New Rankings Offer Premier 12 Insight

The WBSC released its new rankings yesterday, taking into account more than 250 new games played, including the Under-15 World Cup and numerous continental championships. The U.S. retained its rightful place at the top after winning the U15 global title and the U12 Pan-American Championship, while the next three nations—Japan, South Korea, and Cuba—all maintained their positions. The top 12 teams at the end of the year will make the cut for the Premier 12, an Olympic Games qualifier.

Numbers five through 10 saw some shuffling, with Taiwan sliding up one spot to fifth after accruing the most points thus far this year. The Asian nation earned bronze at the U15s and Asian Games, winning the U12 Asian title and placing second at the U18 level continentally. It exchanged places with Mexico, while the Netherlands moved up two places to No. 7, overtaking Australia and Canada.

Currently, the other three teams in contention for the Premier 12 are Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. With only the U23 World Cup remaining, the first two are safe, but the D.R.—which does not compete in some events, hurting its ranking—is only six points ahead of Panamá. The current No. 13, however, did not qualify for the U23s, likely leaving the Dominicans ahead of the cut.

One notable country will be left outside of baseball’s next top tournament as Italy fell to fifteenth, down from a peak of No. 9 in 2015. Just ahead of Europe’s second-ranked nation is Nicaragua, which fell one place.

While many teams lower in the rankings had more significant jumps, one nation continues its ascendancy, climbing for the fifth-straight year and eighth out of nine. Since starting 2010 at No. 27 in the world, Colómbia is now at No. 16 with 1007 points, just 128 behind Italy. Close on its heels is another country experiencing a prolonged breakout in Brazil.

Asia had a number of impressive risers, partly due to a larger number of games than normal this year. The top riser of any continent is No. 31 Indonesia (up 16), while Sri Lanka went up 11 to No. 41, Nepal went from 73rd to 65th, and the Philippines went up seven to No. 33. Europe had three big movers as the Ukraine went from No. 43 to No. 34 and Ireland jetted up nine spots to No. 42, while No. 58 Georgia went up 10 after a few years of dormancy. Finally, Chile may be a nation to watch as it is now tied at No. 50 after a four-year run that saw it gain 10 places from 2017, eight in 2016, and 13 in 2015.

Below are the rankings by continental federation. The full rankings can be found here [link].

Americas (COPABE)
1 USA
2 Cuba
3 México
4 Canada
5 Puerto Rico
6 Venezuela
7 Dominican Republic
8 Panamá
9 Nicaragua
10 Colómbia
11 Brazil
12 Argentina
13 Perú
14 Chile
15 Honduras
16 El Salvador
17 Bolivia
18 Guatemala
19 Aruba
20 Curaçao
21 Ecuador
22 Costa Rica
23 US Virgin Islands

Asia (BFA)
1 Japan
2 South Korea
3 Taiwan
4 China
5 Pakistan
6 Hong Kong
7 Indonesia
8 Philippines
9 Sri Lanka
10 Iran
11 India
12 Nepal
13 Singapore
14 Iraq

Europe (CEB)
1 Netherlands
2 Italy
3 Czech Republic
4 Israel
5 Germany
6 France
7 Spain
8 Austria
9 Belgium
10 Croatia
11 Sweden
12 Ukraine
13 Lithuania
14 Slovakia
15 Great Britain
16 Poland
17 Ireland
18 Romania
19 Bulgaria
20 Belarus
21 Greece
22 Serbia
23 Switzerland
24 Slovenia
25 Estonia
26 Finland
27 Georgia
28 Hungary
29 Latvia

Oceania (BCO)
1 Australia
2 New Zealand
3 Guam
4 American Samoa

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Fall Instructs Rosters International Preview [Part III]

Our series of fall instructional camp rosters concludes today with the final 10 MLB clubs. In the first two parts, we previewed Arizona-Detroit [link] and Houston to Oakland [link], with players from every continent. We conclude today with players from several countries on the western side of the Pacific, plenty from the Caribbean, and one unheralded European.

Philadelphia
The Phillies have three interesting players from the western side of the Pacific: New Zealand’s Kyle Glogoski, Australia’s Rixon Taylor-Wingrove, and Taiwan’s Hsien-Chieh Lin.

Glogoski had a superb debut in the minors this year, starting for the GCL Phillies West and finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 47/11 K/BB ratio in 39 innings. No word yet on whether he will return to the ABL for a second season.

Taylor-Wingrove is a 1B who slashed .241/.310/.342 in 23 games as Glogoski’s teammate. The Newcastle, Australia native also played with Glogoski for Sydney, quite possibly the only pair of ABL teammates to suit up on the same minor league squad.

And finally, Lin is a 19-year old pitcher who tossed only four innings, all for GCL Phillies East. The Taiwanese righty did not give up a hit, but walked four and struck out one.

Also worth noting that that Russia’s Anton Kuznetsov, who disappeared mid-season after being demoted to the GCL, is not listed on the instructs roster. We have not been able to figure out whether he was injured or not.

Pittsburgh
The only unusual international player on the Pirates’ instructs roster is South Korea’s Ji-Hwan Bae. SS debuted this year after being released from Atlanta contract, but returned home in May to defend himself against domestic violence. Bae, 19, finished at .271/.362/.349 with 10 stolen bases and a superb 15-16 BB-K ratio in 35 GCL games.

San Diego
The Padres have a wealth of international minor league players in instructs, including four from México: Efrain Contreras, Austin Ruiz, Brandon Valenzuela, and Gilberto Vizcarra. More unusual, however, is Spain’s Cristian Heredia, from Madrid.

Heredia is a 17-year old outfielder that played 54 games for the DSL Padres, hitting .240/.330/.345 with six outfield assists. Will be interesting to see whether Heredia suits up for Spain in the near future.

Seattle
Did not release roster.

San Francisco and St. Louis

Do not hold instructional league.

Tampa Bay
None.

Texas
The Rangers also take on Italy in instructs (Oct. 5) and have four interesting international players in camp: Sherten Apostel, Abdiel Mendoza, Keithron Moss, and Teodoro Ortega, all of which hail from various Caribbean locales.

Apostel is from Curaçao and his brother Shendrik Apostel is a first baseman in the Pirates’ system. Apostel had an excellent season for two teams, slashing .278/.420/.460 with excellent plate discipline (41BB, 50K) in 224 plate appearances. He had 18 errors in 43 games at 3B.

Mendoza and Ortega are both right-handed pitchers from Panamá. Mendoza (20) had a 3.15 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 14 G, 10 GS across two-levels of A-ball. Ortega (18) had a 2.11 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in the DSL in 42 2/3 innings.

And finally, the Bahamian Moss played 51 games as a middle infielder at age 16 in the DSL. Moss showed impressive plate discipline for someone so young, drawing 35 walks en route to a .196/.350/.276 line and eight stolen bases.

Toronto
None.

Washington
The Nationals have two interesting international players on the instructs roster. First is Jamori Blash, Jabari Blash’s brother, who hails from the US Virgin Islands. The first baseman hit only .218/.273/.358 with poor plate discipline in Low-A. One of four active USVI players (Jharel Cotton, Akeel Morris). The other player of note is Rodney Theophile, a right-handed pitcher from Nicaragua who had a 10.67 ERA in 14 1/3 innings as an 18-year old in the GCL. Theophile struck out 11 and walked 11.

There is a very unusual member of Atlanta’s instructs’ roster: Isranel Wilson, from the French Caribbean island of Saint-Martin and potential member of the French national team. The outfiellder hit .223/.305/.349 with 16 stolen bases as a 20-year old in A and High-A.

All photos ©Extra Innings UK, with the exception of the picture of Glogoski, ©Photosport.nz. An earlier edition of the article incorrectly stated that Wilson had been a member of the French NT already.

Posted in Asia, Australia, Bahamas, Caribbean, Chinese Taipei, Curaçao, Europe, France, New Zealand, Oceania, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain, St. Maarten, US Virgin Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Instructs Rosters International Preview [Part II]

Yesterday, we explained fall instructional camp and offered some thoughts on how ‘instructs’ work [link]. We also previewed the first 10 major league organisations’ rosters for instructs, noting every player from outside a top baseball region (e.g. the U.S.). Today, we continue with the next 10 clubs, with plenty of Caribbean players, plus entrants from Brazil, Canada, China, and Italy.

Houston
The Astros have only one player at instructs from outside one of the top baseball player-producing countries in Canada’s Jonathan Lacroix. The outfielder slashed .256/.323/.398 in 76 games in A-ball after being drafted out of Seminole State College, where France’s Fred Walter [link] plays.

Kansas City
The Royals have only one international of note at instructs, Chih-Ting Wang, a 19-year old RHP from Taiwan. Wang had a 4.95 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 40 innings for AZL Royals, striking out 40 and walking 22. Royals’ rookies have an interesting schedule as they play the Aguilas de Mexicali on Sep. 26, Los Cañeros de Los Mochis on Oct. 4, ‘MLB International’ on Oct. 5, Italy on Oct. 12, and Ottawa a day later.

Los Angeles (AL)
The Angels’ instructs roster is headlined by a pair of Bahamanian products, D’Shawn Knowles and Trent Deveaux, plus Panamá’s Sadrac Franco.

D’Shawn Knowles had a monster first season in pro ball, thiving in the AZL before getting even hotter with the Orem Owlz, turning in a cumulative .311/.391/.550 line with nine stolen bases despite being only 17 (2.5-3.5 years younger than the competition).

Deveaux was Knowles’ teammate for part of the season in Arizona and was also quite young for the league at 18. The outfielder slashed .199/.309/.247 with seven swipes and four outfield assists.

Franco is a right-hander from Panamá who struck out 36 in 35 2/3 innings for two rookie league teams, but had a 6.11 ERA and 1.64 WHIP, struggling with his control.

Los Angeles (NL)
Continuing our look at instructs’ rosters with the Dodgers, the two international players of note are Curaçao’s Aldrich de Jongh and Colómbia’s Jair Camargo.

We covered de Jongh in our draft coverage (link) and the toolsy outfielder saw action in 25 rookie league games, hitting .225/.271/.326 with three outfield assists.

Camargo is an 18-year old catcher who played in the AZL and Pioneer League and threw out 38% of runners while slashing .257/.277/.442 with 34 Ks in 119 plate appearances.

Miami
Tristan Pompey was drafted in the third round this year and the OF responded with an impressive debut, slashing .299/.408/.397 with 10 tsolen bases in 52 games across three levels. Will be a big part of Canada’s next World Baseball Classic squad.

Alberto Guerrero is a 20-year old righthander who signed out of Panamá and had a strong year in Low-A. Guerrero had a 3.49 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 15G, 14GS across 69.2 innings with a 63/22 K/BB ratio. Should be ready to pitch in a qualifier for Panamá by 2020.

Milwaukee
Meanwhile, in Brewers’ instructs, recent signee Jolon Zhao will take part after an excellent six-game debut for the AZL Brewers and Helena Brewers. The Chinese academy product struck out six in 8 1/3 with a 0.96 WHIP and 1.08 ERA. Zhao is joined by the Bahamas’ Orveo Saint, a middle infielder who debuted in the AZL this year and hit .126/.303/.207 with 60 strikeouts in 109 plate appearances. Interestingly, recent 16-year old Colómbian signing Branlyn Jaraba will also join Brewers’ instructs.

Minnesota
The Twins have just released their instructs’ schedule and it features two very interesting international outfielders: Brazil’s Gabriel Maciel and Australia’s Aaron Whitefield, both of whom have WBC experience.

The Twins acquired Maciel in the Eduardo Escobar swap and the 19-year old OF put an excellent first season in A-ball, slashing .280/.345/.348 with 16 stolen bases in the Midwest League. Maciel now has a career .291 average in 210G.

Maciel served as Barry Larkin‘s leadoff hitter in the Brooklyn WBCQ, going 3-for-12 with two walks and three stolen bases, all as a 17-year old. Will be a big part of the wave of Brazilian talent on the way (and was even name-dropped to us by Bo Takahashi as his ‘little brother’!).

Meanwhile, Australia’s Whitefield battled through a tough year as a 21-year old in High-A (1.4 years younger than the average player), battling injuries in a .214/.282/.275 season. Whitefield did steal 20 bases in 70 G. Whitefield will likely get another chance at A+ in 2019.

Whitefield has a career .318/.363/.462 average for the Brisbane Bandits, despite debuting at 18 in the ABL. Meanwhile, the CF was 0-for-1 in the 2017

New York (NL)
Does not hold instructional league.

New York (NL)
None.

Oakland
Italy’s Cesare Astorri made the list for Oakland, which will play Italy’s senior national team on October 2, 3, & 10. Astorri, 20, had a solid debut, slashing .289/.360/.333 in 16 AZL games. The catcher threw out 20 percent of runners attempting to steal.

All pictures copyright Extra Innings UK.

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Fall Instructs Rosters International Preview [Part I]

While the minor league season has officially come to a close, many players have not put down the uniform for the final time this year. After MiLB playoffs conclude, all but four major league organisations hold a fall instructional camp, commonly known as ‘Fall Instructs’ or simply, ‘Instructs’. Each club chooses, on average, around 40 players, half of them pitchers, to attend Instructs.

The purpose of this camp is two-fold. First, it gives the organisation an opportunity to see some players up close, particularly as those invited are usually in the 18-22 range, often either draft picks or international signings in their first year in America. The second is that the club can work with these young players on specific skills, while also helping them to prepare for what, in many cases, is their first off-season.

This camp is held at the team’s spring training home and can last anywhere from two-to-four weeks, with anywhere from a handful of games to 12 or more contests. The contests are quite toned-down, with the purpose to offer game situations to work on specific drills, rather than to win. While this is true generally of minor league games, the fall instructs schedule does not offer any restrictions on substitutions, game management, or in-game instruction.

While most clubs play against instructs rosters from other organisations nearby, it has become more common in the last five years or so for international teams to arrange for tours of Arizona or Florida clubs. In recent years, these have included KBO and NPB teams, plus national federations like Canada. This year, Canada, Italy, and Germany are both sending squads, with the latter an Under-23 side. Schedules can be accessed for Canada, Italy, and Germany.

Over the past 10 days, we have been previewing the various instructs rosters @ExtraInningsUK, paying special attention to any player from outside one of the five most well-known baseball player-producing regions. As a result, we have ignored the numerous players in camps from the U.S., Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Cuba. Instead, we have previewed players from every continent, with the Bahamas standing out as a country with quite a few players at instructs.

For ease of reading, our preview is broken down by organisation.

Arizona
The first of five Bahamian players in instructs is the Diamondbacks’ Kristian Robinson, who had a superb first pro season, playing in both the AZL and Missoula and excelling in both, despite being 2.5-3.5 years younger than the competition. The outfielder hit .279/.363/.428 with 12 SB, better at higher level. Dbacks also have Shumpei Yoshikawa, who broke international signing rules when he inked a contract with Arizona a month ago, likely precluding him from ever playing for Japan [link].

Atlanta and Baltimore
No players from places other than the five countries listed above.

Boston

Quiroz homering in the WBC. ©ExtraInningsUK

There are a few interesting international players attending Red Sox’ instructs: Justin Qiang (Tibet), Roniel Raudes (Nicaragua), and Esteban Quiroz (México). Two noteworthy international players were not invited in Brazil’s Edilson Batista or Germany’s Marco Cardoso, the latter of which has an unclear status.

Cincinnati
After a strong season, Great Britain’s Reshard Munroe was selected for fall instructionals from October 1-13, where one of the games will come against fellow CEB member Italy (Oct. 4). Munroe, who hails hit .253/.341/.404 with 15 steals between the Pioneer and Midwest Leagues.

Munroe will be joined by a fellow Caribbean player eligible in Europe as Curaçao’s Hendrik Clementina, a fast-rising prospect, also appears. Clementina came over from the Dodgers in 2017 & had a big first full season, slashing .268/.327/.497 as a C, throwing out 30% of runners.

Chicago (NL)
Does not hold instructional league.

Cleveland
Did not release roster.

Colorado and Chicago (AL)
None.

Detroit
The Tigers have Ulrich Bojarski at instructs. The outfielder is the only African in any camp, while the South African has also played the last two years for Perth and slashed .202/.281/.365 across three rookie levels in 2018. Hit .307 as a 19-year old for the Heat last year.

Tomorrow we break down Houston through Oakland, before returning on Thursday for the final 10 teams.

Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Curaçao, Europe, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North America, Oceania, Panama, Russia, South Africa, South America, Spain | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Europeans in American Education All-Star Team

Europe flagsThis spring, 75 baseball players with European connexions suited up for American universities, junior colleges, and high schools. We handed out weekly awards to a huge number of them: 12 different four-year players took home a Player of the Week, while nine were named Pitcher of the Week. Although a single hitter and one pitcher dominated the JuCo realm, six different athletes were Player of the Week and another five were tabbed top pitcher over a seven-day stretch.

As such, deciding on an All-Star Team of Europeans was difficult, with plenty of depth at catcher and outfield, in particular. Certain positions (first and second base) were a bit lighter, leading to the decision to list only a single all-star team of players at all levels. The resulting list, however, reflects the best of Europeans aged 24 and under, with many set for prominent role for their national teams in the near future.

European American University All-Star Team
C          Martin Mužík (.407/.497/.793, 22.7% caught stealing)
1B        Ari Sechopoulos (.273/.370/.591)
2B        Richard Brereton (.320/.383/.467, 13 SB; 3.60 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 8.49 K/9 as P)
SS         Tim Schaareman (.406/.468/.521, 23 SB, 18/23 K/BB)
3B        Martin Červinka (.295/.409/.402, 21/16 K/BB)
OF       Antoine Duplantis (.328/.381/.443, 19SB)
OF       Nick Kanavas (.358/.440/.432, 20SB)
OF       Julian Rip (.297/.415/.669)
P          John Doxakis (2.70 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 8.87 K/9, .212 batting average against)
P          Nick Pantos (2.96 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 12.09 K/9)
P          Marius Balandis (3.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 9.78 K/9)
P          Matteo Bocchi (3.34 ERA, 8.63 K/9, .250 batting average against)

Three of these hitters and a pair of pitchers were then selected for our top awards: Pitcher and Player of the Year for four-year and two-year universities and JuCo Rookie of the Year. Finally, we tabbed a High School Player of the Year as well.

Four-Year Player of the Year
SchaaremanThe decision to pick our Player of the Year for four-year universities was, by far, the most difficult one. Our top contenders included Richard Brereton, who handled a position change from the infield to centre while throwing more innings than anyone on the team. Despite that, the breakout GB star had the fifth-highest average of any player on our list while flashing some power and speed. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Antoine Duplantis came through on his preseason hype, delivering a .328 average and plenty of speed.

Our winner, however, is Tim Schaareman, the only European at a four-year university to hit over .400, almost 50 points better than the next-highest average. The Dutch shortstop simply never got cold, with three hits in three games representing his worst week, while he had seven-day spans of eight, eight, nine, and 12 hits. Schaareman claimed three Player of the Week nods, ranked nationally in several categories, and was named First Team All-Conference. As a result, he is our first European Player of the Year for Four-Year universities.

More on Schaareman here: [link].

Four-Year Pitcher of the Year
dox_usaEarly in the season, quite a few pitchers were in the running for Pitcher of the Year. Through April 15, only Paul Kirkpatrick (three) had multiple Pitcher of the Week nods as seven pitchers took home the first nine awards. From that point on, however, one pitcher won four of the next eight en route to an incredible season.

All John Doxakis to finish out the season was beat No. 1 MLB Draft Pick Casey Mize in the SEC Tournament and strike out 28 with a 0.95 ERA in his last three starts (19 innings). The lefty finished with a 2.70 ERA while batters hit .212 with 92 Ks in 93 1/3 innings despite pitching the entire season at 19.

There is one complicating factor to our naming Doxakis Pitcher of the Year among players eligible for European national teams: the hurler spent a month in the starting rotation for the USA Collegiate National Team and has never pitched for Greece. Should Greek Baseball succeed in recruiting him, however, the southpaw would instantly become one of the top pitchers for a European squad. For what it’s worth, had we limited the award to hurlers born in Europe, our selection would be Matteo Bocchi.

More on Doxakis here: [link]. More on Bocchi here: [link].

Junior College Player of the Year
muzik1.jpgThough a number of Europeans at junior colleges had excellent seasons, one player put on a three month-long showcase against opposing pitching, winning 9-of-14 possible Two-Year Player of Week honours. Martin Mužík is the clear winner here after putting up his second straight otherworldly season.

Mužík was recognised nationally by the NJCAA last year after an astonishing .406/.482/.744 line in 2017, but topped every category this year on his way to a Second Team All-American. He ranked in the Top 50 in NJCAA DII in five categories, including No. 17 in slugging (.793) and No. 23 (tied) in home runs (12) while batting .407. Should Mužík wish to continue his American university career, he will likely have plenty of options and, in the meantime, will play for the Netherlands at the European Super Six.

More on Mužík here: [link].

Junior College Pitcher of the Year
Pantos2In a year that featured several interesting early season performances, two moundsmen had impressive seasons. The first, Marius Balandis, has a chance to develop into Lithuania’s second-ever pitching prospect after Dovydas Neverauskas. Balandis collected two JuCo Pitcher of the Week awards and another Rookie of the Week and finished with a 3.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 9.78 K/9.

However, Balandis was clearly a step behind the incredible Nick Pantos. Another pitcher who has yet to play for Greece, the right-hander was in the Top 40 in NJCAA DII in six categories, including strikeouts (90 in 67 innings, or 12.09 K/9) and ERA (2.96). Pantos claimed All-Region honours and has was electric enough to attract an offer from NCAA DI Old Dominion University.

More on Pantos here: [link].

Junior College Rookie of the Year
Cervinka2.jpgAlthough Pantos put up outstanding numbers and our winner was overshadowed by his own Czech teammate, Martin Červinka had a stellar stateside debut for Wake Tech. Like Pantos, he got better and better as the season went on, exhibiting the best plate discipline of any of the 75 players on our list, with some contact ability, power, and speed as well, all the while holding down the hot corner as a freshman.

Červinka won three of our Two-Year Rookie of the Week and had another two Player of the Week listings on his way to a .295/.409/.402 line. Červinka struck out only 16 times in 112 at bats, including just three in his final 46 at bats, and walked 21 times. He chipped in seven stolen bases and 35 runs in 37 games and will step out of Mužík’s shadow next spring.

More on Červinka here: [link].

High School Player of the Year
RinconesAlthough one high schooler on our list was drafted and several more played for their countries in summer tournaments, one hitter stood out above all the others. Though his name might not tip one off to his Scottish nationality, Gabriel Rincónes, Jr. looks like a player to watch in his final school season next spring.

Rincónes held down a starting spot in the outfield all year as a junior and responded well, with a hitless final game of the year pushing his average below .300 for the first time. Playing in the tough Florida high school season, Rincónes flashed power (two dingers, .480 slugging) and plate discipline (11 walks, .426 on-base percentage), finishing with a .299 average. With Scotland yet to gain admission to the Confederation of European Baseball, Rincónes looks like an intriguing possibility for Team GB.

More on Rincónes here: [link].

If you missed it, here is the full list of end-of-season updates for all 75 players eligible for European national federations:
Surnames A-C [link].
Surnames D-G [link].
Surnames H-K: [link].
Surnames L-P: [link].
Surnames R-S: [link].
Surnames T-Z: [link].
Complete list of Weekly Award Winners: [link].
Please let us know of any Europeans attending high school or university for the 2018-19 academic year.

All pictures courtesy of players’ respective institutions, with the exception of the picture of Balandis, from whom we were given use.

Posted in Czech Republic, Europe, Europeans in US Education, Great Britain, Greeece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Baseball Players in American Education Weekly Awards

europe-flags.jpgCompiled below is our full list of weekly award winners among European-eligible players at American universities. This includes Four-Year Player and Pitcher of the Week, along with JuCo Player, Pitcher, and Rookie of the Week. In parentheses is the number of times, through that week, that the player had won the respective award. In total, 30 different players (out of 74) from 14 countries (out of 19) won a weekly award.

Four-Year University Players of the Week:

Week Player
Feb. 1-28 Richard Brereton (1) and Jorin van Amstel (1)
Feb. 19-25 Antoine Duplantis (1) and Nick Zouras (1)
Feb. 26-March 4 Tim Schaareman (1)
March 5-11 Max Draijer (1)
March 12-18 Bart in den Kleef (1) and Axel Poesmans (1)
March 19-25 Tim Schaareman (2)
March 26-April 1 Tim Schaareman (3)
April 2-8 Antoine Duplantis (2)
April 9-15 Richard Brereton (2) and Jorin van Amstel (2)
April 16-22 Daniel Patrice (1)
April 23-29 Antoine Duplantis (3)
April 30-May 6 Nick Kanavas (1)
May 7-13 Ari Sechopoulos (1)
May 14-20 Ari Sechopoulos (2)
May 21-27 Conrad Cornell (1)

Four-Year University Pitcher of the Week:

Week Player
Feb. 1-18 John Doxakis (1)
Feb. 19-25 Paul Kirkpatrick (1)
Feb. 26-March 4 Thomas Triantos (1)
March 5-11 Paul Kirkpatrick (2)
March 12-18 Isaiah Campbell (1)
March 19-25 Paul Kirkpatrick (3)
March 26-April 1 Eli Lingos (1)
April 2-8 Richard Brereton (1)
April 9-15 Christian Bokich (1)
April 16-22 John Doxakis (2)
April 23-29 Richard Brereton (2)
April 30-May 6 None
May 7-13 Isaiah Campbell (2)
May 14-20 John Doxakis (3)
May 21-27 John Doxakis (4)
May 28-June 3 John Doxakis (5) and Matteo Bocchi (1)
June 4-10 None
June 11-17 Matteo Bocchi (2)
June 18-24 Isaiah Campbell (3)

Only three rookies competed at four-year institutions, and none played much, so no awards will be given.

Two-Year University Player of the Week:

Week Player
Feb. 1-18 Martin Mužík (1)
Feb. 19-25 Martin Mužík (2)
Feb. 26-March 4 Martin Mužík (3)
March 5-11 Martin Červinka (1) and Martin Mužík (4)
March 12-18 Julian Rip (1)
March 19-25 Martin Červinka (2)
March 26-April 1 Martin Mužík (5)
April 2-8 Martin Mužík (6)
April 9-15 Bor Starc (1)
April 16-22 Julian Rip (2)
April 23-29 Martin Mužík (7)
April 30-May 6 Martin Mužík (8)
May 7-13 Martin Mužík (9)
May 14-20 Nolan Soliveres (1)

Two-Year Pitcher of the Week

Week Player
Feb. 1-18 Maurizio Andretta (1)
Feb. 19-25 Antoine Villard (1)
Feb. 26-March 4 None
March 5-11 Marius Balandis (1)
March 12-18 Nick Pantos (1)
March 19-25 Jan Nebenfuhr (1)
March 26-April 1 Nick Pantos (2)
April 2-8 Marius Balandis (2)
April 9-15 Nick Pantos (3)
April 16-22 Nick Pantos (4)
April 23-29 Nick Pantos (5)
April 30-May 6 Nick Pantos (6)
May 7-13 Nick Pantos (7)

Two-Year University Rookie of the Week:

Week Player
Feb. 1-18 Sammy Hackl (1)
Feb. 19-25 Martin Červinka (1)
Feb. 26-March 4 Martin Červinka (2)
March 5-11 Martin Červinka (3)
March 12-18 Nick Pantos (1)
March 19-25 Jan Nebenfuhr (2)
March 26-April 1 Nick Pantos (2)
April 2-8 Marius Balandis (1)
April 9-15 Bor Starc (1)
April 16-22 Nick Pantos (3)
April 23-29 Nick Pantos (4)
April 30-May 6 Nick Pantos (5)
May 7-13 Nick Pantos (6)

Tomorrow, we reveal our end-of-season awards. In the meantime, check out the full list of end-of-season updates:
Surnames A-C [link].
Surnames D-G [link].
Surnames H-K: [link].
Surnames L-P: [link].
Surnames R-S: [link].
Surnames T-Z: [link].

Posted in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Europe, Europeans in US Education, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greeece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Laos “Impressive” as Sri Lanka Wins at Asian Games

©SLABSA

The 2018 Asian Games are underway in Jakarta, and baseball returns for the seventh time with a record number of teams. Yesterday, we offered our thoughts on the preliminary round, which includes two nations making their Asian Games debut [link]. Since then, two results have come in, while we were also able to speak to Rajith Ratnayake of the Sri Lanka Baseball Association.

©BFA

In the first game on Aug. 21, Thailand pounded Laos 15-0, with the result the first-ever for Laos. This morning, the Asian neophytes were eliminated by Sri Lanka, but kept it close the entire game in a 15-10 result. The score read 5-4 after two before the Resplendent Isle made it 11-4 at the midway point. A three-run sixth and two-run seventh made it 11-10 before the Lankans pulled away late.

“We [did] not played with our best team [and] rested a few pitchers for tomorrow’s game,” noted Ratnayake. “But Laos is really impressive. They will be a threat to others within few years. As per the information received they have done their basics well.”

Sri Lanka will take on Thailand at 8 a.m. GMT on Aug. 23 for the right to join Pool B.

©SLABSA

“Tomorrow there will be a very good match,” explained Ratnayake. “Thailand will play with four players who are playing in USA. They came from there and played in East Asia Cup, too [as] Thailand lost to Philippine in the final. However, we are confident that we can win.”

We will have more from Jakarta tomorrow, with information available @ExtraInningsUK. Be sure to follow Sri Lanka @Slabsa1 and like them on Facebook for the inside scoop.

Posted in Asia, Asian Games, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tournaments | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Baseball Players in American Education Final [T-Z]

Today, we give you the final nine of what turned out to be 74 players eligible for European national federations, many of whom were born in Europe and others who are dual citizens. The student-athletes represent 17 countries, more than 40 percent of European federations, and range from 17-24 in age.

Today we conclude with our final nine, with surnames from T-Z, who hail from France, Great Britain, Greece, and the Netherlands: Thomas Triantos, Charles Tsintolas, Jorin van Amstel, Timo van Lingen, Dylan Verdonk, Antoine Villard, Frédéric Walter, James Wood, and Nick Zouras. Also on the list is Coach Terrence Whittle, who has served as coach in Germany, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Tune in tomorrow for our postseason awards announcements and a list of our weekly awards.

Thomas Triantos, LHP (SO, Cal Poly State University [30-24], Calif.) [Bio]
BBvsPacificGame4Triantos had a rough season, never really establishing himself in the rotation or ‘pen, with his only noteworthy appearance a 5 2/3 inning start against Dartmouth on Mar. 23. He scattered five hits and a free pass and struck out four against the Big Green.

It was a disappointing season for the Greek-American, who was expected to play a big role for the Mustangs and instead finished with a 5.13 ERA and more walks (19) than strikeouts (18) in 33 1/3. Lingering effects from an injury likely affected his performance and Triantos should play an important role in 2019.

Week Stats
March 5-11 1GS, 3.2IP, 5H, 7ER, 4BB, 1K, 1HR
March 12-18 1G, 1.1IP, 1H, 2ER, BB, 2K
March 19-25 1GS, 5.2IP, 5H, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
March 26-April 1 1GS, 1IP, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 1K
April 2-8 1G, 1H, 0ER, 1K
April 9-15 1GS, 2IP, 2H, 3ER, 2BB, 1K
April 16-22 DNP
April 23-29 2G, 2IP, 5H, 1ER, BB, 1K
April 30-May 6 1G, 4.1IP, 5H, 1ER, 2BB, 0K
May 7-13 1GS, 2.2IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 2K
May 14-20 DNP
May 21-27 DNP

Charles Tsintolas, C (SO, George Washington University [32-26], D.C.) [Bio]
Tsintolas received only two at bats this spring, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout. His Colonials faced Poland’s Golubiewski between March 31 and April 1.

Jorin van Amstel, DH (1B-2B) (JR, Northwestern Oklahoma State University [24-25], Okla.) [Bio]
van AmstelVan Amstel had an excellent season for the Rangers, slashing .340/.392/.519 in 162 at bats, collecting 10 walks and six hit-by-pitches against 28 Ks. A massive week in mid-April had his average up to .385, but a 4-for-23 finish to the season dropped van Amstel’s torrid pace. Still, van Amstel was named Second Team All-Great American Conference for his efforts. The native of the Netherlands will have a final collegiate season to continue his rapid improvement (.256 in 2017).

Week Stats
March 5-11 4G, 4-for-14, 2R, 3B, 3RBI
March 12-18 3G, 3-for-11, R, HR, 4RBI, 3K, 2SF
March 19-25 2G, 1-for-7, R, RBI, 5K
March 26-April 1 4G, 5-for-14, 2R, RBI, BB, 3K, SF
April 2-8 1G, 2-for-4, RBI, 2B, CS
April 9-15 6G, 10-for-17, 8R, 4 2B, HR, 7RBI, 3BB, 2HBP, SB
April 16-22 4G, 2-for-14, R, RBI, 3K
April 23-29 2G, 2-for-9, 2K

Timo van Lingen, RHP (RS SO, Hutchinson Community College [39-22], Kan.) [Bio]
van-lingen.jpgVan Lingen saw action in only two games, both in mid-February, allowing three earned runs in one innings on three hits and two walks. The Dutch right-hander struck out one and will have to find a new club for 2019. 

 

 

Dylan Verdonk, RHP (SO, Seton Hall University [30-20-1], N.J.) [Bio]
VerdonkVerdonk did not pitch in the first few weeks of the season, but from that point on, usually saw action in one game a week, even drawing a start against NJIT on April 24. The appearance did not turn out well, but from that point on, Verdonk was almost untouchable, striking out 15 in his final seven innings, allowing only a single score on seven hits and two walks. The impressive performance brought his ERA to 6.35, but he struck out 25 in 17 frames, surrendering only six walks, likely buying the Netherlands native more playing time in 2018.

Week Stats
March 5-11 2G, 2IP, 0ER, 2K
March 12-18 1G, .2IP, 0ER, 1BB, 0K
March 19-25 1G, 2.1IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 0K
March 26-April 1 DNP
April 2-8 1G, 1IP, 0ER, 2K
April 9-15 1G, 1IP, 1H, 3ER, 1BB, 1K
April 16-22 1G, 1IP, 4H, 3ER, 2K
April 23-29 1GS, 2IP, 4H, 4ER, 1BB, 3K
April 30-May 6 1G, 1IP, 0ER, 1K
May 7-13 2G, 2IP, 1H, 0ER, 6K
May 14-20 1G, 1IP, 2H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K
May 21-27 2G, 3IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 6K

Antoine Villard, RHP (FR, Arizona Western Community College [13-8], Ariz.) [Bio]
Antonie VillardVillard, the third European on AWCC’s squad, saw infrequent action, appearing in 11 of the team’s 65 games and none in the final month of play. Villard was difficult to hit, but struggled with control, walking 11 and hitting two in 11 innings, though he did strike out 21 batters.

The French national teamer had a 3.77 ERA and will likely return for a second season with the Matadors.

Week Stats
March 5-11 1G, 1.1IP, 0ER, 1BB, 3K
March 12-18 2G, 2IP, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K
March 19-25 1G, 2IP, 1H, 1ER, 3BB, 3K
March 26-April 1 1G, .1IP, 2H, 1ER, 1BB, 0K
April 2-8 DNP
April 9-15 DNP
April 16-22 1G, 2IP, 2H, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
April 23-29 DNP
April 30-May 6 DNP
May 7-13 DNP
May 14-20 DNP

Frédéric Walter, 3B (FR, Seminole State College [5-6], Okla.) [Bio]
Walter started four of the first seven games for the Trojans, but appeared in only three games after that and none after March 24. He was 1-for-16 (.063) with three runs and three strikeouts on the year. It is unclear what the French infielder’s future is with SCC.

James Wood, LHP (JR, Concord University [26-23], W.V.) [Bio]
WoodWood appeared in four games for the Mountain Lions, throwing a single inning roughly every two weeks. Unfortunately, the former Great Britain youth pitcher struggled in all but the first, permitting four earned runs on six hits and five walks, striking out three. In three years, he has pitched a total of five innings.

 

Nick Zouras, C (JR, Illinois State University [22-30], Ill.) [Bio]
ZourasZouras had a superb start to the campaign, going 14-for-32 in the first seven games, drilling two doubles and a pair of roundtrippers, but after back-to-back two-hit days on March 11 and 12 hit .169 the rest of the way. The Greek-American’s numbers finished at a serviceable .247/.306/.342, slightly down from the year before, though he also lost playing time behind the plate and threw out only 1-of-13 base thiefs. Zouras would still be a useful player at a key position were he to suit up for the Greek National Team.

Week Stats
March 5-11 4G, 5-for-16, 2R, 3 2B, 2RBI, 2BB, 3K
March 12-18 5G, 3-for-18, 3R, 2B, BB, 2K
March 19-25 2G, 0-for-7, HBP, K
March 26-April 1 3G, 2-for-9, 2R, BB, 3K
April 2-8 3G, 3-for-14, 2R, 2B, RBI, BB, K
April 9-15 5G, 4-for-18, 3R, 3B, 5RBI, 3K, SF
April 16-22 4G, 3-for-12, 4R, 2BB, 3K
April 23-29 2G, 1-for-7, RBI, 4K
April 30-May 6 1G, 1-for-3, R
May 7-13 1G, 0-for-2
May 14-20 1G, 0-for-3, R, RBI, BB, 2K, SAC
May 21-27 DNP

Coaches
Terrance Whittle, Head Coach (First Season, Stillman College [19-22], Ala.) [Bio]
Whittle.jpgThe Tigers overcame an 0-5 start and nine rainouts to finish a respectable 19-22, including 9-5 at home. The independent NAIA club had three players recognised for postseason awards, but it is unclear whether Whittle will return for 2019.

 

 

Stay tuned for our award winners tomorrow and catch up with our previous final updates:

Surnames A-C [link].
Surnames D-G [link].
Surnames H-K: [link].
Surnames L-P: [link].
Surnames R-S: [link].

All photos courtesy of the athletes’ institutions unless otherwise noted.

Posted in Africa, Europe, Europeans in US Education, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greeece, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Asian Games Begins with Two Debutantes

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©BFA

With an Asian Games-record of 10 nations in the baseball competition, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand face off in a preliminary round to determine which of the three will advance to face Asia’s top seven. Only Thailand has appeared on the diamond at the Games before and the nation brings much more baseball experience as well. No team other than South Korea, Taiwan, or Japan has ever won a medal at the Asian Games, but China’s six straight fourth-place finishes might be a possibility for the other teams.

First, however, the preliminary round has to crown a victor. The winner joins Japan, China, and Pakistan in Group B. Group B plays from 26-28 August, as does Group A, which includes Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Mongolia was also originally meant to play in the preliminary round, but withdrew, and the Philippines has not sent a team since 2006, though it has competed in other sports. Other possible entrants Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Nepal, and Singapore also elected not to send teams.

Laos is making its international baseball debut after its federation was founded only in 2014 and recognised by the WBSC in 2017. It does have Korean legend Lee Man-soo at the helm, but will face an uphill task as documented by Yonhap News [link].

Meanwhile, Thailand has dropped all the way to No. 56 in the world, falling roughly three spots a year for the last nine years. The 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifier selection has fared poorly in recent competitions, a second-place finish at the 2018 East Asia Baseball Cup notwithstanding.

39813912_2249986135018126_8179952913892769792_n

©SLABSA

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has risen to No. 40 in the world, jumping 12 places from 2017. This places the team in the company of Belarus, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, the latter two of which were selected for the main draw. Last year, Sri Lanka upset No. 24 (at the time) Pakistan 4-2 in the West Asia Cup final, though it dropped matches to Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, and Pakistan, defeating only Hong Kong in the Asian Baseball Championship. It has since hired the former CEO of Sri Lanka Rugby [link] and competed for the first time in the Asian Little League Championship, where it lost all six of its games this year.

Interestingly, Group A looks to be the much more difficult group, with Korea and Taiwan all but assured of advancing, particularly considering both are fielding a large number of professionals. While Japan will almost certainly win Group B, it is entirely possible that the opening round victor could fend off China or Pakistan to advance to the medal round.

Box scores are unavailable for the tournament, but we will report scores @ExtraInningsUK.

Posted in Asia, Asian Games, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tournaments | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Baseball Players in American Education Final [R-S]

On Saturday, we gave you the final season update for the first 15 (alphabetically) European baseball players in American Education [link]. Sunday, we broke down 11 more [link] and added 13 on Monday [link]. Our dozen today are eligible for the national federations Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, and Slovenia: Matthew Rienzi, Gabriel Rincónes Jr, Julian Rip, Conor Santoianni, Tim Schaareman, Brendan Scott, Ari Sechopoulos, Nolan Soliveres, Alex Sollecito, Matteo Sollecito, Bor Starc, and Joakim Svedheim.

Matthew Rienzi, RHP (SO, St. Joseph’s College-Brooklyn [7-28], N.Y.) [Bio]
RienziRienzi never really got going in the Bears’ abbreviated and weather-shortened season. Though he appeared in 10 games, he compiled only 8 1/3 innings and was rocked for eight earned run on 12 hits and six walks, sending seven down on strikes. In two years, the Polish hurler has a 7.85 ERA and 12-to-14 K-to-BB ratio in 18 1/3 frames.

Week Stats
March 5-11 2G, .1IP, 4H, 4ER, 1BB, 0K, 1HR
March 12-18 1G, .2IP, 1H, 0ER, K
March 19-25 1G, 1IP, 2H, 1ER, K
March 26-April 1 2G, 2.2IP, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
April 2-8 2G, .2IP, 1H, 1ER, 2BB, 0K
April 9-15 1G, 0IP, 0ER, 0K
April 16-22 3G, 2.2IP, 3H, 0ER, 3K
April 23-29 1G, .1IP, 1H, 2BB, 1BB, 0K

Gabriel Rincónes Jr, OF-RHP (HS JR, Plant High School [23-6], Fla.) [Bio]
RinconesRincónes had an up-and-down season with several scorching stretches, such as an 11-for-29, five extra-base hit span from March 2-22, and a 9-for-24, two homer stretch from April 12-May 1, sandwiched around a 0-for-10 mark in-between. The only Scot on our list had quite solid marks overall, though, slashing .299/.426/.480 with 11 walks and 19 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances, chipping in five stolen bases in 28 games. Though he is listed as a pitcher, Rincónes did not take the hill, starting in the outfielder in all but the season’s final game. Improved plate discipline in his final school year could entice university scouts to his blend of speed and power.

Week Stats
March 5-11 3G, 3-for-7, 3R, 2 2B, 3B, 2BB, HBP, K, SB
March 12-18 4G, 4-for-13, RBI, HBP, 5K, SB
March 19-25 2G, 3-for-6, 4R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI, HBP, 2K, 2SB
March 26-April 1 1G, 0-for-4, 2K
April 2-8 2G, 0-for-4, 2BB, K
April 9-15 2G, 1-for-4, BB, HBP, K
April 16-22 3G, 3-for-9, 3R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB, HBP
April 23-29 2G, 3-for-4, R, RBI, 2BB, HBP
April 30-May 6 2G, 2-for-7, R, HR, 2RBI, 3K
May 7-13 1G, 1-for-3, R, 2K
May 14-20 1G, 0-for-4, 1K
May 21-27 DNP

Julian Rip, OF (SO, Hutchinson Community College [39-22], Kan.) [Bio]
Julian-Rip-Sportprijs-VeldRip had a boom-or-bust season for the Blue Dragons, who advanced deep in to the Region VI Tournament and took advantage of the small ballparks of the Midwest, blasting nine home runs, third-most on the team. A significant portion of the damage coming in a nine-day span in April, during which he was 16-for-29 with six doubles, a triple, and two four-baggers, scoring 15 runs and driving in 17.

Rip’s biggest weakness was his plate discipline as he struck out a whopping 47 times in 118 at bats, drawing 16 walks (and 10 plunkings) despite the obvious power. His final line of .297/.415/.669 might appeal to scouts at a smaller four-year university, and it will be interested to see if Rip will appear for a Dutch team in the coming year.

Week Stats
March 5-11 1G, 1-for-3, 2R, BB, K
March 12-18 4G, 2-for-7, 5R, 2HR, 5RBI, BB, 4K, 3SB
March 19-25 4G, 4-for-12, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI, BB, 2K
March 26-April 1 2G, 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI, 2K
April 2-8 2G, 1-for-5, 2RBI, 3K
April 9-15 6G, 4-for-9, 2R, 4RBI, 3BB, 3K, CS
April 16-22 5G, 10-for-22, 12R, 5 2B, 3B, 2HR, 11RBI, 3BB, 7K, SB
April 23-29 4G, 2-for-9, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, 3K
April 30-May 6 3G, 1-for-9, RBI, BB, 5K, SB
May 7-13 4G, 4-for-11, 5R, 3B, HR, 4RBI, 3BB, 3K
May 14-20 1G, 0-for-2, K

Conor Santoianni, OF (FR, Springfield University [23-14-2], Mass.) [Bio]

Santoianni Hudson Valley

©Hudson Valley News Network

Santoianni gradually accrued more playing time as the season went on, starting 11 games for the Pride. After starting his collegiate career 9-for-24, the Irish-American struggled in all but one of his remaining games, but still finished with a .241/.328/.259 line that offers promise going into his second season.

Week Stats
Feb. 26-March 4 DNP
March 5-11 1G, 2-for-3, 2B
March 12-18 5G, 4-for-11, R, 2RBI, BB, 2K
March 19-25 2G, 2-for-7, R, 2BB, 2K
March 26-April 1 4G, 1-for-16, RBI, 3BB, 6K
April 2-8 3G, 3-for-8, R, SB
April 9-15 2G, 0-for-2, 2K
April 16-22 2G, 0-for-4, BB, 2K
April 23-29 1G, 1-for-3
April 30-May 6 DNP

Tim Schaareman, SS (SR, Park University [22-20], Mo.) [Bio]
schaareman2.jpgSchaareman put together one of the best seasons of any European and was easily the most consistent, as virtually every box score saw the Dutch shortstop collect a hit and a run, often with a stolen base or extra base hit. He was never cold for more than a game or two, and had a 23-game hitting streak between the end of 2017 and the beginning of the spring. Overall, Schaareman had superb number, slashing .406/.468/.521 with 23 stolen bases, 18 walks, and only 23 whiffs in 165 at bats. He scored 44 runs in 42 games.

The only downside to Schaareman’s game was the 18 errors, which led to an .898 fielding percentage, roughly an average result defensively in the NAIA. Still, Schaareman was 11th in the NAIA in hits per game (1.6), tied for No. 26 in stolen bases per game (0.55), and in a draw for No. 33 in the nation in average, leading to a First-Team All-Conference selection.

Schaareman was superb in his three years for the Pirates, slashing .349/.418/.493 in 137 games, scoring 132 runs and swiping 48 bases. The infielder is clearly good enough to continue playing somewhere, but it remains to be seen whether he will suit up again, particularly for the loaded Netherlands national teams.

Week Stats
March 5-11 3G, 3-for-11, 2R, 2B, RBI, BB, 4K
March 12-18 6G, 9-for-25, 4R, 6RBI, 8K, SF, SAC, 7SB
March 19-25 5G, 8-for-17, 9R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI, 4BB, K, 4SB
March 26-April 1 3G, 5-for-11, R, 2B, 2RBI, 3BB, K, 2SB
April 2-8 3G, 6-for-14, 5R, 2B, 3RBI, SF, K, SB
April 9-15 3G, 8-for-15, 4R, 2 2B, HR, 4RBI, 2K, 2SB
April 16-22 3G, 5-for-14, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB, SO, 2SB
April 23-29 4G, 5-for-17, 4R, 2B, 2RBI, BB, 2K

Brendan Scott, SS-CF-RHP (HS JR, Queensbury H.S. [23-14-2], N.Y.) [Bio]
Scott played for New Jersey Class A champions, hitting a three-run triple in the championship game, but unfortunately, season stats are unavailable for the Irish-American.

Ari Sechopoulos, 1B (SO, College of Charleston [36-19], S.C.) [Bio]
SechopoulosSechopoulos had a fairly consistent season, with very few big or poor games, despite starting in only around 60 percent of the Cougars’ games. The first-sacker’s final line of .273/.370/.591 as a sophomore is quite promising, however, as does his solid defence (.991 fielding percentage). The Greek-American even pulled off a rare feat twice, hitting a home run and laying down a sacrifice bunt in the same game. Sechopoulos and Platt faced off between Mar. 30-Apr. 1 and would have met again had Platt stayed in the lineup, as the two faced off in the playoffs. Continued improvement (.259/.327/.439 in 2017) should see Sechopoulos cement a starting role for 2018.

Week Stats
March 5-11 2G, 2-for-4, 2R, 2K
March 12-18 3G, 1-for-6, R, HR, RBI
March 19-25 3G, 2-for-7, 2R, HR, 3RBI, BB, 3K, SAC, SB
March 26-April 1 3G, 2-for-9, R, 2 2B, RBI, BB, 3K, SAC
April 2-8 2G, 1-for-6, R, HR, 2RBI, SAC
April 9-15 2G, 2-for-6, R, HR, RBI, 3K, 2SAC
April 16-22 2G, 3-for-6, 2R, HR, RBI, BB
April 23-29 4G, 4-for-16, R, 2B, HBP, 5K, SB
April 30-May 6 3G, 3-for-9, 2R, 2RBI, 2 2B, BB, 6K
May 7-13 1G, 0-for-5, 4K
May 14-20 2G, 3-for-7, 1R, HR, 4RBI, BB
May 21-27 3G, 3-for-10, 3R, 2HR, 3RBI, 3BB, 2K

Nolan Soliveres, C (SO, Hillsborough Community College [32-25], Fla.) [Bio]
soliveres.jpgSoliveres was a teammate of the highest drafted member of a European national team, Aldrich de Jongh, who is not included on this list as we have grouped Caribbean-born prospects separately (mostly for reasons of size as the list would more than double). Soliveres played regularly in the first two weeks of the season, but received only six at bats between Feb. 25 and May 12, which could suggest an injury. Adding to that case is that Soliveres came back red-hot, starting three of the final four games in the Region VIII Tournament, including a massive 4-for-4, three-run, five-RBI performance versus Broward, against whom he hit his only roundtripper of the year. The Hawks were eliminated in regionals by the same team that ended Marius Balandis’ season, Chipola College.

Soliveres’ numbers in his second season with Hillsborough were solid, despite only seeing action in 15 games. The backstop slashed .300/.333/.400, scoring seven runs and driving in eight, though he did strike out 11 times in 40 at bats against only two walks. Perhaps more importantly, he threw out 6-of-14 baserunners (42.9 percent), almost twice the percentage of the team’s other two catchers.

Week Stats
March 5-11 DNP
March 12-18 1G, 1-for-4, 3K
March 19-25 1G, 0-for-1, K
March 26-April 1 DNP
April 2-8 DNP
April 9-15 DNP
April 16-22 DNP
April 23-29 DNP
April 30-May 6 1G, 0-for-1
May 7-13 DNP
May 14-20 3G, 5-for-11, 3R, HR, 4RBI, 2K, CS

Alex Sollecito, RHP-IF
No information is available for the younger of the Sollecito brothers.

Matteo Sollecito, RHP-SS-1B (JR, St. Peter’s Prep School [20-5], N.J.) [Bio]
Sollecito played sparingly in St. Peter’s run to the league title, which saw them ranked No. 26 in New Jersey. The Great Britain youth player pitched in five game, striking out 10 and walking nine in 14 1/3 frames, surrendering seven runs on 15 hits. Sollecito has one more year in school before attempting to continue his career.

Week Stats
March 26-April 1 1G, 2IP, 0ER, 2BB, 2K; 0-for-1, K as a batter
April 2-8 1G, 1.2IP, 2H, 2ER, 2BB, K
April 9-15 DNP
April 16-22 1G, 2H, 1ER, 2BB, 1K
April 23-29 1G, 4.2IP, 8H, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
April 30-May 6 1G, 0-for-1, RBI, BB as a batter
May 7-13 1GS, 5IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
May 14-20 DNP
May 21-27 DNP
May 28-June 3 DNP

Bor Starc, OF (FR, Clarendon Community College [6-1], Tx.) [Bio]
StarcIn an offensive league, Starc hit .302/.444/.488 with nine walks and 12 strikeouts in 43 at bats. The Slovenian did not draw a start in his 16 games for Clarendon, a team that hit .371/.464/.657 collectively.

Week Stats
March 5-11 DNP
March 12-18 DNP
March 19-25 DNP
March 26-April 1 0-for-2, K
April 2-8 2-for-7, 2B, 2R, 3RBI, BB, K
April 9-15 4-for-8, 3B, HR, 5R, 4RBI, 3BB, K
April 16-22 DNP
April 23-29 4-for-14, 2 2B, 3R, RBI, 2BB, 5K
April 30-May 6 2-for-6, 3RBI, K
May 7-13 0-for-2, RBI, 3BB, 2K

Joakim Svedheim, RHP (SO, Potomac State College [1-2], W.V.) [Bio]
Svedheim made only four appearances for PSC, but struck out a staggering 8-of-19 batters. In his 3 1/3 frames, he also allowed five runs on three hits and three walks, but the strikeout total might be intriguing enough for the Belgian to register interest elsewhere.

Week Stats
March 5-11 DNP
March 12-18 DNP
March 19-25 DNP
March 26-April 1 DNP
April 2-8 DNP
April 9-15 DNP
April 16-22 1G, 1IP, 0ER, 3K
April 23-29 1G, 1IP, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K
April 30-May 6 1G, 1IP, 2H, 2ER, 1BB, 2K
May 7-13 DNP

Stay tuned for our next update tomorrow as we give you players surnamed T-Z. We will wrap up the day after with a list of our award winners.

All photos courtesy of the athletes’ institutions unless otherwise noted.

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