five runs with two homeruns to secure the victory. His grand slam in the seventh inning put Matanzas up for good.

Camaguey got eight innings of shutout ball from Yosimar Cousin to win 8-0 and even the series. Matanzas fought right back and got six innings of shutout ball from Yoanni Yera to win game three 6-1. Yasiel Santoya drove in two runs and scored twice to lead the offense. Matanzas won game four 5-3 to take a 3-1 series lead over Matanzas.

Top Prospects from the Dominican Republic in the American League

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

This is the first of our top prospect lists from each country or continent. The Dominican Republic has the most prospects in baseball so it is pretty easy creating a top ten list, so we break it off into the American League and National League. Other countries or continents require a deep dive into the minor leagues just to find players. Some countries may have less than ten players and if they are not included in a continent rating they will probably not be mentioned.

There were two successes among the Dominicans from last years list in the American League. The top prospect Vladimir Guerrero did not make the big splash as many expected, but he still earned the starting third base job for the Blue Jays. He had a decent year but may have been upstaged by rookie teammate Bo Bichette. Eloy Jimenez, the fourth rated prospect hit 31 homeruns and made an impact for the White Sox. One player who made the American League list (Jesus Sanchez) was traded to the National League. Wander Javier, Albert Abreu and Seuly Matias did not perform to expectations and were surpassed by newer prospects.

1. Wander Franco SS (Tampa Bay) - Like Guerrero on the list last year, Wander appears on many publications as the top prospect in baseball. Others who have appeared on the list include players like Jurickson Profar, Yoan Moncada and Bryan Harper. Franco plays a solid shortstop and can hit for average (.327) and power (.487). Even if he fills out and loses the range to play short his bat will play at third base. He has yet to play AA so the Rays have another year to decide what to do with him. They still have a couple cheap years of Willy Adames as their current shortstop, but once he reaches the age of arbitration they may look to trade him to make room for the cheaper and more productive Franco. Franco has hit over .300 at every level he has played and is expected to make his debut with the Rays sometime in 2021, depending on how Adames is taking to the shortstop position.

2. Julio Rodriguez OF (Seattle) - Last year Rodriguez was rated eighth. That was based on his 59 game debut in the Rookie League in 2018 where he hit .315 with a .526 slugging. The Mariners had forked over $1.75 million to sign him. He only elevated his stock after his 2019 season when he hit .326 with a .540 slugging, reaching High A as a 19 year old. His lack of speed will limit him to a corner, but he has the arm to play right. He could become the Mariners version of Juan Soto. If he takes the same path as Soto he will reach the Mariners next season, but expect him more in 2021.

3. Jasson Dominguez OF (New York) - Jasson is a mystery since he did not play last year. The Yankees signed him for $5.1 million. At 16 he still has a ways to go to reach Yankee Stadium. In the States he would still be eligible to play for the Junior Varsity baseball team in high school. Jasson carries all five tools, with the speed to play center and the power to bat in the middle of the order. If he should fill out the arm is strong enough for right field. Yankee fans will have to wait until 2023 before they will see him in the major leagues, but he could rise quickly.

4. Vidal Brujan 2B (Tampa Bay) - Vidal is more a speed guy. In the last two years he has stolen over 100 bases. Coming into the 2019 season he carried a .300 career average, but last year he hit .277. There is not a lot of power in his bat and it would be better if he could fit at short. With Adames and Franco playing there and a fairly average arm his best fit may be second base. Franco would bat in the middle of the lineup while Brujan would bat leadoff. Since he played 55 games in AA he could be ready to make his Rays debut sometime late in the 2020 season.

5. Noelvi Marti SS (Seattle) - Marte has not yet played state side. The Mariners signed him in 2018 for $1.55 million. Last year he played in the Dominican Summer League and hit .309 with 9 homeruns and a .511 slugging percentage. He also has the speed to steal bases, pilfering 17 last year. His arm is strong enough to fit at short but a lot will depend on how is body fills out. The power is there where a move to third would fit. Noelvi is still probably four to five years away from playing in the major leagues, so Mariners brass will have plenty of time to evaluate him to determine his ultimate position.

6. Deivi Garcia RHP (New York) - One Yankee pitcher dropped from the list (Albert Abreu) and two rise from the lower levels of the minor leagues to replace him. Garcia has a lights out arm that can throw a fastball in the mid-90s. He also has the finesse to buckle knees with his curve ball. What he lacks is the height (5′9″) that many like to see in a righthander. Last year he rose three levels, finishing with six starts in AAA while striking out 165 hitters in just 111 innings and limiting the opposition to a .231 average. He was hit a little harder in AAA (.262) and that could be a problem as he reaches the major leagues. If the Yankees have the need for bullpen or starting pitching help in 2020 expect Garcia to be one of the first pitchers to be considered for a promotion.

7. Luis Gil RHP (New York) - His 6′3″ height is more what scouts look for in a starting pitcher. Gil was not signed by the Yankees but acquired from the Twins in 2018 for Jake Cave. The Twins only paid $90,000 to sign him. Since signing in 2014 Gil had yet to pitch in the full season leagues, missing all of the 2016 season after shoulder surgery. Last year he jumped to the Florida State League, dominating at the Low A level (2.39 ERA with 112 whiffs in 83 innings). His fastball can hit triple digits, but it sits in the mid-90s range. Throwing strikes can be a bit of an issue for Gil. He also needs to find a third pitch to stay in the rotation. Luis will start the season in the Florida State League and if he does well he could see the Yankee bullpen in 2022.

8. Leody Taveras OF (Texas) - He is a stellar defensive player who is normally one of the youngest players at the level he has played. If he can carry a decent bat he could win gold gloves in centerfield. He came into the 2019 season with a .253 minor league career average but last year broke out to hit .279 average, good enough to get a promotion to AA. Last year he also elevated his stolen base game, stealing a career high 32 bases. There will not be a lot of power in the bat so he will need to rely on his glove and legs to win a major league job. If that happens he should see the Rangers as a September callup in 2020.

9. Jorge Mateo SS/OF (Oakland) - Myworld cannot give up on his potential. He shows some sneaky power, good enough to hit 19 homeruns last year and his legs can cover a lot of ground if the Athletics decide to move him to centerfield. He no longer appears to be the 50 stolen base threat he was early in his career, but he can still get over 20. Last year he was one homerun shy of being 20/20. Making contact can still be a challenge and a 29/145 walk to whiff ratio may lead to a number of extended slumps. The Yankees made him part of the Sonny Gray trade in 2017. Next year he could make the Athletics as a utility player, fitting in centerfield and the middle infield positions. The recent acquisition of Tony Kemp seems to have hurt his cause in the short run, but he has too many tools not to be given the opportunity.

10. Jose Soriano RHP (Los Angeles) - He only signed for $70,000 in 2016, at 18 fairly old for a Dominican. He sprouted to 6′3″ and last year sprayed his fastball to the plate into the high 90s, a significant increase from last year. He got more swings and misses, finishing with more than a strikeout per inning for the first time in his career. In Low A he limited the opposition to a .197 average. The big area of concern is his inability to find the strike zone. He normally goes above 4.5 walks per nine innings. Until he finds more consistency finding the strike zone his major league debut could be delayed, but expect it to happen sometime in 2021.

2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Major league baseball did announce that they would be holding the World Baseball Classic in 2021. That is one year after the Olympics, where two remaining teams are still undecided to be one of the six competitors for the Olympics. One of those Olympic qualifiers is to be scheduled in Arizona from March 22-26.

It could be a busy time for baseball in Arizona in March. With spring training and the Olympic qualifiers and now also the two World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be held in Arizona. Where will they find all the fields?

Baseball Reference.com shows that there will be two World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Arizona. The first will be held from March 12-17 and the second from March 18-26. Below are the teams that will be participating in those qualifiers.

March 12-17

Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines and South Africa

March 18-26

Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Panama and Spain.

The top two teams from each of these pools will advance to the World Baseball Classic for 2021.

What got me interested in this was an article appearing in baseballasia.org that talked about the rise in baseball in the Philippines. The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association President talked about participating in the WBC qualifiers in March 18-25, which are different dates from what the Philippines appears to be scheduled in according to Baseball Reference.com. They also talk about adding Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines to their roster. Tim Tebow has recently been invited to the New York Mets spring training tryouts and they train in Florida.

So there is not a lot of publicity being issued on these qualifiers but they appear to be happening some time in March. That could be a good time to travel to Arizona to watch some International baseball. Poor Nicaragua appears to be scheduled to play in both the Olympic Qualifiers in Arizona and the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Arizona. Good way to save on travel costs, provided the tournaments are not scheduled during the same week.

Winter League Dominican Update

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

The Dominican League is now down to the four team round robin format to determine the Series del Caribe representative. Toros del Este finished the season with a 12 game winning streak to blow away their competitors. The other three teams playing in the round robin are the Licey Tigers, Aguilas Eagles and the Escogido Lions. Below are the names of the players who were impact players for their respective teams.

Toros del Este (34-16)

Peter O’Brien - He leads the Dominican League in homeruns with 9 and RBIs with 35. A .243 batting average will prevent him from winning the Triple Crown. His 36 walks and 58 strikeouts are also tops in the Dominican League. He will be turning 30 in 2020 so perhaps a foreign league will show some interest in the slugger, though most of the teams have signed their quota of players.

Jordany Valdespin - His five homeruns put him third in the league but his .340 average is second. He has more walks than whiffs (20/18) but at 33 his playing days in the minor leagues may be done.

Yamaico Navarro - He is tied with Jordany for third in homeruns with 5 giving the Toros three of the top four power hitters in the Dominican. Last year the 33 year old spent his summers playing baseball in the Mexican summer league.

Jorge Mateo - He is at least a prospect but he is struggling with a .197 average, but still getting regular playing time. The right handed hitter is hitting only .138 against lefthanded pitching.

Carlos Hernandez - At 6-1, his six wins are tops in the league. He is also second in ERA with a 1.94 in nine starts. He is also a veteran pitcher in the Mexican League.

Raul Valdes - When you play on a winning team you get a lot of wins as a starting pitcher. Raul is second in the league in wins with 5 against two losses and his 2.51 ERA is fifth in the league. The Cuban is also a veteran of the Mexican Summer Leagues. Two of his last four starts have been seven inning shutouts.

Ramon Ramirez - With all those wins someone has to pick up some saves. Ramon is their top closer with 10 saves, putting him second in the League. He is 2-1, 2.20 and at 39 last saw time pitching in the summer in the United States was 2016.

Tigres del Licey (27-23)

Socrates Brito - He is making waves this winter, enough for the Pirates to sign him. His 30 runs scored is just second to Peter O’Brien and he is hitting .296. His ten doubles are second in the league and his four triples are first. The 28 year old may still have some juice left in him. A propensity for injury early in his career closed a window on his prospect status.

Jorge Bonafacio - He is the big RBI bat for Licey with 23. He has also slugged four homeruns and is batting .330. His .938 OPS would be tops in the Dominican League if he had enough at bats. Jorge will try to get an opportunity in the Detroit outfield next year. His 13 doubles are tops in the Dominican.

Cesar Valdes - His 1.11 ERA is the league leader. He shows some excellent command with a 4/40 walk to whiff rate. Four of his last six starts he did not allow an earned run, including a 9 inning five hit shutout. Cesar pitches in the Mexican League and at 35 in March may be too old to garner any major league interest.

Jairo Asencio - His 11 saves are tops in the Dominican League. He is 1-2 with a 3.12, but has not given up an earned run in his last six appearances, picking up three saves. Jairo pitches in the Mexican Summer League.

Aguilas Cibaenas (24-26)

John Nogowski - He has been their most consistent hitter with his .316 average, four homeruns and 22 RBIs. The slugger hasn’t played with the team since November 23rd so they may have to play the round robin without their best hitter.

Robel Garcia - The Dominican came via the Italian National team where the Cubs signed him. He is only hitting .219 but has been their RBI source with four homeruns and 19 RBIs. He has walked 30 times but struck out 46 in 46 games. The Cubs will hope his power bat will add some explosiveness to the team.

Edmundo Sosa - Sosa stirs the drink with his 27 runs scored, second in the league. A 7/41 walk to whiff ratio is cause for concern.

Yuniesky Maya - We thought he would be a star in the major leagues, but he has had his struggles in the KBO and the major leagues. Pitching in the Dominican Winter League he is 1-3, 3.46 and is second in the league in strikeouts with 46. He last pitched in the United States during the summer in 2016.

Leones del Escogido (24-26)

Ivan Castillo - Not a lot of big bats on this team. Ivan leads the team in RBIs with 18. He also has 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts and his 26 runs scored is tops on the team. His two homeruns is tied for the team lead with many.

Melky Mesa - He used to be a big time outfield prospect with the Yankees. Now he is hitting .272 with two homeruns for Escogido. His .306 batting average against lefties makes him a possible platoon fit.

David Kubiak - His 52 whiffs in just 51.1 innings leads the Dominican League. His 12 starts are the second most, where he has put together a 4-3 record with a 2.81 ERA. Kubiak has only given up one run in his last three starts. David also pitches in the Mexican Summer League.

NL East Lower Draft Pick Success

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Myworld takes a look at the NL East to see how they have done selecting with the 25th round pick or later. This is our last division to look at. As usual, we start with 1998 when drafts were established at 50 picks, further reduced to 40 a few years later. Also, we did not include any player signed in the 25th round or later who did not sign but made the major leagues after a later draft. Myworld did not look at draft years 2015 or later since any late round picks making the major league roster in four years or less would be slim to none.

Atlanta Braves

Tim Spooneybarger OF (1998/29th round) - 2-3, 3.24 in 88 games of relief
Brad Voyles RHP (1998/45th round) - 0-4, 6.45 in 40 games, three of them starts
John Foster LHP (1999/25th round) - 7-2, 4.90 in 90 games of relief
Johnny Venters LHP (2003/30th round) - 20-13, 2.71 in 292 games, with one start
Ryne Harper RHP (2011/37th round) - 4-2, 3.81 in 61 games of relief

Nick Green 2B (1998/32nd round) - .236, 17, 103 in 417 games
Adam LaRoche 1B (2000/29th round) - .260, 255, 882 in 1605 games
Tyler Flowers 1B (2005/33rd round) - .238, 85, 296 in 780 games

Miami Marlins

Kevin Olsen RHP (1998/26th round) - 0-5, 5.12 in 28 games, ten starts
Tim Wood RHP (2002/44th round) - 1-4, 4.50 in 57 games of relief
Alex Sanabia RHP (2006/32nd round) - 8-10, 4.15 in 28 games, 24 starts
Brandon Cunniff RHP (2010/27th round) - 4-2, 4.50 in 54 games of relief

Jim Aducci OF (2003/42nd round) - .232, 5, 39 in 151 games

New York Mets

Josh Stinson RHP (2006/37th round) - 0-2, 4.47 in 39 games, two of them starts
Josh Edgin LHP (2010/30th round) - 4-4, 3.49 in 177 games of relief
Seth Lugo RHP (2011/34th round) - 22-15, 3.27 in 151 games, 31 of them starts
Chasen Bradford RHP (2011/35th round) - 7-0, 3.89, 86 games of relief

Earl Snyder 1B (1998/30th round) - .203, 1, 4 in 18 games
Mike Jacobs C (1999/38th round) - .253, 100, 312 in 569 games
Juan Centeno C (2007/32nd round) - .223, 6, 37 in 118 games

Philadelphia Phillies

Jacob Diekman LHP (2007/30th round) - 15-22, 3.90 in 441 games of relief
Jarred Cosart RHP (2008/38th round) - 16-23, 3.98 in 74 games, 72 starts

Brock Stassi OF (2011/33rd round) - .167, 2, 7 in 51 games

Washington Nationals

Jim Henderson RHP (2003/26th round) - 10-11, 3.61 in 155 games of relief
Brad Peacock RHP (2006/41st round) - 34-30, 3.99 in 178 games, 83 starts

Billy Burns OF (2011/32nd round) - .270, 5, 55, 46 stolen bases in 242 games

Kim Returns to Doosan, Yanagita Signs Seven Year Pact with Hawks

Monday, January 6th, 2020

It was not a surprise to see major league teams not jump at the chance to sign a potential 30 homerun outfielder from Korea. Especially since those 30 homerun days had occurred in the past. Asking your team to post you is not a good idea after you have had a bad year.

Jae-Hwan Kim had won the MVP in 2018 with his 44 homeruns and 133 RBIs while hitting .334. The previous two years he had hit over .300 with homerun numbers of 35 and 37 and RBI stats of over 100. It was after the 2018 season he should have asked the Bears to post him.

In 2019 Korea went to a new ball and the numbers Kim had put up dropped off the cliff. He hit .283, slugged only 15 homeruns and drove in just 91, respectful numbers for the KBO but not Kim worthy. He requested to be posted after that season, his age 31 season. Major league scouts had not taken a close look at Kim since there were no indications he was going to request to be posted. Were injuries a reason for his numbers to drop? The change to the new ball? A drop in ability?

So Kim returns to the Bears. If he puts up good numbers will he again try to pursue a major league opportunity? Or will he be satisfied with his KBO career?

Another player the major leagues will not have an opportunity to sign is Yanagita. Yuki Yanagita, a star in Japan would obviously be a starter on any major league team if he had forced the Hawks to post him. The Softbank Hawks have yet to allow their players to be posted to the major leagues. Instead, Yuki recently signed a seven year contract with the Hawks, which means his career will remain in Japan. Major league teams will have to be content with watching Yuki in international events such as the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics. At 31 years of age now, Yanagita will be 38 when that contract expires.

Last year Yanagita missed most of the season because of a knee injury. The injury caused him to miss most of the season, putting him short by 13 days of service time to allow him to become a free agent. If he could have played in 2019 Yanagita could have declared for free agency after the 2019 season. Because of the injury he would have had to wait until after the 2020 season, when Yanagita would have been 32 years old to declare free agency. Major league teams do not sign 32 year old outfielders to rich contracts.

When Yanagita’s career ends, and if he can avoid injury, he could put up numbers that will make him one of the ten best players in Japanese history, up there with Sadahara Oh and Ichiro Suzuki.