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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:12 am 
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Yeah, the Hartford crowd are hard to please as well. Despite selling nearly 18% more season plans we are currently about 10% down on last year's average attendance.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Ungrateful wretches. Too busy playing baseball simulations on their pc’s to go to a game ... oh, wait ...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:09 pm 
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Claymores wrote:
Ungrateful wretches. Too busy playing baseball simulations on their pc’s to go to a game ... oh, wait ...

Who would do something like that??

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:37 pm 
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Nomura Latest Man Up


Mito Nomura is the latest pitcher from Santo Domingo (AAA) to make a strong PEBA debut this season. Nomura, a former second round pick, is no stranger to Imperial League but after a poor spring he got sent down this year. He made the best of it, working out some kinks in his mechanics and, after a 4-2, 1.92 showing got called back up. On June 2, he allowed just two hits to go with four walks against Arlington in completing seven shutout innings.

He is likely to stay on in a relief role even after starters Domingo Rodriguez and Tatsui Kouno return from injuries next week now that Luis Reyes is lost for the season. Reyes, a former supplemental first round pick, is one of a long line of draft mediocrities for the Rio Grande/San Juan franchise going 13-21, 4.73 over five seasons. He’s eligible for arbitration in the offseason but it’s unknown whether the team will offer him a contract.

Other tidbits this week:

Rookie Mike Rose hit better in May (.262, .368) but still has not found his home run stroke from week one when he slammed seven in his first seven games.

The Coqui have now stolen 74 bases on the season, good for second in the Imperial League and been caught just 12 times. The team also leads the league in walks with 201. The team’s batting average remains low, however, at .242.

Jorge Pagán continues to throw well at Santurce (AA) having allowed just one earned run in his last 21 innings. He hasn’t had much run support, however, and is only 3-1 to with his 1.80 e.r.a. Robby Parker has had more of that benefit at 7-3, 3.18 this season.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:12 am 
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Coqui Draft Dominant College Hurler Third Overall

Atasuki Inoue, taken third overall by San Juan in the PEBA 2028 Draft, already has a shelf full of hardware. He won the ICOL SL2 Outstanding Pitcher Award in each of his first three seasons at Hamilton, going 20-1 over those years. As a senior, he finished third in the voting after a 4-3 campaign, his e.r.a. dropping to a still stellar 1.61, the highest of his college career. Inoue was also a four-time all-star and won a playoff series MVP award. In six postseason appearances over two playoff seasons, he went a combined 4-1, 1.83.

The Coqui had four picks in the top 61 of the draft and added three more players who had decorated college careers, including another pitcher, a slick fielding shortstop and a clutch performing centerfielder.

The 2028 draft was San Juan’s first with new scouting director Robert Franklin and general manager Mike Best said he felt he trusted the reports a bit more this year. In fact, of the 16 players Franklin had rated three stars or better, the team nabbed three of them. “Other teams obviously had a different draft board than us but we’ll see,” said Best. “Once the draft hit the fourth round, it got more predictable and we saw a lot of guys on our board come off.” The Coqui did not have any fourth or fifth round picks, however, and the consensus is everyone they took after those top four are long shots.

In the second round, San Juan went for Eli McKnight who, like Inoue, is a 21-year old righthanded groundballer. What McKnight lacks in elite pitches, he makes up for in repertoire with a sinker and slider to go with a more customary splitter and curveball. He also mixes in a changeup that consistently fooled college hitters. In four years at Pitt (ICOL) he went 8-6, 1.81, with 33 starts in 39 games. His best season was 2027 when he earned an all-star berth after going 5-1, 1.31, including a 15-strikeout performance against Iowa. McKnight went 1-4 his senior season despite allowing just nine runs all year. Pitt was awful with a .304 winning percentage.

With its second pick in the second round, San Juan went with outfielder Toju Samurakami, who was reportedly the second highest rated outfielder on the team’s board. While Samurakami can play at a high level now, some scouts believe he may have reached his potential already. The 21-year had a very respectable career at Oxford (ICOL) posting .283, .335, .459 numbers. He was a two-time all-star and a three time playoff series MVP and twice won accolades for his fielding in center. In 2026, when Oxford won the ICOL championship, Samurakami hit .397 and slugged .699 during the postseason.

With its third round pick, San Juan went for shortstop Simon Eykelbosch, a player who was rising on scouting reports after turning in a .296, .356 season his senior year at Rikkyo University. No one questions Eykelbosch’s elite fielding abilities although despite a cannon arm, a knack for the double play and major league range, he has struggled with errors at times. While his batting average fluctuated in college and he is expected to mostly be a singles hitter at the next level, he did have a knack for getting on base (.288, .355 overall). He also swiped 30 bases in 36 attempts, something the Coqui look for in their players. Franklin considered Eykelbosch a first round talent.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:44 am 
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Nice write up! :clap: Cool that inoue fell to you at 3 -- he was the best player on my board. Love these draft reviews!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:13 am 
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Featherheads wrote:
Nice write up! :clap: Cool that inoue fell to you at 3 -- he was the best player on my board. Love these draft reviews!

I had a fantasy that he'd fall to 'double 3'...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:59 pm 
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A Look at San Juan’s Pitching Future


While San Juan is surprisingly alive in the wild card hunt, the future relies mostly on how well a surplus of pitching talent develops over the next couple seasons. As of June 26, 2028:


TOP PROSPECT

Jorge Pagán – After going 18-12, 3.47 in two seasons as a teenager in A ball, the now 20-year old from Havana has emerged from an offseason in winter ball to lead the entire Great Northern League (AA) in e.r.a. this year at 1.43. He was promoted to make an emergency start in AAA this week and, despite his youth, could be the first starter on this long list to get his shot.


FORMER FIRST ROUNDERS - CURRENT STARTERS

*supplemental round

Atasuke Inoue (2028) – Taken third overall. Makes his first start as a pro this week.

Robby “Tag” Parker (2027*) – 22 year old is following up a 8-0, 2.64 season last year in A-ball with an 8-4, 3.29 campaign so far at Santurce (AA).

Keith DuPree (2027) – A torn UCL caused DuPree to miss his first pro year but San Juan’s taking a chance on him after he fell in the first round is now paying dividends. He opened the season 4-1, 1.79 at Kingston (A), including posting back to back 10K games, and was just promoted to Santurce (AA) for an injury replacement start.

Marcel Ousterhaut (2026) – Drafted out of high school, the 20-year old Dutchman closed out a 10-4, 2.74 season last year at Homer (SA) and is holding his own at Kingston (A) at 5-4, 3.28.

António Ávila (2026) – Just turned 21 this month and seems to be settling down in his third year at Homer (SA). Jury is still out on him as he throws a sub-90 fastball.


FORMER FIRST ROUNDERS - CURRENT RELIEVERS


Ray Medrano (2027) – Maybe the most dominant starting pitcher in A ball last year, Medrano has recently been forced to the bullpen at Santurce (AA) where is likely better suited and has settled in with a 0.71 e.r.a. before a minor injury put him on the DL.

Gary Walker (2023*) – Obtained in a trade with Shin Seiki before 2027, Walker has not disappointed. After going 10-6 as a starter in AA before the trade, he was moved to the bullpen by the San Juan organization where he has gone 15-6 with a 1.97 e.r.a. in a setup role and is likely to get a shot in the majors soon.


FORMER SECOND ROUNDERS - CURRENT STARTERS

Eli McKnight (2027) – The best prospect of the Coqui second rounders with an impressive repertoire of pitches, McKnight won his first start at Kingston (A) last week, giving up one run in six innings.

Barney Stone (2027) – Went 8-1, 2.96 last year at Homer (SA) and is 2-1, 2.56 this year at Kingston (A). Not elite stuff but has four solid pitches. Control is only real weakness but he has improved dramatically in that area so far this season.

Troy Hall (2027) – Mostly average stuff from a Major League point of view, Hall has been able to hold a starting role thus far in SA and A ball without much fanfare or concern.


OTHER MIDRANGE PROSPECTS

Joey Hazen (3rd-2027) – A crowded rotation at Kingston (A) has moved the former 2027 third rounder into a stopper role. It wasn’t a demotion due to performance. He was 3-4, 3.38 as a starter while going 6-5, 2.87 last year in SA. So far in relief he has given up just one run (a homer) in seven innings. He has five good pitches but scouts are split as to whether they are elite or average.

John Sullivan – The 2025 sixth rounder broke in with no-hitters in SA and A ball his first pro season but injuries have derailed his rise. Still he is 21-17, 2.87 e.r.a. as a pro.

Pete Scammell – The 23 year old Canadian was recently given a boost to three stars by OSA Scouting. He has 85 combined saves in A and AA ball and a 2.33 e.r.a. since being moved to the bullpen in 2024.

Bryan Scott – Former 2026 5th rounder got promoted to A ball at age 19 and has remained a starter there ever since, including an all-star berth in 2027. However, after a solid K/BB ratio in high school, he has struggled to find the plate as a pro, walking more than he has struck out. If he can gain more confidence challenging hitters he could prove a sleeper as batters are averaging just .188 against him this year. Still only 21.

Gerardo Juarez (26 years old, trade from Shin Seiki) – 101 career minor league saves and currently a 1.21 e.r.a. as a closer at Santo Domingo (AAA). Did not see action in spring training but is making a move to be given a shot.

Juan “Lindo” Gonzalez – A 2027 third rounder with an uncanny ability to strike batters out with his changeup, a talent that thus far has translated from college into the pros. While it’s likely better hitters will not be as fooled, statistically so far he has lived up to his billing as a third round middle reliever and has improved drastically each month this year in A ball.

Andrés Cruz – 21 year old former WIL draftee and later free agent is 1.53 with 25 saves and 116 Ks in 94 innings the last three seasons.

José Cruz – 26 year old Spaniard and former 13th rounder who struggles to get ball over the plate but has allowed just one home run in three seasons and has been effective for minor league bullpens since 2024. Has 49 saves this year and last.


NEWEST INTERNATIONAL ADDITIONS TO WATCH:

Jesus Luna, age 20, Dominican allowed just one run in his first two starts at Homer (SA). Scouts believe he has a shot in a swingman role in the majors.

Seong–Chae Somun, age 20, is 2-0, 1.38 in his first two starts at Homer. The South Korean already has four very good pitches but will have to improve his control and movement to make it to the Show.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:38 pm 
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Norman Hitting .326 in San Juan Return

One month in, Richie Norman’s return has been a success. Although the 34-year old first baseman has yet to go deep, his power being the main reason for his signing, he has hit .326 with four doubles in 13 games.

Norman sat out all of 2027 after the Coqui, with eyes on a rebuild, moved on after Norman’s numbers had declined. And the rest of the league passed as well. However, in the prior five years with the organization, Norman hit 104 home runs with a batting average that fluctuated between .252 and .320.

On June 21, Norman was given a minor league tryout at Santo Domingo (AAA) and after six games slugged .708 before being called up on a minimum $510,000 deal. His first game back in the PEBA he was named Player of the Game after going three-for-four driving in runs in his first two at bats.

Rodriguez on the block at deadline
Despite being in the wild card race, the Coqui are rumored to be shopping Domingo Rodríguez’ $15 million dollar a year contract. The front office is reportedly less optimistic about its chances this year compared to what the future could hold. Ticket sales are still declining and the team doesn’t want to come up short in its ability to pay for offseason development of its surplus of prospects. Last year the team was forced to deal two draft picks to send a couple players to winter ball. The move paid off with 20-year old Jorge Pagán who has a 3.09 e.r.a. in five starts at Santo Domingo after going 4-2, 1.43 earlier this summer at Santurce (AA).

The team had been planning to move Rodriguez into a key bullpen role but has struggled to keep a healthy rotation. The 34-year old has also gotten hot at the right time, having allowed just one earned run in the last 26 innings.

From the minors
Kelsey Van Wingerden, a 7th round pick in 2025, is starting to turn heads in Santurce. The 25-year old right fielder hit five home runs over two games on July 17 and 18 bringing his total to an Atlantic Alliance leading 24 for the season. It’s been a big July for him having had a six-RBI game on July 13 and a grand slam on July 9. For the month, he is hitting .368 with nine home runs and a .490 on base percentage.

The power is not surprising. While Van Wingerden has struggled with his batting average much of his pro career, he did hit 18 home runs for Kingston (A) in 2026 and 37 in a stellar career at Hosei University. In fact, he was once a first round pick for Neo-Tokyo in 2024 before returning to school.

As a pro, Van Wingerden has also shown a knack for drawing walks, his one base percentage ranging from .355 to .375 as he has climbed the minor leagues.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:04 pm 
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San Juan Extends Pitching Coach Montoya


The Coqui have extended pitching coach Alfredo Montoya for two more years. Montoya has been in the San Juan organization dating back to the Kawaguchi (LRS-JPN) days in 2017.

Montoya had a fairly marginal track record until being demoted to AAA with the Texarkana Bandits in 2022. Between Texarkana and its move to Santo Domingo (AAA), he was pitching coach for three playoff teams, his squad posting e.ra.’s between 2.82 and 3.55 those years. The last two seasons Montoya has served as a kind of co-pitching coach with Keiji Hagi while holding down the assistant general manager’s job. Hagi, who has disappeared from the coaching ranks since his contract ran out, had been a specialist with fastballers, something San Juan has moved away from. Montoya was named the pitching coach two years ago but when the season started poorly, Hagi was moved back into the role. Montoya refused assignment to the minors so the team gave him another job to do. This year he definitely redeemed himself as everyone in the front office is pleased with the team’s pitching thus far.

The 56-year old, who doesn’t have a particular preference in styles of pitchers, is said to be particularly good with younger players. Rookie Fernando Castro is a respectable 9-9, 3.66, including a debut no-hitter. Twenty-six year old Jose Gomez is having his best season with a 1.90 e.r.a. and 22 saves out of the bullpen as is 27-year old Mito Nomura, 2.98 as a swingman this year. In addition there is 29-year old Hou Hao, signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, who became an Imperial League all-star this year and is sitting among league leaders at 12-8, 2.95.

There is some talk that Montoya might be in line to become manager of the Coqui should Sergio Manetti fall into disfavor. A former pitching coach would fit into the San Juan’s ideology of pitching, defense and speed. Of course, a good season makes any coach a hot commodity. Inconsistency has been a staple of the Coqui and whether the staff continues its surprising show next year is anyone’s guess.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Coqui Pass Last Year's Victory Total


In passing last season’s win total by two, the Coqui are back in a more familiar strata – mediocrity at 62-62. Among Imperial League teams, San Juan ranks in the middle of the pack in almost every pitching category except bullpen e.r.a. (3rd). The hitting is worse, ranking in the bottom third in every hitting category except walks (4th) and stolen bases (3rd). But even in those categories, the team lacks an elite base stealer and simply doesn’t hit enough for average (.236) to raise its on-base percentage (.309 or 9th in the Imperial League).

There are some likeable every day contributors but no stars. The team’s two all-stars, 26-year old reliever Jose Gomez and 29-year old starter Hou Hao did nothing to draw PEBA accolades before this season.

“A team that doesn’t get on base and doesn’t hit extra base hits obviously is going to have its struggles,” said General Manager Mike Best. “I think team speed has saved us offensively thus far. And the pitching has benefited from good defense.”

One other benefit is while there are some players probably not playing to their full potential, no one is grossly underperforming. There is no dead weight. And the at least serviceable pitching stretches into AAA ball.

For the most part the team is satisfied with its outfield – Flint Butler (.263, .325, 13/14 on steals), Francisco Torres (.270, .356, 12/13 on steals), Mike Rose (.246, .330, 9 HRs), and Michael Drew (.260, .333, 11/11 on steals), none have power or can play center field.

The waiver claim of 1B/3B Jack Speed (.232, .338) two years ago also has to be considered a success. Although he is mostly a singles and walks guy, Speed has amazingly swiped 36 bases without being caught this year. Overall with San Juan, he is 67 of 70 on the basepaths. In six previous seasons, he was caught 43 times in 181 attempts.

“Our coaches are succeeding in what we want them to do. We just need to fill the gaps with better players,” said Best.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:48 pm 
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CF is a tough position to fill in this league. This year's draft pick Toju Samurakami and #5 Coqui prospect could help fill that gap. He's had a really strong start in Kingston. 181 AB / 12 HR / 42 RBI / 2.6 WAR

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:46 am 
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High floor, low ceiling pick per scouts predictions but I believe in him!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:54 pm 
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Coqui Minor League Squads Mostly Make Strong Showings in 2028


San Juan was not expecting much from its AAA team in Santo Domingo this year but, thanks to a good coaching effort and pitching, defense and the three-run homer, the Tourists took their division with an 80-60 mark. The pitching staff was brilliant although the offense, outside of the deep ball, was middling. There were few prospects, the team mostly made up of failed PEBAers. However, three relievers, 23-year old Gary Walker (11-5, 1.77), 27-year old Jon Dalton (1.91) and 26-year old Geraldo Juarez (1.95, 34 saves) earned September call-ups with Walker and Dalton continuing to look good in the big leagues.
***
For the third time in four years, Santurce (AA) finished with an 88-52 mark. Manager Suezo Azuma, who took over four seasons ago, has drawn accolades from the front office. He also led Kingston (A) to an 84-24 mark his first year in the Coqui organization. His “off year” in Santurce the team went 72-68 and still earned a playoff berth. Castillos stars included 25-year old outfielder Kelsey van Wingerden (32 HR, .370 OPB), 23-year old shortstop Oscar Wetherby (.328, .403 in 21 games), 22-year old starting pitcher Robby Parker (15-5, 2.40) and 24-year old reliever Pete Scammell (2.11, 20/21 in saves). Elvis Carter, 27, also was outstanding (15-5, 2.74) settling into a career role in AA ball.
***
The Kingston Suns (A) were not as fortunate this season, failing to make the playoffs despite a stellar 78-50 season. However, in a sign of where the Coqui organization is heading the squad did lead the entire NAFTA in stolen bases with 190, 49 more than any other team. Offensive stars included outfielders Toju Samurakami (.303, .373, .523), Tsuneyo Ohayashi (.426 OBP, 21 HR, 34 SB) and Alberto Morán (.263, .351, 19 HR in an injury-shortened season); first baseman Brendan Robertson (.278, .369, .482, 25 SB); and second baseman Aurelio Espinoza (.399 OPB, 37 SB). The team’s strength was considering pitching where a number of top prospects turned in respectable although not spectacular seasons, led by 21-year old former first rounder Marcel Osterhaut (14-6, 3.33).
***
The big surprise at Homer (SA) this season proved to be two left-handed starters activated from the International Complex: Seong-chae Somun (10-5, 1.29) and Jesus Luna (6-7, 1.98). The offense was dreadful, finishing 12th in home runs and 11th in the league in runs scored. But the Coqui organization does have its players running and the Wallbangers swiped 122 bases, 34 more than any other team in the Surf and Snow. It was quite a feat considering the lack of baserunners to begin with, the team hitting just .213 and posting a .304 OBP.

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