Archive for March, 2021

Israel Olympic Team to Tune up with Games in the United States

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Israel was the first team to qualify for the Olympics by winning the European qualification championships. It has been a long time since they have gotten together to play games. Soon those Zoom conference calls will turn into games, scheduled to be played against teams in the United States.

They will practice at the Palisades Credit Union Park, the home of the New York Boulders of the Frontier League. They will then play a couple of exhibition games against the Boulders. The first of those games will be played July 12.

The team also plans on playing exhibition games against teams in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland. Ian Kinsler is planning on playing for Team Israel. Kinsler also played for the Team USA team when they won the gold medal at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. With a win at the Olympics he will become the first player to win a World Series, a World Baseball Classic championship and an Olympics.

Granma Goes up 2-0 in Cuban Championship

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

There is no panic for Matanzas after a 6-5 loss to Granma in game two put them down two games to none. They were down two games to none in the semi-finals when they came roaring back to win four straight games and advance to the championship. Raico Santos blasted a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to break a 5-5 tie and give Granma their second win in a row.

Granma took advantage of the wildness of Noelvis Entenza in the opening frame with two of the first four hitters getting a free pass. A wild pitch advanced Roel Santos to third, but for some reason Carlos Benitez stayed anchored on first. That proved costly when Guillermo Aviles bounced a slow single up the middle that would have scored Benitez, but instead he only advanced to third. Ivan Prieto grounded out to end the inning.

The walks proved costly again for Entenza when he walked the lead off batter in the second inning. A boot by the shortstop Arruebaruena on what should have been a double play grounder put runners on first and second, though the ball did take a bad hop. A bunt moved the runners to second and third where they scored on a gapper into left center by Roel Santos that bounced over the fence for a ground rule double.

Matanzas had done nothing against Leandro Martinez in the first four innings. They had a walk but a double play erased that baserunner, so it was 12 up and 12 down through the first four. A walk and a bloop single into centerfield put two runners on and ended the no hitter. Ariel Sanchez then connected on a pitch, sending it just over the left field fence for a three run homer to tie the game at 3-3.

In the sixth Matanzas scored two to take a brief 5-3 lead. Granma decided to go with Juan Perez to start the sixth, ending the day for Martinez despite giving up just two hits. Perez was greeted with two singles by Yadil Mujica and Javier Camero. A walk to Arruebaruena loaded the bases with just one out and ended the day for Perez. He was replaced by Erluis Blanco. Yadir Drake tomahawked a pitch into left field to score two. Arruebaruena made a costly baserunning error, sliding past third base and getting tagged for the second out to put a dagger into the rally.

Granma came back in the bottom frame with a single, walk and a sacrifice bunt that was dropped by the catcher to load the bases with no one out. That ended the day for Entenza, who walked four, three of them scoring. Naykel Cruz replaced Entenza on the mound. He retired the first two hitters he faced on a pop out and punch out. Raico Santos was not so easy. He lined a single up the middle to score two and end the day for Cruz. The game was tied 5-5.

Santos put his stamp on the game in the eighth inning by driving a ball deep into right field to put Granma up for good 6-5. Carlos Santana came on in the ninth to close the game. He gave up hits to the first two hitters he faced to put runners on first and third with no outs. A hard grounder to first turned into a 3-6-3 double play without scoring the runner from third. A whiff on a downward breaking ball ended the game.

Top Ten Prospects From the Bahamas for 2021

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Without a 2020 season it is difficult to assess any changes in the prospect status for players from the Bahamas. So we will list the top ten prospect list from 2019 and identify any changes. Three new signees, all shortstops could appear on the top ten list next year. They are the Cardinals Adari Grant, the Marlins Ian Lewis and the Rangers Zion Bannister.

1. Jazz Chisholm SS (Marlins) - Won the starting second base job for the Marlins out of spring training this year. That will make the trade of Zac Gallen more palatable.

2. Kristian Robinson OF (Diamondbacks) - Continues to rise up the prospect level show casing his five tools.

3. D’Shawn Knowles OF (Angels) -

4. Lucius Fox SS (Royals) - Could play a back up role for the Royals this year. Not an impact player despite the $6 million the Giants doled out to sign him.

5. Tahnaj Thomas RHP (Pirates) -

6. Trent Deveaux OF (Angels) -

7. Keithron Moss 2B (Rangers -

8. Chavez Young OF (Blue Jays) - Played for the Canberra Cavalry in Australia in 2020.

9. D’Vaughn Knowles OF (Yankees) - Twin brother of D’Shawn, but not as highly thought of as a prospect.

10. Reshard Munroe OF (Reds) - Released by the Reds July 25, 2019. Signed a contract with the Tri-City Valley Cats of the Frontier League.

Recent Signings from the Bahamas since 2019.

Houston Astros - Everette Cooper OF

St. Louis Cardinals - Adari Grant SS

Miami Marlins - Ian Lewis SS

Baltimore Orioles - Dax Stubbs OF

San Diego Padres - Evan Sweeting RHP

Texas Rangers - Zion Bannister SS

Granma Takes the Opener in Cuban Champships

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Osvaldo Abreu smacked a two run triple in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and that was enough to give Granma a 3-2 win over defending champs Matanzas. Lazaro Blanco went eight innings to get the win. Carlos Santana worked a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Blanco only gave up four hits in the game, but half of those cleared the fence. Yadil Mujica hit a solo shot in the first inning. Anibal Medina pulled Matanzas to within one run with his solo in the sixth. After that second solo shot Matanzas managed only one baserunner in the last three innings.

Yoanni Yera went the full eight innings for the Crocs. He gave up five hits and struck out 11. Three of those five hits came in innings where he gave up his three runs. The only walk he issued scored ahead of the Abreu triple.

Roel Santos scored the first run when he led off the inning with a single. He stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a fly ball hit by Raico Santos.

NPB Season Openers

Monday, March 29th, 2021

The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) has had their season openers. Myworld was in Pennsylvania focusing on coaching volleyball all weekend so we missed out on reporting the results. Better late than never.

Yomiuri Giants 8 Yokohama Bay Stars 7

The Giants overcame six RBIs from Shunta Tanaka to eke out a victory over the Bay Stars. Tanaka was a compensation pick of the Bay Stars after the Giants signed Takayuki Kajitani. The Giants got a three run homer from Takumi Ohshiro, but it was the lead off walk off homer by Yoshiyuki Kamei in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Giants the win. This year games are only going nine innings so the walk off homer prevented a tie. Almost major leaguer Tomoyuki Sugano did not have a good first outing, giving up three runs on eight hits in six innings.

Kajatani led off in that game going 0 for 3 in the opener. The next night he would hit a grand slam homerun to lead the Giants to a 10-5 win.

Hanshin Tigers 4 Tokyo Swallows 3

The Tigers used two solo shots from Jerry Sands to give them their 4-3 victory over the Swallows. He went a perfect 3 for 3 with one walk and for the weekend hit .500. His solo shot in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie. The Tigers used the win to start the weekend 3-0. Sands smashed another round tripper and drove in an additional five runs to give him seven RBIs over the weekend.

The Tigers are still hoping that Shintaro Fujinami can meet his lofty expectations. At one point he was the ace of the Japanese 18 and under team that had Shohei Ohtani in their rotation. He gave up two runs in five innings of work, but what has caused him the most headaches during his career continued with his five walks.

Chunichi Dragons 7 Hiroshima Carp 6

The Dragons over came an early 4-0 deficit to beat the Carp. Dayan Viciedo launched a two run homer in the five run eighth to fuel the rally. Ryosuke Kikuchi went 3 for 5 for the Carp with three runs driven in. He tried to lead a Dragon comeback in the bottom of the ninth as they scored two runs, but it fell one run short. He is also batting .500 for the weekend. Daisuke Sobue got credit for the save despite giving up two runs on three hits.

Rakuten Golden Eagles 8 Nippon Ham Fighters 2

The Eagles were supposed to start recently signed free agent Masahiro Tanaka for the opener, but he injured his calf and will miss probably the first three weeks of the season. The Eagles went with Hideaki Wakui instead and he worked seven shutout innings to give the Eagles the opening day win. The Eagles Ryosuke Tatsumi hit the first 2021 NPB homer of the season with a lead off shot in the first that marched the offense to victory. Daichi Suzuki drove in three runs to lead the charge.

Seibu Lions 4 Orix Buffaloes 3

The Lions scored four early runs in the first three innings and hung on for their victory. Tomoya Mori hopes to have a bounce back year for the Lions and his solo shot in the third was a good sign. He hit another homerun over the weekend, but his two shots are his only two hits over the three games. The Buffaloes got solo shots from Masataka Yoshida and Yuma Tongu, but came up short. Two Buffaloe errors allowed three unearned runs to score and pinned the loss on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who worked seven innings.

Softbank Hawks 8 Chibba Lotte Marines 2

The four time defending champ Hawks started the season off in dominating fashion. The Hawks slugged four homeruns to account for six of their eight runs. The first was a two run blast by Kenta Imamiya in the first to give the Hawks an early 2-0 lead. Ukyo Shuto made it 3-0 after three with his solo shot. Yuki Yanagita went deep with a two run homer in the sixth and Takuya Kai added a solo in the seventh. Shuta Ishikawa went seven innings to earn the victory. The Hawks went on to sweep the Buffoloes over the weekend to start the season 3-0, though the last two games were decided by walk off hits.

Imamiya had a walk off double on Saturday for a 3-2 win. Kenzo Kawashima hit a two run walk off double to give the Hawks a 6-5 win on Sunday. Alfredo Despaigne had hit a two run homer in the eighth to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead. The Buffaloes responded with a two run pinch hit homer from Tsuyoshi Sugano to recapture the lead 5-4.

Foreign Players in the KBO

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Each team is allowed three foreign players, but no more than two can be hitters or pitchers. All the teams break out their roster with two pitchers and one hitter. The KBO season will start on April 3, the latest start of all the professional leagues. Unlike last year, ESPN will not be televising games. Below is the list of foreign players.

Doosan Bears

Pitchers - Walker Lockett RHP, Ariel Miranda LHP

Hitter - Jose Miguel Fernandez

Hanwha Eagles

Pitchers - Ryan Carpenter LHP, Nick Kingham RHP

Hitter - Ryon Healy

Kia Tigers

Pitchers - Daniel Mengden RHP, Aaron Brookes RHP

Hitter - Preston Tucker

Kiwoom Heroes

Pitchers - Eric Jokisch LHP, Josh Smith RHP

Hitter - David Freitas

KT Wiz

Pitchers - William Cuevas RHP, Odrisamer Despaigne RHP

Hitter - Zoilo Almonte

LG Twins

Pitchers - Casey Kelly RHP, Andrew Sucrez LHP

Hitter - Roberto Ramos

Lotte Giants

Pitchers - Enderson Franco RHP, Dan Straily RHP

Hitter - Dixon Machado

NC Dinos

Pitchers - Wes Parsons RHP, Drew Rucinski RHP

Hitter - Aaron Altherr

Samsung Lions

Pitchers - David Buchanan RHP, Ben Lively RHP

Hitter - Jose Pirela

SSG Landers

Pitchers - Wilmer Font RHP, Artie Lewicki RHP

Hitter - Jamie Romak

Foreign Players in the NPB

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

The NPB will begin their season this weekend. It is interesting to note that the starting pitchers have been announced and they are all Japanese pitchers. This is a testament to how good the pitching is in Japan. Taiwan and Korea still depend on foreign pitchers for their rotations. For the most part, Japan uses foreign pitchers to supplement their bullpen.

The good news for Japanese teams is that visa restrictions for work visas have been relaxed to allow teams to bring in their foreign players. Some foreign players who played last year were allowed to enter using visas that were issued to them last year while other players arrived in Japan early once they heard that visa restrictions were going to be put in place.

Foreign players arriving in Japan will be subject to a quarantine. They will also be subject to restrictions once that quarantine has been completed such as no use of public transportation, undergo frequent PCR tests and have limited workouts.

Below is the list of foreign players for each team. Only four foreign players can be listed on the 25 man roster for each game. No more than three of those players can be pitchers or hitters. Teams who have more than four foreign players will have to send any players above four down to their minor league team, unless they have reached free agency such as Wladimir Balentein and don’t count against the foreign allotment.

An * indicates the pitcher throws lefthanded.

Yomiuri Giants

Pitchers - Rubby de la Rosa, Cristopher Mercedes*, Angel Sanchez, Thyago Viera

Position Players - Justin Smoak, Estamy Urena, Zealous Wheeler, Eric Thames

Hanshin Tigers

Pitchers - Raul Alcantara, Jon Edwards, Joe Gunkel, Robert Suarez

Position Players - Jefry Marte, Mel Rojas Jr, Jerry Sands

Chunichi Dragons

Pitchers - Yariel Rodriguez, Randy Rosario*, Raidel Martinez

Position Player - Dayan Viciedo, Mike Gerber

Yokohama Bay Stars

Pitchers - Edwin Escobar*, Michael Peoples, Fernando Romero

Position Players - Neftali Soto, Tyler Austin

Hiroshima Carp

Pitchers - Kyle Bird*, Geronimo Franzua*, Dovydas Neverauskas, Taylor Scott

Position Player - Kevin Cron, Alejandro Mejia

Tokyo Yakult Swallows

Pitchers - Scott McGough, Cy Sneed, Albert Suarez, Rick Vandenhurk

Position Players - Jose Osuna, Domingo Santana

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

Pitchers - Nick Martinez, Livan Moinelo, Colin Rea, Dennis Sarfate, Carter Stewart Jr.

Position Players - Yurisbel Gracial, Alfredo Despaigne, Wladimir Balentien

Chiba Lotte Marines

Pitchers - Jose Flores, Frank Hermann

Position Players - Brandon Laird, Leonys Martin

Saitama Seibu Lions

Pitchers - Matt Dermody*, Reed Garrett, Zach Neal

Position Player - Ernesto Mejia, Cory Spangenburg, Brandon Tysinger, Nien-Ting Wu

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

Pitchers - Alan Busenitz, Adam Conley*, Chia-Hao Sung

Position Players - Brandon Dixon, Rusney Castillo

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

Pitchers - Robbie Erlin*, Bryan Rodriguez, Drew Verhagen

Position Players - Ronny Rodriguez, Po-Jung Wang

Orix Buffaloes

Pitchers - Brandon Dickson, Tyler Higgins

Position Players - Adam Jones, Steven Moya, Stefan Romero

Rating the Major League Farm Systems

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Myworld always makes an attempt to rate the major league farm systems. We use a point system only counting those players who made a top 100 list. We give them points based on how they rank. The belief is that those players who make a top 100 list will have a larger impact on the major league team. Using this method we will compare our ranking to MLB and Baseball America to see how closely we match.

1. Detroit Tigers 40.18 (BA 4, MLB 2) - Poor teams find out how drafting first can stock up your farm system. Spencer Torkelson was a big bat added to a system that seemed to be loaded with arms. Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning will make a dynamite trio. Riley Greene is another big bat that will be contributing soon. Greatest Depth - With the Tigers you have to go with their righthanded arms. We’ve already mentioned Casey Mize and Matt Manning. Franklin Perez was highly thought of until arm issues dropped him down the prospect ladder. Alex Faedo was a highly thought of pitcher who is now undergoing Tommy John. And don’t forget about Beau Burrows.

2. Tampa Bay Rays 37.18 (BA 1, MLB 1) - Having the best prospect in baseball in Wander Franco cashes in a lot of points. Luis Patino is a solid righthanded arm. Down a notch is Shane Baz who can throw from the right side. Vidal Brujan shows some speed in an industry that seems to be down playing that skill. Xavier Edwards could be a true shortstop who is quick around the bases. Lots of people wonder if the power Randy Arozarena showed in the playoffs last year is real. Brendan McKay and Shane McClanahan both are talented lefthanded pitchers. Brendan is a two way player that has struggled to hit. Shane throws in triple digits. Greg Jones is another shortstop to watch. Brent Honeywell continues to fight for prospect survival with multiple arm injuries. Josh Lowe is one in a trio of Lowes who has a power bat for the outfield. Greatest Depth - Middle infield. A lot of that middle infield has been moved to second base because the hope is that Wander Franco will make the grade at shortstop instead of being moved to third base. That moves Xavier Edwards, Vidal Brujan and Taylor Walls as second baseman who could still play shortstop. Greg Jones and Carlos Colmenarez are recent signings that are to be watched.

3. Seattle Mariners 33.72 (BA 2, MLB 3) - They have two of the best outfielders in baseball in Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez to join Kyle Lewis in a studded outfield. That leaves no room for Taylor Trammell, unless they rotate them through the DH slot. Emerson Hancock was a nice quality draft choice to join Logan Gilbert and George Kirby in the right handed arms department. Noelvis Marte is expected to be a quality shortstop. Greatest Depth - The outfield. Jarred, Julio and Taylor would make a heck of a threesome, but there is only room for two of them.

4. Miami Marlins 31.48 (BA 11, MLB 4) - Sixto Sanchez pitched them into the playoffs last year but he still maintains rookie eligibility and prospect status. Max Meyer and Edward Cabrera join him from the right side. Trevor Rogers and Braxton Garrett are down a few notches on the prospect ranking but they throw from the left side. Recent number one J.J. Bleday is joined by Jesus Sanchez and Monte Harrison in the outfield. Jazz Chisholm appears to have won the second base job, though he can also play shortstop. Lewin Diaz hopes to get another callup to show that he can hit enough to play first base. Greatest Depth - RHP. We have already mentioned Sixto, Max and Edward. A five man rotation just is not large enough when you include Nick Neidert and flame throwing Jorge Guzman, who is still trying to get his triple digit arm healthy.

5. Toronto Blue Jays 25.86 (BA 3, MLB 7) - Austin Martin was their most recent addition, and though he is listed as a shortstop he can play almost anywhere. Nate Pearson is one of the top five hardest throwers in baseball. He may be joined from the right side by Simeon Woods-Richardson and Alek Manoah. Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez are listed at shortstop but they could move to third base. Alejandro Kirk is a tub of goo who can hit, as well as put on the catcher’s gear. Greatest depth - Shortstop. The Jays seem to draft players who can play multiple positions. Jordan and Orelvis are shortstops who could move to third. Austin is listed as a shortstop but can play multiple positions. Otto Lopez is a utility play who has the skills to fill in at shortstop.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks 23.92 (BA 16, MLB 9) - They have a trio of outfielders in Kristian Robinson, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas who can create havoc. Corbin and Alek rely more on their speed tool. Kristian is a five tool beast with big time power. Geraldo Perdomo is a fancy glove at short who needs to hit. Daulton Varsho is a catcher who can also play centerfield. His bat is so strong the Diamondbacks can not wait for the long development process for catchers to put him in the lineup. Blake Walston throws from the left side and Matt Tabor from the right. Greatest Depth - The outfield with Kristian, Corbin and Alek and throw in Daulton. Pavin Smith and Seth Beer are both first baseman who can play the outfield but are better at first base.

7. Minnesota Twins 23.24 (BA 8, MLB 12) - The Twins have a couple twin bats in Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach who struggle to play defense if put out in left field but have strong bats that can hit for power. Royce Lewis was a top rated shortstop but knee surgery will force him to miss a second straight year after the corona virus impacted his 2020 season. Jordan Balazovic throws triple digit heat from the right side and could be destined for the bullpen. Peyton Burdick and Misael Urbina are two additional outfielders to watch. Ryan Jeffers is ready to take over the catcher’s job. Jhoan Duran is another right handed arm. Greatest Depth - Left field. Not a position teams want to be strong in. We’ve mentioned Alex and Trevor, but Brent Rooker is another big bat whose defense lacks in quality. If they fill the two corners that will leave a lot of green for the centerfielder to cover.

8. San Francisco Giants 22.58 (BA 15, MLB 11) - Marco Luciano is grooming himself to be the next Wander Franco. If he can stay at shortstop his offensive production will be significant. Joey Bart is ready to move Buster Posey to first base. The outfield will get some talent once Heliot Ramos, Luis Matos and Hunter Bishop are ready. Seth Corry is a talented arm from the left side. Greatest Depth - Catcher and Outfield. You can’t do without catching and the Giants already had Bart, but they still drafted Patrick Bailey, who was considered one of the better defensive catchers in college. Outfield is loaded with Jaylin Davis and Alexander Canario added on to Heliot, Luis and Hunter.

9. Baltimore Orioles 22.18 (BA 7, MLB 5) - The Orioles are still in the process of developing losing teams in order to acquire high draft picks to rise up this list. They used the first pick in the draft to select one of the top catching prospects in the game in Adley Rutschman. Grayson Rodriguez has nasty stuff from the right side. D.L. Hall slings darts from the left side. Ryan Mountcastle and Heston Kjerstad hope to patrol the outfield. Ryan may be best suited for first base, but Chris Davis and Trey Mancini currently occupy this position. Greatest Depth - Shortstop. Though no shortstop is ranked in the Top 100s the trio of Gunner Henderson, Jordan Westburg and Adam Hall hope to patrol what was once a proud position with the Orioles franchise.

10. San Diego Padres 21.20 (BA 6, MLB 6) - C.J. Abrams may be one of the fastest players in baseball. This could create a move from shortstop to centerfield. Taking the position away from Fernando Tatis Jr. is not in the cards this early. McKenzie Gore is one of the best left handed arms in the game. He is joined on the left side by Ryan Weathers and Adrian Morejon. Luis Campusano gives them a good solid catcher who can hit and play defense. Robert Hassell is one of their most recent additions who can patrol centerfield and Ha-Seong Kim can play a utility role. Greatest Depth - Lefthanded pitching. Gore, Weathers and Morejon give them a trio of arms that can throw from the left side.

11. Kansas City Royals 20.76 (BA 14, MLB 10) - Bobby Witt is one of the top minor league prospects in the game. With Adelberto Mondesi at short it appears the Royals will spend the 2021 minor league season finding him a new position. Pitching is a big strength with lefties Asa Lacey and Daniel Lynch and righthander Jackson Kowar. Eric Pena is an outfielder to be watched. Greatest Depth - Left handed Pitching. Austin Cox, Daniel Tillo and Angel Zerpa can not be put on the same pedestal as Lacey and Lynch, but they do give the Royals a lot of options.

12. Chicago White Sox 19.8 (BA 21, MLB 16) - Andrew Vaughn is the big bat that was making waves in the spring. Nick Madrigal will provide defense at second and hit for average, but there is very little pop in his bat to be a truly impact player. Garrett Crochet can throw heat with his left handed arm. He will be used out of the bullpen with a later move to the starting rotation. Michael Kopech can also throw hard but he hasn’t pitched in two years. Two new additions, righthander Jared Kelly and shortstop Carlos Colmenarez will give them reinforcements a couple years down the line. Greatest Depth - Right handed pitching. Michael Kopech may start the season in the bullpen. Kelley is a couple years away. Matthew Thompson, Andrew Delquist and Cuban Norge Vera are other options from the right side. Zach Burdi has to overcome arm injuries before he is ready to contribute.

13. Atlanta Braves 18.78 (BA 5, MLB 15) - Ian Anderson is ready for the starting rotation. No team has a duo of defensive centerfielders as talented as Christian Pache and Drew Waters that are ready for major league action in 2021. Shea Langeliers adds to some solid catching depth. Bryce Ball may have to wait for the DH to be put in place before he can see some playing time at first base. Greatest Depth - Centerfield, lefthanded pitching and Catching. Lots of depth at different positions. Kyle Muller, Jared Shuster and Tucker Davidson gives them some quality lefthanded arms. Pache, Waters and Michael Harris are quality defensive centerfielders. Langeliers, William Contreras and Alex Jackson will be ready to catch in 2021.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates 17.4 (BA 13, MLB 8) - The Pirates are rebuilding. Again. This may be a constant process as players mature and the franchise is unable to keep them. O’Neil Cruz is a talented shortstop who at 6′7″ may be a better fit for right field. Ke’Bryan Hayes is a gold glove defensive third baseman who seemed to find his bat last year once he reached the major leagues. Quinn Priester and Brennan Malone are two right handed arms that could front the rotation. Ji-Hwan Bae is a Korean shortstop whose bat could be a little light. Greatest Depth - Righthanded pitching. Priester and Malone will be the quiet headliners. Adding to the depth are Tahnag Thomas, Cody Bolton, Will Crowe and Jose Soriano.

15. Cleveland Indians 16.26 (BA 10, MLB 13) - Andres Gimenez will be asked to be their shortstop of the present but they have other alternatives in Brayan Roccho and Tyler Freeman. Nolan Gorman at third base could be their best prospect. Tristan McKenzie is having a tough time with his command in the spring. That was his strength last year when he reached the major leagues. Aaron Bracho could be a utility option. George Valera could provide some power in the right field slot, something the Indians have lacked in their previous outfielders. Alexfri Planez is another outfielder to watch. Daniel Espino and Ethan Hawkins are two other pitchers to merit attention. Greatest Depth - Shortstop. With Amed Rosario and Gimenez they have one too many in the major leagues. Waiting for their opportunity are Freeman, Roccho and Gabriel Arias.

16. St. Louis Cardinals 14.56 (BA 12, MLB 17) - Dylan Carlson is a power hitting outfielder whose time to come is 2021. Nolan Gorman needs to move from third base to a corner outfield if he wants to get to play after the trade of Nolan Arenado. Matthew Libertore hopes the 2021 season is his year to shine after Randy Arozarena made headlines in 2020. Greatest Depth - Third Base. They traded for Nolan Arenado, including giving up a quality third baseman in Elehuris Montero to the Rockies in the trade. They are still left with Gorman, Jordan Walker and Malcom Nunez to play the position.

17. New York Yankees 13.76 (BA 18, MLB 18) - The Yankees generally use their prospects as trade bait to acquire veterans who are ready to get them to the playoffs now. It would be a surprise if the Yankees trade Jasson Dominguez, who has quality five tool talent, but is still a teenager. Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia and Luis Medina all fit the bill as trade bait. Greatest Depth. Righthanded Pitching - Schmidt, Garcia and Medina should all see the rotation sometime in 2021. Luis Gil and Albert Abreu are two more quality right handed arms.

18. Cincinnati Reds 12.58 (BA 19, MLB 20) - They lost Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray in a trade for Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, getting nothing to show for it. They wait for Hunter Greene who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. Jose Garcia is a quality defensive shortstop but he needs another year in the minor leagues to develop his bat. Nick Lodolo has potential in his lefthanded arm. Austin Hendrick is their top draft choice who they hope patrols the outfield in a couple years. Tyler Stephenson has been waiting for his opportunity behind the plate. Greatest Depth - Third Base. They plan to move Eduardo Suarez to shortstop to accommodate Jonathan India. They also have Nick Senzel that can play the position. Rece Hinds is a power bat that could be ready in a couple years.

19. Los Angeles Angels 10.58 (BA 22, MLB 25) - Like the Giants did for Barry Bonds, sacrifice their farm system to get Bonds into the playoffs, the Angels do for Mike Trout. Unfortunately, the best in the farm are outfielders Brandon Marsh, Jordyn Adams and Jo Adell. Reid Detmers is a left handed arm that the Angels always fall short of in the major leagues. Kyren Paris is a shortstop still a couple years away. Greatest depth. Outfield. Add D’shawn Knowles to the list of Marsh, Adams and Adell.

20. Chicago Cubs 10.54 (BA 17, MLB 22) - The Cubs are in that in between position - too many veterans to sign to inflated contracts and not enough depth in the minor leagues. They have talked about trading that veteran presence to acquire minor league talen, but have not done so yet. Lefthander Brailyn Marquez throws triple digits and could be one of the first arms the Cubs have developed in years. Brennen Davis is a stud outfielder who will be ready to patrol the grass soon. Miguel Amaya waits for a trade of Wilson Contreras before he can get his opportunity to catch. Greatest Depth - Shortstop. Lots of young players ready to make an impact. Christian Hernandez, Ed Howard, Reginald Preciado, Kevin Made and Yeison Santana are all names to watch. Some of them could move to second base, others could see the outfield. It all depends on how their bats progress and their bodies maturation process.

21. Boston Red Sox 9.54 (BA 20, MLB 24) - A lack of quality minor leaguers have been preventing them from making trades to provide veterans for playoff runs. So the Red Sox have been stumbling. Jeter Downs is ready to fill in at a middle infield spot. Triston Casas and Bobby Dalbec are power bats whose best fit is first base, but the Red Sox already have some strength there. Gilberto Jimenez could be patrolling centerfield soon. Greatest Depth. First Base. Dalbec and Casas have the power bats ready for the position but the Red Sox already have players in the major leagues fighting for playing time there. Watch for Blaze Jordan to compete for playing time there in a couple years.

22. New York Mets 9.4 (BA 23, MLB 19) - The Mets seem to be acquiring veterans to make a playoff run but they still have some diamonds in their minors. Ronny Mauricio is listed at short, but his best fit may be third base. Brett Baty has a quality name to advertise his bat and is already a fit at third. Francisco Alvarez is another name in a long line of catchers the Mets had hopes for when developing in the minor leagues. They have not had a lot of success there. Peter Crow Armstrong is ready to patrol the outfield and Matt Allan is a quality right handed arm. Greatest Depth - Third base. Baty already plays there and Mauricio has the power bat to eventually move there. Mark Vientos is another player vying for attention at the position.

23. Texas Rangers 8.2 (BA 24, MLB 21) - Years ago the Rangers had the luxury of identifying international talent to stock up their minor league system. They hope to return to that. Luisangel Acuna may not have the tools of his brother, but he could fill a need at short. Josh Jung is their best prospect but his injury during spring training will delay his arrival at third base. Heriberto Hernandez and Sam Huff give them two quality catchers to watch. Maximo Acosta and Kiethron Moss are two quality shortstops competing with Acuna for that middle infield position. Sherton Apostel is a second third base option after Jung’s injury. Dane Dunning is a quality arm the Rangers acquired from the White Sox that should help them in the rotation this year. Greatest Depth - Third Base. While shortstop is also deep, third base has the players who are most ready to compete in Jung and Apostel. Davis Wendzel is also a player to watch.

24. Philadelphia Phillies 7.56 (BA 27, MLB 23) - With the signing of Bryce Harper the Phillies have to get into the playoffs now. No time to keep prospects. They need to justify their spending. Spencer Howard is a righthanded arm that can hit triple digits with his fastball. Francisco Morales is another right handed arm that is prime trade bait. Mick Abel is a right handed arm that won’t need a lot of time to develop. Alec Bohm is already contributing at third base. Bryson Stott and Casey Martin are both unheralded shortstops who could end up in utility roles. Greatest Depth. Right handed pitching. Howard, Morales and Abel are a trio of quality arms. Adonis Medina throws hard and should be added to the mix.

25. Colorado Rockies 6.3 (BA 25, MLB 27) - Despite the trade of Arenado, the farm system looks bleak. Shortstop Brendan Rodgers is ready to contribute now if he can stay healthy. Outfielder Zac Veen is still a couple years away. Those are their only top 100 contenders. Greatest Depth - Left handed pitching. They have a trio of lefthanders in Ryan Rolison, Helacris Oliverez and Lucas Gilbreath who could provide bullpen help or mid rotation depth.

26. Los Angeles Dodgers (BA 9, MLB 14) - Lacking quality top 100 prospects really hurts them in my rankings. Josiah Gray could be the next quality right handed arm who could find a rotation spot in 2021. Keibert Ruiz is a better defensive option behind the plate than Will Smith. Michael Busch and Kody Hoese are infielders who could move around depending on need. Busch currently plays third but has been looked at for second and Hoese is a second baseman who could also fill in at third. Greatest Depth - Catcher. Ruiz is ready to replace Smith in 2021. In a couple years Diego Cartaya could be ready to replace Ruiz.

27. Milwaukee Brewers 4.94 (BA 28, MLB 28) - Garrett Mitchell is a quality outfielder who fell to the Brewers as a late first round pick. Hedbert Perez could join him in the outfield in a couple years. Brice Turang filled the shortstop position for the United States college national team and he hopes to fill that role in the future for the Brewers. Ethan Small is looking to fill a rotation spot with his lefthanded arm. Greatest Depth - Lefthanded pitching. Small, Antoine Kelly and Aaron Ashby will be mid rotation spots or bullpen arms.

28.Oakland Athletics 4.08 (BA 29, MLB 26) - It is not a good sign when a team that does not spend is also ranked low in prospect rankings. Robert Puason is still a couple years away from filling the shortstop role. A.J. Puk has had trouble keeping his left handed arm healthy. Tyler Soderstrom could provide the Athletics help behind the plate in a couple years. Greatest depth - Shortstop. In addition to Puason they have Nick Allen and Logan Davidson who can play there.

29. Houston Astros 3.58 (BA 26, MLB 29) - Once a proud franchise filled with first round picks has now stumbled from their devious ways and been penalized draft picks. That does not help build a farm team. Forest Whitley is a right handed arm whose contribution will be delayed as he undergoes Tommy John surgery. Pedro Leon is an outfielder whose contributions are a couple years away. Greatest Depth - Right handed pitching. Whitely’s contributions have been delayed, but arms like Hunter Brown, Luis Garcia, Jairo Solis, Tyler Ivey and Bryan Abreu are ready to contribute.

30. Washington Nationals .22 (BA 30, MLB 30) - The 2019 World Series was a nice accomplishment. It came at a cost of Jesus Luzardo, Dane Dunning and Lucas Giolito. The righthanded arm of Jackson Rutledge is the only top 100 material. Greatest Depth - Righthanded Pitching. In addition to Rutlege the Nationals hope for development from Cade Cavalli, Cole Henry, Andry Lara and Mason Denaburg.

Top Panama Prospects 2021

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Not a lot has changed from the 2020 list with no minor league games being played last year. Myworld will list the top ten from the 2020 list and list the signings from 2019 to 2020.

1. Miguel Amaya C (Cubs) - Will probably make his major league debut in 2021.

2. Ivan Herrera C (Cardinals) - Yadier Molina’s eventual replacement, but that has been said about a few other catchers.

3. Daniel Espino RHP (Indians) -

4. Reggie Preciado SS (Cubs) - A 2019 signing.

5. Edmundo Sosa SS (Cardinals) -

6. Benyamin Bailey OF (White Sox) -

7. Humberto Mejia RHP (Marlins) - Had three starts for the Marlins in 2020. 7.20 ERA.

8. Sadrac Franco RHP (Angels) -

9. Leonardo Jimenez SS (Blue Jays) -

10. Javy Guerra RHP (Padres) - Made this list as a shortstop. Now a pitcher but in 14 appearances last year fashioned together a poor 10.13 ERA.

Recent signings from Panama.

Los Angeles Angels - Edwin Hidalgo C

Chicago Cubs - Gabriel Agrazal RHP

Cleveland Indians - Austin Aldeano RHP, Luis Durango Jr. OF, Kenny Pinto LHP

Los Angeles Dodgers - Roger Lasso OF, Juan Alonso OF

Philadelphia Phillies - Jorge Garcia OF, Alfredo Alderete SS

Pittsburgh Pirates - Andres Silvera RHP, Francisco Quintero 2B

San Diego Padres - Yariel Moreno RHP

San Francisco Giants - Mauricio Pierre OF, Adrian Sugastay C

St. Louis Cardinals - Leonardo Barnal C

Texas Rangers - Eward Rodriguez RHP

Miami Marlins - German Ruiz OF, Jose Bazan RHP

New York Mets - Alexander Lopez RHP

New York Yankees - Gerardo Abrego RHP

Seattle Mariners - Joaquin Tejeda RHP

Leiter Tosses No Hitter for Vanderbilt

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Kumar Rocker is considered the top pitcher for Vanderbilt. On Friday night he struck out 14 hitters in eight innings limiting the strong South Carolina Gamecock bats to two runs and three hits.

Jack Leiter showed that he can be pretty good as well. The next day he throws a no hitter, striking out 16 hitters. It would have been a perfect game if he had not walked the first batter. After that it was 27 up and 27 down, with 16 going down via the whiff. Vanderbilt went on to win the game 5-0.

Leiter was retiring hitters with a fastball that was hitting 97. If his name sounds familiar it is possible you are thinking of his dad, Al Leiter, who had a few successful major league seasons in his career. Leiter hopes to have the same success.

Rocker is expected to be the first player selected in the 2021 major league draft, but Leiter could be number two if he continues his dominance. Don’t know if a college has ever had the first two players selected in the draft.

Vanderbilt is the defending NCAA champions based on their 2019 season. There was no season in 2020. They are ranked number three this season, according to baseball America, just behind Arkansas and Mississippi State.

And what is up with Mississippi baseball? The fourth ranked college team according to Baseball America is Mississippi. When did the state of Mississippi get so powerful in baseball? The two teams have a combined record of 26-6.