Archive | January, 2017

International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 81-90

Yesterday we took a look at the international players from 91-100 which contained four players from across the globe. Today we will take a look at the only international player from 81-90.

International Players – 91-100

No. 90 Raimel Tapia, OF/Colorado Rockies – Tapia signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010. The lefty will be 23 for this season when he will look to continue his strong hitting. He won the Pioneer League (Rookie-level) MVP in 2013. This past season he played at AAA Albuquerque where he hit .346 over 110 at bats. He spent most of the year tearing up the Eastern League where he posted a .323/.363/.450 line with 20 doubles, 5 triples, and 8 home runs. He has speed but hasn’t quite learned the art of the stolen base being only successful in 17/31 attempts last season in AA. He did make his MLB debut last September where he played in 22 games hitting .263 over 41 at bats.

Last season Tapia landed on the top 100 list at no. 71.

Posted in N. America, News, MLB0 Comments

Penalties Handed Down by MLB for Illegal Hacking of Astros’ Database

The Houston Astros have been awarded two draft picks and $2 million in compensation after former employee Christopher Correa hacked into the Astros’ baseball operations database while working for the St. Louis Cardinals. But I wondered, is this enough of a punishment to deter something like this from happening again.

First of all, let’s take a look at what punishment was handed out today. The Astros are to be paid $2 million dollars by the Cardinals. While this is not peanuts it is a drop in the bucket for a team such as St. Louis. However, it appears that is the maximum the commissioner is allowed to penalize a club. In addition, the Astros will recieve pick numbers 56 and 75 in the 2017 MLB Draft from the Cardinals.

So what exactly can you get at the nos. 56 or 75 pick. Here are a few players drafted in those spots over the years.

No. 56

1997 Scott Linebrink

1999 Rob Bowen (Brandon Phillips at no. 57)

2001 J.J. Hardy

No. 75

1993 Matt Perisho

1994 Brian Rose

1996 A.J. Hinch

1997 Jason Grabowski (Chase Utley at no. 58)

2000 Grady Sizemore

2004 Wade Davis

2005 Yunel Escobar

*I only looked at the drafts from 1990-2016.

The way it was worded when it was released was it was the first two picks of the Cardinals, which just happened to be the nos. 56 and 75. So if they would have had a 1st round pick, would they have given that to the Astros?

There is definitely talent at these positions, and it is all based on scouting and let’s face it a little luck. But another way to look at is why the picks were not just forfeited but actually given to the Astros. If I work for one of the 28 other clubs, I am not too happy here with the decision from MLB.

Correa wsa sentenced last summer to 46 months in federal and ordered to pay almost $280,000 in restitution.

So what do you think? Was this harsh enough? Was it too harsh? Hit us up here by leaving a comment or shoot us a message on Twitter – we are @BaseballdeWorld.

Posted in N. America, News, MLB0 Comments

Teams Set for 2017 Caribbean Series

The teams are set for the 2017 Caribbean Series to be held in Culiacan, Mexico. There will be a new club champion after the Venados de Matatlan, the 2016 winner, did not make the finals of the LMP playoffs.

Winners from the winter leagues of Mexico (LMP), Dominican Republic (LIDOM), Venezuela (LVBP), Puerto Rico (LBPRC), and Cuba play a round robin format with semifinals and finals to follow.

The teams competing are:

Dominican Republic – Tigres del Licey – The most accomplished team not only in the LIDOM with 22 titles, but also the most accomplished team in the history of the Caribbean Series with 10 titles. The Tigres last Series title was in 2008. To get back to the Series, for the first time since 2014, Licey needed all 9 games in the LIDOM Championship Series to get past the Aguilas Cibaenas.

Puerto Rico – Criollos de Caguas – The 17-time LBPRC champions, Caguas is back in the Caribbean Series for the first time since 2013. They will go in looking for their 4th Series title but the first since 1987. To get to the Series, Caguas needed 8 games to win 5-games-to-3 over Santurce.

Mexico – Aguilas de Mexicali – Winning its 4th LMP title, Mexicali last went to the Caribbean Series in 1999. It holds just a single Series title from 1986. Mexicali defeated the Caneros de los Mochis 4-2 in the LMP Championship Series to advance. They will look to keep the recent success of the LMP champions alive having won 4 of the last 6 Caribbean Series titles.

Venezuela – Aguilas del Zulia – This was the 6th LVBP Championship for Zulia, the last coming in 2000. The franchise has 2 Caribbean Series titles to its credit, but nothing since 1989. To get back to the Series this year Zulia defeated the Cardenales de Lara 4-1.

Cuba – Granma Alazanes – This was the first Serie Nacional de Beisbol or Cuban National Series title for Granma. It took 40 years for the club to claim its first title, and this will be its first trip to the Caribbean Series. Granma defeated the 2-time defending champion Ciego de Avila in the championship series sweeping them to take the title.

Total Caribbean Series Titles:

Dominican Republic 19 (last in 2012)
Puerto Rico 14 (last in 2000)
Mexico 9 (last in 2016)
Cuba 8 (last in 2015)
Venezuela 7 (last in 2009)
Panama 1 (1950) – no longer play in Caribbean Series

All games will be broadcast in Spanish on ESPN3.com

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

  • Cuba vs. Dom. Rep. 5:00 p.m.
  • Puerto Rico vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 02:

  • Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico 5:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Dom. Rep. 9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 03:

  • Puerto Rico vs. Cuba 5:00 p.m.
  • Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

Tigres del Licey win 22nd LIDOM Championship

The Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Domincana or LIDOM went a full 9 games this past week as the Tigres del Licey pulled off a 6-2 victory over the Aguilas Cibaenas to win the title. After going up 4-games-to-2, Licey fell twice as the Aguilas forced a decisive 9th game.

Going to the hill in the winner-take-all game was Cesar Valdez (W, 4-0) for Licey. Valdez tossed 5.0 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits while striking out 5. He picked up the win and held the Aguilas off long enough for the Tigres bats to come alive. For his efforts, Valdez was named MVP.

Leading just 1-0 heading into the top of the 6th, the Tigres bats exploded for 5 runs. Lead off hitter Mel Rojas Jr. (0-for-4) walked to start the inning. After Diory Hernandez (0-for-5) flew out to center, Samuel Deduno was pulled in favor of fellow reliever Juan Grullon. Grullon was rudely greeted by Engel Beltre (2-for-4) who promptly doubled to right putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. Grullon then walked Rossmel Perez to load the bases. Then to put the Tigres up on top big, Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4) doubled to left scoring all three runners on base. And that would do it on the day for Grullon after he failed to get an out and gave up 3 runs on 2 hits.

Licey would go on to add 2 more runs in the inning to go up 6-0 before the Aguilas would add 2 runs in the bottom of the inning.

Sergio Alcantara wound up setting the stage well going 4-for-5 in the lead off spot for Licey. He drove in 2 and scored 1.

Licey now heads to Culiacan, Mexico for the 2017 Caribbean Series where they will face off with Cuba in its first match on Wednesday February 1st.

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

Aguilas de Mexicali Wins LMP Championship

The Aguilas de Mexicali took home the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) Championship Saturday night after a 13-1 drubbing of the Caneros de los Mochis. The win gave Mexicali the title and a spot in the Caribbean Series.

Mexicali pounded out 16 hits in the game. Five players had 2 or more hits including Yordanys Linares (3-for-3 with a home run), Yuniesky Betancourt (2-for-4, 6 RBI, and a grand slam), and Chris Roberson (3-for-5). The offensive attack was relentless as Mexicali scored in 6 straight innings.

While Mexicali was taking care of business at the plate, Hector Velazquez (W, 3-1) was taking care of things on the mound. Velazquez tossed 6.0 innings giving up just a single run. He struck out 4, walked 2, and scattered 4 hits. The Aguilas bullpen came in and shut down Los Mochis the rest of the way as Jose Meraz, Fautino De Los Santos, and Jake Sanchez each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

Mexicali moves on to the 2017 Caribbean Series now to face Puerto Rico in their first game on Wednesday February 1.

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

Where are they now: 2012 18U Team Canada

A few years ago, when I was living in Daegu, South Korea, I had the chance to go up to Seoul to see the 2012 18U World Baseball Championship. It was something special for me being my first international baseball tournament, and I have had an affinity to many of the players that I got to see play. As I was writing about international players in the MLB Top 100 Prospects List, I noticed a few players I got to see in that tournament. So I wanted to go back and see where they were now since many of them have been drafted this past summer after playing college ball.

I am going to do a series based on the teams that played and try to track down many of the players in it. So let’s begin. I will start with a team I saw play a few times and was very impressed with, Canada.

Team Canada 2012 18U World Baseball Championship:

Pitching Staff

Brock Dykxhoorn – Brock went to Central Arizona College before being drafted by the Houston Astros in the 6th Rond of the 2014 MLB Draft. He spent the 2016 season in the California League (High-A) pitching for the Lancaster JetHawks.

Dayton Dawe – Drafted in the 15th Round in 2012 out of high school, Dawe pitched in the New York Yankees system for 3 seasons.

Cal Quantrill – After high school Quantrill went on to pitch at Stanford University. This past year he was drafted no. 8 overall by the San Diego Padres and already appears on the MLB Top 100 Prospects list.

Logan Seifrit – Drafter in 2012 in the 33rd Round by the Seattle Mariners, Seifrit pitched for 3 seasons in the minors making it as high as low-A ball in the Northwest League before hanging up his spikes. He last pitched in the minors in 2014.

Myles Vincent – All I could find was a story from a Canadian newspaper saying Vincent had given up the chase to the big leagues after pitching for a few years for a team in western Canada.

Christian Botnick – He has been pitching at the University of British Columbia where it appears he will be again this year.

Ryan Kellogg – Easily one of the most impressive pitchers I saw in the tournament, Kellogg posted a 2.08 ERA in 17.1 innings. He was drafted in the 5th Round by the Chicago Cubs in 2015. Last season he made 24 appearances, 23 starts, for the South Bend Cubs in A-ball pitching well with a 3.03 ERA over 130 + innings.

Jacob Marks – The last I can see is he played college ball at the University of Maine through 2016.

Travis Seabrooke – Travis tossed 5.2 innings in the tournament picking up a save. Today he is pitching in the minor leagues for the Baltimore Orioles. Drafter in 2013, Seabrooke has pitched the past 2 seasons in the New York Penn League which is short season Single-A.

Position Players

Jesse Hodges – Hodges tore up the 2012 18U WBC hitting .484 with 4 doubles, 1 home run, and an OPS of 1.278. He has played in the Chicago Cubs system since 2013. He climbed all way to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A) but struggled. He has put up solid numbers the past two seasons with the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League.

Daniel Pinero – Pinero went on to play at the University of Virginia where he was drafted in 2016 by the Detroit Tigers in the 9th round. Played 7 games in rookie ball and 43 games in the New York-Penn League a short-season A league.

Jacob Robson – Robson went on to play at Mississippi State University before being drafted in the 8th round in 2016 by the Detroit Tigers. He played in the New York-Penn League with the Connecticut Tigers where he was a teammate of Daniel Pinero.

Mitchell Triolo – I have found it hard to find out where exactly he landed. A few stories say he went to this college or that one, but I do not see much else.

Kyle Hann – After spending a few years at Mississippi State, Hann transferred to a junior college, and then moved on to Oklahoma State although I do not see that he ever made it onto the field with the Cowboys.

Brett Siddall – Drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft by the Oakland A’s, Siddall had played his college ball at Canisius. In 2016 he played 135 games in the Midwest League for the Beloit Snappers hitting 9 home runs and driving in 60 while playing right field.

Owen Spiwak – Drafted out of Odessa College in 2015 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round. Spiwak spent last season between short-season A ball and rookie league playing in only 25 games.

Josh Naylor – With the 12th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft the Miami Marlins drafted Naylor and so far he has not disappointed. Last season between the California League (High-A) and the South Atlantic League Naylor blasted 12 home runs, 25 doubles, and stole 11 bases. He played in the 2016 MLB All Futures Game and will suit up for Team Canada once again in this years World Baseball Classic.

Chris Shaw – Shaw played his college ball at Oklahoma University before being drafted in the 15th round in 2015 by the Baltimore Orioles. The 2017 season will be his 3rd in the pros having played 23 games last year in the New York-Penn League.

Nathan Desouza – Drafted out of high school in 2012 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 26th round, Desouza played 3 seasons in the minors ending in 2014.

Gareth Morgan – Morgan was drafted in 2014 by the Seattle Mariners 74th overall. He spent most of the 2016 season with the Arizona Mariners in the Arizona League, a rookie league.

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International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 91-100

One of my favorite days of the year is when MLB releases its Top 100 Prospects list. I love to see which teams have the most on the list (Braves/Yankees with 7 each), and I love to see who is moving and of course the top 10.

However, one exercise that I love to do is look at the foreign players on the list. After all, most of what we cover here are foreign leagues. So I will leave the debate up to  you as to whether or not Andrew Benintendi should be no. 1 or not, and I will take a look at the foreign players on the list starting with 91-100. Each day over the next week or so we will look at another set of players from the MLB Top 100 Prospects list. In total there are 27 that come from international markets.

MLB Prospects 91-100:

No. 97 Cal Quantrill, RHP/San Diego Padres – Quantrill, out of Port Hope, Ontario, Canada) might be a name you already know. His father, Paul Quantrill, pitched in the big leagues for 14 seasons. But despite Paul’s solid career, Cal’s might overshadow dad’s one day. Cal was drafted this summer 8th overall out of Stanford University despite not pitching in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. He showed why the Padres drafted him so high late in the summer when he returned to the mound finishing the year in A-ball after a few starts in Rookie League and Low-A. While he might not project to be a no. 1 starter, he has the chance to have a long solid career with his solid three-pitch-mix. I got to see him in 2012 at the 18U World Baseball Championship in Seoul, and while he did not have the best tournament (1-1, 5.63) he did enough to impress upon me that he has a long future ahead of him.

No. 96 Jeimer Candelario, 3B,1B/Chicago Cubs – Candelario was born in New York but was raised in the Dominican Republic where his father ran a baseball training center. Signed in 2010, Candelario made his MLB debut this past July. However, he remains hopelessly blocked by 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant. A switch-hitter with some pop, and the ability to walk, he has the bat to make it in the big leagues but where will he play. He has had some time at first base as well, but is blocked there as well by Anthony Rizzo. He could possibly be moved to a corner outfield spot, or he might be trade bait later in the year should the Cubs need a piece to make a run at a second title. Jeimer moves up from no. 100 on the list in 2016.

No. 94 Richard Urena, SS/Toronto Blue Jays – Urena comes out of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He will turn 21 in just under a month. Signed in 2012, Urena reached AA at the age of 20. After fellow Blue Jays short stop prospect Franklin Barreto was traded away in the Josh Donaldson deal, Urena appears to be the heir to the shortstop thrown north of the border. Lack of focus at times causes Urena to commit a few too many errors. He does have the range and arm to stick to shortstop and has been a switch-hitter for just three years now. Despite falling from no. 74 on the list in 2016, Urena might be ready for his MLB debut in 2018.

No. 91 Delvin Perez, SS/St. Louis Cardinals – Delvin Perez comes in this year at no. 91 on the list. A newcomer on the list, Perez was drafted just last summer (1st Rd, no. 23) out of the International Baseball Academy in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. He played in just 43 games after signing, but already showed flashes of why he is in the top 100. With the Gulf Coast League Cardinals (Rookie), Perez hit .294 with 8 doubles, 4 triples, and 12 stolen bases. Despite his good offensive showing, his defense is where he will impact the game more right now. His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground defensively, and when  you add in his strong arm he will be a solid short stop where he projects to stay. However, he is already been the talk of controversy having tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs prior to the draft.

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Netherlands will Feature Stacked Infield for 2017 World Baseball Classic

The Netherlands will feature some of the best young talent in Major League Baseball when they suit up during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The Red Sox Xander Bogaerts, the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar, the Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop, the Yankees’ Didi Gregorius, and the elder statesman at just 27 the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons will all play for the Netherlands. All but Gregorius played with the team in 2013, but now they are established major league talent.

Simmons has ranked as one of the best defensive players in the game over the past four seasons. He has led the MLB in Defensive Runs Saved with 112 since his first full season in 2013.

Bogaerts had a break out season in 2015 when he hit .320 for the Red Sox. He then turned himself into an offensive force in 2016 hitting .294 and slugging 34 doubles and 21 home runs.

Gregorius had his best season at the plate in 2016, his second in New York taking over for Derek Jeter. In 2016 he clubbed 20 home runs, 32 doubles, and hit .276.

Schoop stayed healthy last year and had his first complete season playing all 162 games for the Orioles. He hit .267 with 25 home runs, 38 doubles, and drove in 82.

Profar played in 90 games for the Rangers. He played every infield position and left field over the course of the year. He batted .239 with 5 home runs and 3 triples.

In 2013 the Netherlands made it to the semifinals eventually losing to the eventual champion Dominican Republic. This year they will begin in Pool A in Seoul, South Korea. There they will battle the host country, Chinese Taipei, and Israel for a spot in Round 2.

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Three More Players Confirmed for Team USA

Three more players have been announced to pitch for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The Colorado Rockies Jake McGee has been confirmed to play alongside teammate Nolan Arenado.

The 30-year old lefty had 15 saves in 19 attempts a year ago for the Rockies. He wound up moving out of the closer’s spot after a few rough outings and stint on the disabled list.

Joining McGee on the Team USA pitching staff will be Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson. Last season the 31-year old hurler saved 37 games in 44 attempts. That was the third straight year he had 30+ saves in a season.

And finally Giancarlo Stanton has been confirmed to play for Team USA. This will be the second time Stanton will suit up for Team USA in the WBC. He was apart of the team in 2013 as well.

Posted in N. America, Tournaments, News, MLB0 Comments

Criollos de Caguas Win LBPRC Championship, Advance to Caribbean Series

The Criollos de Caguas have won the best-of-9 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC) Championship by taking Game 8 over the Cangrejeros de Santurce. Caguas needed extra innings to pull off the series clinching win on Wednesday night.

After a huge bottom of the 6th for Caguas when they scored 4 runs, Santurce made a come back to tie it at 5 by scoring a run in the 7th and a run in the 8th only to see their series end after Caguas scored a run in the bottom of the 12th.

With two outs, David Vidal (1-for-6) reached on a throwing error by right fielder Juan Silva allowing him to advance to second base. The next hitter came up big to send Caguas on to the Caribbean Series with a walk-off single. The hero of the night would be Henry Ramos (3-for-5).

Orlando Roman pitched well in the start for Caguas, but failed to complete 5 complete. He only allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings. Ricardo Gomez blew the save late allowing an inherited runner score going 3.2 scoreless innings of relief striking out 6. Joel Pineiro (W, 1-0) picked up the win tossing a scoreless inning in relief.

Caguas will advance on to Culliacan, Mexico to play for its 4th Caribbean Series title. Its last came in 1987. They will begin the series facing off with Mexico on Wednesday February 1.

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Aguilas de Zulia Win LVBP Championship, Advance to Caribbean Series

The Aguilas de Zulia took down the Cardenales de Lara in the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP Championship yesterday. The 5-2 victory sealed Zulia’s seventh title and gives them a spot in the 2017 Caribbean Series.

The Aguilas rode the right arm of Mitch Lively to the win. Lively tossed 7.0 innings allowing just one run on two hits. He struck out five to pick up his second win. Raul Rivero (L, 0-3) did not pitch terrible but took the loss giving up three runs over 7.0 innings.

The offense for Zulia was jump started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a 2-run home run by Jose Pirela (1-for-3). Endy Chavez (2-for-2) chipped in with a RBI and was the only Zulia hitter with more than one hit.

Jesus Montero (1-for-4) and Carlos Rivero (1-for-4) both hit solo home runs for the only runs that Lara would score. The Cardenales only managed 4 hits the entire game.

Zulia will travel to Culiacan, Mexico to try and pick up their 3rd Caribbean Series title. They will open up on Thursday February 2 against Puerto Rico.

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Chinese Taipei Announce Roster for 2017 World Baseball Classic

Chinese Taipei has released its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Most of the players will come from the Chinese Professional Baseball League or CPBL. There will be a few that come from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and only two from the minor leagues in the USA. The Lamigo Monkeys of the CPBL did not make any of their players available for the tournament unlike the other three teams in the league.

Chinese Taipei will play in Pool A in Seoul going up against the host South Korea, Israel, and the Netherlands. It will not be an easy road to Round 2 coming out of Seoul, but Chinese Taipei will have a lot of talent. They open up the WBC on Monday March 6th against Israel.

The guys over at CPBL English have a great post that shows every player’s stats from a year ago. You can find that by clicking here.

Chinese Taipei 2017 World Baseball Classic Roster:

Catchers
Name League Team
Kun-Sheng Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Da-Hong Cheng CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Infielders
Name League Team
Chih-Sheng Lin CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Chiang, Chih-Hsien CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Chi-Hung Hsu CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Yi-Chuan Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chih-Hsiang Lin CPBL Uni Lions
Yung-Chi Chen CPBL Uni Lions
Sheng-Wei Wang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Outfielders
Name League Team
Dai-Kang Yang NPB Yomiuri Giants
Cheng-Wei Chang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Che-Hsuan Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chin-Lung Hu CPBL Fubon Guardians
Kuo-Hui Kao CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chih-Hao Chang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Pitchers
Name League Team
Chen-Hua Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Ming-Chin Tsai CPBL Fubon Guardians
Fu-Te Ni CPBL Fubon Guardians
Sheng-Hsiung Huang CPBL Fubon Guardians
Wei-Lun Pan CPBL Uni Lions
Yun-Wen Chen CPBL Uni Lions
Ching-Ming Wang CPBL Uni Lions
Kuan-Yu Chen NPB Chiba Lotte Marines
Chun-Lin Kuo NPB Seibu Lions
Chia-Hao Sung NPB- Rakuten Golden Eagles
Hung-Wen Chen CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Shao-Ching Chiang A Lake County Captains
Kuo-Hua Lo A Cedar Rapids Kernels

Posted in Asia, Tournaments, News0 Comments

Cleveland to host 2019 MLB All-Star Game

Various news outlets are reporting that Cleveland’s Progressive Field will host the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It is being reported that the Indians will announce this on Friday.

Cleveland last hosted the Mid-Summer Classic back in 1997 just three years after it opened.

This will make the first American League park to host the game since Minneapolis did so in 2014 ending four straight years in the National League.

This summer Marlins Park will be the host when the two leagues face off on July 11th. Next year it moves to our nation’s capital at Nationals Park before returning to Cleveland in 2019.

This will be Cleveland’s 6th time to host the all-star game which trails only Chicago (7) and New York City (9). The game this summer will be the first one in Miami

Posted in N. America, News, MLB0 Comments

Groups for National Team Tournaments Announced for 2017 by CEB

The Technical Commission of the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) announced the groups for national team championships for 2017.

The European Championship B-Pool will determine the last two spots for the 2018 European Championship in Germany, while the U23 European Championship will be occurring for the first time this August.

European Championship B-Pool
July 24/25– 29/30, 2017

Group 1: Miejska Gorka/Poland
1) Russia
2) Belarus
3) Ukraine
4) Lithuania
5) Poland
6) Slovakia

Group 2: Belgrade/Serbia
1) Serbia
2) Austria
3) Switzerland
4) Bulgaria
5) Greece
6) Israel

European Championship U23
Brno/Czech Republic
August 7 – 13, 2017

Group A – Brno/CZE
1) Netherlands
2) Croatia
3) Russia
4) Belarus

Group B – Wels/AUT
1) Spain
2) Great Britain
3) Austria
4) Poland

Group C – Trnava/SVK
1) Germany
2) France
3) Slovakia
4) Georgia

Group D – Brno/CZE
1) Czech Republic
2) Belgium
3) Ukraine
4) Lithuania

European Championship Qualifier Juniors U18
July 10/11 – 15/16, 2017

Group 1: Zuerich/Switzerland
1) Belgium
2) Russia
3) Poland
4) Ireland
5) Switzerland
6) Austria

Group 2: Varazdin/Croatia
1) Ukraine
2) Croatia
3) Sweden
4) Belarus
5) Slovakia

European Championship Cadets U15
Wiener Neustadt/Austria
July 17 – 23, 2017

Group A
1) Czech Republic
2) Russia
3) Austria
4) Poland
5) Netherlands

Group B
1) France
2) Germany
3) Lithuania
4) Italy
5) Spain

European Championship Juveniles U12
Utrecht/The Netherlands
July 10 – 16, 2017

Group A
1) Germany
2) Austria
3) France
4) Netherlands
5) Belarus

Group B
1) Czech Republic
2) Russia
3) Poland
4) Ukraine
5) Italy

Posted in Europe, Tournaments, News0 Comments

New Tournament with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan

There is a new tournament in town. Nippon Professional Baseball announced a new three-way tournament between Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The national teams from each country will compete with one another this November 16-19 at the Tokyo Dome.

The teams will play a round-robin before the top two teams facing off with one another  in the final. It is being called the Asia Championship.

Players eligible for the tournament will be those under 24 and it is limited to players in their third year or less. Each team can also add three players that are over aged. The NPB is looking to help the young talent leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Currently the tournament is scheduled to be held this year and in 2021 in conjunction with the KBO and CBPL.

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Korea: Lee Dae-Ho returns to the Lotte Giants

SEOUL – Dae-ho Lee is returning to the Lotte Giants in South Korea. The former Seattle Mariners and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks slugger has signed a 4-year contract with the Giants of the KBO.

Last season in 104 games with Seattle, Dae-ho blasted 14 home runs over 292 at bats while hitting .253. The 34-year old returns to Busan where he began his career playing 11 seasons and winning the 2010 KBO MVP with the Giants before heading to Japan.

He is a career .309 hitter in the KBO with 225 home runs, including 44 in 2010. He is a 2-time Japan Series champion (2014, 2015) with the Hawks and won the Japan Series MVP in 2015.

According to the Korea Times, his deal with Lotte is worth 15 billion won, $12.9 million, which is the largest contract for a free agent in KBO history.

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Japan Announces Most of 2017 World Baseball Classic Roster

Japan has announced most of its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. According to Japan Times reporter Jason Coskrey, Japan has filled 27 of its 28 roster spots as they look to reclaim the title they lost four years ago.

Japan added eight players to the 19 they released in December. So far there is only one MLB player on the roster in the Houston Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki. However, even without the likes of Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, or Kenta Maeda that many in the USA will know, Samurai Japan will be loaded with talent starting with super-star Shohei Otani of the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Otani, the 22-year old pitcher/slugger is definitely one to watch. Last season he pitched in 21 games, starting 20, and went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA over 140.0 innings. He struck out 174 and only walked 45 tossing 4 complete games. He did all of this while slugging 22 home runs and hitting .322 over 323 at bats. He is the rare phenom that not only hits, but is also a lights out pitcher on the hill.

Rounding out the rest of the roster are:

Pitchers:

Hiroki Matsui Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Tomoyuki Kanno Yomiuri Giants
Akiyoshi Ryo Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Norimoto Nakayama Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Naoki Miyanishi Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Shohei Otani Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Shintaro Fujinami Hanshin Tigers
Hiroshi Masui Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Ishikawa Ayumu Chiba Lotte Marines
Toshiya Okada Chunichi Dragons
Kazuhisa Makita Saitama Seibu Lions
Sengaku Chika Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Hirano Hirano Orix Buffaloes

 Catchers:

Seiji Kobayashi Yomiuri Giants
Ryota Ono Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Kimihiro Shima Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

 Infielders:

Norihiro Matsuda Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants
Sho Nakada Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Tetsuto Yamada Tokyo Yakult Swallows

 Outfielders:

Seiichi Uchikawa Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Norichika Aoki Houston Astros
Ryosuke Hirata Chunichi Dragons
Yoshi Tsuyoshi Yokohama DeNA Baystars
Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Shogo Akiyama Saitama Seibu Lions

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

China: Ray Chang to Retire after WBC; CBL Releases 2017 Schedule

Checking in on news out of China, Jon Paul Morosi reported that Ray Chang is calling it a career but not before one last shot at some World Baseball Classic success.

Chang made it to AAA with several different clubs, but was never able to make that final leap to the big leagues. He came close but lost out on the chance after breaking his leg in a AAA game. After 12 years bouncing around the minor leagues, he is calling it a career.

However, he will lead the China National Team in the World Baseball Classic one final time. Chang led them to a victory over Taiwan in 2009 and again over Brazil in 2013. Now he will look to lead the team against the likes of Cuba, Australia, and the no. 1 world ranked Japan.

After leading China in the WBC, Chang will retire and work as a manager of the MLB Development Center in Nanjing, China.

William Chu over at Chinese Baseball reports that the CBL (Chinese Baseball League) has released its schedule for the 2017 season which will run from July to December.

William also gives us a short documentary that was put out where players and coaches talk about their love for the game. It is called Dream Catcher and is just shy of 20 minutes. Definitely worth a watch, and as William says, “Promote and share it!”

You can find it on the link above at Chinese Baseball or here.

You can follow William at his blog or here on Twitter @ChineseBangqiu for a lot of great info on the CBL.

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

The Colorful Montreal Expos and Some Great Music

I just finished watching a short MLB Network show on The Colorful Expos which detailed, in an hour anyway, the history of the franchise. What a ride that hour was.

I was too young for Blue Monday, but seeing the heartbreak on the fans and players faces was hard to see knowing now that they would never come that close again.

One thing I do remember well was 1994. I grew up an Atlanta Braves fan, so I knew all too well how great, not good but great, that 1994 Montreal Expos team was. It was loaded, but we never got the chance to see that team make a run at a World Series title.

Looking back that team was stacked. They had power – 6 players with more than 10 home runs. They had speed – 7 players with more than 10 stolen bases. They had Larry Walker, Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, Marquis Grissom, Rondell White, Ken Hill, Pedro Martinez, John Wetteland, and Mel Rojas. Up and down the lineup and from starters to bullpen they were good.

But by 1995, they were done. They were back to 66-78 and 5th place in the NL East. Gone were Walker, Grissom, Hill, and Wetteland. The magic was gone from the great ’94 run never to be seen in Montreal again unfortunately.

But the thing that stood out most from the show was the end when they showed hip-hop artist Annakin Slayd who has recorded several songs about the Expos over the years. That is what I want to share today.

The first one is my favorite. This is about the Expos history and the song they played in the show tonight. Enjoy.

But that is not all he has done. He also has a really cool song about “The Kid” Gary Carter who was a fan favorite and one of the greatest catchers of all time. So here you go with Kid by Annakin Slayd.

Lastly Annakin Slayd wrote a song about the 1994 season called ’94 Fall.

I’d love to hear which of these songs is your favorite. Personally, I love the first one – Remember. Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let us know.

Posted in N. America, MLB0 Comments

Criollos de Caguas 1 Win from the LBPRC Championship

The Criollos de Caguas have taken a 4-3 lead in the best-of-nine series with the Cangrejeros de Santurce in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente or LBPRC.

With the Game 7 win, Caguas sits one win away from advancing to the Caribbean Series.

Caguas scored a pair of runs in the top of the first and second innings, and that is all it would need. John Brownell, who has had several good seasons lately with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, started and pitched well for Caguas. He only lasted 3 innings but allowed just one run. Will Oliver (W, 2-1) picked up the win tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief allowing just 2 hits.

Former Washington Nationals outfielder Jorge Padilla went 3-for-4 from the lead off spot for Caguas. Hitting second and also going 3-for-4 was Angels farmhand Rey Navarro. The top two hitters in the Caguas lineup had more than half the hits for the team on the night.

Santurce got its lone run in the second inning. Juan Silva (2-for-4) led off the bottom half of the inning with a triple. He then scored on a Christian Vazquez sacrifice fly. Danny Ortiz would go for 3-for-4 but Santurce would not score again.

Caguas will try to finish off the series on Wednesday night.

LBPRC Championship Scores:

Game 1: Caguas 1, Santurce 0
Game 2: Santurce 6, Caguas 3
Game 3: Caguas 4, Santurce 2
Game 4: Santurce 4, Caguas 1
Game 5: Caguas 1, Santurce 3
Game 6: Santurce 1, Caguas 12
Game 7: Caguas 4, Santurce 1
Game 8: 1/25 7:15 PM AST
Game 9: 1/26 7:15 PM AST

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

Italian Baseball League Announces Format for 2017 Season

This past weekend in Bologna the Italian Baseball League met to finalize some details for the 2017 season.

The league will be split into two groups with each group playing a double round robin within the division. Two games will be played each with between Thursday and Sunday. After the first phase is over, each team will play an interleague single round robin with the teams in the other division. Finally, a best-of-5 semi-finals and finals with finish the season.

The IBL will take a break for the European Champions Cup with three IBL teams participating.

The groups for the 2017 IBL are:

Group A: Padule, Parma Clima, Nettuno Baseball City, and UnipolSai Bologna

Group B: T&A San Marino, Rimini, Tommasin Padova, Novara

New Logo

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

Aguilas de Zulia 1 Game Away from LVBP Championship

The Aguilas de Zulia moved game closer to taking home the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP Championship. Zulia took Game 3 by a score of 8-7 to move within a game of moving onto the Caribbean Series. The Cardenales de Lara are now down to must win games to stay alive.

It was an exciting finish going into extra innings tied at 5. Lara pulled ahead in the top of the 8th 5-4 only to see Zulia tie the game in the bottom half of the inning on a Mario Lisson solo home run.

Lara would go onto score 2 runs in the top of the 10th only to see Zulia come back and score 3 for the walk off win.

Jesus Montero, who last played in the big leagues in 2015, led Lara offensively going 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs batted in. Rangel Ravelo (2-for-4) and Juniel Querecuto (2-for-4) both chipped in with a pair of hits for Lara.

Ronny Cedeno (2-for-3) hit a solo home run in the 2nd inning finishing the game with 3 RBI and a stolen base. Jose Pirela (2-for-5), Alex Romero (2-for-4), and Jesus Flores (2-for-4) led Zulia at the plate. But the biggest hit of the night came from Ali Castillo on a line drive to center to score Jordany Valdespin with the walk off winner.

Zulia will look to finish off the series Tuesday night to try and advance to the Caribbean Series.

Posted in Latin America0 Comments

Mexicali Ties LMP Championship Series

The Aguilas de Mexicali evened up the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) Championship on Sunday with a 7-2 win over the Caneros de los Mochis. The win evened the series at one game apiece.

Hector Velazquez (W, 2-1) had a strong outing for Mexicali tossing 7.1 shutout innings. He gave up just 4hits, did not walk anyone, and struck out 10 en route to the win. Javier Solano (S, 1) picked up the save tossing the final 2 outs of the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Mexicalli was led by Dodgers farmhand C.J. Retherford (2-for-4) who had the big blow with his 5th home run in the 3rd inning, a 2-run shot. Longtime Sultanes de Monterrey DH/OF Luis Juarez had a nice night as well going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

The only runs of the night for Los Mochis came in the bottom of the 8th inning on a Isaac Rodriguez Salazar 2-run homer.

Going tonight in Game 3 of the series will be Roy Merritt for Los Mochis up against former Major League pitcher Kameron Loe for Mexicali. Loe last pitched in the big leagues in 2013 with Atlanta.

LMP Championship:
Mexicali 1, Los Mochis 3
Mexicali 7, Los Mochis 2
Game 3: 1/24
Game 4: 1/25
Game 5: 1/26
Game 6: 1/28
Game 7: 1/29

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

Criollos de Caguas tie up the LBPRC Championship Series

The series it tied in the championship of the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente or LBPRC. Last night the Criollos de Caguas downed the Cangrejeros de Santurce 12-1 to tie the series up at 3 games apiece.

Caguas pounded Santurce pitching for 17 hits en route to the blowout win. Seven hitters had two hits or more for the Criollos including Ruben Gotay (2-for-4), Rusney Castillo (2-for-5), David Vidal (3-for-4), Henry Ramos (2-for-4), Jack Lopez (2-for-4), and Jonathan Morales (2-for-4). Castillo had the big blow with a 2-run home run in the 6-run 8th inning.

Caguas scored in bunches with 2 runs in the 2nd, 4 runs in the 5th, and then 6 runs in the 8th inning. Santurce got its lone run in the top of the 9th.

Andrew Barbosa (W, 1-0) pitched well over 5 innings to pick up the win. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out three. Darin Downs (L, 0-1) gave up only 2 runs over 4 innings but took the loss for Santurce.

The best-of-9 series is down to a best 2-of-3 now that the series is tied.

LBPRC Championship Scores:

Game 1: Caguas 1, Santurce 0
Game 2: Santurce 6, Caguas 3
Game 3: Caguas 4, Santurce 2
Game 4: Santurce 4, Caguas 1
Game 5: Caguas 1, Santurce 3
Game 6: Santurce 1, Caguas 12
Game 7: 1/22 4:15 PM AST
Game 8: 1/25 7:15 PM AST
Game 9: 1/26 7:15 PM AST

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments0 Comments

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Polls

Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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