Tag Archive | "Colombia"

How have our World Baseball Classic predictions been so far?

Back just before the start of the tournament, we made 2017 World Baseball Classic predictions. Today we want to take a look at how those are going and perhaps make some updates on Round 2.

Pool A

We predicted the Netherlands and South Korea would make it out of Pool A. We were half wrong. We expected South Korea to have a better showing, like most everyone else. We did say that Israel would come close to advancing, but I don’t think anyone saw them going 3-0. My feeling was they would come close to beating South Korea and be outs away from advancing. Turns out they would best South Korea and win the whole pool.

Pool B

I think this was the easiest pool to predict. We predicted this right down to the records for all teams. Japan and Cuba advanced. Australia missed out on Round 2 by a single run losing to Cuba 4-3.

Pool C

We got the top 2 right, but did not see Colombia putting up such a great fight. They nearly beat the USA in the first game, beat Canada, and then came inches away from defeating the Dominican Republic. We thought Canada would get by Colombia, but they did not. Canada was rather disappointing in the 2017 WBC and now will have to qualify for the 2021 edition.

Pool D

It almost came down to exactly how we thought it might. We predicted it would be Puerto Rico (although at 2-1 not 3-0) and Venezuela making it to Round 2. We also thought that this would be the pool that would need to play the tiebreaker game, check. This was perhaps the most exciting round, which says a lot with how exciting this tournament has been.

We are sticking to the rest of our predictions. So far we predicted 7 of the 8 in Round 2, and we are sticking to our predictions of the semifinals consisting of USA, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands. That is going out on a limb saying that Puerto Rico will not advance since they have been one of the hottest teams.

It has been a fun WBC so far with so many exciting games and plays, and I have the feeling it will only get better from here on out.

World Baseball Classic predictions

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WBC Pool C: Team USA with Walk-Off Win

The Dominican Republic pounds Canada; Team USA walk-off win.

Pool C in Miami, Florida began on Thursday in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Participating in the pool will be the USA, Canada, Dominican Republic, and Colombia. The Dominican Republic is the defending WBC champion after going undefeated in 2013.

Canada 2, Dominican Republic 9

The Dominican got the pool off with a bang and a huge 9-2 win over Canada. The bats really came alive early for the defending champs, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the pool With 4 runs in the 2nd inning, everything after that was just gravy. Right fielder Jose Bautista hit a 3-run home run in the 6th inning giving the Dominican an 8-2 lead.

Welington Castillo got the big bats going with a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning making it 3-0. The Dominican would pound out 15 total hits, including 5 for extra bases. Bautista finished 3-for-4 with 4 RBI. Jose Reyes set the table from the lead off spot going 3-for-5 with a double, stolen base, and 2 runs scored.

As good as the bats looked for the Dominican, the arms were just as overwhelming. Carlos Martinez started and went 4.0 innings giving up just a single unearned run. After that it was a steady stream of great arms from the bullpen that shut down Team Canada.

Full Box Score

Colombia 2, USA 3 (10)

Team USA needed an extra frame to hold off Colombia in its first game of the tournament. Chris Archer got the start for the USA and pitched great. He tossed 4.0 scoreless innings. He didn’t give up a hit or a walk and struck out 3. Tyler Clippard picked up the win in relief, but the biggest problem, other than the cold bats, for Team USA was that they used 6 relief pitchers and now they have to bounce back to face the defending champs.

Both teams combined for only 11 total hits. Adam Jones and Ian Kinsler both had 2 hits for Team USA, but Jones would be the hero in the 10th inning with an RBI single to finish off Colombia.

Colombia played really well in the game. Jose Quintana pitched great going 5.2 innings. He gave up just 1 run on 1 hit, and he struck out 4. Guillermo Moscoso took the loss in relief.

Full Box Score

Colombia 4, Canada 1

With the loss Canada is all but eliminated after starting off 0-2. Colombia got a good start from Julio Teheran who went 5.0 innings allowing just 1 run on 2 hits. Yohan Pino pitched great in relief as well going 3.0 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit.

The Canada bats were cold once again. The team combined for just 5 hits, 2 of which came from Freddie Freeman. He also had the lone RBI for Team Canada.

Colombia now has a must win game coming up against the defending champion Dominican Republic on Sunday. Canada will finish up with Team USA on Sunday evening. While Canada might not advance, they could get hot and ruin any plans the USA has to make it to Round 2.

Full Box Score

Pool C Standings:

  1. Dominican Republic 1-0
  2. USA 1-0
  3. Colombia 1-1
  4. Canada 0-2

Team USA Walk-Off Win

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2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions

Predictions are usually not right, but they are fun and thus we are going to do some 2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions.

I’ve done predictions for many years, and very rarely do they come to fruition. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are fun to do and fun to talk about. So with that, I am going to go through each pool and predict what will happen. A lot of this is based on rosters, but not all of it. Some of it is just a gut feel which may help others to see why I am doing what I am doing. I do not think everyone will agree with me either. Of course, that is half the fun. So here we go.

Pool A

Pool A will consist of the following teams: South Korea (host), Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, and Israel.

My Standings:

  1. Netherlands 3-0 (50:1 odds)
  2. South Korea 2-1 (15:1 odds)
  3. Israel 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. Chinese Taipei 0-3 (120:1 odds)

I am probably following most predictions in that the two teams I see advancing are South Korea and the Netherlands. However, I am going to predict a few things that others may not like. First, I see the Netherlands winning this pool. I think this comes down to Game 3 on Tuesday March 7th between these two clubs, and I feel that the Dutch will outscore Korea in a shootout. The other “out on a limb” prediction I am going to make is that Israel beats Chinese Taipei, and I think they come within a few innings of advancing but fall to South Korea in their match up. They are one team that will be overlooked and under appreciated, and that is why I think they make a run. I think they will come out and shock South Korea by nearly beating them in Game 1 of pool play.

Pool B

Pool B consists of Japan (host), Cuba, China, and Australia.

  1. Japan 3-0 (3:1 odds)
  2. Cuba 2-1 (12:1 odds)
  3. Australia 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. China 0-3 (200:1 odds)

In Tokyo I feel Japan will dominate only having a contest with Cuba. They are the class of Pool B and a title contender. The rest of the field I think will be fun and interesting to watch. Japan is one of the favorites (3rd best odds according to Vegas Insider) with Cuba not being too far behind. I think 3rd place comes down to Australia vs China and fear that is really all they are playing for. Australia could make a run with a shock against Cuba, but I don’t see that happening. China is really the unknown here, but don’t look for them to finish higher than third.

Pool C 

Pool C consists of United States (host), Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Canada.

  1. Dominican Republic 3-0 (5:2 odds)
  2. United States 2-1 (11:5 odds)
  3. Canada 1-2 (60:1 odds)
  4. Colombia 0-3 (120:1 odds)

This is one pool I am really excited to see. The USA is favored by many to win the whole thing. I am not convinced. I think they struggle to make it out of pool play just getting past both Canada and Colombia. I see the Dominican to dominate the pool and win easily against all three opponents.

Pool D

Pool D consists of Mexico (host), Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Italy.

  1. Puerto Rico 2-1 (10:1 odds)
  2. Venezuela 2-1 (6:1 odds)
  3. Mexico 1-2 (40:1 odds)
  4. Italy 1-2 (120:1 odds)

This might be the most wide open pool. It is the only one where I am going to predict the host country doesn’t make it out of the round. I think it all comes down to the final game between Mexico and Venezuela, and I am going with Venezuela. I think Italy will shock a team (perhaps Mexico) and create havoc in the pool play, and don’t look for anyone here to go undefeated. It is going to be a wide open pool. This also might be the only pool where the first round tiebreaker game is needed, although I could see it possibly used in Pool C as well.

Round 2

Pool E in Tokyo, Japan will consist of Cuba, Netherlands, Japan (host), and South Korea.

This pool will be a great one to watch. I see Japan and the Netherlands coming out of it to advance to the semifinal round. This will be a hotly contested round, but I see it going down in the following fashion:

  1. Japan 2-1
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Cuba 1-2
  4. South Korea 1-2

Pool F in San Diego will consist of USA, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

A lot of people are high on Puerto Rico, and rightfully so. However, I think this is where they fail to advance. There will be a lot of talent here and this will come down to the final games in the pool, and very well might need a tiebreaker game for a team to advance.

  1. Dominican Republic 2-1
  2. USA 2-1
  3. Puerto Rico 2-1
  4. Venezuela 0-3


The Finals will take place in Los Angeles. And while I think we will see a new team garner a medal, I do not think we have a team win its first championship. Instead, I think we have a match up of the only two winners so far in Japan and the Dominican Republic.


Dominican Republic 5,  Netherlands 2

Japan 3, USA 1


Japan 3, Dominican Republic 2 (11 Innings)

So there you have it. I am calling for an extra inning championship game where Japan reclaims its title. The Vegas favorite is the USA, but I see them coming up short in their quest for the title.

Now don’t get me wrong, I will be pulling for the USA in any game they play. At the same time I will be pulling for teams like Italy, Israel, and Australia to win since it will only help those countries going forward. I would love to see one of them advance to Round 2, but I just do not see it happening just yet. Italy advanced in 2013, but I feel their pool this go around will be stronger. But it is not out of the realm of possibility.

I’d love to hear what you think and who you think will win it all.

2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions


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International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 71-80

Lately we have taken a look at the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List that recently came out. We have taken a look at nos. 81-100 and today we will look at 71-80.

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

International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

No. 73 German Marquez, RHP/Colorado Rockies – Marquez, originally from Venezuela, will turn 22 later this month before heading into season number 5 for the hard throwing righty. He was apart of a trade that brought prospect Jake McGee to the Rockies. He was a bit overlooked but quickly made a name for himself. He won the Eastern League (AA) pitcher of the year award last season after posting a 2.85 ERA over 21 starts. After a short stint in AAA, Marquez made his MLB debut last year pitching in 6 games with 3 starts. While he may not continue his 12.2 K/9 that he had over 20.2 innings in Colorado, he has a shot to be an impact starter for the big league club for years to come.

No. 72 Jorge Alfaro, C/Philadelphia Phillies – Alfaro was once a highly thought of prospect in the Texas Rangers farm system out of Colombia. Now after a trade that brought Cole Hamels to Texas in 2015, Alfaro went east to join Philly’s farm system. Last year marked Alfaro’s rise to the big leagues after a great season in AA. In Reading Alfaro showed off his power (21 doubles and 15 home runs) and showed he can be more consistent at the plate as he hit .285. While his strikeouts are still a bit high, he is still only 23. He has the defense to play at the big league level to the point that the talk of moving him out from behind the plate has slowed down. He has a high upside and might just earn a few more at bats sometime this season with the big league club. Alfaro ranked no. 59 on the 2016 Top 100 List.

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2017 World Baseball Classic Pool C & D Preview

Yesterday we took a look at Pools A & B for the 2017 World Baseball Classic and how each team has fared in the past. Today we will take a look at Pools C & D and look at how each team got here and how they have fared in the first three installments of the WBC.

Pool C

Canada is back for its fourth time in the WBC, yet they have surprisingly never made it out of Round 1. They came really close in the first tournament after finishing pool play 2-1 with a victory over the United States losing out on a tiebreaker to the US.

The Dominican Republic is back to defend its title from 2013. After starting off with a spot in the semifinal in the initial WBC, 2009 was a disappointing tournament as they did not make it out of Round 1. However, it was quite the bounce back as the Dominican ran through the 2013 tourney undefeated to take the title.

Colombia is making its first appearance in the WBC after defeating Panama in a qualifier last year to advance. Colombia failed to qualify in 2013 losing to Panama and Brazil in the qualifier. They got a little revenge this go around keeping Panama from advancing. They are one of two teams making their first appearance.

The United States is making its fourth appearance in the WBC. A fourth place finish in 2009 is the best the USA has done so far. The no. 2 World Ranked team has failed to make it out of Round 2 two of the three times, but they look to change that this year. There has been a lot of debate on players playing or not playing, and I look forward to more of that discussion later this year when the final team is announced.

Pool D

Mexico is back again for fourth time, but this time they had to come through a qualifier to pick up their spot. Twice Mexico has made Round 2, but not since 2009. They absolutely rolled through the qualifier outscoring their opponents 25-2. Look for them to once again advance to Round 2 where anything can happen.

Italy is back after a great run in 2013. This is their fourth appearance, but they are still looking for their first medal. Italy defeated both Mexico and Canada to advance in 2013. Their path this time goes through three Latin American teams, but I like their chances.

Venezuela is back for the fourth straight time. In 2009, they finished third defeating the USA in the semifinal. However, after that great run in ’09 they did not advance out of Round 1 in 2013 losing to both the Dominican and Puerto Rico. This might be the most wide open pool.

Puerto Rico is back again after a strong 2013 WBC finishing second to the Dominican. Each time they have made it to at least Round 2, and they stand poised to make another run at that as well. This will be another interesting roster to see once it is finalized.

There are at least three teams in each pool that stand a strong chance to advance to Round 2 which makes this tournament very exciting. I am looking forward to some upsets and surprise teams, but we will get into more of that once the rosters are announced.

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Colombia Wins Gold, Peru Bronze at South American Championships

CUIABÁ, Brazil – No. 46 Peru claimed the bronze medal at the 13th South American Championships by defeating No. 29 Argentina 6-2.

This was a big win for the program and helped avenge an earlier round loss. In the opening round, Argentina defeated Peru 23-2. Argentina was the three-time defending champs of the event.

In the gold medal game, No. 19 Colombia defeated No. 15 Brazil to claim the championship. With the win Colombia earned the last spot in the 2015 Pan-American Games to be held in Toronto later this year.

With a 6-4 win, Colombia finished the tournament with an undefeated 6-0 record.

Photo courtesy IBAF.org

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Brazil Faces Colombia in 13th South American Baseball Championship Final

CUIABÁ, Brazil – Host No. 15 Brazil made it to the final of the 13th South American Baseball Championship and will face off with No. 19 Colombia.

Colombia knocked out Peru in the first semifinal by a score of 16-0. Brazil then took care of Argentina 4-2 to face off with Colombia in the championship.

In the opening round Colombia defeated Brazil. The winner of this final game will secure the final spot to the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto later this year.

Peru and Argentina will face off in the bronze medal game. Argentina won their first meeting 23-2.

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The 13th South American Baseball Championships Open in Brazil

CUIABÁ, Brazil – The 13th South American Baseball Championships kicked off this week in Brazil. Competing are five South American teams with the winner gaining the final open spot for the 2015 Pan-Am Games coming up later this year in Toronto.

Competing for the final spot is No. 15 Brazil, No. 19 Colombia, No. 29 Argentina, No. 46 Peru, and No. 69 Bolivia. A total of fourteen games will crown the champion with the final coming up this weekend on Saturday March 7.

Day 1 of the tournament saw host Brazil down Peru 15-5 and Argentina shutting out Bolivia 21-0. Day 2 saw the two winners on Day 1 facing off in what turned out to be a great game with Brazil downing Argentina 2-1. Colombia also got in the win column with a 15-0 six inning win over Bolivia.

South American Championships

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USA 15U Wins Pan American Games Gold Medal

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia – The 15U USA Baseball Team defeated Cuba 6-1 on Sunday afternoon to claim the 2013 COPABE Pan American Championships. With the win, Team USA finished off the tournament with a perfect 8-0 record.

In the Championship Game, Cuba jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth when USA jumped out with five runs of its own. Andrew Vaughn (1-for-2) had the big blow of the inning hitting a three-run home run to put the Red, White, and Blue up 3-1.

That’s all Mason Thompson would need on the mound. He gave up just one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six earning the win for Team USA. Thompson helped himself out at the plate as well. In the five-run fourth inning, Thompson contributed with a RBI triple.

Team USA ran through the pool play undefeated and then almost fell in the semifinal round to Panama. They needed a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the 5-4 win and advance to the finals. In that inning, Team USA scored two runs on zero hits. They were aided heavily by two Panama errors.

However, that wasn’t the first late comeback they needed. In the pool play against Cuba, Team USA scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out an 11-9 win and remain undefeated. In that inning, the USA knocked out eight of its fifteen hits to take the late lead.

Photo Courtesy USA Baseball

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Colombia: MLB Stadium Consultant Arrives in Barranquilla

Courtesy TeamRenteria.com

Murray Cook, consultant to the Major League Baseball (MLB) on building baseball stadiums visited Tomas Arrieta Stadium in Barranquilla on Thursday February 10th to deliver recommendations on building a new ballpark, which bear the name of Edgar Renteria.

Cook was joined by the City Mayor Alejandro Char Chaljub, the president of the Colombian Federation of Baseball, Jimmy Char, District Secretary of Recreation and Sport, Gonzalo Bautista and the President of the Colombian League of Professional Baseball, Edinson Rentería.

Cook will also review the draft of the baseball Complex to be built on the road to Juan Mina. Murray Cook has 35 years’ experience in management, design and construction of stadiums for Major League Baseball and the minor leagues. Throughout his career he has gained wide recognition in different parts of the world for constructing baseball venues. He has also served an adviser for building projects, design and management of baseball stadiums and multi-purpose venues in approximately thirty countries. Among them we have:

o Wukesong Baseball Stadium, 2008 Beijing Olympics
o Homebush Stadium, 2000 Sydney Olympics
o World Baseball Classic stadiums in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
o IBAF World Cups in Taiwan 2001, Holland 2005, Taiwan 2007, and Europe 2009.
o The Atlanta Braves, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex
o Roger Dean Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins during Spring Training.

Cook had visited our country in October 2007 when he trained the grounds crew on maintenance of a professional baseball stadium. We value his expertise and presence.

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Colombia: Colombian Professional Baseball League Final Standings

COLOMBIA – The harsh winter plaguing parts of Latin America has forced the cancellation of the 2010-11 Colombian Professional Baseball League after just six weeks of action. The decision to bring the curtain down on the on-going season was made during an extraordinary meeting with all the CPBL members, team managers and delegates who particip[ated in the session via Skype.

The probability that the majority of the games that were postponed could not be rescheduled played a major role to end the sdeason effective December 8. The condition of some Colombian highways has hampered travel by league teams, proof of which is that it took 20 hours for the Medellin Colts to reach Bogota from Cali, a trip that takes half of that time.

Landslides have affected roads in Antioquia and the Caribbean Coast, and the Magdalena River has flooded the Oriental highway several times. League officals also took into account local weather forecast indicating rain will continue until February 2011.

The league has six teams around the country. Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Monteria are the holdovers from the previous seasons, while Bogota and Medellin are new teams. The team in Cali was moved from Sincelejo for the 2010-2011 season for economic reasons.

The league has notified Major League Baseball and the Caribbean Confederation of its decision, and has scheduled a press conference on Friday, December 10.


Team Won Lost
Barranquilla Caymans 20 11
Montería Lions 18 13
Cali Bulls 14 14
Cartagena Tigers 12 14
Bogotá Eagles 12 16
Medellín Colts 11 19

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-baseballcontent.com

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Colombian Baseball League Update

COLOMBIA – Stephen Vogt drove in two scores with a double and a home run to lead the Cartagena Tigres to a 7-4 win over the Bogotá Aguilas in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday night in action from the Colombian Professional Baseball League.

A 12th round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, Vogt went 2-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice. The 26-year-old Californian, who has thrown out 22 of 40 baserunners in four minor league seasons, batted .345 (127-for-368) in 2010 with the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League.

Cartagena Tigres vs. Cali Toros
Medellín Potros vs. Barranquilla Caimanes
Bogotá Aguilas vs. Montería Leones
Cali Toros 9 – Medellín Potros 2

Veteran shortstop Juan Francia paced Cartagena with a trio of hits and two , while Scott Grimes and Hamilton Sarabia collected two hits apiece.

Former New York Mets prospect Garret Holleran scattered four runs and nine hits with four strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to notch the win.

Edier Gonzalez and Mark Shorey both tallied a pair of hits for the Aguilas.

Bogotá rebounded to salvage a split with a 13-8 triumph in the twinbill finale. Former Arizona Diamondbacks minor leaguer Jorge Delgado led a 19-hit parade with a 4-for-4 effort and three RBIs. The 30-year-old Venezuelan first baseman suited up for the Wichita Wingnuts (American Association) earlier this year.

Juan Camacho, Carlos Villalobos and Charlie Cutler had three hits apiece and combined to drive in seven runs.

Dominican right-hander Juan Sandoval worked two innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen to earn the win.

Former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Ray Sadler homered and double as the Cali Toros romped past the Medellín Potros. The 30-year-old Texan, who went 2-for-8 with a solo shot in three big league games in 2005, competed on the indy circuit in 2010 with the Kansas City T-Bones (NOrthern League).

First baseman Carlos Sosa also went deep and reached on three free passes, while Jimmy Mojica and Joshua Short each collected a pair of hits and a double.

Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Dumas Garcia limited Medellin to just two singles over five scoreless innings to post the win.


Team Won Lost
Barranquilla Caimanes 15 06
Montería Leones 13 10
Cartagena Tigres 10 11
Bogotá Aguilas 09 11
Medellín Potros 09 13
Cali Toros 09 14

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-baseballcontent.com

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Colombia: Winter League Expansion, Medellín Colts gets support from INDER

The Institute of Sports and Recreation in Medellin, INDER, officially supports the professional baseball team, Medellín Colts for the upcoming 2010-2011 season, which is held between the months of October 2010 and January 2011.

After several efforts among managers Andres Felipe Garcia (INDER) and Juan Camilo Restrepo (Colts) have finally reached an economical agreement where the municipal sports entity is a partnership with Medellín in its first season the Colombian Winter League.

Medellín INDER contributed a total of 80 million pesos of investments and the necessary adjustments towards the baseball diamond of Luis Alberto Villegas to MLB stadium standards.

The Colombian Professional Baseball Championships, 2010-2011 season will begin in the cities of Bogota, Cali and Medellin. On the 22nd or October the Medellín Colts and Bogotá Eagles will make their national debuts in this league. Meanwhile, Cali is the new home of the Bulls that relocated from Sincelejo. These three teams will join the Barranquilla Caimans, the Montería Lions, and the Cartagena Tigers, for a total of six teams.

Each team will play 50 games this season, 25 home and 25 away. The top four teams make the semifinals, depending on the regions of the semifinalists the amount of games will determined to be played at the round robin, which will start on January 2nd thru the 22th. The final will be between the top two round robin teams and is a best of seven series to determine the champion.

The All-Star Game and Home Run Derby will be held on December 3rd and 4th respectively, in Bogotá.

Jorge A. Holguín García
Journalist Accord Antioquia

Source: TeamRenteria.com

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Steroids Hurting Dominican Prospects

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – The international signing period opened on July 2 amidst a cloud of controversy in the Dominican Republic, where numerous top prospects allegedly tested positive for steroids. But while MLB scouts and officials were treading cautiously in Santo Domingo, several prospects in Venezuela were reaping seven-figure bonuses to develop their skills in the U.S. minor leagues.

Adonis Cardona, a powerful 16-year-old right-hander, reportedly set a record for a Venezuelan prospect when the Toronto Blue Jays gave the hard-throwing, front-of-the-rotation pitcher a $2.8 million bonus. Oakland doled out a $2.2 million bonus to third baseman Renato Nunez, while another Venezuelan, outfielder Danry Vasquez, got a $1 million bonus to sign with Detroit.

While the number of signings in the Dominican Republic has definitely been affected by the stain of steroids, the Latin American “hotbed” of future Major Leaguers still managed more than a few noteworthy deals. Houston completed one of the biggest deals when the National League franchise inked 16-year-old outfielder Ariel Ovando for a bonus in the range of $2.6-$2.8 million. Ovando has also cleared the rigorous background checks done by MLB.

Below is a partial list of the Latin American prospects signed recently by MLB clubs.

Jose Torres, RHP, Seattle Mariners ($851,000)

Phillips Castillo, OF, Seattle Mariners ($2.2 million)
Hector Veloz, 3B, Baltimore Orioles ($300,000)
Ariel Ovando, OF, Houston Astros ($2.6-$2.8 million)
Mauricio Cabrera, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Yoel Araujo, OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($800,000)
Reyson Zoquier, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Daniel Sanchez, SS, Chicago Cubs

Yordyn Calderon, 3B, Seattle Mariners ($477,500)
Ronny Mejias, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks ($300,000)
Yorman Garcia, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Vicente Lupo, OF, New York Mets
Gabriel Ceñas, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays ($700,000)
Adonis Cardona, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays ($2.8 million)
Jose Tovar, LHP, Colorado Rockies ($350,000)
Danry Vasquez, OF, Detroit Tigers ($1 million)
Francisco Silva, SS, Philadelphia Phillies ($200,000)
Renato Nunez, 3B, Oakland Athletics ($2.2 million)
Anderson Mata, LHP, Oakland Athletics
Jose Torres, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Source: Baseball America

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South American Games Boots Baseball

COLOMBIA – Baseball has struck out at the ninth South American Games to be held from March 19-30 in Medellin due to a lack of teams. The host country, Argentina and the Netherlands Antilles were the only squads to show interest in the competition.

Although the South American Sports Organization (Odesur) had lowered the minimum number of participants to four teams instead of five, baseball joined a pair of women’s sports – boxing and water polo – that were booted from the event.

Brazil, Chile, Panama and Venezuela – all members of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) – failed to register for the international tournament.

Politics has reared its ugly head in sports once again as Cuba announced recently that the island nation would boycott the Central American and Caribbean Games slated for Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in July.

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The Cuban Sports Institute and the Cuban Olympic Committee agreed to skip the event due to several concerns including the safety of its athletes and the possibility of its airplanes being confiscated by U.S. authorities.

Photo courtesy of Luis Rodríguez/El Heraldo

Sources: Télam, Havana Times

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Barranquilla Wins Colombian Title

COLOMBIA – Yosandy Ibáñez tossed seven innings of one-run ball and the Barranquilla Caimanes captured their third consecutive Colombian League of Professional Baseball (LCBP) title with a convincing 9-1 win against the Montería Leones in Game 6 of the LCBP championship.

Barranquilla, which beat Leones 10-7 in a sensational Game 7 thriller a year ago, claimed their eight crown in club history.

Both Ibáñez and Monteria starter Lorenzo Barceló opened the contest with three scoreless frames before allowing a run apiece in the fourth inning. The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the eighth when the Caimanes plated three runs to send the Dominican pitcher packing.

Monteria manager Néder Horta summoned Carlos Mendoza from the bullpen but the Barranquilla bats went 4-for-5 against the reliever with four doubles to put the fiishing touches on the eight-run inning to clinch the series four games to two.

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Ibáñez, a Cuban native, scattered three hits over seven innings with a trio of strikeouts to notch the win. Relievers John Billy Díaz and Luis Torres worked a scoreless inning apiece to seal the crown for the Caimanes.

Donovan Solano, Mark Shorey, Christopher Swauger and Jhonatan Solano each had a pair of hits for the Colombian champion.

The Colombian League of Professional Baseball was founded by Team Renteria Inc. and began play during the 1999-2000 Winter League season. It is comprised of four teams – Tigres de Cartagena, Caimanes de Barranquilla, Toros de Sincelo and Leones de Monteria.

Photo courtesy of eluniversal.com.co

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