CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #39
Lamigo Monkeys News: Darin Downs and Zack Segovia
Despite of losing Zeke Spruill to the Rangers during the off season. Lamigo Monkeys have started contract negotiations with LHP Darin Downs and RHP Zack Segovia.
Darin Downs posted a record 3.49 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 142 ERA+ over 149.2 innings in 2017. While fan favorite Zack Segovia finished his 2017 CPBL season with 4.20 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 118 ERA+ in 165 innings of work.
“Our first priority is to re-sign Downs and Segovia. While we’ll trying to a new foreign players to fill the gap left by Zeke Spruill” Said Monkeys GM.
Uni-Lions News: Bruce Billings
There’s rumour that Uni-Lions is currently in talks with RHP Bruce Billings, hoping to bring him back for his 3rd CPBL season. Billings finished 2017 season with 4.17 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 119 ERA+ over 144.2 innings.
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we have compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players for the 2018 CPBL season.
Looking at the stats from 2017, it’s pretty clear that the only foreign pitchers CPBL teams necessarily want back are Loree, Downs, Segovia, Woodall and Billings. The other half dozen or so all look like they may be seeking other employment this spring.
With as many as seven new foreign pitchers needed to start the 2018 CBPBL season, here is my list of the best pitchers a CPBL team has a reasonable chance of signing who pitched well in the Caribbean winter leagues, the regular seasons of which have just ended (except for late-starting Puerto Rico).
1. I still like lefty Tyler Alexander (26 in summer 2018) best. His 3.28 ERA was seventh best out of 12 qualifiers in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), a league close to the CPBL level of play. Alexander led the league with 66 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched. Last winter, he finished second in the LMP with 72 Ks in 68 IP.
Alexander throws low side-arm in kind of a sling-shot motion that MLB organizations apparently don’t like in spite of the fact that Alexander has gotten steadily better in the independent-A American Association each of his three seasons and was clearly the league’s best starter in 2017.
Alexander likely made less than $8,500 for the entire four month American Association season in 2017, although he likely made about twice that much for the 2.5 month LMP season. If no MLB team comes calling, a three-month offer from a CPBL team for $25,000 or $30,000 would probably receive serious consideration from Alexander. At age 26, he’s still likely to get better.
2. Reinier Roibal (29). Roibal was probably the best starter in the 2017-2018 Venezuelan Winter League season. His 2.03 ERA led the league, and his 48 strikeouts in 53.1 IP gave him the league’s highest strikeout rate. There are some questions about Roibal’s health, as he made only eight starts during the summer 0f 2017, all in the Independent-A Atlantic League where he posted a 2.53 ERA and struck out 50 batters in 46.1 IP. Still, the results when he’s able to pitch have been impressive.
3. Williams Perez (27). I thought earlier this off-season that an NPB or KBO team might sign Perez this off-season. However, there are only two roster spaces left for foreign pitchers in the KBO, and there have been no rumors on yakyudb.com about an NPB having an interest in him. Perez had a 2.84 ERA in eight Venezuelan Winter League starts, and he had a 5.01 ERA with 102 Ks in 120.1 IP as a starter for the AAA Iowa Cubs last summer.
Perez made 31 major league starts in 2015 and 2016, recording a 9-9 record with a 5.18 overall ERA. He’s young enough and was effective enough in AAA in 2017 that he’ll almost certainly get a minor league contract offer from an MLB team. That means a CPBL probably would have to offer him at least $25,000 a month with at least $90,000 guaranteed to have any reasonable chance of signing Williams. That may be more than what a CPBL team is willing to pay a rookie foreign pitcher, although Lamigo or the Brothers might be willing to do it.
Here are some other reasonable possibilities: Patrick Johnson (29), Elih Villanueva (31), Gaby Hernandez (32), Daryl Thompson (32), Fernando Cruz (28), Zack Dodson (27), Omar Bencomo (29), Omar Porveda (30), and William Oliver (30). None of these pitchers will be older than 32 next season, and all are Independent-A league types who pitched reasonably impressively in the Winter Leagues this season and pitched well in their Indy-A leagues last summer. This list is hardly exhaustive, as the Winter Leagues are full of players from the top three Indy-A Leagues who play reasonably well.
There are also numerous older Cuban pitchers who once defected who are still top starters in the Domincan, Mexican and Venezuelan winter leagues. 35 year old Jonathan Albaladejo, who recorded a 6-3 record with a 4.34 ERA in 66 major league games over five seasons ending in 2012 and was a highly effective reliever for the Yomiuri Giants in 2011, still looks like he has enough left that he might be effective in the CPBL in 2018.
Woah, nice list there Burly! Would be interesting to see if they end up landing any of them.
In regards to 2017 pitchers, I think some team ought to give Bruce Kern a go this season. As for Orlando Roman, could be a good back-up option if teams having problem finding suitable foreign pitcher, as he is quite comfortable playing in Taiwan.
From my understanding Guardians’ scout was in Australia about 2 weeks ago. Maybe they’re considering drawing some talent there? Or maybe they’re just there to see Chiang Chih-Hsien, one of the positional player they plan to sign.
Elih Villanueva – He was invited to Chinatrust Brothers spring camp back in 2016. However was released before opening day, he was replaced by Andrew Sisco.
Jonathan Albaladejo – There’s rumour Uni-Lions was targeting him and Josh Lowey back in May last year. But nothing really materialised. Lions end up signing Terance Marin to replaced Mike DeMark.
Adding on to this. Gaby Hernandez also pitched in CPBL before back in 2015 for EDA Rhinos. Posted 4.67 ERA, 1.48 WHIP over 88.2 innings.
I don’t think the Australian Winter League is anywhere near as good as the four main Latin American Winter Leagues. The Australian Winter League is probably comparable to Panama’s winter league. My guess is that Fubon wants to see how the Taiwanese players in Australia look.
Former KBOers Eric Hacker, Scott Diamond, Donn Roach and Zach Petrick look like potential CPBL prospects for 2018 also.
The best pitchers in the Australian Baseball League so far this season are Ryan Bollinger (27), Mark Hamburger (31), Frank Gailey (32), and Travis Blackley (35). All four are Indy-A types, but a little less impressive than the Indy-A types who played in the Caribbean winter leagues I list above.
Yeah, I think so too. Very likely there to see the Taiwanese players instead of foreign players.
Travis Blackley however did pitched in the KBO a few years back, probably not top priority on the signing list, but maybe a good mid-season jam pick up option.
But again, judging by the league track record, mostly likely going to be people from Atlantic League.