It was an especially busy week in international baseball, particularly as we premiered what became a series on Europeans playing baseball at American high schools and universities. The original two-dozen list has not hit 60 and names continue to pour in. We also had an exciting staff announcement!
The week started off with a bang:
We began looking at top performances by European university players, like the Netherlands’ Tim Schaareman (tweet). We discovered a 2019 baseball commitment for an Italian prospect as well (tweet). We lauded Great Britain’s Richard Brereton, who had a huge week for Emory (thread). Another member of Team GB, Hayden Platt, earned an award at Elon (tweet). We then teased the release of our article on Europeans in America with some statistical breakdowns of the players (tweet).
The CEB announced GB Baseball’s schedule for the Under-23 European Championship, which we broke down team-by-team (link).
Nicaragua announced that the upcoming exhibition series with Cuba would feature a Home Run Derby (tweet).
Our friends at Global Baseball News suggested that the WBSC and National Federations read our study on social media and international baseball:
With another great international exhibition series approaching, Australia announced its roster for its trip to play Japan (tweet). The Samurai released its player list as well (tweet).
Dick’s Sporting Goods donated $500 to Zambia Baseball (tweet).
We released the first of what became a three-part series on European baseball players at American universities to overwhelming response:
We announced the start of weekly awards for European players, with our first Co-Players of the Week for four-year universities Richard Brereton (tweet) and Jorin van Amstel (tweet). We offered some quick insights into the list as well (thread).
The project continued to evolve as well:
Romanian Eduard Pîrvu signed with the IBL, likely the first Romanian to play professionally (tweet).
In more news from Italy, Alex Liddi signed with the Royals (tweet), which also features fellow countryman Marten Gasparini, a well-spoken young man with whom we spoke in our tour of the southeastern U.S. last year (link). Gasparini suggested that Sicily could be a prime location for a winter league and, indeed, Italy announced that it will be holding spring training there in March, with several international games (tweet).
The Texas AirHogs announced that it will add 13 players from the Chinese NT to its roster this year (link).
In a hilarious turn of events, the Rockies trolled Britain’s Rory Chandler about his opinions on bunting, home runs, and their successes:
As our list of players continued to grow, we published the second part of our look into Europeans in American, focussing on players at JuCos and high schools:
As #RothWatch took effect, the Cubs announced that Michael Roth would start their Cactus League opener. The GB star is on a minor league contract with Chicago (tweet).
The Rockies signed their first Brazilian (tweet).
Our awards to Europeans continued, with Czech Republic’s Martin Mužík (tweet), Italy’s Maurizio Andretta (tweet), and Austria’s Sammy Häckl (tweet) taking home their first honours. Sources continued to send us more and more names and we released the third part of our introduction to European uni players:
That resulted in one more award to Greece’s John Doxakis, our first Pitcher of the Week among four-year universities (tweet).
We finished the work week with two must-read articles from The Ringer. The first is an important look at whether players are getting their fair share of MLB revenue (link). The second discusses the first and only free agent spring training camp until this year (link).
Yet another new international baseball tournament, making 2018 a banner year for the sport globally. Interestingly enough from a cultural context, the Catalunya Baseball and Softball Federation will host a long weekend of international academy baseball (link). We added it to our comprehensive list of tournaments, which you can use as a primer for what’s going on this year:
Cuba defeated Nicaragua 6-4 in the first game of three in their exhibition series (tweet). According to our records, it has been 27 years since the Nicas beat Cuba in international play at the 1991 Intercontinental Cup.
The schedule was released for Haarlem Honkbalweek, with Cuba and Japan added to Honkbalweek Haarlem, joining Curaçao, Italy, the Netherlands, and Taiwan (link).
A new international baseball tour company has arrived, The North Baseball, offering trips to Europe to compete against local teams (link).
Italy was named the Little League Europe-Africa Region’s Nation of the Year (tweet).
The Week Ahead:
Japan and Australia square off for a Saturday-Sunday matchup of Top 10 baseball countries in several NPB stadia.
Italy’s training camp in Sicily kicks off on Saturday.
And finally, another big staff announcement.
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Previous articles in this series include:
11-17 February (link)
4-10 February (link)
28 January-3 February (link)
21-27 January (link)
14-20 January (link)
7-13 January (link)
1-6 January (link)
22-31 December (link)
15-21 December (link)
8-14 December (link)
1-7 December (link)
15-30 November (link)
1-14 November (link)
15-31 October (link)
1-14 October (link)
Month of September (link)
27 August-2 September (link)
20-26 August (link)