Baseball Latin America – Baseball Brazil

June 30, 2011

MLB Teams With Latin American-Specific Executives

Out of curiosity, I went through all 30 Major League Baseball teams front office lists to see how many have executives have the words “Latin American” in their title. The results were interesting and a bit surprising.

First of all, most teams have “International” executives, whether that person is in charge of Player Development, Scouting, Operations, or a combination of all those things.  Even if they don’t carry the title, every team has a Director or VP-level executive who’s in charge of international activities within their baseball operations group.

What was even more interesting, however, is how few teams have actually named someone to oversee “Latin America”, whatever that responsibility would imply. Seeing as how Latin America is a big place, and most teams also now either operate a team or an academy in places like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, you would think that the responsibility for such an operation would be more high profile than it actually is. I guess it really doesn’t matter if your job responsibility is listed on the team’s website, but then again many teams list the names of all their ticket sales reps too.

Anyway, here’s the list of executive and their titles by team, I also noted in what place the team is currently and their record. Interesting to note that when you remove Houston, almost every team is near or above .500 and many are competing for their division:

Division Team Name Title W L place
AL East
Boston Red Sox Eddie Romero Asst. Dir., Latin American Operations/International Scouting 45 34 1
Toronto Blue Jays Marco Paddy Director, Latin American Operations 40 41 4
AL Central
Cleveland Indians Ramon Pena Director of Latin American Operations 42 37 1
Detroit Tigers Manny Crespo Director, Latin American Player Development 42 38 1
Detroit Tigers Miguel Garcia Director, Latin American Operations
AL West
Seattle Mariners Patrick Guerrero Supervisor – Latin Scouting & Coordinator 39 42 3
NL East
Atlanta Braves Rolando Petit Assistant Director of Latin American Operations 47 35 2
NL Central
Cincinnati Reds Tony Arias Director of Latin American Scouting 42 40 3
Houston Astros Felix Francisco Director of Latin American Scouting 28 53 6
Milwaukee Brewers Fernando Arango Coordinator of Latin American Scouting 44 37 1
Pittsburgh Pirates Rene Gayo Director of Latin American Scouting 40 39 4
Pittsburgh Pirates Luis Dorante Latin American Field Coordinator
NL West
Arizona Diamondbacks Junior Noboa Special Assistant to the GM/Director, Latin American Ops 44 38 2
41 39.5

June 27, 2011

Baseball Brazil: Updated Stats For Brazilians Playing In The U.S. Minor Short Season Leagues

Filed under: Baseball in Brazil,Baseball in the USA — Andy @ 11:34 am

3B Felipe Burin, now with VSL Mariners - photo credit: cbbs.com.br

The U.S. minor league short seasons are now in full swing, and Brazilian players participating in these leagues have started racking up some stats (albeit with very small sample sizes thus far).

The top producer so far is third baseman Felipe Burin in the Venezuelan Summer League (SEA Rookie), though I’m sure the others will start coming along in due time seeing as how it’s already their second and third seasons in pro ball.

Here are the latest stat lines:

Felipe Burin, 3B – VSL Mariners (SEA Rookie):  .393 BA, 27 R, 1 HR, 36 RBI, 1 SB, 1.038 OPS in 35 games.

Pedro Okuda, SS – VSL Mariners (SEA Rookie): .226 BA, 15 R, 7 RBI, 2 SB, .612 OPS in 21 games.

Leonardo Reginatto, SS – Hudson Valley Renegades (TB Class A Short Season): .160 BA, 1 R, .410 OPS in 7 games.

Wester Ramos, RF – VSL Rays (TB Rookie): .235 BA, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, .533 OPS in 11 games.

June 17, 2011

Baseball Latin America: Latin Fire Power Propelling The Tigers to First Place

Tigers Manager Jim Leyland with Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera - zimbio.com

Have you seen the Detroit Tigers lately? They are the team that is currently blowing through the American League Central, and just took over 1st place yesterday after having their way with the Cleveland Indians this week.

The Tigers are getting it done in all aspects of the game, from their starting rotation to the bullpen to the defense, but what should be getting more attention right now (sorry Justin Verlander!) is Detroit’s hitting surge.  Currently the Tigers rank in the top 5 in the AL in total runs, hits, doubles, BB, batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS.  A big part of that is thanks to Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila, and Jhonny Peralta.

The veteran catcher from Venezuela, V-Mart has been worth every penny since signing with the Tigers in the off season. All of the critics thought it was a waste of talent to have Martinez mostly fill the DH role, while allowing young Alex Avila to do most of the catching. Both of them proved those critics wrong so far this season. The Cuban-American (Hialeah, FL-born) Avila has put up All-Star numbers this season, and leads many offensive categories for AL catchers including doubles, triples, RBI, batting average, OBP, and OPS.

Miguel Cabrera, the still youthful veteran Venezuelan phenom, has nicely bounced back from his off-the-field trouble in spring training. In fact, he’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing, which is putting up huge offensive numbers.  Finally, who’d have thought the Dominican Jhonny Peralta would have 10 home runs this season and be providing a consistent presence at short stop?

Since these guys are the top 4 in batting average on the team, I sorted them accordingly on baseball-reference.com and posted their numbers, which pretty much speak for themselves.  Add hot hitting Brennan Boesch and the emergence of speedy center fielder Austin Jackson to the mix, and the Tigers are finally hitting all cylinders like they thought they could going into this season.

Rk Pos Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA ▾ OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
1 DH Victor Martinez# 32 55 224 202 28 65 19 0 6 38 0 0 18 22 .322 .371 .505 .875 145 102 3 0 0 4 2
2 1B Miguel Cabrera 28 69 298 238 50 76 18 0 13 47 1 1 53 38 .319 .443 .559 1.002 181 133 8 3 0 4 13
3 C Alex Avila* 24 58 224 194 24 59 14 3 9 38 3 0 22 52 .304 .369 .546 .916 155 106 5 1 2 5 2
4 SS Jhonny Peralta 29 61 242 218 28 65 11 2 10 35 0 2 20 39 .298 .355 .505 .860 140 110 4 1 0 3 1

June 9, 2011

Puerto Rican Players Taken in 2011 MLB Draft

Filed under: Baseball in Puerto Rico,Baseball in the USA — Andy @ 1:00 pm

Pitcher Jorge Lopez - photo credit - brewerfan.net

Since Puerto Rico is included in the annual MLB draft due to its status as a U.S. Commonwealth, and since Puerto Rico is also technically considered ‘Latin America’, I thought I would take a look at the Puerto Ricans taken in this year’s draft.

There were a total of 21 native born Puerto Rican baseball players drafted this year, broken down by 8 pitchers and 13 position players.

Milwaukee had the top pick from Puerto Rico, grabbing high school right handed pitcher Jorge Lopez with their third pick of the draft, and 70th pick overall of the draft.  Lopez was ranked by Baseball America as the top player on the island. Not only does Lopez have a 91 mph fastball, but he’s also considered the top volleyball prospect coming out of Puerto Rico.  You can read more about Lopez and see a video of him on the Brewers website.

The Cincinnati Reds were the next team to pick a player from Puerto Rico, taking outfielder Gabriel Rosa with their 2nd pick, and the 84th overall pick of the draft. Rosa is only 17 years old and was ranked the 118th overall prospect by Baseball America.

The San Francisco Giants led all teams by taking 4 players out of Puerto Rico, and the Minnesota Twins picked 2 players off the island. All of the other Puerto Rican players were one-off picks by their respective teams.  You can see the entire list of players drafted out of Puerto Rico by following this link from the MLB website.

June 1, 2011

World Baseball Classic To Expand To 28 Teams, Will Include Brazil, Colombia, and Nicaragua

WBC Championship Trophy - photo courtesy of mlb.com

MLB.com just announced today that the World Baseball Classic field for 2013 is set to expand to 28 teams.  The last WBC in 2009, won by Japan, had 16 teams participate.

Due to all of the new teams, there will be 12 teams that receive an automatic bid based on how they played in 2009, while the remaining 16 teams will play in a preliminary round that will actually start in the Fall of 2012. The sites of the preliminary round have yet to be determined.

In addition to the new Latin American countries that have been invited, a number of other non-traditional baseball playing countries will be participating as well, including Spain, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, France, New Zealand, Thailand, the Phillipines, and Israel.

If anything, this should greatly expand the exposure of the sport to new parts of the world. On a side note, I was surprised Argentina won’t be fielding a team, as there is a small but growing community playing baseball there now.

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