Myworld 2019 Predictions

January 5th, 2020

Myworld is in the process of putting out our 2020 predictions. Not that it really means anything. But just for fun we took a look at our 2019 predictions.

We had the most success in predicting the first and the last place teams, having a success rate of 67 percent. Our worst area was predicting the third place team (17 percent success rate). The most accurate predictions were in the AL Central and the AL East where we would have been perfect if not for the placement of two teams switching one position. Our worst division was the NL West where we got the Dodgers right in winning the division but no other team finished within two spots of where we predicted them.

Below are the 2019 predictions with their actual finish in parenthesis.

AL West

1. Houston (1), 2. L.A. Angels (4), 3. Oakland (2), 4. Texas (3), 5. Seattle (5)

AL Central

1. Minnesota (1), 2. Cleveland (2), 3. Chicago (3), 4. Detroit (5), 5. Kansas City (4)

AL East

1. New York (1), 2. Boston (3), 3. Tampa Bay (2), 4. Toronto (4), 5. Baltimore (5)

NL West

1. Los Angeles (1), 2. Colorado (4), 3. San Diego (5), 4. Arizona (2), 5. San Francisco (3)

NL Central

1. Chicago (3), 2. Milwaukee (2), 3. St. Louis (1), 4. Cincinnati (4), 5. Pittsburgh (5)

NL East

1. Philadelphia (4), 2. Washington (2), 3. Atlanta (1), 4. New York (3), 5. Miami (5)

Cuban Colas Leaves Japan Seeking Major League Opportunity

January 3rd, 2020

Cuban prospect Oscar Colas has left Japan to seek a contract with a major league baseball team. Most news sources are saying he hit .302 with 11 homeruns, but this was all in the minor leagues. He played for the Softbank Hawks and they had two other Cuban veterans ahead of him in Yursibel Gracial and Alfredo Despaigne playing for the big club. Colas was not going to see a lot of playing time with the Hawks with their foreign player quota restriction.

There are reports that the outfielder has been clocked at 95 miles per hour and he is lefthanded. At 21 years of age he still may be young enough to develop.

Colas did get 18 at bats with the NPB Hawks and hit .278 with one homerun. He also struck out six times, a high strikeout rate. He was also hit by pitch twice, which is high for only 18 at bats. In the minors he had a 19/61 walk to whiff ratio in 252 at bats. That lack of contact and patience is a cause of concern. He was only hit by pitch once in those 252 at bats.

WBSC America’s Qualifier Pool

January 3rd, 2020

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics in the Premier 12. Their Southern neighbor Mexico qualified, as well as Korea. This leaves four of six countries qualified for the Olympics, Japan (host), Israel (European/Africa qualifier), Korea and Mexico (both from Premier 12). The Americas qualifier is the next to last opportunity countries have to qualify for the Olympics. The second and third place finishers become eligible for the final qualifier in Taiwan, to be held in April..

Below are the pools:

Pool A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Pool B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States has been fielding a team of minor league prospects. While these players have been competitive they have yet to qualify the United States team for the Olympics. The same prospect heave team is expected for the Americas qualifying round to be held from March 22-26.

The final qualifier will be held in Taiwan from April 1-5.

NL West Lower Draft Pick Success

December 31st, 2019

Myworld takes a look at the NL West to see how they have done selecting with the 25th round pick or later. This division seems to have pretty good success with late round picks, especially the Giants and Padres. 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.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Mike Koplove RHP (1998/29th round) - 15-7, 3.82 in 222 games of relief
Tommy Layne LHP (2007/26th round) - 8-5, 3.61 in 216 games of relief
Evan Scribner RHP (2007/28th round) - 5-4, 4.15 in 145 games of relief
Ryan Cook RHP (2008/27th round) - 15-13, 3.58 in 236 games of relief

Jake Elmore 2B (2008/34th round) - .215, 4, 37 in 217 games

Colorado Rockies

Justin Hampson LHP (1999/28th round) - 5-4, 3.23 in 92 games, one of them a start.
Xavier Cedeno LHP (2004/31st round) - 10-7, 3.65 in 254 games of relief
Bruce Billings RHP (2007/30th round) - 0-0, 9.82 in five games of relief
Kenny Roberts LHP (2010/25th round) - 1-1, 7.24 in 15 games of relief

Eric Young Jr 2B (2003/30th round) - .245, 13, 112 and 162 stolen bases in 651 games

Los Angeles Dodgers

Matt Magill RHP (2008/31st round) - 8-7, 4.52 in 31 games
Shawn Tolleson RHP (2010/30th round) - 14-8, 3.92 in 215 games of relief
Danny Coulombe LHP (2012/25th round) - 6-4, 4.27 in 153 games of relief

Victor Diaz 2B (2000/37th round) - .256, 24, 73 in 147 games
Andy LaRoche SS (2003/39th round) - .226, 22, 113 in 404 games
Justin Ruggiano OF (2004/25th round) - .256, 53, 163 in 483 games
Jerry Sands OF (2008/25th round) - .238, 10, 57 in 156 games, currently playing in Korea
Scott Schebler OF (2010/26th round) - .240, 61, 167 in 379 games

San Diego Padres

Cliff Bartosh LHP (1998/29th round) - 1-2, 5.08 in 53 games of relief
Jack Cassel RHP (2000/25th round) - 2-2. 4.92 in 15 games, seven of them starts
Steve Delabar RHP (2003/29th round) - 15-9, 4.07 in 190 games of relief
Branden Kintzler RHP (2004/40th round) - 20-20, 3.37 in 430 games of relief
Dylan Axelrod RHP (2007/30th round) - 9-15, 5.27 in 59 games, 34 starts
Colt Hynes LHP (2007/31st round) - 0-0, 8.55 in 27 games of relief
Brad Brach RHP (2008/42nd round) - 36-27, 3.33 in 482 games of relief

Kevin Reese OF (2000/27th round) - .385, 0, 1 in 12 games
Drew Macias OF (2002/35th round) - .198, 3, 12 in 69 games
Kyle Blanks 1B (2004/42nd round) - .241, 33, 111 in 278 games
Andy Parrino 2B (2007/26th round) - .175, 2, 14 in 131 games
Dean Anna SS (2008/26th round) - .130, 1, 3 in 13 games
Dan Robertson OF (2008/33rd round) - .262, 1, 36 in 148 games

San Francisco Giants

Brian Burres LHP (2000/31st round) - 18-25, 5.75 in 106 games, 56 starts
Scott Munter RHP (2001/47th round) - 3-2, 4.75 in 84 games of relief
Matt Palmer RHP (2002/31st round) - 13-7, 4.56 in 63 games, 20 starts
Jonathan Sanchez LHP (2004/27th round) - 39-58, 4.70 in 194 games, 137 starts
Sergio Romo RHP (2005/28th round) - 40-32, 2.92, 129 saves in 708 games, two starts
Jake Dunning SS (2009/33rd round) - 0-2, 2.77 in 30 games of relief
Joe Biagini RHP (2011/26th round) - 14-25, 4.86 in 217 games, 22 starts

Antoan Richardson OF (2005/35th round) - .350, 0, 1 in 22 games
Thomas Neal OF (2005/36th round) - .184, 0, 2 in 15 games
Matt Downs 3B (2006/36th round) - .230, 20, 66 in 254 games
Johnny Monell C (2007/30th round) - .161, 0, 5 in 35 games

AL West Lower Draft Round Success

December 29th, 2019

Now we look at the AL West to see how they have done selecting with the 25th round pick or later. The Rangers could almost create a starting rotation. We start with 1998 when drafts were established at 50 picks, further reduced to 40 a few years later. Also, if any player signed in the 25th round or later did not sign they were not included in this list. 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.

Houston Astros

Mike Burns RHP (2000/30th round) - 3-5, 5.75, 15 games, 8 starts

Tyler White 3B (2013/33rd round) - .236, 26, 103 in 256 games

Los Angeles Angels

Bobby Wilson C (2002/48th round) - .203, 18, 102 in 386 games
Efren Navarro 1B (2007/50th round) - .241, 3, 22 in 157 games
Jett Bandy C (2011/31st round) - .218, 16, 45 in 156 games
Michael Hermosillo OF (2013/28th round) - .183, 1, 4 in 49 games

Oakland Athletics

Ron Flores LHP (2000/20th round) - 1-4, 3.05, in 53 games in relief
Connor Robertson RHP (2004/31st round) - 0-1, 8.00 in 9 games of relief
Jeff Gray RHP (2004/32nd round) - 9-3, 4.99 in 115 games of relief
Brad Kilby LHP (2005/29th round) - 1-0, 1.07 in 16 games, one start
Mickey Storey RHP (2008/31st round) - 0-1, 4.19 in 29 games of relief
Ryan Dull RHP (2012/32nd round) - 8-9, 4.31 in 171 games of relief

Seattle Mariners

Scott Atchison RHP (1998/49th round) - 17-11, 3.63 in 298 games with just one start

T.J. Bohn OF (2002/30th round) - .211, 1, 5 in 32 games

Texas Rangers

Jason Botts 1B (1999/46th round) - .230, 5, 28 in 93 games

Jesse Chavez RHP (2002/42nd round) - 41-58, 4.48 in 463 games, 79 starts
Scott Feldman RHP (2003/30th round) - 78-84, 4.43 in 342 games, 204 starts
Derek Holland LHP (2006/25th round) - 78-78, 4.54 in 295 games, 222 starts
Danny Herrera LHP (2006/45th round) - 5-8, 3.72 in 131 games of relief
Tanner Roark RHP (2008/25th round) - 74-64, 3.71 in 213 games, 172 starts
Cody Eppley RHP (2008/43rd round) - 2-3, 4.61 in 71 games of relief
Alex Claudio LHP (2010/27th round) - 15-8, 3.38 in 291 game, with two starts
Phil Klein RHP (2011/30th round) - 2-3, 5.50 in 40 games, with four starts
C.J. (Carl) Edwards (2011/48th round) - 9-8, 3.58 in 194 games of relief
Joe Palumbo LHP (2013/30th round) - 0-3, 9.18, seven games with four starts

Winter Roundup - Cuba

December 28th, 2019

The Cuban League (Nacional Series 59) has been playing for awhile. The final six teams qualifying for the round robin were Camaguay, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Industriales, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The first four teams have clinched spots in the final four. The winner of the final four will advance to the Series del Caribe, with additional reinforcements added to the roster.

Myworld has not been following Cuban baseball as faithfully as we should. Most of the stars have departed for the major leagues. You have some veterans who still have skills but are too old now for major league consideration and younger players, who if they didn’t leave by age 16 are still trying to make an impact. When Fidel Castro first set up the league it was supposed to be a pure egalitarian league with each player representing the province they were born in. They were to play for the people and since money was not an issue keep their amateur status. That did not turn out so well once they learned about the multi-million dollar contracts that were being offered further north.

Some of the hitting stars:

Jorge Aloma (Las Tunas) - .387 batting average leads the league with 14 homeruns and 66 RBIs.

Maikel Caceres (Holquin) - A career year for him with .380 average and 14 homeruns with 53 RBIs.

Stayler Hernandez (Industriales) - He leads the league with 19 homeruns and is second in RBIs with 79. Has a .348 average. In previous years he has never hit more than 12 homeruns.

Yurien Vizcaino (Villa Clara) - Leads the league in RBIs with 88. That is more than twice his career high. He also has a career high 12 homeruns and is hitting .302. This is his first year hitting over .300.

Yordanis Samon (Industriales) - Hitting .377 with 12 homeruns and 50 RBIs.

Carlos Benitez (Granma/Villa Clara) - Hitting .373 with 9 homeruns and 61 RBIs.

Yuniesky Larduet (Las Tunas) - Leads the league in stolen bases with 30 and runs scored with 88. Also hitting .328.

Frederich Cepeda (Sancti Spiritus) - He has played more than twenty years and continues to hit with 15 homeruns and a .340 average

The pitching stars:

Frank Medina (Industriales) - Leads in ERA with a 2.76 and a 9-7 record. The number of wins are a career high and his ERA is a career low.

Yariel Rodriguez (Camaguay) - The strikeout leader with 118 in 133 innings. His ERA sits at 3.38 and he is 8-6. The strikeout numbers and innings pitched are big jumps for him.

Dariel Gongora (Las Tunas) - He is 12-5 with a 3.44 ERA. His 12 wins lead the league as are his 6 complete games. His previous career high in wins was six and he has more than doubled that.

Yadian Martinez (Las Tunas) - He leads the league in innings pitched (135) but with his 10-3 record and 3.06 ERA why not keep him out there. He has four complete games.

Alain Sanchez (Villa Clara) - The veteran is 9-3 with a 2.79 ERA.

All stats were collected from baseballdecuba. Myworld finds a lot of variance in the Cuban stats with the various websties.

Major League Pitcher Trivia

December 27th, 2019

The average fastball for a major league pitcher in 2019 reached 93.1 miles per hour. This is the greatest speed since velocity has been measured. There were 149 pitchers who threw an average fastball 95 or harder.

There were only two pitchers in 2019 who averaged over 100 miles per hour, Jordan Hicks at 101.1 and Aroldis Chapman at 100.1. Following him were Andres Munoz (99.9), Emmanuel Chase (99.3), Brusdar Graterol (99.1) and Tayron Guerrero (99).

Gerritt Cole and Justin Verlander were the first two teammates to strikeout more than 300 hitters per season since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did it in 2002.

With major league rosters expanding to 26 with a maximum of 13 pitchers, it might be wise for teams to develop more two way players if they prefer to whittle their roster to 12 position players. The hitter with the greatest average exit velocity in major league baseball according to statcast was pitcher/outfielder Michael Lorenzon who averaged 97 miles per hour off the bat. His launch angel was disappointing Second was Aaron Judge who was measured at 96.7 miles per hour.

Shohei Ohtani was in the top 20 at 17th with a 93.4 exit velocity. He had a much better launch angle to his hits than Lorenzon.

AL Central Lower Round Draft Pick Success

December 27th, 2019

A couple days ago we did the AL East teams and the players drafted 25th or lower who achieved major league success for more than a year, with some exceptions. Myworld started the review for drafts in 1998 when they limited the picks to 50 players and went to 2015 when we felt most players from that draft and later would still be in the minor leagues. Below is the AL Central major league success rate.

Chicago White Sox

Mark Buehrle LHP (1998/38th round) - 214-160, 3.81 in 518 games, 493 of them starts.
Joe Valentine RHP (1999/26th round) - 2-4, 6.70 in 42 games of relief except for one start
Jeff Bajenaru RHP (1999/36th round) - 0-2, 11.20 in 14 games of relief
Charlie Haeger RHP (2001/25th round) - 2-7, 6.40 in 34 games, 10 of them starts
Jay Marshall LHP (2002/25th round) - 1-4, 7.66 in 61 games of relief
Hector Santiago LHP (2006/30th round) - 47-50, 4.14 in 257 games, 139 of them starts
Chris Devenski RHP (2011/25th round) - 16-15, 3.21 in 221 games, 7 of them starts

Cleveland Indians

Tony Sipp LHP (2004, 45th round) - 26-22, 3.72 in 616 games of relief
Vidal Nuno LHP (2009/48th round) - 8-23, 4.06 in 155 games, 42 of them starts

Jon Van Every OF (2000/29th round) - .255, 2, 9 in 39 games
Roberto Perez C (2008/33rd round) - .216, 45, 162 in 414 games

Detroit Tigers

Eric Eckenstahler LHP (1999/32nd round) - 1-0, 3.80 in 27 games of relief
Jason Frasor RHP (1999/33rd round) - 35-35, 3.49 in 679 games of relief
Joe Mantiply LHP (2013/27th round) - 1-0, 12.71 in 6 games of relief

Dusty Ryan C (2003/48th round) - .257, 2, 11 in 27 games
Will Rhymes 2B (2005/27th round) - .266, 2, 29 in 130 games

Kansas City Royals

Ruben Gotay 2B/SS (2000/31st round) - .255, 12, 77 RBIs in 316 games
Jarrod Dyson OF (2006/50th round) - .247, 21, 170 with 250 stolen bases in 858 games
Clint Robinson 1B (2007/25th round) - .257, 15, 62 in 243 games

Minnesota Twins

Kevin Frederick RHP (1998/29th round) - 0-2, 7.59 in 30 games of relief
Nick Blackburn RHP (2001/29th round) - 43-55, 4.85 in 145 games, 137 of them starts
Michael Tonkin RHP (2008/30th round) - 3-3, 4.43 in 141 games of relief
A.J. Achter RHP (2010/46th round) - 2-1, 3.92 in 45 games of relief

Terry Tiffee 1B (1999/26th round) - .226, 5, 29 in 97 games
Rene Tosoni OF (2005/36th round) - .203, 5, 22 in 60 games

Kikuchi to Stay in Japan

December 27th, 2019

One Japanese free agent has been taken off the market. Ryosuke Kikuchi has decided to stay in Japan. He was posted December 3 and would have needed to sign by January 2. Kikuchi is a gold glove fielding second baseman that has a questionable bat. Most major league teams have been sacrificing defense to get offense from their second base position. Because the market was slow for Kikuchi’s skills he made the decision to inform his team (Hiroshima Carp) early that he was returning to Japan.

There are still a number of major league veterans who play second base who are still looking for a team. There may not be enough positions open to fill all those slots. The Nationals still have two veteran second baseman still looking for work in Brian Dozier and Asdrubal Cabrera.

AL East Lower Round Draft Pick Success

December 25th, 2019

Major league baseball and the minor leagues are feuding over the number of minor league baseball teams to support in 2021. The major leagues want to upgrade facilities, increase the pay of minor league players and also lesson the number of players they draft for the minor leagues. In other words, lower their costs.

If they draft fewer players they will not need as many minor league teams or scouts to draft and scout minor league players. With the rise in analytics there are probably those that say the cost of drafting players below the 25th round is not worth the expense. So myworld will take a look at players drafted after the 25th round who made it to the major leagues. We began with the 1998 draft when the number of players was reduced to 50 each round, and later 40. Myworld did not include any players who were drafted after the 25th round but did not sign who may have been drafted later in their career during an earlier round and made the major leagues. We did not really look at players drafted after 2015 since most of them will still be playing in the minor leagues.

Baltimore Orioles

Kurt Birkins OF/LHP (2000/33rd round) - 6-4, 5.85, 60 games all but two in relief
Oliver Drake RHP (2008/43rd round) - 10-8, 4.19, 185 games in relief
Zach Davies RHP (2011/26th round) - 43-32, 3.91, 111 starts
Donnie Hart LHP (2013/27th round) - 2-0, 3.13, 98 games in relief

Boston Red Sox

Dennis Tankersly RHP (1998, 38th round) - 1-10, 7.61, 27 games
Dan Giese RHP (1999, 34th round) - 1-8, 4.22, 35 games
Kasen Gabbard LHP (2000, 29th round) - 9-7, 4.53, 34 games/31 of those starts

Mauricio Dubon SS (2013, 26th round) .274, 4, 9 in 30 games

New York Yankees

Brandon Claussen LHP (1998, 34th round) - 16-27, 5.04, 58 starts
Sean Henn LHP (2000, 26th round) - 2-10, 7.42, 64 games
Phil Coke LHP (2002, 26th round) - 22-27, 4.19, 407 games of relief
Justin Berg RHP (2003, 43rd round) - 0-1. 4.08, 60 games relief
Mike Dunn LHP (2004, 33rd round) - 34-26, 4.00, 555 games relief

Brandon Laird 3B (2007, 27th round) .197, 5, 11, 53 games, but having a good career in Japan

Tampa Bay Rays

Chad Gaudin RHP (2001, 34th round) 45-44, 4.44, 344 games/87 starts
Zac Rosscup LHP (2009, 28th round) 5-2, 5.16, 116 games in relief

Edgar Gonzalez SS (2000, 30th round) .255, 11, 51, 193 games
Joey Gathright OF (2001, 32nd round) .263, 1, 96, 81 stolen bases in 452 games
Kevin Kiermaier OF (2010, 31st round) .249, 68, 235 and 89 stolen bases in 680 games

Tampa Bay Rays

Erik Kratz C (2002, 29th round) - .205, 31, 101 in 316 games
Kevin Pillar OF (2011, 32nd round) - .261, 76, 318 in 851 games
Rowdy Tellez 1B (2013, 30th round) - .241, 25, 68 in 134 games