Israel is stacked...
I'd like to suggest everyone pitch in and give a background report about a team they feel confident about covering, for these first two qualifiers. I'll update this in a bit with a German team report, but I have to say I only know 6 of the Israeli team, even fewer from France, but if needed can also cover Czech and GB once those are set in stone by MLB. Not afraid to show my disappointment with some of the picks, and will follow up with some snubs I feel should get their name recognized. I also don't know how much Frady has scouted these new players, so how he works them in will probably remain a secret until next Thursday.
21 yo. CF from Arizona. Has spent 4 years with Phillys Low A and A teams, spent all 2012 at A Lakewood, hit .252 with 8HR 27 2B over 110 games, best numbers so far. Considered a 5 tool prospect but still raw, developing on track. Doubtful that he would start in CF, could be a late inning defensive replacement.
25 yo. RHP from Netherlands. Regensburg/Bundesliga. 6'8", breaks 90. Long reach makes it feel faster, slider, curve. Was drafted out of Santa Ana College by ChiSox(2006, '07), Philly('08), 74 IP between 2008-10 mostly in relief/closing between Rookie and A. Has been with Regensburg Legionäre for three years, this past year put up: 8 GS, 59.2IP, 38 H, 13 ER, 71 K, 7-0 2Sv. Could start vs. Czech, or relieve in the later games. Has dominated German Bundesliga from one of the best teams in Europe, but...thats the Bundesliga and not AAA guys from Canada.
21 yo. LHP born in Regensburg, from Florida. Tigers 2010-12. High A Lakeland: 23 GS, 121.1 IP, 91ER, 115 H, 88 BB, 182 K, 4.90 ERA. Tabbed for his smart work and great command, reaches low 90's, relies on 2 seam, slider, cutter. Working on curve and change. Expected in AA next season. Should see a start back in his birthplace!
26 yo. RHP from Mannheim, Germany. Heidenheim/Bundesliga. Pitched at a couple colleges, in 2011 played AA and Frontier League: 4.18 ERA, 23.2 IP, 17 K, 26H. Regular season: 5 GP, 18.2 IP, 26 Ks, 0.96 ERA. Playoffs: 6 GP, 21.2 IP, 27 Ks, 2.49ERA. Keeps hitters off balance going in and out with all pitches. Fast, change, curve, slider.
30 yo. C/1B from Straussberg, Germany. Heidenheim/Bundesliga. Big guy, strong lefty pull. Played two seasons Rookie for Brewers (2001-'02), hit .179 in 58 G. Hit .297 this year, 4HR. Solid pinch hitter, as at the EC right now.
30 yo. INF, from New York. Seven MiLB seasons, two at AAA hitting .228, but strong glove everywhere at every level. Could start at short or third. Dad born in Germany, Twins, MLB, yadda yadda. "I just hope I don't blow it for Germany with the game on the line," Gardenhire said.
27 yo. 3B/1B from Frankfurt, Germany. Regensburg/Bundesliga. Played Rookie for Angles '08: .222, 11 GP. One of most consistent German hitters in Bundesliga, but not so well at the EC right now. In Germany '12: .377, 14 2B, 3 HR. His shaky defense under pressure at 3B should keep him off the field, could see time as DH or 1B.
22 yo. RHP from Füssen, Germany. Regensburg/Bundesliga. Raised in US, D1 at Central Conn. '12 as senior and in Regensburg after going undrafted. Started against Italy this week, solid for 2 IP, then no D for him and chased. Not enough time in Germany for meaningful stats, but college this year: 69.1 IP, 3.25 ERA, 3-4, 48 K, 58 H, 25 BB. Have seen him pitch a couple times, effective but not overwhelming. Likely a couple short relief innings.
29 yo. C/LF from Stuttgart, Germany. Heidenheim/Bundesliga. Simon is one of the most respected individuals in German baseball. In 2002-'03 played Rookie for Brewers. A mainstay on the NT, hits well regardless of competition (BWC, EC, EuroCup). Hard to say where he will play, but he'll get time somewhere: LF, C, DH, 1B maybe? Always finds a way to be clutch, and is a fan-favorite.
25 yo. C from Solingen, Germany. Mets AA. Smarts and defensive skills got him this far. Hit .209 at AA and A this year, but recently the best defensive catcher in Mets organization. Should start behind the plate, but not a major threat in the lineup. Brings knowledge of high-level baseball to the German battery, major plus.
31 yo. RHP from Paderborn, Germany (born Kazakhstan). Paderborn/Bundesliga. Smart pitcher who works with decent speed and good location, mixes in regular corners/offspeed. A decade on the NT, this year went for: 88 IP, 2.76 ERA, 68 K, 34 BB, 73 H. Threw five innings of no-hit ball vs Belgium/France last week in relief. Will be in the same position coming out of the pen, either vs. Czech or in an elimination game.
27 yo. LHP from Hochdahl, Germany. Solingen/Bundesliga. Went undefeated '12 regular season: 2.25 ERA, 92 IP, 85 H, 90 K. Pitched '09 in Netherlands Hoofdklasse, and had success at the '08 Olympic qualifier. If a German is tabbed to start, could go with this southpaw, but depending on how he does vs. Sweden in EC today.
19 yo. OF from Berlin, Germany. Second full season of Twins Rookie ball. Signed in '09 and described as one of the best multi-tool prospects out of Europe at the time. Has grown into a role of power hitter, but puts up great numbers across the board: 59 GP, .297, 10 HR, 69 H, 31 XBH, 33k/27bb, 7sb/0cs, .943 OPS. Still described as young and raw, but ahead of the development curve. Great athlete to watch, and no reason for him not to start in CF, probably batting 2/3/9 because of his speed.
24 yo. LHP from Toronto, Canada. Quebec, CanAm. The 6'6" southpaw had a good 2011 in low A for the D-backs: 15 GS, 87.1 IP, 3.40 ERA, 95 H, 33 ER, 69 K. That after rebounding from a torn labrum at Weatherford College in '08. Minor injuries seem to have kept him from getting a chance to advance, but MLSB says he gets it above 88 regularly, up to 92. His poor stats in the CanAm (19.1 IP, 1.86 WHIP, 8.83 ERA, 30 H) could give hesitation to using him against GB or Canada, but maybe he could face a lefty-heavy part of an order late in a game.
25 yo. RHP from Laguna Niguel, California. Regensburg/Bundesliga. Santa Clara, then two years of Rookie ball for the ChiSox, then brought over to start for Regensburg but lost his starting spot. Nothing flat, but doesn't fool patient hitters. Compares average to top native pitching, less control and speed. Could be beneficial for knowledge of opponents, not likely to pitch and hasn't faced game-situations in a month or so.
29 yo. RF from Weyburn, Canada. Mainz/Bundesliga. Mike has lived in Germany for ages (6 years). Pros: can hit anything, smart hitter, waits and finds his pitch, regularly knocks 5+ dingers and 20 RBI. Cons: plays on a field with a short fence, and has no speed. Nearly dead-pull. No range in outfield, not much arm. Sentimental pick? Maybe he knows the Canadian team well.
23 yo. 1B/RF from Friedberg, Germany. Reached AA, and on Reds 40-man. 'Brown Hulk'. Hits HRs, holds his own on defense, and is learning to reduce strikeouts. His 8th year of baseball, ever, and hits HRs of MLB pitchers. Won the Reds Futures Game with a 2-R HR. Will be a critical bat for Germany in the heart of the lineup; they've missed it at the EC. Would be a great matchup vs. Canada's pitching. Follow him on Twitter: @braunerhulk
24 yo. INF from Mainz, Germany. Mainz/Bundesliga. After being a Jack-of-all-Trades for Mainz for years, he's become a leading hitter for the NT, filling holes in the infield as needed. Hits to all fields deep in count, but pulls for power early in ABs. Gets bumped down the depth chart with the infield additions to the WBC roster, and would be unfortunate if he doesn't get an appearance. Not sure why he's not in alphabetical order.
38 yo. LHP from Solingen, Germany. Born in Cuba. Rimini, IBL. Has posted a nearly .900 winning percentage in Germany over his roughly decade of playing, so its understandable why he moved on to Italy to get a challenge. Throws hard, a southpaw with movement that causes serious problems for righty hitters.
35 yo. LHP from Frankfurt, Germany. Raised in US in Cuba. Twelve years of MLB service with a 4.28 ERA, and hard to say whether he'll be given a start, given he never did in the majors, but maybe he gets some relief innings on Friday in prep for a later
25 yo. OF from Walton, Kentucky or Bitburg, Germany, depending on where you look. Cards AA. Had a good season in AA last season in the Mariners system, with a .776 OPS. Played in fewer than 80 games this year, but only because they took some good looks at some harder swinging prospects.
21 yo. RHP from Dormagen, Germany. Twins GCL. Also saw time in the ABL down under. Was great in '11, struggled in '12, but still considered to have a high ceiling. Tall but lanky, had a bit of fade on FB which makes it easier for righties. Don't believe he'll get innings, but a good addition to get some experience, learning from the veterans which are on hand. Needs to put on muscle, then could be scary to face.
27 yo. LHP from Oregon City, Oregon. Kinheim, Hoofdklasse. Considered a ridiculous athlete, but turned into a pitcher at USF (San Fran). Spent three seasons in the Cubs system, reaching AAA for 7 games. Didn't impress tons at the EC, but his great K/BB ratio means he'll see time.
31 yo. INF from Paderborn, Germany. Paderborn/Bundesliga. A steady-handed, quick infielder with a knack for clutch. Not a great bat, but gets the job done. Has been solid as a rock in the field, with something like a .980 fielding percentage in tournaments since he turned 20. Late inning defensive replacement, because he's earned it and is up for it.
28 yo. OF from Marietta, Georgia. Indy leagues. Played for Frady before, reached High A, lots of outfield assists, nothing stands out with the bat, however. Stole 43 of 48 in 2010. Frady must have a plan for how to use him.
19 yo. RHP from Buchholz, Germany. Mariners GCL. Happy Birthday Daniel. Posted a 4.02 ERA in 31.1 IP, but showed control issues, same as when he was in Regensburg at the Internat. Throws hard, scouted at over 90 mph, but if he develops a hard second and third pitch, wouldn't have to rely on overthrowing FB and could spot up in high 80's. Also not a first choice out of the pen.
26 yo. INF from San Diego, California. Regensburg/Bundesliga. Four seasons in Regensburg after Harvard, power to all fields, sometimes sloppy defense but strong arm and athletic. Hometown selection under an exemption as a 'permanent resident'.
22 yo. UTIL from Browns Mills, NJ. Braves High A. At 22, appears to have survived on something unknown. Poor fielding percentages this year in the infield, struck out more than a third of the time. Put 10 out of the park to save his OPS, but not really a power hitter when reviewing his stats. Not knowing him, its hard to have a good impression from his track record.
Some of the picks are unfortunate as they take away spots from Germans who could have either benefitted from the experience, or earned the chance to be in the spotlight. Its great for Germany to be represeted by so many Germans, but most in Germany agree that the DBV would have liked more power in order to advance. Granted, its difficult to gauge how Germans would stack up against players in the bottom rungs of the minors; probably not as athletic, but we can agree that the game is about more than that. Players such as Max Boldt aren't on the top teams in Germany, and get a good challenge facing top pitchers in the league. Players from the North sDivision see great import pitchers on most teams. In the South, the players from Heidenheim and Regensburg don't see their good pitching, and its been weak imports in recent years so its hard to compare their ability based on stats when they're influenced by gaudy production against the bottom teams.
That being said, its unfortunate that Chris Howard (Regensburg), Kevin Kotowski (Mainz), Christoph Ziegler (Haar), Dominik Wulf (injured), Aljosha Heller (Dortmund) didnt get better looks. The first two performed well in Holland, all have been part of the rise of German baseball and continuing improvement of the Bundesliga, as well as American pitcher Pat Haugen from Mainz. We've all shared our two cents on whether using passport players is a sin against the sanctity of international competition, so thats that. Teams need to balance rewarding players for elevating the competition in their country, while also looking to benefit from MLBs payouts. I'd much rather see teams take Germany's approach, with a large number of home-grown talent, than the British, Spanish, or Israeli way of hiring guns in order for a quick buck. Maybe the German federation figured that they'd lose to Canada regardless, so it was worth it to give the experience to some developing players without hurting the depth of the roster.
It will be debated until there is either parity and depth in international baseball, or more concrete rules on eligibility. I'll be cheering for Germany despite all the questionable additions, because it will help the game in the country, and same goes for Czech. In Jupiter, the Israeli team's success will decide the funding for development for the game, and its hard to be against that. Spain's scene is much more developed, so its hard for me to approve of their 1-Spaniard roster. If Israel can find three spots for their natives...France did a great job, and it will be unfortunate they'll be beat so hard. South Africa also has quite a few players born there but who did not grow up in the country. They've formed a league and bring some of the players home in the winter, and their last two appearences were good, but it would be a stretch to say that their participation has brought much improvement to the state of baseball there. Its good that other countries now receive the same chance to benefit, as spreading the wealth will likely find some interesting baseball hotbeds in the world. Will be interesting to see how global peace could offer opportunities to India and Pakistan, traditionally cricket countries. That would close the gap in participation on the globe, besides central Africa, and would be the next big WBC success (unless a second tier team wins this time around!)
Last edited by TheInternationalGame; 09-18-2012 at 09:47 AM.
Israel, Spain Among Final WBC Rosters Released
Posted Sep. 14, 2012 12:14 am by John Manuel
Canada, France, Germany and South Africa already had released their rosters for the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Major League Baseball has released the tentative 28-man rosters for the other four teams involved in the two four-team qualifiers that begin Sept. 19 and Sept. 20.
Heading the list in terms of affiliated minor leaguers is Israel, which is the favorite in the Jupiter, Fla., qualifier that also will include South Africa, Spain and France. Israel's roster includes two ex-big leaguers in Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler; three players from Israel, all pitchers; and a team of minor leaguers that includes Josh Satin, who got 28 at-bats over the last two seasons with the Mets; top Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson; 2011 Rule 5 draft pick Brett Lorin; and 14 players overall who were in Double-A or Triple-A in 2012.
Israel's offense should have some thump if Green and Kapler can flash a bit of their big league form; Green hasn't played in the majors since 2007, Kapler since 2010. Pederson brings pop (18 homers this season) and athleticism after batting .313/.396/.516 as a 20-year-old at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga this season. He's the team's top prospect and arguably the best on any of the eight teams playing next week.
Minor league first basemen Cody Decker and Nate Freiman, teammates with the Padres' Double-A San Antonio club this season, combined for 49 homers—Freiman 24 while hitting .298/.370/.502, Decker 25 while batting .263/.367/.540. Decker could play some outfield as well.
The rest of the infield includes Satin, listed as a second baseman, who is a career .303 hitter in 580 minor league games; middle infielders Jake Lemmerman (Dodgers), who was Freiman's teammate at Duke, and former UC Irvine stalwart Ben Orloff (Astros), a .281/.361/.328 hitter as a pro; and former UCLA star Casey Haerther (Angels), listed as a third baseman. Haerther played first base while batting .271/.288/.380 at Double-A Arkansas this season.
Ben Guez (Tigers) and Robbie Widlansky (Orioles) join Pederson in the outfield, though Widlansky also could play some third base for manager Brad Ausmus (Padres). Ausmus' catchers include Charlie Cutler (Pirates), Jack Marder (Mariners) and Nick Rickles (Athletics). Marder, also an infielder, had a big year at high Class A High Desert, hitting .360/.425/.583, and the Oregon alum will be an intriguing prospect if he can be a full-time catcher and hit for any power away from the Cal League.
Israel's pitching staff is frankly less impressive. Its most experienced starting pitchers are Lorin, who went 3-10, 6.40 at Double-A Mobile this season; and lefty Eric Berger (Indians), 2-9, 5.27 between Double-A and Triple-A. The other starters are lefty Max Perlman (Athletics), who made 10 starts at two A-ball levels, and righthander Justin Schumer (Giants), who was 7-4, 4.87 at high Class A San Jose.
Israel has some intriguing relief options, such as righthander Josh Zeid (Astros), who had 66 strikeouts in 56 innings this year at Double-A but also had a 5.59 ERA; lefty Jeff Urlaub (A's), who had 58 strikeouts and just nine walks in 65 innings between two A-ball stops this year; and righty David Colvin (Mariners), who was 5-3, 3.15 with four saves in low Class A Clinton this season.
Spain Goes Heavy For "Passport" Players
Spain figures to give Israel a run in the Jupiter, Fla., qualifier with a roster fortified with passport players; only one of the players on the roster has lists a Spanish hometown on the roster. The most recognizable affiliated player is Rangers farmhand, outfielder Engel Beltre, who hit .261/.307/.420 with 13 homers and 36 stolen bases in his third season at Double-A Frisco. The athletic Beltre has battled inconsistency and immaturity throughout his career, but the Dominican native is still considered a plus runner and defender.
The roster also includes a pair of Cuban veterans in 32-year-old first baseman Barbaro Canizares, formerly of the Braves and most recently of the Mexican League; and third baseman Yunesky Sanchez, 29, formerly of the Pirates system and most recently with Southern Maryland of the independent Atlantic League. The Spanish team has seven independent leaguers on it—four Crabs, including Sanchez, righthander Eduardo Morlan and second baseman Paco Figueroa. Adrian Nieto (Nationals), a high school teammate of Eric Hosmer, joins Venezuelans Leo Hernandez (Blue Jays) and Blake Ochoa in the catching contingent.
Spain's pitching staff is less recognizable but includes another Duke alum in lefthander Chris Manno (Reds), who has a 2.24 career ERA and 180 strikeouts in 128 pro innings. It also includes 5-foot-11 Venezuelan righty Richard Castillo (Cardinals), who was 9-8, 3.27 while reaching Double-A Springfield this season, his best in the minors. Spain has no other affiliated pitchers but does have former Padres righty Nick Schumacher and former Orioles lefty Richard Salazar; both play for Sioux City in the independent American Association.
The Czech Republic, which plays in the German pool with Canada, Germany and Great Britain, went with mostly native players but does have a pair of passport players, including 36-year-old vet Mike Cervenak (Marlins). The Michigan alum got 13 at-bats with the Phillies in 2008 and has a career .295/.346/.461 minor league line in 1,461 games, including 177 home runs. He hit .340/.408/.504 this season. Joining him on the Czech roster is lefthander Alex Sogard (Astros), who went 3-1, 3.86 in a relief role at Double-A Corpus Christi this season.
Two Rookie-level affiliated players also made the roster: 6-foot-5, 176-pound righthander Mark Minarik (Phillies), who went 1-0, 2.65 in 17 innings in the Gulf Coast League, and catcher Martin Cervenka (Indians), who hit .240/.352/.280 in the Arizona League.
Great Britain will use lefty Chris Reed (Dodgers), the 2011 first-round pick who was born in London and pitched in the Futures Game on the World team. Reed battled blisters much of the season. He's one of five affiliated pitchers on the British roster, joining Michael Roth (Angels), Hamilton Bennett (Mets), Jacob Esch (Marlins) and Estevenson Encarnacion (Indians). Esch is the former Georgia Tech shortstop whom the Marlins have converted to pitching; he threw 69 innings this season between two levels.
The affiliated British hitters include veteran catchers Ryan Baker (Yankees), who has just 19 hits in parts of five pro seasons and has reached Triple-A; and Chris Berset (Reds); Bahamians Antoan Richardson (Orioles) and Albert Cartwright (Phillies); and outfielder Steve Bumbry (Orioles), son of ex-big leaguer Al Bumbry. Former Giants farmhand Aaron Hornostaj and former indy leaguer Sam Wiley, who was born in England, are in the British infield.
Read more: http://thekingdomofbaseball.proboard...#ixzz26SHPSFB1
After taking a look at the rosters and following some of these Europpean Teams during the EC, these are my predictions. In Jupiter, Israel is going to battle it with Spain, while France and South Africa will be eliminated, probably with South Africa going first. Spain, with the addition of Cuban players Barbaro Cañizares, Yunesky Sanchez, Eduardo Morlan, and Adrian Nieto (Born in USA of Cuban descent), plus established Cuban players in the Spanish National Team like Nestor Perez and Yoel Hernandez, plus all the others South Americans in the team have the capacity to upset Israel, whose pitching is far from impressing. In my opinion, Spain beats Israel and qualifies out of Jupiter!
In Germany, the British will be the first ones out, while Germany and Canada should discuss the final forbidding any Czech upset. Although Canada should prevail (that's my prediction) I will be rooting for the Germans team. Regards!
http://www.britishbaseball.org/news_...rrer_id=271910), and the British team will be substantially improved in Regensburg with the addition of a dozen new affiliated players.
Last edited by Rally Monkey; 09-14-2012 at 11:51 AM.
Here's a link to all four Regensburg rosters -- http://www.baseballamerica.com/today...2/2614045.html.
There are 10 Team GB players who are currently on affiliated teams (Ryan Baker, Hamilton Bennett, Chris Berset, Steven Bumbry, Albert Cartwright, Estevenson Encarnacion, Jacob Esch, Chris Reed, Michael Roth, Antoan Richardson), at least another 5 (Bradley Roper-Hubbert, Daniel Cooper, Kyle Wilson, Aaron Hornostaj and Aeden McQueary-Ennis) with affiliated experience, and one who was drafted but never signed (Greg Hendrix).
A number of the non-affiliated players have US indy ball experience in the Frontier (Sam Wiley, Greg Hendrix), North American (Michael Johnson) or CanAm (Alex Smith) Leagues. 14 of the 28 players are carry-overs from the GB Euros roster.
Last edited by twoseam; 09-15-2012 at 02:22 PM.
Based on what you guys are saying, is it possible that Israel could almost be the 3rd/4th best team out of all the qualifying teams?
I overlooked this interesting interview with Paul Archey out of South Korea. Three take-aways. First, it should put to rest any talk of South Korea hosting a round this year. Not gonna happen. But Archey basically promises that if Korea builds a dome, the WBC will come in 2017. Second, Archey confirms that Korea will play Japan fewer times thus time around. Third, the tournament will apparently be SHORTER next year than it was in '09. A schedule should be released by the end of the month.
Some good news here in recent posts. Paul Archey visiting Korea, lauding the Korean fan base; also promising a First Round pool to Korea in 2017 if the Seoul Dome, now under construction, is ready. The ideal situation for Asia in 2017 would be First Round pools in domed stadiums now under construction in Seoul and Taipei; then a Second Round pool in the Tokyo Dome. Also good news that South Africa is playing Palm Beach Atlantic College Sailfish today Friday in Holman Stadium. Does anyone know of any other exhibition contests being played before the Qualifiers begin next Wednesday ?
Yeah Canada is playing down in Florida like they usually do.
I think this tounrey will be shortened by removing the extra game at the end of the pools. I still think not enough games are played with the WBC format but thats just me it seems.
I agree that the more games the better in the WBC.
As for Qualifier Pools this Fall, the only way to shorten it is to go from six games, with single elimination, down to three games --- 0-0 vs. 0-0; 0-0 vs. 0-0; 1-0 vs. 1-0. Once you go ahead with the fourth game, there is no point to having the games unless you play out all six games --- 0-0 vs. 0-0; 0-0 vs. 0-0; 1-0 vs. 1-0; 0-1 vs. 0-1; 1-1 vs. 1-1; 2-0 vs. 2-1.
Things are different for the First Round and Second Round pools in which two teams advance --- 0-0 vs. 0-0; 0-0 vs. 0-0; 1-0 vs. 1-0; 0-1 vs. 0-1; 1-1 vs. 1-1; 2-0 vs. 2-1. In this case, yes, the sixth game is redundent, and can be eliminated.
I agree. The qualifiers are already set at six games, they are not going to be shorterned. But the option does exist to shorten the First and Second Round pools from six to five games in order to produce the two teams to advance.
Does anyone know what you have to do in order to receive the "LIVE - STREAMING" for the first five games of the Jupiter, Florida and Regensburg, Germany pools ? Do you just go to the MLB.com website and punch VIDIO ? Or is MLB.co or is it MLB Network ?