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).