Oregon State Walks Past LSU

June 19th, 2017

Oregon State 13 LSU 1

Not much of a game. The Tigers used eight pitchers and a variety of them walked 12 hitters in a 13-1 win by Oregon State. A grand slam homerun by KJ Harrison put the game out of reach. Nick Madrigal and Cadyn Grenier each contributed three RBIs in the rout. Bryce Fehmel pitched eight innings allowing just two hits. One of them was a solo shot by Zach Watson in the seventh inning to ruin his shutout. Oregon State now gets to wait in the winner’s bracket for the winner of the Florida State/LSU game, with the winner of that game needing to beat Oregon State twice to advance to the finals.

Florida State 6 Cal State Fullerton 4

Florida State eliminated the Titans from the College World Series. Down 4-3 into the seventh the Seminoles loaded the bases after an intentional walk and scored two runs on non intentional walks to take a 5-4 lead. An infield single by Matt Anderson drove in an insurance run. The bullpen shut down the Titans on one hit for the last 3.1 innings. Florida State will now play LSU with the winner facing Oregon State.

Louisville and Florida Picks up Wins in NCAA

June 18th, 2017

Louisville 8 Texas A&M 4

Louisville scored five runs in the second inning and made it stand. Colby Fitch stroked a two run single in the inning for two of his four RBIs on the day. He walked in the sixth to drive in a run and hit a double in the eighth for his fourth RBI of the game. Brendan McKay gave up four runs in his five innings of work. The bullpen worked a perfect four innings, Lincoln Henzman pitching the sixth and Sam Bordner working the last three innings to earn the save.

Florida 3 TCU 0

Alex Faedo was on his game for the Gators. He allowed just two hits in his seven innings of work, whiffing 11 of the 24 hitters he faced. Florida scored single digits in the first, fourth and fifth to give the Gators enough runs to win the game. TCU was able to bring the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning but Michael Byrne got the strikeout to preserve the shutout.

Rosario Continues Homer Tear - Eight in Three Games

June 18th, 2017

On June 16 Rosario blasted four homeruns. The next day he only hit one. Today Rosario sent three balls over the fence in the Hanwha Eagles 13-5 win over the KT Wiz. That is eight homeruns in three games. Don’t know if any player has ever hit eight homeruns in three games. All of the blasts were hit off the KT Wiz pitching staff.

Rosario has also driven in 14 runs in the three games. He drove in seven runs with the four homer game and five runs in the three homer game. He still has a game tomorrow to continue his streak.

The first homerun was a two run shot in the seven run third inning. He hit a solo shot in the fourth. His third homer of the day came in the eighth, a two run shot. He never got another at bat to hit his fourth.

With the summer heat coming the balls are flying in the KBO. Five of the ten teams scored in double digits today with scores of 13-5, 16-8, 14-3, 13-11 and 7-5.

Ubaldo Gives O’s Big Start Versus Cards

June 18th, 2017

If there is one thing the Orioles need it is starting pitching. Only Dylan Bundy is pitching well of their big three with Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman struggling. This puts a strain on the bullpen. Ubaldo Jimenez gave the O’s seven innings allowing just two runs, both bombs by Stephen Piscotty in the O’s 8-5 win and could find himself back in the rotation.

Jimenez fastball is not what it used to be. He sits in the high 80s to low 90s. When he throws strikes he can still be effective. While he walked four none of them hurt him. The defense played well behind him and giving up just four hits did not allow the walks to advance the bases or cross the plate. The two runs he did allow were on balls that cleared the fence, both by Stephen Piscotty. The first homerun just cleared the fence in right center in the second inning, Adam Jones making a valiant leap to keep it from going over the wall. The second homerun by Piscotty came in the fourth with a ball that just cleared the fence in centerfield.

On the other side Lance Lynn was not sharp. The O’s got some good wood on the bat with many of his pitches. Seth Smith led off the first inning with a line drive homerun over the centerfield wall. In the second inning Trey Mancini led off the inning with a blast over the right field scoreboard. That blast gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead, which they would never relinquish.

In the third inning Seth Smith lined a single into centerfield. Seth would finish the day a triple short of the cycle. Manny Machado walked. Adam Jones appeared to spoil the rally grounding into a double play. With a runner on third and a 1-2 count Mark Trumbo stuck his bat out and lined a soft single into left field to plate Smith for a 3-1 lead.

The Orioles put the game away in the fifth. Five straight hitters blasted the ball to the warning track or farther. It started with a blast from Adam Jones that went over the head of Dexter Fowler and one hopped the wall. Fowler appeared a little casual retrieving the ball and Jones made a triple out of it, his first since 2015. Trumbo followed with a shot that just reached the left field bleachers. A fan with a glove had it bounce out of the glove and fall back into the field. Trey Mancini lined a pitch into left centerfield that hit the wall and caromed past Pham and Fowler. Mancini was able to scamper to third for his first career triple. Jonathan Schoop followed with a shot into right center that would have travelled over the fence, but Fowler made a nice leap over the wall and brought the ball back in. Mancini scored to give Schoop a SF. Wellington Castillo finished the day for Lynn by driving one into the Orioles bullpen to give the Orioles a 7-2 lead. Five batters and five blasts in a row. It was amazing Lynn was left in that long.

The Orioles made it 8-2 in the sixth. Seth Smith hit a hustle double to right center field, beating the throw from Piscotty. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. Manny Machado took advantage of a drawn in infield by bouncing one past the shortstop. Smith crossed the plate for his third run of the game.

The call went to Vidal Nuno to pitch the eighth. With an 8-2 lead he walked the leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter. He got ahead of Dexter Fowler with a 1-2 count but Fowler hit the next pitch deep over the center field wall. For Fowler it was the fourth consecutive game in which he has hit a homerun. For Buck he had seen enough for Nuno and placed call on Miguel Castro to finish the inning. Castro got the first two hitters but then gave up a homerun to Yadier Molina deep into the left field bleachers.

With the score 8-5 Brad Brach was called on to finish the ninth. He retired the side in order to give the O’s the rubber match against the Cardinals and earn himself a cheap save.

Game Notes: Both teams abandoned their colors for this game to wear blue to honor Father’s day. The Cardinals blue was darker and they wore gray jerseys…The Cardinal outfield arms are not strong. The O’s took advantage of Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty to advance an extra base on three hits, turning two doubles into triples and a single into a double…Trevor Rosenthal is hitting 100 consistently with his fastball. The last time we saw him pitch he was struggling with his fastball down to 96-97…Speaking of velocity myworld was in Bowie last night and watched Jesus Liranzo make his first start. He was hitting 100-101 on almost every pitch. Jesus has been working out of the pen because he only has two pitches. The fastball is hot but an average curve or slider with not a lot of break and a change he threw once that went for a ball gives him a lot to work on if he wants to convert to a starter. The Orioles need starting pitchers and they have two possibilities in Bowie who have high 90s to triple digit fastballs (Tanner Scott is the other pitcher). Tanner has not gone past the third inning in any of his starts…The defense was making some excellent plays behind Ubaldo. A leaping catch by Schoop in the sixth, an unassisted double play by Trey Mancini in the fifth and a nice running catch to the warning track by Jones in the seventh…Can’t see Hyun-Soo Kim getting many starts if he doesn’t start showing some offense. His defense is not strong and he only has one homerun with a .267 average. Those are numbers of a fourth outfielder, but they usually are kept on the bench because of their defense or speed. Kim has neither attribute…The fans gave Ubaldo a standing O after he retired the side in the seventh. They knew his day was done…J.J. Hardy was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. He was replaced by Ruben Tejeda when the team went on defense in the fifth inning.

NCAA Nailbiters to Open College World Series

June 18th, 2017

A couple nailbiters to begin the College World Series.

Oregon State 6 Cal State Fullerton 5

The Titans jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, Tommy Richards blasting a three run homerun off Beaver starter Jake Thompson. Connor Seabold went five successful innings allowing just one run for the Titans. The Beavers passively blast the Titan pen, specifically Colton Eastman for four runs in the sixth to tie the game 5-5. Four of the first five batters Eastman faced walk. New pitcher Blake Workman came on and coughed up a two run single to Trevor Lamach and an RBI single to Jack Anderson to tie the game. In the eighth Adley Rutschman ripped the go ahead RBI single to give the Beavers a 6-5 lead, their first lead in the game. Drew Rasmussen worked a perfect ninth, striking out the first two hitters he faced to close out the victory. Jake Mulholland pitched 4.1 innings of no hit relief to get credit for the win.

LSU 5 Florida State 4

Dylan Busby hit a two run homerun in the first inning to give the Seminoles a early 2-0 lead over LSU. Busby also added an RBI single in the third to advance the Seminoles lead to 3-1. For LSU Antoine Duplantis was involved in three of the four Bengal rallies. He scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, drove in the second run in the third with a single and his single in the eighth led to the tying run scoring from first after a throwing error from the outfielder. Greg Deichmann drove in Dupantis with an RBI single to put LSU ahead 5-4. Michael Papierski hit a solo homerun in the fifth to score the third run for LSU. Florida State put two runners on in the ninth but Zach Hess struck out Dylan Busby for the final out of the game.

Tomorrow Bracket Two will be played with Louisville going against Texas A&M and Florida taking on TCU.

MyWorld’s Top Eastern League Prospects

June 16th, 2017

Myworld watched the Bay Sox blow a 6-2 lead, giving up five runs in the ninth. The Bay Sox were able to rally for one in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. The Reading Phillies went on to win the game in 13 innings 7-6 but needless to say we were long gone before the game ended. Instead of recapping the game we thought we’d list our top ten players who are impressing us in the Eastern League. These may not be the top ten prospects but they are the ten we like.

1. Francisco Mejia C (Akron/Indians) - This guy has an arm to discourage base runners. Usually those type of catchers come with weak bats. Not Francisco. He may have the best bat and the best arm of all the catchers in the minor leagues. A couple four hit games has given him a .447 average in his last 10 games, raising his average for the year to an Eastern League leading .363. That is more than 30 points better than the hitter closest to him. Francisco also has hit 8 homeruns to put his slugging average at .625 and his OPS at 1.026. This guy is a beast with all the tools but his legs.

2. Scott Kingery 2b (Reading/Phillies) - When you look at him you don’t see a big guy. Myworld had that same impression when we looked at Brian Dozier. Like Dozier, Kingery is flying balls over the fence with great regularity, blasting an Eastern League leading 18 homeruns. Some would argue the small park at Reading is responsible for a lot of his power, but only 10 of those homeruns have been hit at Reading. Power is not the only tool in his game. Kingery is second in the Eastern League in stolen bases with 16 out of 18 attempts. If he isn’t promoted to the Phillies he has a chance to be a 30/30 player. Myworld has also been impressed by what we saw of his defense. The power has come as a surprise since he has only hit 8 homeruns in his first two years. In 2016 he had a .388 slugging average, this year it is .609.

3. Ryan McMahon 3B (Hartford/Rockies) - Ryan was not long for the Eastern League. After hitting .326 with 6 homeruns he was promoted to AAA. In 13 AAA games he is hitting .404 with three homeruns. McMahon has the unfortunate luck of playing the same position as Nolan Arenado. To ease that dilemma the Rockies have had him play 19 games at second base. The good thing is the Rockies are in a pennant race so Ryan could get traded to acquire veterans quickening his pace to the major leagues at his regular position. The surprise stat for Ryan this year is his 9 for 9 success rate in stolen bases. Prior to that he was below 50 percent in his stolen base success rate.

4. Yefry Ramirez RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Trenton has the top pitching staff in the Eastern League. Ramirez does not lead the league in ERA but his 61 whiffs in 57 innings puts him tied for first in the Eastern League in strikeouts. His fastball has good velocity, hitting the mid-90s and freezing Eastern League hitters to a .193 average. Yefry was placed on the disabled list to begin June otherwise he may have been called up by the Yankees. He only worked 3.2 innings in his last outing giving up one run. Yefry began his career as a position player but after one year moved to the mound.

5. Ronald Herrera RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Ronald got the callup to the Yankees after leading the Eastern League in ERA (1.07) and going 7-0 in his first 8 starts. His secondary numbers are not as dominating as Yefry with only 41 whiffs in 50.1 innings. The soft contact is still there with the opposition hitting him at a lackluster .166 average. One thing you have to like about Ronald is he throws strikes with just 9 walks. He did get one two inning appearance with the Yankees and struggled, giving up two runs. At 5/11″ he is a couple inches smaller than Yefry and his fastball is a couple ticks slower sitting in the low 90s. Ronald could be due for a promotion since he had 24 starts last year in the Eastern League.

6. Miguel Andujar 3B (Trenton/Yankees) - It will either be Gleyber Torres or Miguel replacing Chase Headley at third base. Miguel is leading the Eastern League in RBIs with 47. He makes good contact with the ball which allows him to hit for average (.308). There is also a little pop in his bat with 7 homeruns. His defense is solid but not as flashy as Gleyber so if Greg Bird continues to have injury issues a move to first base may be in the future. The errors need to be reduced with 22 last year and 10 so far this year. Most of his errors are on bad throws.

7. Andrew Pullin LF (Reading/Phillies) - The bat has been solid (.310) with lots of pop (13 homeruns, .559 slugging). Most of his homeruns have been on the road so he has not been helped by the small Reading ball park (9 homeruns away with a .689 slugging). Coming into this season he was not on the Phillies prospect list but that will change after this year. He is tied with Kingery for the Eastern League lead in extra base hits with 34. Not noted for his speed, left field will probably be his best position.

8. Tanner Scott RHP (Bowie/Orioles) - We saw him pitch last night. His fastball is consistently in the high 90s. His breaking ball is a little inconsistent and he has trouble finding the plate. Tanner is not on the league leader boards because the Orioles pull him from his starts after three innings. The opposition is hitting him at a .150 clip and he has struck out 48 in 39 innings. His 26 walks put him a bit short of the 2 for 1 whiff to walk ratio you would like to see. Tanner has not allowed a run in his last four outings covering 12 innings to lower his ERA to 1.38.

9. Erick Fedde RHP (Harrisburg/Nationals) - The Nationals have moved him to the pen and promoted him to AAA. While in the Eastern League he got seven starts and 10 relief appearances. The first round pick could have his mid-90s fastball in the major leagues before the year is out. In the Eastern League he limited the opposition to a .215 average with 54 whiffs in 56 innings. His 3.04 ERA put him tenth in the Eastern League.

10. Rafael Devers 3B (Portland/Red Sox) - The bat can play and if Pablo Sandoval does not get his act together the Red Sox may promote Rafael to the major leagues. His .308 average just misses the top ten but his 12 homeruns and .561 slugging averages are career highs. He has hit homeruns in his last two games. With the Red Sox having a black hole at third base there is no longer any talk of moving Rafael to first base. Speed is not part of his game.

Honorable Mentions

Adam Brett Walker OF (Bowie/Orioles) - He was recently released by the Braves and picked up by the Orioles. At one point he was considered a top ten prospect. He is trying to get scouts to talk about him again with a .444 average, four doubles and two homeruns in his first four games. When he was with the Braves in the Southern League he hit only .122, striking out 23 times in his 49 at bats. The strikeouts will always be there but if the power reappears he could be a player to watch. Last night he went 5 for 6.

Christin Stewart OF (Erie/Tigers) - The one Erie game we watched Stewart did not start. He pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs, striking out on a high fastball. The bat has some thunder with 16 homeruns, second in the Eastern League but his prevalence for the whiff will keep his average down (.257). Stewart does not have a lot of speed and his defense will limit him to left field.

Chance Adams RHP (Trenton/Yankees) - Chance would be the highest rated pitcher on this list if he spent some time in the Eastern League. He only got six starts but dominated with a 4-0 record and 1.03 ERA. The opposition hit him at a .183 average. Chance is also pitching well at AAA with a 2.52 ERA and a .151 opposition average. At 6′1″ he is not intimidating on the mound but he has a mid-90s fastball and a slider that he uses as his strikeout pitch.

Rosario with Four Homerun Day in KBO

June 16th, 2017

Many were surprised when Wilin Rosario signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) two years ago. If he was not a quality defensive catcher he still had a quality bat. He showed off that bat and joined the Scooter Gennett four homerun club in the Hanwha Eagles 15-14 win over the KT Wiz driving in seven with his clouts. He walked once and scored five runs in his six at bats.

The day started off innocent enough with a walk in the first inning. Kim Kyung-eon followed with a three run homer. The Eagles had jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. Kim would finish the day with two homeruns but he could not keep up with Wilin.

In the second inning Rosario blasted a two out two run homer to give Hanwha an early 6-0 lead. Wilin was willing in the fifth inning with a solo shot to elevate the score to 7-2. The Wiz rallied for 8 runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-7 lead.

In the sixth inning Rosario unloaded on his third homerun of the day, a three run shot that put the Eagles up 11-10. The Eagles would score seven runs in the inning to recapture the lead 14-10.

Rosario led off the seventh with his fourth homerun of the day. That homerun was needed after the Wiz rallied for four runs in the bottom frame to close the score to 15-14.

Rosario had one more opportunity to go deep in the ninth inning, establishing his own five homerun club. With a runner on first he grounded into a double play. Neither team scored a run in the last two innings and the game ended 15-14.

Of his four homeruns the farthest travelled at 425 feet. Two were hit at 410 feet and the last homerun was listed at 330 feet. Rosario is now hitting .322 with 13 homeruns in 53 games after getting off to a slow start to the 2017 season. Last year Rosario hit .321 with 33 homeruns in 127 games. He will need to go on a couple of these homerun streaks if he hopes to reach that 33 homerun total from last year.

The above info courtesy of KBO.news.

Braves Roast Roark

June 15th, 2017

The Tanner Roark fastball is down a couple ticks. The balls seem to be hit harder off his deliveries, especially the Braves bats seemed to have their way with the Roark pitches. The first three hitters in the lineup combined for 10 hits in their 13-2 rout of the Nationals. If this had been an international competition this game would have been over after the seventh inning when the beleaguered Nats bullpen gave up six runs.

The top three in the Braves batting order, Ender Inciarte, Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis all started the game with hits, Brandon Phillips gapping a double into left center to score Inciarte and Markakis driving in Phillips with a single. Matt Adams, another bat that has been destroying Nats pitchers drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

For a brief period the Nationals attempted to make a game of it. Brian Goodwin hit a ball over the Nats bullpen into the second deck for a two run homer in the second inning to close the lead to 3-2. After that Julio Tehran quieted the Nats bats for three hits in the next five innings. By the time he departed the Braves were ahead 13-2.

Roark gave the runs back in the top of the third, plus one. Nick Markakis got the inning started with a single into right field. Matt Kemp followed with a hit and run single up the middle that went past a diving Murphy. A lot of hits this day were scooting past the glove of a diving Murphy. Ryan Zimmerman was not looking when Jose Lobaton threw a ball to first base in an attempt to pick off Kemp. The ball went untouched into right field. Bryce Harper was able to retrieve the ball and throw out Matt Kemp at third for the second out. Kemp came up hobbling, holding his hamstring and was replaced by Danny Santana in the bottom of the third.

The Braves did not stop scoring in the inning. Roark walked Matt Adams. Kurt Suzuki struck a 1-1 pitch from Roark and sent it into the Braves bullpen for a 6-2 lead. For Nationals fans the only hope was for the rains to come to avoid another loss.

The fifth inning saw more of the same ineffectiveness of Roark. Back to back singles by Phillips and Markakis and a walk to Danny Santana loaded the bases with no outs. Matt Adams hit a sacrifice fly to left to score a run. Fortunately for the Nationals it was the only run the Braves would score.

It appeared Dusty was trying to save his bench. Michael Taylor, Matt Wieters and Anthony Rendon were not in the starting lineup. In the bottom of the fifth he let Tanner Roark hit despite being down 7-2 and Roark at 102 pitches. In the top of the sixth Trevor Gott went in to pitch. In the ninth inning, down 13-2 Joe Ross would pinch hit.

Gott gave up two hits in the sixth but still prevented the Braves from scoring a run. In the seventh he was not so lucky, his issue with throwing strikes got the best of him. With the bases loaded and two outs he walked Julio Teheran for a run after getting ahead of him in the count 0-2. Ender Inciarte finished his day with a two run single. Blake Treinen replaced Gott and could not stop the bleeding, giving up a two run double down the third base line to Brandon Phillips and an RBI single to Danny Santana to put the score at 13-2. It was an inning you had to wonder had an end to it.

Fortunately, it did and the game mercifully was finished with the Nationals suffering a big beat down 13-2, finishing the home stand 2-5 after doing so well on a west coast road trip.

Nats Notes: Odd occurrences in the top of the eighth when Ryan Raburn was announced as the left fielder. Before the inning was started he walked back to the dugout and Adam Lind returned to left field. Blake Treinen pitched to one hitter and retired him. Raburn then trotted back out to left field, Lind went to first base and Zimmerman left the game with Joe Blanton coming in to pitch. The explanation given was after Jose Lobaton grounded into a double play Blanton was not sufficiently warmed up so Treinen was left in to pitch to one more hitter. Raburn obviously did not get that message…Lobaton is an anchor in the Nats offense. After an 0 for 3 performance his average dropped to .127. if he was a superior defender who managed a pitching staff well myworld would have a bit more patience, but he appears to have no qualities in his game to put him in the lineup. Roark and Lobaton seemed to require a lot of mound communication about what pitches Roark wanted to throw..Trea Turner had stolen second base in the first inning but was called out after popping up after the slide and being tagged by Swanson, who kept his glove on Turner. In the eighth Trea hit a ground ball to Phillips at second with the team down 13-2. He did not run to first with the speed he did in the first inning when he hit a ground ball to Phillips and beat it out. Tough to stay motivated when you’re down 13-2…Matt Kemp hurt his hamstring sliding into third and had to be taken out of the game…Daniel Murphy seemed to be spending a lot of his time diving at balls that skipped past him for hits…Nats pitchers threw 196 pitches in the game, 124 of them for strikes…Joe West was umpiring at second base. At one point he was seen talking to Murphy asking him if this was the spot he should stand. In the game yesterday the second base umpire argued with Murphy after Murphy asked him to move because he was in his sight line. Some umpires think they are above the game…The Braves had lost 23 of their last 25 games in Nats park. Winning two out of three in this series had to feel good. It was their first series victory in Washington since April 2014.

Trio of Yomiuri Giants Toss No Hitter

June 14th, 2017

It has been a long season for the Yomiuri Giants. The team was mired in a franchise record 13 game losing streak, which dropped them near the bottom of the Central Division. As a result of that losing streak Giants general manager Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi stepped down to take responsibility for the poor season. The poor performance has seen attendance at the Giants games drop, one of the few teams who have seen a drop in attendance this year.

Yesterday fans had something to cheer about as three pitchers combined to throw a no hitter against the Softbank Hawks in front of 44,000 plus at the Giants arena. With six walks and one error the Hawks did not have any trouble putting runners on base.

Shun Yamaguchi made his first start of the year for the Giants. He had an extensive career with the Yokohama Bay Stars but signed as a free agent with the Giants in 2017. Shoulder issues prevented him from pitching early in the season but in three starts in the minor leagues saw him weave a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings. That showed the Giants he was ready.

He proved that in his first start of the 2017 season not allowing a hit in six innings, though he walked four, tossing 102 pitchers. This is a different Japan with pitchers not throwing 170 pitches per start, especially after coming back from shoulder discomfort. The problem was that Softbank Hawks pitcher Shuta Ishikawa had not given up a run in the first five innings.

Hayato Sakamoto changed all that with a two run homer in the bottom of the sixth. He also added an insurance run with a solo homerun in the eighth. For the year he now has eight homeruns with a .326 average. He has been about the only shining light on the Giants team. The two run homer was enough motivation to remove Yamaguchi from the game after Sakamoto gave him the lead.

Scott Mathieson was able to throw almost two perfect innings. An error by the third baseman on the first hitter he faced put a runner on. Unfazed, Mathieson struck out the side. He also retired the side in order in the eighth with the infield making all the plays behind him.

Arquimedes Caminero got the responsibility for finishing off the no hitter. He walked the first batter he faced. After he retired the next two Hawks he walked a second hitter to bring the tying run to the plate in slugger Nobuhiro Matsuda. The veteran slugger has 11 homeruns this year and is one shy of 200 for his career. Caminero took a deep breath and went about striking Matsuda out to pick up his 14th save of the season, but more importantly, complete the no hitter.

The Giants still find themselves 9 games below .500. On the bright side they are only three losses away from making the playoffs as the third place team in the division.

2017 Top Asian Prospects

June 13th, 2017

Not a great exodus of Korean players, which bulked up this list last year. This made the 2017 list tough to put together. Almost all the players who made the list last year are no longer eligible after playing in the major leagues. Kenta Maeda was the top prospect, but his second year has not gone so well. Byung-Ho Park struggled to make contact and has been sent to the minor leagues to get his swing back. Hyun Sun Kim was in a platoon role for the Orioles. His power has not translated to the major leagues and it would surprise myworld if the Orioles resign him. Dae-Ho Lee, the sixth rated prospect is back playing in Korea after one season in the major leagues. The seventh rated prospect Seung-Hwan Ho took over the closer job for the Cardinals but the 2017 season isn’t going as well even though he maintains the closer position.

This whittles the prospect list to five. Rob Refsnyder did not return to the list because of his paucity of tools. Sean-Reid Foley, who was born in Guam jumped up to be the number one rated Asian prospect. Most of the other players are fringe prospects.

1. Sean Reid Foley (RHP) Guam/Blue Jays - Sean was born in Guam to American parents. His brother, who was a catcher in the Dodgers system taught him a curveball, which he broke out last year. That, along with a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can hit the mid-90s and a slider gives him a good selection of pitches to choose from. Last year he had a break out season at Low and High A with 21 starts and ERAs below 3.00. The opposition hit him at less than .200. This year a promotion to AA has not been kind to him. Hitters are slaying him at a .272 pace, his command is off with a walk every two innings pitched which leaves his ERA at a ugly 5.40. It appeared he had turned things around when he pitched six innings of shutout ball on his 11th start, but his last start he was smacked around for 6 runs in three innings. A September call up may have to wait until he turns his season around.

2. Chih-Wei Hu (RHP) Taiwan/Rays - It is rare to see Taiwan pitchers hit the upper 90s with their fastball, but Hu has that ability. He stands only 6′1″ but he mixes his change with his fastball well to stymie AA hitters last year. There are not a lot of strikeouts to his game but an improvement in a breaking pitch could change that. The Rays have moved him to the bullpen after three early starts to begin the season. They called him up for four bullpen sessions with the major league club where he only gave up three hits in his eight innings of work. Expect a return to the major leagues if he continues with his success in the bullpen in 2017. His fastball shows mid to high 90s velocity in the pen.

3. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B) Giants/Korea - In his last two years in the KBO he hit 26 and 27 homeruns. Prior to that the power did not show. His career average in the KBO was only.286, which is below average for a hitter’s league where almost everyone shoots for .300. His last year he did hit .335. The Giants signed him, but despite their weakness at third base Hwang was sent to the minor leagues. The Giants needs have not really been addressed at the position and Hwang is hitting .291 at AAA. The power is not there with only 6 homeruns and a .478 slugging average. Christian Arroyo struggled in his major league opportunity, hitting just .192. He is hitting better than Hwang in AAA with a .417 average and a .643 slugging. At some point the Giants have to give him an opportunity.

4. Yu-Cheng Chang (SS) Taiwan/Indians - In 2016 Chang made the Carolina League All star team, hitting .259 and showing some pop for the middle infield position with 13 homeruns. This year he is struggling with a .211 average. The power is there with 11 homeruns and a .464 slugging but there are too many whiffs in his game (66 in 54 games). He is also committing too many errors for the shortstop position (12 in 51 games) but a move to third has not reduced those errors (5 in 16 games). Chang needs to improve his contact, become more consistent with the glove and find a position where his power bat can benefit a lineup before he can sniff the major leagues.

5. Hoy-Jun Park (SS) Yankees/Korea - The Yankees are very crowded at short. Park has the glove for the position but his bat is a little too quiet. He has also had trouble with the glove this year with a fielding percentage less than .900. They have played him a little at second base. Unless they trade Gleyber Torres or Didi Gregorius the best spot for Park looks to be second base. His power is not there to play third. This is his second season in Low A. His bat appears to be improved (.250/.349/.370) but his fielding has been more inconsistent and his stolen base percentage has dropped from 32 of 35 last year to just 8 of 12 this year. While his homerun numbers have increased his triple numbers have dropped.

6. Tzu-Wei Lin (SS) Red Sox/Taiwan - The Red Sox shelled out just over $2 million for Lin. His glove is solid and he has some speed, but that is what they said about Hak-Ju Lee who was last seen playing in Japan in the Independent Leagues. The bat needs to start showing some spark if he is to separate himself from some of the other Red Sox shortstops. After hitting just .223 with a .580 OPS in AA last year Lin is back there for the 2017 season. His bat seems to have found some life with a .306 average and a .866 OPS. The Red Sox have also played him a few games in centerfield. If he can keep his offense at this level some team will find a spot for his glove if the Red Sox lack the room.

7. Wei-Chieh Huang (RHP) Taiwan/Diamondbacks - Durability concerns have moved Huang to the bullpen. It could improve the velocity on his fastball, which sits in the low 90s and allow Huang to survive on a fastball/change repertoire. So far so good. In 14 relief appearances his ERA sits at 1.71 with a .177 opposition average. He recently returned from a one month stay on the disabled list.

8. Jin-De Jhang (C) Taiwan/Pirates - Jhang is a defensive catcher who the Pirates hope will develop with the bat. There is some pop in his swing, but that has not showed in games. His big year for the homerun was in 2013 and 2015 when he hit five. He makes good contact and can spray balls into the gap. This year he is struggling with a .197 average with only one extra base hit in his 16 games. The best Jhang can hope for if his bat does not develop is as a back up catcher. Or he can return to Taiwan and play in the CPBL.

9. Daniel Missaki (RHP) Japan/Brewers - He was born in Japan but he pitched in Brazil, playing for the 2013 World Baseball Classic team as the youngest player in the tournament. The Mariners signed him in 2013 after the WBC. He was traded last year to the Brewers in the Adam Lind trade even though Tommy John surgery had ended his 2015 season. Prior to that he had combined with two other pitchers to throw a no hitter. His fastball is not overpowering, sitting in the high 80s but his curveball and change are decent pitches. Daniel has not pitched since 2015 and will probably begin his comeback in the rookie league.

10.Shao-Ching Chiang (RHP) Taiwan/Indians - Durability issues have also plagued Chiang. He signed with the Indians in 2011 and saw a delay in the start of his career after Tommy John surgery limited him to two appearances in two games. Last year he did start 27 games, but he is a contact type pitcher with a fastball that can hit the mid-90s but mostly sits in the low 90s. He pitched for Taiwan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This year he has started strong with a 7-3, 2.57 ERA in 11 starts. The opposition is hitting him at a .238 clip, which would be the lowest in his career. He still doesn’t get a lot of swings and misses.

2016 Asian Prospects