Thread: International Baseball

Japan, Korea, Australia... anywhere else the game is played.

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You really have to admire Hyeon-jong Yang. He terminated his negotiations with Kia at the end of January, going all-in on his dream of pitching in MLB, and it appears that he might just get his wish fulfilled. The "status check" has been performed with the KBO and it appears that a deal with the Rangers is forthcoming. 2020 wasn't a good year for the 32-year-old southpaw, but in 2019 he won 16 games for Kia while posting a great 2.29 ERA. Looking at the Rangers rotation, Yang should have a decent shot at winning a job, and if so is worthy of a look in AL-only and very deep Mixed Leagues.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Feb 12

Wow -- that's a splitter.

I'll create a page for him, Tim, if you enter his stats.

Alex Patton Alex
Feb 11

It looks like we're going to need a page for the Red Sox newest reliever, Alex. The Red Sox signed Hirokazu Sawamura to a two-year $2.4 mill + incentives deal. The splitter is his principle go-to pitch and it's a dandy.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Feb 11

Very surprising the US has this many.

Baseball America's

2021 Top 100 MLB Prospects By The Numbers


United States72
Dominican Republic15
Puerto Rico1
South Korea1

Wander Franco (Dominican Republic) joins Andruw Jones (Curacao) as the only international players to be ranked the No. 1 prospect in back-to-back years. The only other players to be ranked the No. 1 prospect in consecutive years are Joe Mauer (2004-05) and Bryce Harper (2011-12).

Jeter Downs grew up in Florida, but he was born in Colombia and lived there until he was 5. He is counted with Luis Patiño as players from Colombia in the 2021 Top 100.

Ha-Seong Kim is the first player from South Korea to rank in the Top 100 since Hyun-Jin Ryu, who ranked No. 42 in 2013.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 19

Brittany Ghiroli and Melissa Lockaard ask and then answer in The Athletic today:

Which organizations fared best on Day 1 of MLB's international signing period?  


Delayed by the pandemic from its normal July 2 start date, the 2020-21 international signing period officially opened on Friday with a flurry of signings across the league. It will be years before the full impact of these signings is known, of course, but there was still plenty of excitement as teams officially welcomed players they’ve scouted for years into their organizations.

“This is an exciting day for not only us but hundreds of kids from around the world. It’s a culmination of many years of hard work on the players’ parts,” A’s assistant general manager Dan Feinstein said on Friday.

Signings will continue to occur over the next 11 months, but many of the players ranked by MLBPipeline as the top prospects in this international class signed on Friday. Below is a look at some of the organizations that came away with the most notable classes on the first day of the signing period:

Houston Astros

The Astros lost their 2020 and 2021 first- and second-round draft picks as punishment for their sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season, so bringing in premium talent from the international market is even more key for them this year than in normal years. The Astros did just that, handing out what is believed to be the largest bonus in this year’s class ($4 million) to outfielder Pedro Leon of Cuba.

Ranked as the No. 7 International prospect by MLBPipeline, Leon is 22 and already has professional experience in the Serie Nacional in Cuba. In his final season in Cuba, he hit .371 with 15 home runs in 33 games. He is a potential five-tool center fielder who could be the first from this class to reach the big leagues.

Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers

Baltimore Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay landed the top Venezuelan prospect — and arguably the best available player internationally — in shortstop Carlos Colmenarez. Colmenarez, a left-handed hitter with a rare mix of power and contact, signed for $3 million and was ranked among the top handful of international prospects. An early emergence on the national scene, Colmenarez trains in the Dominican Republic and joins a Tampa Bay system that was already ranked No. 1, with shortstop Wander Franco widely hailed as the top prospect in all of MLB.

The Rays also signed MLBPipeline’s No. 17 prospect, OF Jhonny Piron, who hails from the Dominican Republic. Piron is a plus runner with power potential as he fills out his 6-1 frame.

Chicago White Sox

Extra innings

• The Nationals signed 16-year-old shortstop Armando Cruz for $3.9 million. The infielder from the Dominican Republic is considered one of the best defenders of the group and was ranked by MLBPipeline as the fifth-best overall player. Washington, which has inked impressive talents such as Juan Soto, Luis García and Víctor Robles under a revamped program headed by Johnny DiPuglia, signed 11 players Friday.

Five more extra innings before the grand finale...

• The No. 2 prospect in the pool, according to MLBPipeline, is LHP/OF Oscar Colás, who remains unsigned. Colás, 22, had been playing in the minor leagues for the NPB’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks but was recently declared a free agent. It isn’t clear whether Colás — who has been nicknamed the Cuban Ohtani — intends to sign during this signing period, which runs until Dec. 15, or wait until the next signing period, when more money might be available.

Most, if not all, of the players just named will have pages here next year.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 16

But if your league allows you to pick up any non-AL affiliated player then Seguno might be your pick. 

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Jan 10

Unfortunately, we won't get to see Tomoyuki Sugano pitching in MLB in 2021. He couldn't secure a deal that was to his liking and returns to Japan and the Yomiuri Giants. He signed a four-year $40 mill deal with a series of annual opt-outs, so has the option to look at MLB as an option next off-season.  

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Jan 8

We keep hearing about the owners taking a hit. Is there anything out there that attempts to gauge the size of it?

Suppose they didn't? Payroll not even a third of the usual. Travel costs much reduced. Expanded postseason for which players get a pittance.

Alex Patton Alex
Dec 30 '20

Agreed, and the cash is going to come back in a HUGE way. The National TV money from '22-thru-28 is going to approach the $10 billion mark and that doesn't include the local deals. By my calculations, the destitute Rays will have somewhere in the area of $100 mill per season in TV revenue. Yes, the owners took a hit last year, but so did every other business. It's a one, maybe two-year hiccup, and then they will be back to the good old new days and making money hand over fist. 

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Dec 30 '20

I had been privately speculating that, much like during a bloodbath on Wall Street, this is a time when a team could re-align themselves during hard times when others are looking to sell, as long as they have the cash to ride out the next season or two with fewer fans and have an even longer term win once cash comes back.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Dec 30 '20