Thursday, July 28, 2011

Roberto Alomar HOF 2011

On Sunday July 24, 2011 Puerto Rican second baseman Roberto Alomar joined pitcher Bert Blyleven and longtime Baseball executive Pat Gillick as the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Alomar was elected in his second year of eligibility with 90 percent of vote. According to the Baseball Writers of America's website:

Alomar, who was in his second year on the ballot, received 523 votes, the third highest total in history, for a 90-percent plurality. He was the 26th player to reach the 90-percent level in BBWAA elections.

In a 17-year career (with with the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks), Alomar was a career .300 hitter with 2724 hits (504 2B/80 3B/210 HR) 1508 runs and 1134 RBI. Alomar stole 474 bases (in 588 attempts) struck out 1140 times and walked 1032 times. Alomar's OPS was .814 (.371 OBP/.443 SLG). Alomar was a 12-time All-Star (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) won a record 10 Gold Gloves at second base 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) and won 4 Silver Slugger awards (1992, 1996, 1999, 2000). Alomar was in the top ten of the MVP vote five times (1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2001), was an important part of the 1992 and 1993 World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays winning the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 American League Championship Series and MVP of the 1998 All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver.

With his induction, Alomar becomes the 3rd Puerto Rican in the Hall of Fame joining Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda.  

Felicitaciones Roberto en su consagración en el Salón de la Fama.


For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access Roberto Alomar's career statistics from

Friday, July 22, 2011

Looking at Venezuelan Enyelbert Soto of the Chunichi Dragons

I try to profile Latino players that are currently playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB) to bring awareness to players who may not have reached their potential while playing in MLB. Last season I profiled Venezuelan outfielder Alex “Rami-chan” Ramirez of the Yomiuri Giants. This season I’ve decided to profile another Venezuelan, pitcher Enyelbert Soto of the Chunichi Dragons.

Soto was originally signed by the Houston Astros as an undrafted free agent in 1999 and seemed to retire voluntarily in 2002 (Why? I can’t seem to find out. When I do I’ll update the post). Soto made his return with the Astros organization in January of 2003 and started pitching for the Greenville Astros of the Rookie Appalachian League in 2004. In 24 games, Soto went 1-1 with a 1.03 ERA with 13 saves in 35.0 innings pitched. Soto struck out 47 while walking only 2 while giving up 30 hits and 10 runs for a WHIP of 0.91. His performance at Greenville led to his promotion to Class A- Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York-Penn League.

In parts of two seasons at Tri-City (2004-2005), Soto went 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 10 games with 12.0 innings pitched. He struck out 15 while walking 4 while giving up 11 hits and 6 runs for a WHIP of 1.250. Soto spent the remainder of the 2005 season with the Lexington Legends of the Class A South Atlantic League. In 16 games, Soto went 2-1 with a 4.44 ERA with 2 saves in 26.1 innings pitched. He struck out 16 and walked 2 while giving up 36 hits and 14 runs for a WHIP of 1.443. The next stop for Soto was with the Salem Avalanche of the Class Advanced A Carolina League.

In parts of two seasons with Salem (2006-2007), Soto posted a 5-5 record with a 2.14 ERA with 2 saves in 92.2 innings pitched. He struck out 67 while walking 32 while giving up 92 hits and 32 runs for a WHIP of 1.338. Soto would finish the remainder of the 2007 season with the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League. In 6 games at Corpus Christi Soto compiled a 1-0 record with a 10.00 ERA in 9 innings pitched. Unlike his other stops in the minors, Soto seemed to have a difficulty with the batters in AA. Soto struck out 9 while walking 13 and giving up 16 hits and 12 runs for a WHIP of 3.222. That’s where Soto’s minor league experience ends and he seems to just disappear from organized baseball.

Then I notice that Patrick Newman of posted the following in his article Chunichi Notes: Chen, Soto dated January 24, 2011:

the Dragons will look at another lefty this spring. 28 year-old Venezuelan Enyelbert Soto will participate in Chunichi’s camp on a trial basis. Soto has minor league experience in the Astros organization and played in Italy last season.

Soto made the team and as of today he has been exceptionally productive for the Dragons. In 12 games, he is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA 17.1 innings pitched. His strikeout to walk ratio seems to have normalized with his striking out 11 with only 2 walks and giving up 16 hits and only 4 runs for a WHIP of 1.052. His last appearance on July 19th was his first start in Japan in which he pitched 5 innings of 1-run ball allowing 4 hits and striking out 2 while not walking a batter.

So what does this mean for Soto? Has the change of scenery worked to his benefit? Are the hitters that he is facing in the NPB of lesser quality than those he had trouble with in AA? I don’t know. Maybe there isn’t a specific reason for his initial success in his first season in Japan. All I can tell is that he is doing his job coming out of the bullpen and now starting for the second place Chunichi Dragons. I will take a look at his progress during the second half of the NPB season. Sayonara and Adios.


For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Enyelbert Soto's career minor league statistics from
- Click Here for Enyelbert Soto's career minor league statistics from
- Click Here for Enyelbert Soto's page from the website
- Click Here for the article Soto solid as Dragons rout Giants from the Japan Times Online dated July 19, 2011

A Return Look at Juan Miranda

Back in October of 2010 in a post called Juan Miranda's Chances in MLB, I looked at whether the Cuban born and Dominican nationalized could succeed in the Majors. With half of the 2011 season done, I've decided to take a look at Miranda's performance for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I have to say, that as optimistic that I was, I might have to agree with various bloggers that Miranda might not be MLB material. 

As of today, Miranda is no longer with the Diamondbacks, having been optioned to AAA Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Coming out of Spring training Miranda was slated to be the team's regular first baseman. That plan never fully came to fruition since Miranda was platooned with Xavier Nady and Russell Branyan. His production with the bat was also a determining factor in his not becoming the starting first baseman.

Miranda had a solid month of may where he batted .262 with 4 homers and 12 RBI and an OPS of .915 (.377 OBP%/.538 SLG%) and seemed to get into a solid rhythm. But his lack of performance in June was marked by a .151 batting average and an OPS of .494 (.211 OBP%/.283 SLG%). His slide continued into July with a slightly better .176 batting average and an OPS of .594 (.300 OBP%/.294 SLG%). 

At the time of his demotion, Miranda's statistics for the season were: batting average of .213 with 37 hits (8 2B/2 3B/7 HR) with 23 RBI. His OPS was .717 (.315 OBP%/.402 SLG%) with 23 walks and 48 strikeouts. So where does this leave Miranda. 

AAA prospect Brandon Allen, who many believed was the favorite to play  first for the Diamondbacks during Spring Training has been called up and will step into the same platoon that Miranda was in with Nady and Branyan. Barring injury, I can't see Miranda being called up to the big leagues until September. Shame, I thought that the change of scenery and a new opportunity would help him. I guess we need to make the best of said opportunity and for whatever reason, Miranda was not able to.

For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Amit Lal's article Diamondbacks Roster Shuffling - Allen, Enright, and Blum Up, Heilman, Pena, and Miranda Down dated July 19, 2011 from
- Click Here for Amit Lal's article Is it Time for the Diamondbacks to make a change at 1B? dated July 2, 2011 from