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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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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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MLB Top 100 Prospects List International Players – Nos. 21-30


We move another step closer to the Top 10 in the MLB Top 100 Prospects List international players. Today we look at nos. 21-30

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

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. 25 Anderson Espinoza, RHP/San Diego Padres – Espinoza signed for just under $2 million. This was a new record for a prospect out of Venezuela. He impressed last season, which was his first full season in A-ball. He split time between two leagues after being apart of the trade that sent Drew Pomeranz to Boston, where Espinoza was drafted. A power right arm that sits between 94-97, Espinoza has to improve on his secondary pitches though he will pitch this upcoming season at just 19-years old.

No. 23 Manuel Margot, OF/San Diego Padres – Margot is another former Red Sox farmhand to be traded to San Diego. This time it was for Craig Kimbrel. Margot is out of the Dominican Republic and was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star in 2016 before making his MLB debut in San Diego in September. He has shown great speed. Last year he stole 30 bases and hit 12 triples in AAA. With that speed he will be able to patrol centerfield in San Diego with the possibility of that coming as soon as 2017.

No. 21 Willy Adames, SS/Tampa Bay Rays – Adames worked his way to Double-A ball at just the age of 20. The Dominican prospect was named a Southern League All-Star in 2016 and played in the annual All-Star Futures Game for the World Team.  Last season in Montgomery Adames showed a little pop with 11 home runs, 31 doubles, and 6 triples. Many feel he has the makeup for a middle of the order shortstop at an All-Star-caliber. He looks to contribute to the big league club in 2018.

MLB Top 100 Prospects List international players

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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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International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 41-50


We are halfway through our list of the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List. Today we start the final 50 by taking a look at nos. 41-50.

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

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. 50 Yadier Alvarez, RHP/Los Angeles Dodgers – Alvarez, who hails from Cuba, signed for a $16 million bonus in 2015. The hard throwing righty peaks in triple digits with his fastball while sitting between 94-97. Last season, his first in the US, he struck out 12.3 per 9 innings. He pitched well in his call up to A-ball in the Midwest League. He is still only 20 but is working on commanding his great fastball. While he may still be a few years away from the Dodgers rotation, he is one to really keep an eye on because he may be electric when he arrives.

No. 47 Jorge Mateo, SS, 2B/New York Yankees – Mateo comes out of the Dominican Republic and will be just 21 for half of this season. Last season he played 113 games in the Florida State League (A+) and showed some of his tools. He stole 36 bases, a year after swiping 82. He has the speed, although he might still need to learn the art of stealing. With his raw power, which might project out to about 15 home runs a year, he has enough tools to make him an exciting player to watch. With the arrival of Gleyber Torres from the Aroldis Chapman trade, Mateo might be forced into a second base only role.

No. 46 Reynaldo Lopez, RHP/Chicago Whitesox – Lopez comes out of the Dominican Republic and since 2014 has really proven himself in the Washington Nationals system before moving to Chicago in the Adam Eaton deal this winter. Lopez made his MLB debut his past season getting into 11 games at the big league level, including 6 starts. The hard thrower posted a 4.91 ERA over 44.0 innings and struck out 8.6 per 9. He has a power fastball, a solid curve, and a workable change but at times can struggle with control.

MLB Top 100 Prospects List

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International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 51-60


Today we continue our look at the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List for 2017. We have gone through segments look at nos. 61-100 and today we look at 51-60.

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

International Players – No. 61-70
International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

No. 56 Yohander Mendez, LHP/Texas Rangers – Mendez hails from Venezuela where he was signed as a free agent in 2011. The 22-year old is one of the Rangers top prospects and even made his Major League debut last September pitching in 2 games out of the bullpen. Last season was a year of moves for Mendez. He started out in High-A ball and moved his way through AA, AAA, and then to the big league club. While he might not have the breaking stuff of some, his change up is quite good. Add that to his sinking low to mid-90s fastball and he could be a solid starter for years to come. Maybe not ace material, but could be a solid no. 3 starter for a long time. It remains to be seen where he will start the 2017 season, but he should contribute to the big league club very soon. This is his second straight year at no. 56 on the list.

No. 55 Leody Taveras, OF/Texas Rangers – Taveras is just 18 having played his first season at 17 last year. A legitimate 5-tool center fielder, he showed his speed last season in the Arizona League (Rookie) stealing 11 bases in just 33 games. He played at 3 different levels last year but struggled a bit at Spokane. He still has some things to learn and he is still filling out since he is still so young, but he could be a force to reckon with in the coming years if he lives up to his potential. He will definitely be one to watch as the years progress. On a side note, he is the cousin of former big league Willy Taveras.

No. 54 David Paulino, RHP/Houston Astros – The Astros took Paulino in a trade even though he was going to miss the entire next season with Tommy John surgery. It might turn out to be a great move. Paulino comes out of the Dominican Republic and at 6’7″ he has the power (tops out at 98) to go with a power curveball. He spent most of his 2016 season at AA Corpus Christi, but threw a few starts at AA Fresno before getting the call to the big leagues. He has started and finished games in the same season, but has never pitched 100 innings in a season. Last year was his high at 97 innings pitched, so health is a concern moving forward. Last season Paulino checked in at no. 70 on the list.

No. 52 Franklin Barreto, SS,2B/Oakland Athletics – Barreto was one of the key pieces in the deal that sent Josh Donaldson from Oakland to Toronto. The 20-year old middle infielder out of Venezuela has impressed at every level. He spent most of 2016 at AA Midland for Oakland where he played 119 games hitting .281 with 25 doubles, 10 home runs, and 30 stolen bases. The tools are there, but Barreto would benefit from more time in the minors to hone in on some skills like basestealing. He was thrown out 15 times last year at AA. He had a brief, but impressive, stint at AAA Nashville last year. And with him being blocked at the big league level by both Marcus Semien and Chand Pinder, look for him to gain some more experience at AAA next year. In 2016, Barreto was no. 43 on the list.

MLB Top 100 Prospects

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International Players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List – No. 61-70


Continuing our look at the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List, today we will look at nos. 61-70 as we get closer to the top 10 on the list.

f you missed the first three segments you can check them out here:

International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100

No. 65 Isan Diaz, SS,2B/Milwaukee Brewers – Diaz, who hails from Puerto Rico, is a middle infielder who played in the Midwest League in 2016 (A-ball). He was the MVP of the Pioneer League in 2015 as a 19-year old after being lured away from Vanderbilt. He was drafted by Arizona in the 2nd Round of the MLB Draft in 2014 then traded to Milwaukee in the deal that sent Juan Segura to Arizona. Diaz possesses raw power showing that off last year by hitting 20 home runs. Many scouts profile him as a second baseman at the big league level where he could be a power hitting middle infielder. However, he is a few years away from having any impact for the big league club. He clocked in at no. 97 on the list in 2016.

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


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

International Players – 91-100

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

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

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


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

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

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

No. 56

1997 Scott Linebrink

1999 Rob Bowen (Brandon Phillips at no. 57)

2001 J.J. Hardy

No. 75

1993 Matt Perisho

1994 Brian Rose

1996 A.J. Hinch

1997 Jason Grabowski (Chase Utley at no. 58)

2000 Grady Sizemore

2004 Wade Davis

2005 Yunel Escobar

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

MLB Prospects 91-100:

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

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

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

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

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Cleveland to host 2019 MLB All-Star Game


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

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

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

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

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

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The Colorful Montreal Expos and Some Great Music


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Should the MLB go to London


Last night I couldn’t sleep so as I was trolling through Twitter I cam across an account with a podcast (Bat Flips and Nerds), and I gave it a listen. Now while I was for the most part entertained with some of the talk, especially since it was about the MLB playing in London. So I wanted to address a few issues and give my 2 cents.

The No Way It Will Happen Anytime Soon

So the podcast mentioned how much they would love to see the MLB All-Star Game in London. Yeah that would be nice with so many stars going over there and showcasing their abilities. But I don’t think that will happen, at least in my lifetime. On the other hand, and exhibition series in London with many of the all-stars would be a nice start. That way some of the young stars could be showcased to the British people and perhaps lead to more fans. Let’s face it, baseball is not huge in Great Britain. While it might be growing, many people there do not understand the game since it is not played as widely as other places.

The I Would Be Shocked If It Was the First Series

Red Sox v. Yankees – Yes I know there has been talks between the owners of taking a series to London. I just don’t see it, at least not for the first series. Someone of the podcast mentioned how it would be great for the teams and fans to have the popularity of their team grow in another country. Yes, for the owners. Let me be clear that most Red Sox fans do not care if the Red Sox are popular in Great Britain. That means so little to them. Quite a lot less than missing out on a home series against the evil empire. And the same goes for Yankees fans, who might in fact care less.

Of course that does not go for all fans. I am one in particular that wants to see the sport grow everywhere in the world. But I am in the minority here in the USA.

Yeah But the NFL Sent Their Best Teams to London First

No they didn’t. They sent the New York Giants, coming off an 8-8 year in 2006, and the Miami Dolphins, who went 6-10. In fact, the Dolphins went 1-15 in 2007 the year they played in London. Sure New York won the Super Bowl in 2007 but nobody saw that coming. After all they went just 10-6 in the regular season.

Year two saw the New Orleans Saints the home team. The 2008 Saints that played in London went 8-8. The year prior they went 7-9. They did play the 2007 AFC West Champion San Diego Chargers (11-5 in 2007), but even the Chargers went 8-8 the year they played in London.

Year three, in 2009, was more of the same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the home team. A year in which they went 3-13, coming off of a 9-7 campaign in 2008. Not exactly Super Bowl contenders. Their opponent, the New England Patriots, went 11-5 the year prior to London but didn’t make the playoffs.

Not a single year was the home team poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. Typically they are teams that struggle and could use a good payday with a “home” sellout even if it is in London. So the argument that the NFL is sending its best is a fallacy.

However, like the NFL Major League Baseball can send decent teams over to help grow the sport. The NFL would not continue adding games if they were not making money, and I think MLB will follow suit. I would love to see MLB at least send over a young superstar. I really liked the idea of the New York Mets going over with their young pitching staff, especially Noah Syndergaard. Throw in a division rival in say the Atlanta Braves, disclosure my favorite team, and you have a nice combination. A series with Syndergaard, deGroom, and Harvey pitching is quite the start. Throw in Granderson, who is notoriously great for growing the game, and you have some guys that will be a positive. On the Braves side seeing other top prospects like Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, and star Freedie Freeman and you have the makings of a good start. No they are not the best teams with the most stars, but it would be a nice start.

Either that or making sure someone like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper make the trip would be nice too. No matter who goes at least one team really needs a superstar in my opinion, or the very least some young budding stars that the British can follow over the years.

It is about time MLB makes the move to play outside the USA/Canada again. It has been a few years since the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played in Australia.

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MLB: 2015 Major League Baseball Predictions


Today is Opening Day, a day which should be a national holiday in my opinion. With that being said, I am going to go through a yearly ritual that is meaningless but fun.

Last season my 2014 MLB predictions did not go all that well, as you can see here. However, it is still a fun thing to go through each year.

So without further adieu, here are my 2015 MLB predictions.

* Wild Card Teams

AL East

1. Baltimore Orioles
2. *Boston Red Sox
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. New York Yankees

I do not feel that the AL East will be all that strong. I think Baltimore will be the cream of the crop in the East and will win the division. I was torn between Boston and Toronto to pick up a Wild Card spot, but I am going with Boston.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers
2. *Chicago White Sox
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins

With Price taking over the head of the rotation in Detroit, they are going to be back and strong as ever. I think they win the division again with their hitting. I don’t see the Royals making it back, not with the new additions to the Sox. To me this will be a hotly contested division and should be fun to watch all year.

AL West

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Anaheim Angels
3. Houston Astros
4. Oakland A’s
5. Texas Rangers

The Mariners are going to be good. Anaheim will still be strong, but the most improved will go to Houston. The Rangers and A’s will bring up the rear of the division all year battling it out for last place.

AL Wild Card Game – Chicago over Boston
AL Division Series – Detroit over Seattle & Baltimore over Chicago
AL Championship Series – Detroit over Chicago

NL East

1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins
3. New York Mets
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Atlanta Braves

I have no faith in my Braves this year. Not after the exodus that took place. The Nationals are the team to beat, perhaps in the NL. They are going to be strong. I like the Marlins to finish second and maybe even push for a Wild Card spot late in the year, but I see them coming up short.

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. *Chicago Cubs
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

I like how the Cubs look this year, but I don’t seem them making it to the World Series like I have seen others call for. The Cardinals will be hard to beat in the division but Pitt will really push Chicago. So will Cincinnati.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. *San Diego Padres
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers are the team to beat once again. The Padres will really push them this year and the Giants will be back with a strong team. I would not have picked the Padres over the Giants for the Wild Card, except yesterday they traded for the best closer in baseball.

AL Wild Card Game – San Diego over Chicago
AL Division Series – Los Angeles over St. Louis & Washington over San Diego
AL Championship Series – Los Angeles over Washington

World Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Detroit in six games.

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Today in Baseball History – March 24


March 24, 1911

Helene Hathaway Britton becomes the first woman to own a franchise when her uncle Matthew Stanley Robison dies unexpectedly. Robison lef the team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to his niece. She will go on to own the team from 1911 to 1916.

March 24, 1982

Fernando Valenzuela ends his holdout and reports to the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training.

Valenzuela was holding out for more money after making just $42,500 in 1981 when he won the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award. He will make a reported $360,000 in 1982 after asking for $1 million.

He will end 1982 with a 19-13 record and an ERA of 2.87. He pitches 285.0 innings with 18 complete games and four shutouts. He will finish third in the Cy Young voting as well.

Born on this day:

1893 George Sisler

1942 Jesus Alou

1956 Garry Templeton

1958 Bruce Hurst

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Today in Baseball History – March 23


March 23, 1962

William DeWitt purchases the Reds for $4.625 million. DeWitt made a trade immortalized in the 1988 movie Bull Durham when Susan Sarandon’s character says, “Bad trades are a part of baseball; I mean who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake?” DeWitt traded Robinson to the Orioles claiming he was old at age 30. In his first year Robinson would win the Triple Crown and be named AL MVP.

Born on this day:

1979 Mark Buehrle

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Today in Baseball History – March 22


March 22, 1972

The New York Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Sparky Lyle.

The Yankees got the better end of this deal as Lyle went on to post a record of 57-40 and save 141 games over the next seven years with the Yankees. In addition, he won the 1972 Fireman of the Year Award and the 1977 Cy Young Award.

Cater played just three seasons for the Red Sox never playing more than 92 games in a season.

March 22, 1993

In a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida, Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews die. Olin died instantly and Crews died of his injuries the next day. Also in the accident was teammate Bob Ojeda who was seriously injured but able to recover and return to the mound later that season.

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Today in Baseball History – March 21


March 21, 1978

The San Diego Padres fire manager Al Dark. He becomes just the second manager (Phil Cavarretta – 1954 Cubs) to be fired during spring training. Dark took over the Padres midway through the 1977 season when they would finish fifth place. The team was 48-65 (.425) under Dark during 1977.

He would be replaced by pitching coach Roger Craig who would lead the Padres for the next two seasons.

Born on this day:

1939 Tommy Davis

1944 Manny Sanguillen

1963 Shawon Dunston

Died on this day:

1975 Joe Medwick

1988 Edd Roush

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Today in Baseball History – March 20


March 20, 1973

In a special election by the BBWAA, Roberto Clemente earns entry into the Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors at the Hall waive the five-year wait rule for Clemente who died in a plane crash bringing relief supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.

March 20, 1989

The commissioner’s office announces that Pete Rose is under investigation for serious charges.

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Today in Baseball History – March 19


March 19, 1960

Sammy White, catcher for the Boston Red Sox, announces he would rather retire than report to where he has been traded to, Cleveland.

March 19, 1984

Denny McLain is indicted on various charges including cocaine possession, extortion, racketeering, and loan-sharking.

Born on this day:

1871 Joe McGinnity

1927 Richie Ashburn

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Today in Baseball History – March 18


March 18, 1953

The Milwaukee Braves become the first team since 1903 (Baltimore to New York) to shift. The Braves make the move from Boston after being there for 77 years. The Braves move to the Western Division replacing the Pittsburgh Pirates for scheduling purposes.

The Braves would spend 13 seasons in Milwaukee before moving onto Atlanta.

Born on this day:

1916 Hi Bithorn

Died on this day:

1984 Charlie Lau

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Today in Baseball History – March 17


March 17, 1871

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players is founding setting the stage for the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs or the National League.

Several of the NAPBBP teams would eventually make their way into the N.L. including the Boston Red Stockings which would eventually turn into the Atlanta Braves.

March 17, 1978

For the St. Patrick’s Day exhibition game, the Cincinnati Reds wear green uniforms rather than the traditional red. This starts an annual tradition and other teams soon follow suit.

Born on this day:

1944 Cito Gaston

1959 Danny Ainge

1965 John Smiley

1971 Bill Mueller

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Today in Baseball History – March 16


March 16, 1994

Former San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show is found dead of an overdose at age 37.

Show won 100 games with San Diego but might be better known for giving up Pete Rose‘s record-breaking 4,192nd hit.

Born on this day:

1906 Lloyd Waner

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