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WBSC Europe Announces New Super 6 Baseball Tournament

Recently the WBSC Europe announces new Super 6 Baseball Tournament for 2018. The new tournament will feature the top 6 teams in both baseball and softball for an event in Hoofddorp, Netherlands.

The event will take place from September 18-23. The six teams that will comprise the baseball tournament will be The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, and Belgium. These six nations placed in the top 6 of the 2016 European Baseball Championship.

The event will showcase the best Europe has to offer in baseball.

It is not clear if this will be an event that is played after every European Championship. The next Euro Championship is in 2019, a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

WBSC Europe Announces New Super 6 Baseball Tournament

Stay tuned here for more developments on the Super 6.

Posted in Europe, Tournaments, News0 Comments

Josh Collmenter Looking to Pitch Overseas in 2018

Free agent pitcher Josh Collmenter is looking to pitch overseas in 2018. As first reported by our friends over at BaseballJobsOverseas.com, the 7-year MLB veteran wants to impact the game somewhere.

This is something that I am very happy to see. It has happened in the past, but not very often and with not much fanfare. The first that I can remember, and I had not idea it happened at the time, was Lenny Randle back in the 1980s. Last year former Royals player Mark Teahen played a summer in Italy. He even did a great interview with Gabriel Fidler over at ExtraInnings.co.uk. Sadly, Teahen has confirmed he will not return for 2018 to play.

There are so many ways in which a former MLB player can impact the game in Europe. Josh Collmenter may not be the biggest named star, but he has the ability to really impact the game. I will go ahead and admit I am a huge fan because he played for my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves.

The right-handed pitcher has pitched for 7 season in the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Braves. He had a very solid rookie campaign in 2011 going 10-10 with an ERA of just 3.38 for the NL West winning Diamondbacks. He has an overall record of 38-35 over his career.

The impact goes beyond being a name brand. Although just being a MLB player would definitely bring fans out to the stadiums. But the big impact comes from teaching the young players and coaches in Europe. He could impact a young pitcher in a way that many cannot. Even if Collmenter just pitched a few times, being around him and talking to him every day is where the true impact will come from. Also allowing young players, pitchers or not, to see how he trains can impact a team as well. That impact will be felt throughout the league in which he chooses to play.

It will be interesting to see where he lands. But no matter where it winds up being, he will make an impact that will be felt for years. I’m very happy to see that this is what he is choosing to do.

Be sure to head over and read the article from David Burns over at BaseballJobsOverseas.com. David does a fantastic job and he runs THE site for players looking to play overseas. The article links to some very funny videos that Collmenter stars in, so if nothing else go watch those.

Josh Collmenter Looking to Pitch Overseas in 2018

Stay tuned for more information as this story progresses. We will continue to update the story here.

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

USA Baseball: 2018 Collegiate National Team Staff Announced

Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball announced the 2018 Collegiate National Team coaching staff on Tuesday. LSU’s Paul Mainieri was named the manager of the Collegiate team last October and he will be joined by assistant coaches Cliff Godwin (ECU), Jim Hendry (New York Yankees), Brian O’Connor (Virginia) and Jorge Perez (St. Thomas) in 2018.

All four assistant coaches will make their USA Baseball National Team coaching debuts with this year’s team, while 2018 will be Mainieri’s second coaching appearance for Team USA after serving as a Collegiate National Team assistant coach in 2015.

“We could not be more excited about the staff that USA Baseball’s General Manager of National Teams, Eric Campbell, and Paul Mainieri have selected to lead this year’s Collegiate National Team,” USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. “Each one of these coaches brings a wealth of baseball experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to our athletes.”

Mainieri begins his 12th season at the helm of LSU and has posted a 512-202-3 record (.716) since arriving in Baton Rouge in 2007. He was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2015, and has led the Tigers to 29 team championships, including an NCAA title, five Super Regional championships, seven NCAA Regional championships, six SEC Tournament titles, four SEC championships and six SEC Western Division crowns.

After serving as a coach at the 2017 USA Baseball 14U National Team Development Program, Cliff Godwin will make his national team coaching debut as the 2018 Collegiate National Team’s hitting coach and third base coach. Godwin is entering his fourth year at the helm of East Carolina University, where he has guided the Pirates to two NCAA Regionals and one Super Regional berth (2016), and a 110-72-1 record. Godwin was named the 2015 AAC Coach of the Year after becoming the first coach in ECU history to win 40 games in his first season and guiding his team to a conference tournament title and an NCAA Regional appearance. In addition to his time at ECU, Godwin has served at six other Division I institutions, including as an assistant coach at Ole Miss, LSU, Notre Dame and UNC Wilmington, as well as the associate head coach at Central Florida and the Director of Baseball Operations at Vanderbilt.

New York Yankees special assignment scout Jim Hendry joins the staff as the 2018 bench coach. Prior to his time with the Yankees, Hendry served as the Chicago Cubs General Manager from 2002-2012. In addition to his time as GM, he worked in numerous front office positions during his time with the Cubs, including serving as farm director, scouting director and assistant GM. Hendry has also coached at the high school, college and minor league levels. He was the head coach at Creighton University from 1984-1991 and was named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America after leading his team to the College World Series for the first, and only, time in school history.

O’Connor, who is entering his 15th season as the head coach at the University of Virginia, will serve as the 2018 Collegiate National Team’s pitching coach. A five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year, he has led the Cavaliers to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances, including the program’s first National Championship in 2015. As a member of Hendry’s Creighton team that made it to the College World Series in 1991, O’Connor is one of just a handful of coaches that have both played and coached in the CWS. His 639-239-2 record at UVA gives him the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball (72.7 percent) and he was the second fastest ACC coach to 500 career wins.

St. Thomas University Head Coach, Jorge Perez, joins the 2018 staff as an assistant coach and first base coach. Now entering his tenth season with the Bobcats, Perez boasts a 313-213 record, and six appearances in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, including a runner-up finish at the NAIA World Series in 2015 – the best finish in school history. Perez also served as the head coach at Gulliver Preparatory School and South Dade Senior High School, accumulating an 80-54 record, prior to his time at St. Thomas.

Trent Forshag, a member of the LSU equipment staff, will serve as the bullpen coach, Carter Hicks (North Carolina) will be the team’s operations coordinator and Bill Burniston will return as the team’s performance coach in 2018, marking his sixth consecutive year working with the Collegiate National Team program. Burniston was named the 2017 USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving in the same role with last year’s Collegiate National Team. In addition, Hank Hager (Oregon State) will serve as the team’s Press Officer for the second time (2011) and Mike Bean (Notre Dame), who worked with Mainieri during the coach’s tenure at Notre Dame, has been named the team’s certified athletic trainer.

The 2018 Collegiate National Team will train at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and compete against teams in the Coastal Plain League from June 26-27, before hosting the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series from June 28-July 2. All seven of these games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com and Facebook Live.

The team will then host the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9. University of Pittsburgh Head Coach, Joe Jordano, will serve as the official technical commissioner for the series. Jordano is entering his 21st season at the helm for the Panthers and currently ranks among the top-25 active winnings Division I coaches. Finally, Team USA will travel to Cuba for the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 13-18.

For more information on the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, follow along on Twitter @USABaseball and @USABaseballCNT.

2018 Collegiate National Team Staff Announced

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Ballplayer: Pelotero DVD Giveaway

We are starting a raffle for a copy of Ballplayer: Pelotero giveaway.

This film was released in 2012 and follows two players through the process of going from the Dominican Republic to the USA to play baseball. One of the two players followed is Minnesota Twins star slugger Miguel Sano. The other is Jean Carlos Batista.

The film is one of the best I have seen on the process of scouting, signing, and getting that player to the USA.

I will ship the DVD around the world. Shipping time depends on where the winner lives. I will contact the winner within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.

How to Enter:

Follow us on Twitter and RT our post below:

Winner will be notified via Twitter.

For our review of the film, click here.

Posted in News0 Comments

2018 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List Announced

USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball announced its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Friday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2018 season. The 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 28 in Los Angeles.

The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.

Headlining the 2018 watch list is 2016 Golden Spikes Award finalist Seth Beer (Clemson), who has been named to the preseason watch list for the second year in a row, as well as Steven Gingery (Texas Tech) and Nick Madrigal (Oregon State), who were semifinalists for the award in 2017.

In addition to those three athletes, the watch list features seven athletes whom the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board has recognized in the past. Joining Beer on the preseason watch list for the second consecutive year is Luken Baker (TCU), Colton Eastman (Cal State Fullerton), Madrigal and Jake Mangum (Mississippi State). Joey Bart (Georgia Tech), Gingery, Tyler Holton (Florida State), Nolan Kingham (Texas), Madrigal and Casey Mize (Auburn) were all named to the midseason watch list in 2017.

“We are excited to kick off the forty-first year of the Golden Spikes Award with the announcement of 55 preseason watch list nominees,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “We are anxiously awaiting the start of baseball season and we are excited to follow these players closely during the course of the season before ultimately recognizing one exemplary athlete to join the remarkable group of winners we have had in our history.”

Chris Acosta-Tapia (Oklahoma Wesleyan) and Tyler Pittmon (Antelope Valley) represent the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) on the list while Ethan Hankins (Forsyth Central), Matthew Liberatore (Mountain Ridge) and Brice Turang (Santiago) are high school athletes recognized by the advisory board on the watch list. These five athletes will look to join Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010) who claimed their respective Golden Spikes Awards as non-NCAA Division I athletes.

Fifteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the 2018 preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with 15 representatives, while the Atlantic Coast Conference boasts nine selections, and the Big 12 and Pac-12 Conferences have six each.

The University of Florida leads all schools represented on the preseason watch list with four selections. Florida State follows with three athletes on the watch list and California, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Stanford, TCU, Vanderbilt and Wichita State all have a pair of athletes identified on the watch list.

Starting on March 26 and ending April 1, fans will be able to nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the reveal of the midseason watch list on April 10. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 40 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.

Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite players at GoldenSpikesAward.com again in 2018, starting on May 21 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. On June 6, USA Baseball will announce the finalists and voting will begin that day and last until June 22.

The winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 28, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.

USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary USC and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.

Last year, Louisville’s Brendan McKay took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

The 2018 Golden Spikes Award timeline:

  • Monday, March 26: Golden Spikes Award fan nominations begin
  • Sunday, April 1: Golden Spikes Award fan nominations end
  • Tuesday, April 10: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list announced
  • Monday, May 21: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
  • Sunday, June 3: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • Wednesday, June 6: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
  • Friday, June 22: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • Thursday, June 28: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

A complete list of the 55-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Chris Acosta-Tapia, OF, Sr., Oklahoma Wesleyan, Kansas Collegiate
Johnny Aiello, 3B, Jr., Wake Forest, ACC
D.J. Artis, OF, Jr., Liberty, Big South
Luken Baker, 1B/DH, Jr., TCU, Big 12
Joey Bart, C, Jr., Georgia Tech, ACC
Seth Beer, 1B/OF, Jr., Clemson, ACC
Alec Bohm, 3B, Jr., Wichita State, American Athletic
Kris Bubic, LHP, Jr., Stanford, Pac-12
Michael Byrne, RHP, Jr., Florida, SEC
Tim Cate, LHP, Jr., UCONN, American Athletic
Griffin Conine, OF, Jr., Duke, ACC
Trey Cumbie, LHP, Jr., Houston, American Athletic
Gianluca Dalatri, RHP, So., North Carolina, ACC
Tanner Dodson, UT, Jr., California, Pac-12
Colton Eastman, RHP, Jr., Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Jeremy Eierman, SS, Jr., Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Tyler Frank, SS, Jr., Florida Atlantic, Conference USA
Logan Gilbert, RHP, Jr., Stetson, Atlantic Sun
Steven Gingery, LHP, Jr., Texas Tech, Big 12
Ethan Hankins, RHP, Sr., Forsyth Central High School
Zack Hess, RHP, So., LSU, SEC
Sean Hjelle, RHP, Jr., Kentucky, SEC
Nico Hoerner, SS, Jr., Stanford, Pac-12
Tyler Holton, LHP/DH, Jr., Florida State, ACC
Niko Hulsizer, OF, Jr., Morehead State, Ohio Valley
Jonathan India, 3B, Jr., Florida, SEC
Julian Infante, 1B/DH, Jr., Vanderbilt, SEC
Jared Janczak, RHP, Jr., TCU, Big 12
Greyson Jenista, 1B/OF, Jr., Wichita State, American Athletic
Nolan Kingham, RHP, Jr., Texas, Big 12
Jackson Kowar, RHP, Jr., Florida, SEC
Shea Langeliers, C, So., Baylor, Big 12
Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Sr., Mountain Ridge High School
Nick Madrigal, 2B, Jr., Oregon State, Pac-12
Jake Mangum, OF, Jr., Mississippi State, SEC
Jake McCarthy, OF, Jr., Virginia, ACC
Shane McClanahan, LHP, Jr, South Florida, American Athletic
Drew Mendoza, 3B, So., Florida State, ACC
Casey Mize, RHP, Jr., Auburn, SEC
Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Jr., Mississippi State, SEC
Tyler Pittmon, IF, Sr., Antelope Valley, California Pacific
Tristan Pompey, OF, Jr., Kentucky, SEC
Patrick Raby, RHP, Jr., Vanderbilt, SEC
Cal Raleigh, C, Jr., Florida State, ACC
Alfonso Rivas, 1B, Jr., Arizona, Pac-12
Ryan Rolison, LHP, So., Ole Miss, SEC
Braden Shewmake, 2B, So., Texas A&M, SEC
Brady Singer, RHP, Jr., Florida, SEC
Nick Sprengel, LHP, Jr., San Diego, West Coast
Travis Swaggerty, OF, Jr., South Alabama, Sun Belt
Brice Turang, SS, Sr., Santiago High School
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, So., California, Pac-12
Steele Walker, OF, JR, Oklahoma, Big 12
Matt Wallner, UT, So., Southern Miss, Conference USA
Zach Watson, OF, So., LSU, SEC

Posted in N. America, News, College0 Comments

CPBL Might Add Farm Team from ABL in 2019

The CPBL has been a 4 team league for years, but according to a report from CPBL Stats the ABL will submit a proposal to have a farm team in 2019 with the possibility of having a team play in the CPBL in 2020.

This could be a first step in expanding the CPBL which would be great for the game allowing  more players to gain exposure. But there are concerns that I see, especially with the distance involved.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the time frame for the ABL to submit its proposal is May 2018.

Thanks to CPBL Stats for sharing the story. Head over to their site to view the original story at CPBL Stats. You can also follow the site on Twiter, which I highly recommend, @GoCPBL.

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

Brisbane Ties 2018 ABL Championship Series at One

The 2018 ABL Championship Series is down to a winner-take-all Game 3 after Brisbane rebounded in Game 2 to tie the series. The final game will take place tonight in Brisbane as the Bandits look to three-peat as champions.

ABL Finals Game 1

Canberra, playing at home, got off to a great start in the Championship Series as the Cavalry were led by starting pitcher Brian Grening who went 6.2 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Grening, who had reached as high as AAA with the Cleveland Indians, has been a solid starter for Canberra for many years. Tyler Herr picked up the save after going 1-for-2 in save opportunities in the regular season. Ryan Bollinger picked up the loss giving up 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.

David Kandilas (@DavidKandilas) hit his first home run of the postseason leading Brisbane to the win. Kandilas had 12 in the regular season. Jay Baum went 3-for-4 with a double, and Robbie Perkins also homered for Canberra in the win.

ABL Finals Game 2

Brisbane rebounded at home in a big way on Saturday night with a 12-2 win to even the series at one with Canberra. Tim Atherton (@TimAtherton89) dominated the Cavalry bats tossing 7.0 innings allowing just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 11.

The big story has to be the bats for the Bandits woke up in a big way. Chih-Sheng Lin led the way going 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs. He homered in the first inning following a 2-run shot from Donald Lutz (@braunerhulk) giving the Bandits back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. He would homer again in the 7th inning with a runner on giving the Bandits a 12-1 lead at the time. Andrew Campbell had a big game as well for Brisbane going 3-for-5 with a double, a pair of home runs, and 4 RBI.

Lake Bachar (@lakebachar13) took the loss for Canberra lasting just 3.2 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits while walking 3. He wound up giving up 5 home runs.

Game 3 will take place 4 PM AEST time or 1 AM Eastern. You can view the game online at ABLTV.com

ABL Finals:

Game 1 Friday February 9th

Brisbane 1, Canberra 5

Game 2 Saturday February 10th

Canberra 2, Brisbane 12

Game 3 Sunday February 11th

Canberra at Brisbane

2018 ABL Championship SeriesFor more on the ABL, click here.

Posted in Oceania, News0 Comments

50 Baseball Things to do by Age 50

Years ago when I was living in South Korea I came up with a list of 40 things I want to do by age 40. Well now that I am past age 40, I got to thinking tonight of a baseball version of 50 by 50. So here are 50 things/places I want to go before I turn 50.

I have broken them down into different groups in order to put better meaning to it. For instance, I grouped all of the college teams I want to see together. However, for the MLB I simply want to see 10 new stadiums and I chose the ones that I think are most likely to be the next 10.

By listing a team I want to see, I mean I want to go to their home stadium to see them. These are in no particular order.

So here it goes:

College Teams I want to see:

  1. Texas Tech
  2. Rice
  3. Houston
  4. Texas State
  5. Dallas Baptist
  6. Sam Houston
  7. UTSA
  8. Baylor
  9. TCU
  10. Temple College – an alma mater of mine (juco)

Major League Stadiums:

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Cincinnati Reds
  7. Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Minnesota Twins
  9. Baltimore Orioles
  10. Philadelphia Phillies

Foreign countries I want to watch a game in:

  1. Germany
  2. Poland
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Austria
  5. Italy
  6. Belgium
  7. Netherlands
  8. France
  9. Switzerland
  10. Puerto Rico – ok this one is a more of a territory

Random tournaments, museums, or special games:

  1. AA All-Star Game
  2. AAA All-Star Game
  3. A All-Star Game
  4. Prague Baseball Week
  5. Haarlem Honkbal Week
  6. World Port Tournament
  7. Minnesota Townball game
  8. WBC Game
  9. Spring Training
  10. Field of Dreams
  11. Negro Leagues Hall of Fame
  12. Texas State High School Championships
  13. European Championship Qualifier/B-Pool
  14. European Champions Cup
  15. Federations Cup

Minor League Teams:

  1. Corpus Christi Hooks
  2. Midland Rockhounds
  3. El Paso Chihuahuas
  4. Amarillo – moving to town in 2019
  5. Oklahoma City Dodgers

So there is my list of 50 things I want to do by age 50. I think I can clear at least 9 of them this year. It may be a stretch to get to all of them in the next almost a decade. It is doable however. Especially since I have most of the summer off.

What are some places you’d like to see that deal with baseball?

Follow more of our posts on travel at #baseballjourneyman

50 Baseball Things to do by Age 50

Posted in News0 Comments

Baseball and History Trip to Europe

After years of hoping, changing plans, new jobs, new living locations, and working my way through a graduate program (still working on this unfortunately) I am finally ready to make the plunge and head to Europe. Last June I found an unbelievable flight to Berlin, so I snatched it up quickly. My problem was it was just a one-way ticket. I figured if things didn’t work out, I wasn’t out much money.

Then it happened. I said screw it I’m going.

I found another one-way ticket back from Munich using some points that I could transfer to an airline. I got a pretty sweet deal on a business class flight home. So now I’m ready.

I am going for 5 weeks, and when I tell people that here they ask how can I afford it. Well for one, I will do it on the cheap. I have hotel points saved up that will cover many knights while I am on the road. The rest will be spent in hostels around different countries. I am by no means a rich man, but if you plan it is doable.

My goal is to see as much baseball as possible while I am there, but as many historical places as well. If you don’t know, by day I am a high school history teacher. I have so many things I want to do and see, and I know I will not be able to see and do it all.

I am still patiently waiting for baseball schedules to be finalized, so I can really start planning. My goal is to hit four different countries including Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and Austria. There are so many great baseball teams in those countries and I hope to see a few of them.

I’d love to hear some suggestions on teams/stadiums to see. I am even looking at some of the lower leagues (2nd tier in these countries) to find additional games in case I am in a city where there isn’t a 1st tier team. Many people have already reached out, and for that I am grateful. I hope to be able to put a few faces to names/Twitter handles during the trip. So if you are around and want to catch a game or grab a beer/coffee, let me know here, via email, or on Twitter. I will also be looking to interview some players, coaches, and fans along the way.

I am very excited about the trip. I’ve read about, watch games online, and talked to so many people about baseball in Europe and so being able to be there and see some games is very exciting. I am hoping to make this a yearly or at least biennial event to see more and more countries and teams along the way.

Keep up with us here and on Twitter through #BaseballJourneyman

Baseball and History Trip to Europe

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

Annual Meeting for Rogers Hornsby Chapter of SABR

Yesterday I had the opportunity to head to San Marcos, Texas and participate in the annual meeting of the Rogers Hornsby chapter of SABR. Held for just over a decade at Texas State University (still strange to type that and not Southwest Texas) members come from all around to meet and talk baseball. Since moving to the area I have gotten a chance to attend just one of their monthly meetings which have gone on for something like 130 straight months.

The annual meeting was quite impressive with many different speakers and presentations. But most of all it was a time to just get together with other like minded folks and talk baseball. I missed the 2017 edition of the event and now I’m kicking myself for that because of how much fun I had yesterday.

We heard presentations from Branch Rickey III (current president of the Pacific Coast League), Mike Capps (voice of the Round Rock Express), and others. Some of the presentations included a recap of a baseball trip to Cuba. I absolutely loved this because this is my dream trip. We also heard from Anne Keene who is about to publish a book that I am about to pre-order simply because it is a story I can’t wait to read.

Mrs. Keene presented the basics of the book to us. The book, which is called The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team Who Helped Win World War II, is the story about the Navy baseball team at Chapel Hill, NC. There during 1943 her father was the bat boy for a baseball team that included Ted Williams, Johnny Sain, and Johnny Pesky. It is a behind the scenes look at the team that summer as they trained to become pilots in the Navy.

Now a few of you reading this might be aware that I am working on my master’s degree in US History. My thesis, which is all I have left for my degree, is on how baseball impacted the war effort during World War II. It is also the main reason I have not written much at all the past year and a half or so. After work a lot of my free time has gone to reading, research, and writing trying to slowly finish my thesis. So this book is right up my alley and I can’t wait to read it.

Rogers Hornsby chapter SABRAlso at the meeting was a book exchange, memorabilia presentations, and even a little quiz which was fun. The group voted on who should get into the Hall of Fame, of which the only one receiving enough votes from us was Chipper Jones. I personally voted for the following: Chipper Jones, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Jim Thome, Mike Mussina, Fred McGriff, and Andruw Jones (yes I am a huge Braves fan).

Overall it was a fun day. I cannot recommend SABR enough. I have met so many nice people over the years in the different chapters I’ve been apart of from Nashville, to Dallas, to now Central Texas. I’ve also had the pleasure of hearing people like Rangers manager Jeff Bannister and former major leaguer Eddie Robinson speak. I also got to meet Dwight Gooden once at a SABR meeting (disclaimer he was not at the meeting but was at a separate function in the hotel but was kind enough to say hello and take a picture with us). So if you are interested head over to SABR.org and check out what is going on in your area.

Thanks to everyone that put on the event yesterday in San Marcos. I can’t wait for next year and hope to make a few of the monthly meetings a long the way this year as well. If you are interested in learning more about the Rogers Horsnby chapter, head on over to SABRHornsby.org

SABR articles from us here at BaseballdeWorld

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Diamondbacks Draft Pick Pays Off Parents Mortgage for Christmas

The holiday season is always full of good stories as people get into the holiday spirit and help one another. Yesterday we got to see this in the baseball world when one the top draft picks in the 2017 MLB Draft gave his parents a wonderful Christmas gift.

Drafted seventh overall last June by the Diamondbacks, Pavin Smith signed a contract with a $5 million signing bonus. The first baseman out of the University of Virginia surprised his parents with a wonderful holiday surprise. One that left his mother in tears.

Smith used part of that signing bonus to show his appreciation to his parents for raising him in “a great home filled with love” by paying off their mortgage. And he caught it on camera.

He even says on Twitter that this “doesn’t make up for any of it”.

What a wonderful thing to do for his parents and only goes to show the man that they have raised.

Draft Pick Pays Off Parents Mortgage for Christmas

Happy Holidays!

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Ticket Stubs: What do you do with them?

I’ve been saving ticket stubs for a long time, even though I’ve lost a lot through the years in various moves. But I haven’t done anything with them yet. Now it is time. So, I have been hunting for different things to do with them and I’ve come up with a few options.

I absolutely love this idea that I found on Pinterest. I am looking at taking my ticket stub from Adrian Beltre’s 3,000th hit and making one of these out of it. I was worried at first it wouldn’t be very colorful, but the ticket has some good color and would make a good pillow I think.

One of the main options is always a collage, and with the different types of ticket stubs I have I feel this is an option that I will do. There are so many ways to do it, but I will probably make it look something like this:

I like the idea of doing a 10×30 frame that is matted. The reason I want to do a 10×30 is I have two panoramic photos of Wrigley Field that size. Having all three of them framed in the same size I think will look good on my wall.

But perhaps the one thing I am most excited about, is this:

While I am not sure I will be able to do the entire framing part because I’m doing a longer word than music, I really like the idea. I have already tried copying and printing out tickets to cut up, and they look really good. I am going to work on a few of these things this week and see how it goes. At least if I mess up with the art project, I am only messing up copies of the tickets and not the originals.

There are other things I have seen like door mats and coffee mugs, but what are some things that you have done if any? I’d love to hear what you think about these projects and any different ways you have showed off your ticket stubs. Feel free to comment or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.

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2017 MLB Futures Game Rosters

Today the MLB Futures Game takes place as part of All-Star Weekend in Miami. Over the course of the event’s history the US team leads the series going 11-7, including a 6 game winning streak between 2010-2016. The World team is the defending champion winning last year in San Diego 11-3.

Yoan Moncada returns after winning the MVP award last year. He is currently having a nice season in AAA-Charlotte. He will be joined by a stout team from players all around the world. Players hail from Canada, Brazil, Honduras, Haiti, Bahamas, and other major baseball havens like Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

2017 MLB Futures Game Rosters

U.S. Team

Pitchers

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Beau Burrows DET AA R R 6-2 200 9/18/1996 Fort Worth, TX
Jon Duplantier ARI A+ L R 6-4 225 7/11/1994 Newark, DE
Jack Flaherty STL AAA R R 6-4 205 10/15/1995 Burbank, CA
Foster Griffin KC AA R L 6-3 200 7/27/1995 Orlando, FL
Jimmy Herget CIN AAA R R 6-3 170 9/9/1993 Tampa, FL
Brett Honeywell TB AAA R R 6-2 180 3/31/1995 Carnesville, GA
Michael Kopech CWS AA R R 6-3 205 4/30/1996 Mount Pleasant, TX
Triston McKenzie CLE A+ R R 6-5 165 8/2/1997 Brooklyn, NY
A.J. Puk OAK AA L L 6-7 220 4/25/1995 Cedar Rapids, IA
Tanner Scott BAL AA R L 6-2 220 7/22/1994 Mogadore, OH

Catchers

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Zack Collins CWS A L R 6-3 220 2/6/1995 Pembroke Pines, FL
Chance Sisco BAL AAA L R 6-2 195 2/24/1995 Corona, CA

Infielders

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Brian Anderson MIA AA R R 6-3 185 5/19/1993 Edmond, OK
Bo Bichette TOR A+ R R 6-0 200 3/5/1998 Orlando, FL
Nick Gordon MIN AA L R 6-0 160 10/24/1995 Avon Park, FL
Rhys Hoskins PHI AAA R R 6-4 225 3/17/1993 Sacramento, CA
Scott Kingery PHI AAA R R 5-10 180 4/29/1994 Phoenix, AZ
Ryan McMahon COL AAA L R 6-2 185 12/14/1994 Yorba Linda, CA
Brendan Rodgers COL AA R R 6-0 180 8/9/1996 Winter Park, FL
Nick Senzel CIN AA R R 6-1 205 6/29/1995 Atlanta, GA

Outfielders

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Lewis Brinson MIL AAA R R 6-3 195 5/8/1994 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Derek Fisher HOU AAA L R 6-3 205 8/21/1993 Lebanon, PA
Corey Ray MIL AA L L 5-11 185 9/22/1994 Chicago, IL
Bryan Reynolds SF A+ S R 6-3 205 1/27/1995 Baltimore, MD
Kyle Tucker HOU AAA L R 6-4 190 1/17/1997 Tampa, FL

World Team

Pitchers

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Domingo Acevedo NYY AA R R 6-7 240 3/6/1994 Villa Los Almacigos, D.R.
Yadier Alvarez LA A+ R R 6-3 175 3/7/1996 Matanzas, Cuba
Jaime Barria LAA AA R R 6-1 210 7/18/1996 Panama City, Panama
Luis Escobar PIT A R R 6-1 155 5/30/1996 Cartagena, Colombia
Tayron Guerrero MIA AA R R 6-8 210 1/9/1991 Bocachica, Colombia
Jonathan Hernandez TEX A+ R R 6-2 175 7/6/1996 Santiago, D.R.
Jairo Labourt DET AA L L 6-4 205 3/7/1994 Azua, D.R.
Cal Quantrill SD A+ L R 6-2 165 2/10/1995 Port Hope, ON, Canada
Mike Soroka ATL A+ R R 6-5 225 8/4/1997 Calgary, AB, Canada
Thyago Vieira SEA AA R R 6-2 210 7/1/1993 Sao Paulo, Brazil

Catchers

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Francisco Mejia CLE AA S R 5-10 180 10/27/1995 Bani, D.R.
Tomas Nido NYM AA R R 6-0 205 4/12/1994 Oviedo, FL (Puerto Rico)

Infielders

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Yordan Alvarez HOU A+ L L 6-5 225 6/27/1997 Las Tunas, Cuba
Rafael Devers BOS AA L R 6-0 195 10/24/1996 Sanchez, D.R.
Mauricio Dubon MIL AA R R 6-0 160 7/19/1994 San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Lucius Fox TB A S R 6-1 175 7/2/1997 Nassau, Bahamas
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR A R R 6-1 200 3/16/1999 Montreal, QC, Canada
Yoan Moncada CWS AAA S R 6-2 205 5/27/1995 Abreus, Cuba
Josh Naylor SD A L L 6-0 225 6/22/1997 Mississauga, ON, Canada
Amed Rosario NYM AAA R R 6-2 190 11/20/1995 Santo Domingo Centro, D.R.

Outfielders

NAME ORG LEVEL B T HT WT BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE
Ronald Acuna ATL AA R R 6-0 180 12/18/1997 La Guaira, Venezuela
Estevan Florial NYY A L R 6-1 185 11/25/1997 Port Au Prince, Haiti
Eloy Jimenez CHC A R R 6-4 205 11/27/1996 Santo Domingo Centro, D.R.
Victor Robles WAS AA R R 6-0 185 5/19/1997 Santo Domingo Este, D.R.
Alex Verdugo LA AAA L L 6-0 205 5/15/1996 Tucson, AZ (Mexico)

 

For more BaseballdeWorld posts on the All-Star Game, click here.

Posted in N. America, News, Minors0 Comments

All-Star Weekend – Home Run Derby Prediction

All-Star weekend begins today in the MLB with the Future’s Game kicking off the festivities. But today we are here to talk about the Home Run Derby that will take place tomorrow.

First of all, I love the changes they have made with the bracket format. I will miss seeing the likes of Josh Hamilton hitting 28 in a single round, but as Giancarlo Stanton showed us last year it can still be done. However, the changes do not seem as conducive to that happening much anymore.

There is just something about seeing guys hit 500+ foot bombs, and if you have never swung a bat you may not know just how hard something like that is. But what the new format does is allow talk about match ups and possible showdowns between sluggers.

Perhaps the biggest match up would be a finals match between defending champion Stanton vs. new superstar Aaron Judge. This could be a possible match in the finals, but I’m calling for a third member of the event to pull out the win.

I’m going to make the call for the no. 3 seed (players are seeded by current home run totals, except Stanton who is the no. 1 seed based on his championship last year) Cody Bellinger. There are a few reasons why I’m calling for the Dodgers rookie to pull out the upset. Firs of all, he has a swing to produce home runs which he has proven this year hitting 25 through his fist 69 games this year. Secondly, he isn’t one of the top two seeds. The top two seeds are the two guys that most are calling to win it all. Not to mention most people want to see the Stanton/Judge match in the finals. But most times things just don’t work out the way people want them.

No matter what happens, it is going to be a fun showcase on Monday night.

For more BaseballdeWorld posts on the All-Star Game, click here.

All-Star weekend

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Chinese Taipei in World Port Championship

Chinese Taipei World Port ChampionshipChinese Taipei rattled off two nice wins to put itself in the championship game of the 2017 World Port Tournament. After finishing the round robin 2-2, Chinese Taipei downed the Netherlands and then Japan.

It all started in the bottom of the 9th inning on Thursday against the Netherlands. Trialing the entire game and going into the final frame down 3-1, Chinese Taipei shocked the host Dutch with a 3-run walk-off win. With 3 hits and the help of a key error by the Dutch catcher, Chinese Taipei put up a 3 spot to take the game and send the Dutch to the 4th/5th place game.

All the win did was assure Chinese Taipei a game with the hot Japan on Friday. And they kept rolling. Chinese Taipei took a 4-0 lead over Japan and would hold on to a 4-2 victory sending them to the championship game. Japan is not out of it, but now they will have to win one more to get a rematch.

Chinese Taipei now gets to rest and wait to see who they play on Sunday for the championship.

The late game on Friday is Cuba vs Curacao. The winner of that game will face off with Japan for a shot at Chinese Taipei in the championship. The loser will face off with the Netherlands in the 4th/5th place game. Curacao is winless so far.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei 4, Netherlands 3
Game B: Cuba 2,  Japan 5

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba vs Curacao
Game D: Japan 2, Chinese Taipei 4 (Chinese Taipei to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Loser C vs Netherlands (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Japan vs Winner C (winner to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Game Winner F vs  Chinese Taipei

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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MLB Battlegrounds Event in London

MLB BattlegroundsAmerica’s pastime was on full display yesterday in London, England with the MLB Battlegrounds event. As Americans were celebrating their Independence Day on the 4th of July, the English were getting their fill of some baseball thanks to Major League Baseball.

The event was put on by MLB in hopes to build interest in the sport that ironically has its roots in England. A portion of Hyde Park was transformed into a baseball field to give the English a chance to get up close and personal with the great game.

The event drew thousands of fans, and according to Gabriel Fidler at Extra Innings UK it drew over 20,000. The even had a home run derby which was a huge draw that wound up having a former MLB All-Star and home run champion Carlos Pena. Pena went against former Dodger farmhand Federico Celli and current Telemarket Rimini outfielder Federico Celli. Celli would wind up defeating the former MLB star.

The event was a great chance for new fans to find out about the game. It also provided a chance for Great Britain players to rub elbows with some former MLB players. Along with Carlos Pena, Cliff Floyd also attended in hopes to build interest in the sport.

MLB Battlegrounds Coverage

There have already been a few great write ups about the event including one from Darius Austin over at Bat Flips & Nerds. You can follow Bat Flips & Nerds on Twitter to stay up today at @batflips_nerds. Gabriel Fidler was also there and did some interviews that he will be posting soon. You can follow him on Twitter over at @ExtraInningsUK or check out his blog at Extra Innings UK.

It is great to see MLB stepping up its game in Europe. There is a lot of room to grow the sport there. Baseball might still be behind the NBA or NFL, but the reception has been great so far and the sport is slowly growing and not just in England but all over Europe. I look forward to the big leagues having a series somewhere in Europe and soon.

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

BaseballdeWorld Podcast Episode 1

In an effort to change and update the site, we are rolling out a podcast. Today is episode no. 1 and we go over the WBC pool in Seoul, South Korea.

Look for more podcasts in the weeks to come. We are lining up some interviews and other guest appearances. Our focus will continue to be on foreign leagues with some tidbits from the USA.

This is a new venture for us here, so bare with us as we learn how to produce better and better podcasts.

Shout out to CPBLEnglish.com for some stats on the players for Chinese Taipei, and to Fuss Ricket for our music. You can check them out on Spotify and at FussRicket.com.

Our drink of the week – Green Man Wayfarer IPA. Check it out if you can. Green Man Brewery has some great stuff. I’ve never been disappointed, well if you don’t include the fact I can’t find it in Texas. You can find more about the brewery at GreenManBrewery.com.

Moving forward we will try to keep the podcasts no longer than 20 minutes. We intend to bring you stories and people from around the world of baseball. So stay with us. Give us some feedback on what you hear and what you would like to hear as well.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.

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International Players – MLB Top 100 Prospects List, Nos 1-10

We have reached the final part of our 10 part segments on breaking down the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects list. We have seen a lot of talent so far, but these guys are at the top of the heap and will be interesting to watch for years to come. So without further ado.

No. 10 Ozzie Albies, 2B/Atlanta Braves – Albies is one prospect that many Braves fans are both high on and will defend at every move. The speedy infielder who could play short or second will most likely end up paired with another Top 10 prospect in Dansby Swanson up the middle for Atlanta. He just turned 20 where he will most likely spend the season at AAA Gwinnett where he struggled a bit last year. He tore up AA at only 19. While the Braves traded for Brandon Phillips to hold down second base, the veteran is really holding down the spot until Albies is ready for the big leagues, so there is no need to rush him this season. Albies ranked no. 12 in 2016.

No. 7 Victor Robles, OF/Washington Nationals – Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Robles spent the 2016 season split between the South Atlantic League and the Carolina League. He possesses great speed and even stole 37 bases last season but is still learning the art of the stolen base after getting caught 14 times. He might be a few years away from the big leagues, but he could be a franchise type player. However, he won’t turn 20 until May, so he has to be given time to learn. Robles ranked no. 10 in 2016.

No. 5 Amed Rosario, SS/New York Mets – The Top 10 of the list is full of shortstops with Dominican Rosario being one of the brightest. He will play this season at just 21, and he is the future of the Mets at short, but there is no need to rush him to the big leagues. However, if he continues to impress he may force their hands. He spent half of last season at AA Binghamton impressing big time. He hit .341 with a .392 OBP in 54 games. While he might not turn out to be a 30+ home run hitter at the big league level, he plays above average defense and hits with contact and extra-base power. Rosario ranked no. 11 in 2016.

No. 3 Gleyber Torres, SS/New York Yankees – Torres is the top rated shortstop prospect in the game, and he will play the 2017 season at just 20-years old. Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, Torres was the biggest prize for the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal. He is advanced at the plate and could turn into a 20+ homer type shortstop. There is no need to rush him to the big leagues with Didi Gregorius holding down the spot in New York. Torres looks to be the centerpiece of the Yankees for years to come though when he is ready. Torres ranked no. 17 in 2016.

No. 2 Yoan Moncada, 2B/Chicago White Sox – Last season’s no. 1, Moncada is just 21-years old. The switch-hitting infielder out of Cuba has lived up to his big price tag to sign, $63 million by Boston. The big piece for the White Sox in the Chris Sale deal, Moncada could pair quite well with fellow youngster Tim Anderson up the middle in Chicago. He has the tools to be an impact player at the big league level with speed, power, and the ability to hit for average. He may not start off in Chicago to begin the season, but look for him to be there at some point this summer.

If you missed the first segments you can check them out here:

International Players – No. 11-20
International Players – No. 21-30
International Players – No. 31-40
International Players – No. 41-50
International Players – No. 51-60
International Players – No. 61-70
International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

International Players - MLB Top 100 Prospects List

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New Feature – League Standings & Schedules Pages

We are trying something new this year here at BaseballdeWorld. As the season moves along and different leagues start to play, we will keep track of current standings in one place. Meaning you no longer have to search posts to find the current standings.

Instead just head over to the right hand of our site and you will see a new section called League Standings. There you will see a list of the different leagues around the world and you will be able to click on whatever league you want to see the current standings.

We will also be adding schedules to the pages so you can see what is coming up. We are just getting started and will be adding more leagues and schedules as the weeks near opening day around the world for many of the leagues.

They will also be in a drop down menu under Federations at the top of our page. So feel free to poke around and see what we have so far. We are in the works as we speak to add more to the list. We hope this helps you in keeping up with your favorite leagues around the world.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon.

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Former Big Leaguer Playing this Summer in Italy, Mark Teahen

Former contributor to BaseballdeWorld Gabriel Fidler recently talked to a former big leaguer playing this summer in Italy, Mark Teahen. The former Royals star will be suiting up for Tommasin Padova this summer.

Fidler, who contributed here with some in depth posts on the WBC in 2013, has been writing for both Mister-Baseball and at his own site at Extra Innings: Baseball Around the World. Be sure to follow Gabriel on Twitter as well as read his articles at Extra Innings. You can find him tweeting at @Extrainnings_bb.

I found it interesting how Teahen came to play in Italy as well as how playing there will impact his other business, a wine room. Gabriel and Mark talked a good bit of baseball and wine and it is all a good read.

Check out the interview with Mark Teahen here.

We will definitely be following Mark’s progress with Padua in the IBL which should be an interesting ride. You can follow Mark on Twitter – @MarkTeahen and follow his progress this summer.

Italy, Mark Teahen

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MLB Top 100 Prospects List International Players – Nos. 11-20

Today we have the penultimate step on our list of international players in the MLB Top 100 Prospects list. So here we go with nos. 11-20.

If you missed the first segments you can check them out here:

International Players – No. 21-30
International Players – No. 31-40
International Players – No. 41-50
International Players – No. 51-60
International Players – No. 61-70
International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

No. 20 Francis Martes, RHP/Houston Astros – Martes, out of the Dominican Republic, is a hard throwing righty who had a solid year in 2016 at Double-A Corpus Christi. he threw 125.1 innings allowing just 104 hits and striking out 9.4 per 9. He has a plus fastball that sits between 93-96, touching 98 at times. It is his secondary pitches that still need polishing, and he will need to work on his command. While he struck out more than one hitter per inning, he also walked 3.4 per 9 which is way too high to be an effective front line starter at the big league level.

No. 17 Rafael Devers, 3B/Boston Red Sox – Devers, out of the Dominican Republic, is just a 20-year old with power to all fields. Last season he played for Salem in High-A ball where he showed some power (32 doubles and 11 home runs) but more than anything he bounced back after a slow start to finish strong. Whether or not he stays at third will remain to be seen as he continues to grow as a player with a possible shift across the diamond to first.

No. 13 Eloy Jimenez, OF/Chicago Cubs – Jimenez, who hails from the Dominican Republic, will be just 20 this season. Last year he spent the entire season in Single-A ball with South Bend in the Midwest League. There he hit .329 with 14 home runs winning the leagues MVP award. He has plus power, even drawing comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton by some. He spent most of his time in left last season, but has the arm for right as he continues to improve his defense.

MLB Top 100 Prospects List International Players

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The Baseball Project Music- To The Veteran’s Committee

I’ve been listening to The Baseball Project music for awhile now. I have their first 3 albums on CD and I absolutely love them all. But one song stands out more than the others to this Atlanta Braves fan, To The Veteran’s Committee.

If you are not familiar with The Baseball Project, first of all where have you been? Secondly, they are made up of some of the greatest musicians of our time. So let’s do a rundown of the band before we get into my favorite song of theirs.

Scott McCaughey (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, SF Giants) – Most notably McCaughey worked with R.E.M. for nearly 2 decades. He is also a singer and songwriter for The Young Fresh Fellows and The Minus 5.

Steve Wynn (Vocals, Guitars, New York Yankees) – He led the band The Dream Syndicate for nearly a decade in Los Angeles before he went onto a solo career. He went on to record with Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three and in the 90s Gutterball.

Linda Pitmon (Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Minnesota Twins) – Drummer and wife of Steve Wynn, Pitmon has appeared with different artists including Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three and Zuzu’s Petals.

Peter Buck (12- and 6-string Guitars, Fender VI Bass, Banjo, Washington Senators) – Co-founder and lead guitarist for R.E.M. Buck has appeared with many other groups and side projects including Hindu Love Gods, The Minus 5, and Tired Pony. He also has been a successful record producer.

Mike Mills (Bass, Vocals, Atlanta Braves) – One of the founding members of R.E.M. Mills has continued to record and contribute to other artists works. He played piano on a single released by Drive-By Truckers member, Patterson Hood,  in protest to a Wal-Mart being built in Athens, Georgia.

So back to the music.

My favorite song of theirs is To The Veteran’s Committee, which is a song about my all-time favorite player Dale Murphy. It is basically a plea to the committee to elect Murphy to the Hall of Fame, a feat I would love to see in my lifetime. In the song, which I have a feeling has a lot of Mike Mills behind it as a Braves fan, the group gives some reasons why they would like to see Murphy in the Hall of Fame. These include even taking shots at Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

They also go over some of his stats including his 398 home runs talking about how 400 is the magic number, or at least it was around the time of his retirement not to mention his 2 NL MVPs and 5 Gold Gloves. While admittedly Murphy is a borderline Hall of Famer, he remains my favorite player of all-time and I would love to see him get in one day. He personifies what it is to be a member of the hall. He was loved by fans, never got in trouble, never used PEDs, and put up impressive numbers. And while I do understand that the hall is about what happens on the field, I admit to be a bit biased.

You can check out the band at The Baseball Project. There you can see where they might be performing or purchase their music. If you are a baseball fan, I don’t think you will regret picking up a CD or two from them. I plan on sharing more of their music in the coming weeks because they sing about some interesting people and stories from the game.

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MLB Top 100 Prospects List International Players – Nos. 31-40

Today we move closer to the top 10 of the MLB Top 100 Prospects List international players. Last time we took a look at nos. 41-50, and today go through 31-40.

If you missed the first six segments you can check them out here:

International Players – No. 41-50
International Players – No. 51-60
International Players – No. 61-70
International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

No. 40 Francisco Mejia, C/Cleveland Indians – The 21-year old out of the Dominican Republic has a bright future ahead of him. Last season he split time between the Single-A Midwest League and the High-A Carolina League. He hit well in both leagues. He had a 50-game hitting streak that stretched over two leagues. The switch-hitting catcher has a strong arm from behind the plate. While he might need another year of seasoning in the minors, he could compete for a spot in the big leagues as early as 2018. He ranked no. 85 on the 2016 list.

No. 34 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B/Toronto Blue Jays – Born in Canada to future hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is only 17-years old and already ranks at the no. 3 third base prospect in the game. Guerrero posses speed (stole 15 bases in 62 games in 2016), power (hit 8 home runs and 12 doubles), and shows plate discipline having almost as many walks (33) as strikeouts (35). He spent all of the 2016 season with Bluefield in the Appalachian League. It will remain to be seen if he can stay at third base or possibly move to first or the outfield.

No. 33 Jose De Leon, RHP/Tampa Bay Rays – The 24th Round pick in 2013 struggled a bit in his pro debut, but the Puerto Rico native found his strike in 2014 in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. He tore up AAA last season before getting the call from the Los Angeles Dodgers making his MLB debut. In AAA he struck out 11.6 per 9. That did not translate over to his MLB debut, but the righty has a plus fastball that can top out at 96. He projects to be a mid-rotation starter which is why the Rays traded for him in January where he might get a shot at the rotation this spring. He will also be part of the designated pitcher pool for Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

No. 32 Kevin Maitan, SS/Atlanta Braves – The 17-year old from Venezuela has not played a game yet in the Braves farm system, but he is already being heralded as the next big thing bout of Venezuela. With a plus arm, the switch-hitter is already being compared to Miguel Sano. He has pop from both sides of the plate and excellent range. Some think he might move off shortstop eventually with a move to third base. If that does happen, he should make the transition easily when it comes to defense.

MLB Top 100 Prospects List international players

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Puerto Rico WBC Roster Announced

The Puerto Rico WBC roster for 2017 has been announced, and they will look to improve on their silver medal from 2013.  The small island is hoping to build on its 2017 Caribbean Series title and bring home another championship in March.

The Puerto Rico lineup will be filled with some of the youngest superstars in the game right alongside some veterans.

Returning to the infield for Puerto Rico will be Mike Aviles who hit .329 with a home run and 9 RBI in 2013. He will be right alongside newcomers to the WBC in superstars Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Rounding out the infield are some promising young talents in Javier Baez, who got hot for the Cubs in the playoffs, the Twins Kennys Vargas, and the Mets T.J. Rivera.

While the infield is full of young talent, the outfield features to tried and true veterans that will be big contributors to the club. Led by future Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Beltran the outfield will be a formidable one. However, Beltran struggled last go around in the WBC hitting just .188 as the DH. His fellow outfielder Angel Pagan led the offense for Puerto Rico in 2013 hitting .364 with a team lead 12 hits and 2 stolen bases.

Calling the pitches and shutting down the running game will be perennial all-star Yadier Molina. Molina is returning after a decent 2013 WBC. He will be looked upon to handle the pitching staff more than anything.

That pitching staff will consist of several back after a successful 2013 WBC including Hiram Burgos, Orlando Roman, and Giovanni Soto.

Roman is coming off a stellar winter season where he lead the Criollos de Caguas to the Caribbean Series title. During the Caribbean Series he pitched 10.0 innings allowing just 1 run.  If he can repeat this, Puerto Rico will make another run at the title.

Texas Rangers’ reliever Alex Claudio will be a big lefty arm in the bullpen for Puerto Rico. Seattle revliever Edwin Diaz looks to hold down the 9th for Puerto Rico. Diaz had 18 saves a season ago for the Mariners. The elder statesman in the pen will be J.C. Romero. The 40-year old last pitched in the big leagues in 2012. He has continued pitching in independent leagues and with different AAA teams up until 2015. He did pitch this winter in Puerto Rico.

2017 Puerto Rico WBC Roster:

Pitchers:

Jose Berrios
Hiram Burgos
Alex Claudio
Joseph Colon
Edwin Diaz
Joe Jimenez
Jorge Lopez
Seth Lugo
Miguel Mejia
Emilio Pagan
Orlando Roman
J.C. Romero
Hector Santiago
Giovanni Soto

Catchers:

Yadier Molina
Roberto Perez
Rene Rivera

Infielders:

Mike Aviles
Javier Baez
Carlos Correa
Francisco Lindor
T.J. Rivera
Kennys Vargas

Outfielders:

Carlos Beltran
Reymond Fuentes
Enrique Hernandez
Angel Pagan
Eddie Rosario

Designated Pitcher Pool:

Andrew Barbosa
Jose De La Torre
Jose De Leon
Rayan Gonzalez
Joel Pineiro
Dereck Rodriguez
Andres Santiago
Mario Santiago

Puerto Rico WBC roster

Posted in Latin America, News0 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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