Thursday, March 27, 2008

International Dream Team

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

Season 7 was a banner year for international prospects, featuring the likes of Paul Jung, Sammy Bennett, Quilvio Suarez, Geronimo Liriano, Jimmie Julio, and a whole host of other great prospects. There is no doubt that many superstars were signed last season, but they still have a ways to go before many of them reach the major leagues. With that in mind the question arises of who are the all time great internationals in Cobb World? The Times Herald has assembled its starting lineup and rotation for you to review.

Jung Lee
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Yokosuka, JP
Position(s): C/DH
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Catcher: Jung Lee - Huntington Hillbillies
--While only signed in season 5, Lee has made a big impact in his two full seasons at the big league level. His career batting average is .291, and his power is increasing each season. The future is bright, especially as his pitch calling skills continue to improve.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Ong - Louisville Tysons, and Geronimo Seguinol - Pittsburgh SSP, Jimmie Julio - St. Louis HoundDogs

Quilvio Suarez
Age: 19B/T: S/R
Born: Rancho Viejo, DO
Position(s): 1B
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1B - Quilvio Suarez - Huntington Hillbillies
--No real quality 1B prospects appeared until season 5, but the real monsters were reserved for season 7 when Quilvio Suarez was signed. Fetching an impressive 17 million dollar bonus, the young Suarez boasts bone crushing power and a very good eye. Time will tell if he produces, but he has all the skills.
Honorable Mentions: Vladimir Segui - New York Titans, Omar Rosado - New York Pick Pockets

Benny Pineda
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Guarenas, VE
Position(s): 2B/3B
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2B - Benny Pineda - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
--Signed in season 1 for a paltry 3.7 million dollars, Pineda has been producing at the Big League level since season 2, and has a career average of .297. He has been a solid run producer and OBP guy, and his defense has been solid. Truly a bargain at the 2B position.
Honorable Mentions: Omar Rosado - Louisville Tysons, Sammy Bennett - Tacoma Jerry Gang

Rico Estrada
New York
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Santa Teresa, VE
Position(s): SS
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SS - Rico Estrada - New York Titans
--Opposite of the 3B position, there is a bounty of shortstops to choose from when trying to figure out the best international. We decided to go with the most titanic of the Titans, Rico Estrada. The guy does it all, could reach 3,000 hits, and has the coolest shades in the league. Truly worthy of a man-crush and a spot on our team.
Honorable Mentions: R. J. Cubillan - Pittsburgh SSP, Raul Palacios - Syracuse Beagles

Max Posada
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Puerto Plata, DO
Position(s): 3B/1B/COF/DH
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3B - Max Posada - Huntington Hillbillies
--Without a doubt the weakest position for internationals, Max Posada is the best that there is to offer. That isn't saying much, as he is currently a role player backing up younger players. We'll just move on from here.
Honorable Mentions: None

Geronimo Liriano
Age: 20B/T: S/R
Born: Santo Domingo, DO
Position(s): LF/1B/RF/DH
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LF - Geronimo Liriano - Richmond Cohibas
--If Liriano develops he will be devastating at the plate. His bat projects to be supreme, and he has some big time power. The only knock is that he isn't a good contact hitter. But when you slug like he can, that isn't a big deal.
Honorable Mentions: None

Jose Cervantes
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Boca De Soco, DO
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
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CF - Jose Cervantes - Syracuse Beagles
--Cervantes is a power hitting home run monster, and he has the range and glove to be very good in the field as well. With 304 HR's to his credit at the age of 25, Cervantes could be the all time leader in that category by the time he retires. Not known for his contact hitting skills, his ability to work a pitcher deep into the count is renowned around the league.
Honorable Mentions: Paul Jung - K. C. KILL

Virgil Dominguez
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Aragua, VE
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
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RF - Virgil Dominguez, Richmond Cohibas
--This is a pick based on potential, and Dominguez has a ton of it. Dominguez looks to be particularly devastating against right handed pitching, and should be able to hit for a solid average versus lefties as well. He won't kill you in the field, and he is durable enough to play most days. The future looks good for Dominguez.
Honorable Mentions: Rico Cruz - Seattle Seacows, Al Morales - Richmond Cohibas

Ruben Montero
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Punto Fijo, VE
Position(s): P (SP1)
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SP - Ruben Montero - Syracuse Beagles
--Montero has been the most consistently good international starting pitcher, racking up career ML totals of 51 wins and an ERA of 3.79 in four full seasons. The ace of a young and talented Syracuse staff, he is still improving, which is a frightening prospect for the rest of the league.
Honorable Mentions: Tony Cho - Wichita Wankers, Alfonso Vega - Louisville Tysons, Bernie Lopez - Huntington Hillbillies, Victor Gandarillas - Tacoma Jerry Gang, Pascual Mendoza - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats

Victor Romano
San Francisco
Age: 23B/T: R/R
Born: Mao Valverde, DO
Position(s): P (SuA)
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RP - Victor Romano - San Francisco Blur
--Romano is just coming into his own in the majors, and has a bright future ahead of him in the bullpen. He worked 78 innings in his rookie year and is looking to improve upon that total in future seasons. With his precise control and dominating stuff, especially against right handed hitting, he is a future all star.
Honorable Mentions: James Gao - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats

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