The following are some of the best performances of the 2013 baseball season with related videos.
(15/04/2013: Phillies 2 Reds 4) Phillies CF Ben Revere makes one of the most amazing leaping catch ever (Video)
(26/04/2013: Braves 0 Tigers 10) Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez notches 17 Ks to set a Tigers single-game record (Video)
(02/05/2013: Marlins 2 Phillies 7) Juan Pierre of the Miami Marlins becomes the 14th player in MLB history to enter the exclusive 600 stolen base club (Video)
MLB opening day rosters feature 28.2% of players born outside U.S. (4th all-time highest)
The 2013 campaign marks the Houston Astros' switch from NL Central to AL West. So each league will have 15 teams with interleague games played all season long.
The 2013 schedule is a more balanced one as each team will play its 162 games as follows:
Each Club will play 19 games vs. divisional opponents, for 76 division games total. The 19 games will be played in six series – three at home and three on the road. Each Club will play either six or seven games vs. non-divisional League opponents. These six or seven games will be played in two series – one at home and one on the road. Overall, 66 games will be played against non-divisional League opponents. Each Club will play 20 Interleague games throughout the regular season. 16 of these interleague games will be played vs. all the teams of the same division with a year-by-year rotation system (this year: ALeast-NLwest, ALcentral-NLeast, ALwest-NLcentral). Interleague series featuring prime rivals (east-east, central-central, west-west) will include back-to-back two-game series spanning both cities/venues (May 27-30). These 20 Interleague games will be played in eight series – four at home and four on the road.
Kenta Maeda [pictured] impressed MLB scouts during the WBC.
Here are some random scouting capsules about the 2013 World Baseball Classic. These are considerations I made after watching several games of the tournament.
25-year-old RHP Hiram Burgos (4.2IP 5K BB 5H ER Vs. Dominican Rep. in the final) was in control of 86-88 mph fastball, above average low-70s curve and low-80s change (1-0, 0.69 ERA in 13 IP, 12 K, 4 BB, 12 H overall).
Royals’ 2B Irving Falu (29 yrs) showed tremendous range and athleticism. He's an above average defender.
PUR 3 JPN 1: Righty Mario Santiago (28) kept Japanese lineup off balance with good control of 86-89 mph sinker & low-80s slider.
PUR 4 USA 3: RHP Nelson Figueroa (6ip 2h 0r) had 80 command of 85-87 mph fastball with life, plus low-80s slider & change. He is a MLB pitcher, such as LHP J.C. Romero (good control of 89-91 mph fastball & changeup).
DOM 3 USA 1: RHP Samuel Deduno was good with 89-93 mph sinker & sweeping 81-85 slider. Relievers Kelvin Herrera, Pedro Strop, Fernando Rodney all threw in the mid-to-high 90s.
Twins' farmhand 1B Chris Colabello (29) hit opposite field 3rHR for Italy vs. Dominican Rep. confirming he's got power. 28-yrs Italian-Brazilian righty Thiago DaSilva has feel for pitching, controlled Dominicans throwing strikes with 87-90 mph sinker, high-70s slider & mid-70s change (5.1ip 3k bb 5h 2er).
The best Japanese pitcher was 25-year-old RHP Kenta Maeda who showed command of two plus pitches (plus plus 79-83 mph slider & 90-93 mph heat) & above average 69-73 mph curve. Lefty Tetsuya Utsumi (30) commanded a plus curveball in the 69-73 mph range. RHP Hirozaku Sawamura (25) has a sharp 92-94 mph fastball.
CUB 6 JPN 3: long-awaited by scouts RHP Masahiro Tanaka (24) struck out 6 in 2 IP with good control of two plus pitches: a 93-94 mph fastball & mid-to-high 80s slider. OF Yoshio Itoi worked the counts high showing very good hitting skills (1-3, BB); he went .286/.500/.524 in 7 games, with team high 6 BB and 7 RBI. The 31-yrs left-handed showed above average hitting, good speed, range.
As regards Cuba, OF switch-hitter Frederich Cepeda (35 yrs), 1B Jose Abreu (26), OF Alfredo Despaigne (27), OF Yasmany Tomas (22), all have plus power. Left-handed 2B Jose Fernandez (25) displayed five-tool skills. Veteran 3B Yulieski Gourriel (28) has range, arm. Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena (23) is a plus defender with above average foot speed, range & athleticism. On the pitching side, veteran lefty Norberto Gonzalez (33) showed command of a plus change in the 74-77 mph range. RHP Yander Guevara (27) displayed a very good curve in the low-70s & a low-70s sweeping slider, mixing in a mid-to-hig-80s mph heat. What Cuba really missed was a true ace in the Aroldis Chapman or Jose Contreras mode.
Left-handed Mexican CF Eduardo Arredondo (28) hit 6-11 in 3 games, showing good hitting skills, solid speed & defense. The guy deserves a shot at affiliated ball.
NED 4 AUS 1: Nats’ Dutch OF Randolph Odruber (24) made a spectacular diving catch, showing above average speed and defensive skills.
Very few bright spots for the Australian team: Twins’ SS James Beresford (24) defense, 3B Stefan Welch (24) solid power & 1B Mike Walker (24) hitting skills.
Former Yankees and Nats RHP Chien Ming Wang threw his sinker at 83-85 mph with good control (1-0, 0.00 ERA in 12 innings, 3 K, BB, 10 H).
JPN 5 CHI 2: Chinese righty Xia Luo (20) is an off-speed control hurler, showed poise, personality, makeup. Threw low-80s mph fastball, mid-70s change&curve (3.2IP 3H ER).
With a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico the Dominican Republic clinched the WBC title and was crowned as the new World Champion. The Dominicans went 8-0 in the tournament dominating opponents with an extraordinary bullpen that posted a 25.2 scoreless inning streak behind closer Fernando Rodney (WBC record 7 saves), Pedro Strop (3-0), Kelvin Herrera, Octavio Dotel and Santiago Casilla. Those relievers combined for 28 scoreless innings! The Dominicans didn’t count on top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, but got strong outings from lefty Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.96 ERA in 2 starts) and Samuel Deduno (2-0, 0.69 in 3 starts), the winning pitcher against the U.S. & Puerto Rico in the final game. The offense was star-studded: Robinson Cano was named the WBC MVP after hitting .469 with 15 hits (tournament record), 4 doubles, 2 HRs and 6 RBIs; Jose Reyes (.314), Nelson Cruz (.303), Erick Aybar (.333), Miguel Tejada (.316), Carlos Santana & Hanley Ramirez (2 HRs apiece). The Dominican players showed class, passion and committment as anyone in the tournament. The winning on the field post game party it was a beautiful message to the world of baseball we'll remember for a long time.
The final rosters for the 2013 World Baseball Classic have been unveiled. Starting with the upcoming edition, the WBC winner we’ll be declared World Champion. In fact, the IBAF World Cup played its final edition in 2011 (Panama) crowning the Netherlands as the last IBAF World champion. The intentions of the organizers are to develop the WBC in a World Cup in the soccer mode. The 2013 playing field is strong with many All-Stars and major league players playing for their home countries, so we can expect a captivating and spectacular event, but the fact that MLB clubs continue, covertly and deceitfully, to hinder the participation of many talents and elite players remains, showing a total lack of foresight about the importance of displaying the best players on the international stage in order to promote the global growth of the game, bringing in the medium term the ability to expand their markets. Baseball was invented in the United States, but it is a beautiful heritage played all-around the world. MLB clubs should understand that sooner or later. In this regard, Baseball America editor in chief, John Manuel, wrote this interesting article.
Here is the output of many years of studying the contractual facets of the game. You can find in it the explanation of the most important terms used in the baseball transactions updated with the provisions of CBA 2012-2016. Transactions Glossary.pdf
On Nov. 3rd MLB released the list of the 2012 minor league free agents marking the beginning of the 2013 transaction season. We'll maintain updated the following file edited by Baseballamerica.com, adding some capsules on some of the players involved in the transactions (Source: Baseball America, MLB.com, Milb.com, MLBTrade Rumors, Baseballcube, Rotoworld MLB). Minor League Transactions.pdf
MLB.com website provides the top 100 prospect list, with scouting reports and stats. Curacao native Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers) ranks as the top prospect in baseball.