It has been a while since you could read an update about the players from Curacao and Aruba in the Major Leagues.
With the season nearing its end, it is time to take a look on how the Dutchies are doing.
Xander Bogaerts is having a helluva season with the Red Sox. Even though he has been in a bit of a slump he is still hitting a very respectable .309. Over his last thirty games the Aruban shortstop was only hitting .236 but slowly he improved to a decent .296 over his last seven games.
Also his defensive side is decent. In 126 games, he committed eleven errors, leading to a fielding percentage of .976.
Could Bogaerts be an MVP candidate this year? He is contributing for a contender, so who knows.
Last Saturday Xander hit a homerun over the Green Monster in Fenway Park, a monster homerun.
Didi Gregorius has a breakout season with the Yankees. Even though he is in a (little) slump lately, his batting average is still at a respectable .284. The weird thing is that he struggled last season vs lefties and now he is having them for breakfast. Currently he is hitting .336 vs lefties, while he hits .268 vs righties.
In the last couple of games he is striking out more than he normally does. And he does get his hits, but mainly 1 for 4 or 1 for 3.
His defense is still good, he can make impossible plays, but his fielding percentage is ten points lower than last year’s. Nevertheless, the shortstop who was born in Amsterdam but who resides at Curacao since his teen years, has turned into an all round player who hits for average and certainly has some pop in his bat.
In Saturday’s game vs the Orioles, Didi proved that he is a speedy guy as well as he stole home plate:
Kenly Jansen is having a lights out season with a 3-2 W-L record, an 1.92 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP, even though he blew the safe on Friday as he allowed one earned run. But that was mainly because of poor communication with new Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz.
In the next two games vs the Cubs, the closer from Curacao did what he had to do: shut the door for the win. On Saturday he retired the side in the ninth and struck out two for his 38th save of the season. The next day he struck out one as he retired the side again, this time for his 39th save. It may seem strange, but the Dodgers have let know that they may be looking for a new closer since Aroldis Chapman will be on the market after this season too. Just like Jansen, he will be free agent. Jansen is arguably the most underrated closer of the Majors right now.
Here Jansen fans the final batter in the game vs the Cubs for the 39th of the season:
Jurickson Profar is used as an utility man by the Texas Rangers. Once the nr. 1 prospect of the team, now a player the Rangers don’t know where to place him. They have Elvis Andrus at short, Rougned Odor at second, Adrian Beltre at third and a star studded outfield. So Profar has played at all four infield positions and in left field. In a total of 66 games, Jurickson has committed a total of only five errors, one at second base, three at third base, one at shorstop and none at first and in left field. Perhaps it runs in the family to be a utility man as the soon to decease High Desert Mavericks (Rangers A Advanced affiliate) also use Jurickson’s younger brother Juremi as a utility man.
Despite Jurickson’s good performance on the defensive side (a .980 fielding percentage), his hitting stays behind with only .257. Over his last thirty games, Jurickson hit .173, over his last fifteen an even lower .136 and over his last seven games his average raised about 50 points to .188. During the period around the trade deadline, there was a lot of interest for the young shorstop from Curacao.
This clip shows that Profar is a fine defensive player who deserves more than to be used as a utility guy.
Jonathan Schoop is one of many middle infielders from Curacao. Despite a decent batting average of .281, he is struggling at the plate lately. In his last thirty games he batted .252. In his last fifteen games he hit better with .268 but over his last seven games his batting average dropped dramatially as he hit .231.
Schoop is a solid second baseman as he committed only eight errors in 130 games for the Orioles.
Normally second basemen aren’t the power hitting type of guys, but with 20 dingers so far, you can say that Jonathan has some pop in his bat too.
In this clip Schoop hits a monster homerun against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium:
Curacaon shortstop Andrelton Simmons had a rough start with the Angels this season. Especially when he ended up the disabled list. But after his return he slowly crawled back to his old level.
During his last seven games he even hit a whopping .360 to raise his batting average to .275 his best average ever but one. His best season at bat was in 2012 as he hit .289 in 49 games.
Simmons proves on a regular basis that he is a slick fielding shortstop with a rifle arm. In 95 games he committed ten errors so far, putting his fielding percentage on .976, a bit worse than last year, but the season isn’t over yet.
In this clip Simmons shows off his rifle arm: