December 3 - Signed in mid-November for the second half of the Mexican Pacific League slate, Ryan McBroom has wasted little time making an impact on the winter league.
The Courtland High School graduate went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI on Friday as his club, Tomateros de Culiacan, defeated visiting Yaquis de Obregon, 7-5. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound first baseman is hitting .414 (12-for-29) in nine games since joining the team.
The eight-team Mexican Pacific League, or Liga Mexicana del Pacífico, is an independent league not affiliated with Major League Baseball that plays regular season games from October to December followed by a postseason in January. The league champion advances to play in the Caribbean Series against the winners of professional leagues in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
Tomateros de Culiacan’s manager is former Major League infielder Benji Gill.
McBroom, 25, was acquired by the New York Yankees in July in a trade that sent Rob Refsnyder to the Toronto Blue Jays, who drafted McBroom in the 15th round out of West Virginia University in 2014. He hit .247 with 16 homers and 70 RBI in 134 games last season, all at Double-A, and has earned All-Star honors in each of his three full professional seasons.
Two other locals have also had stints in Latin American winter leagues this season. Former big league pitcher Paul Clemens (Robinson) went 0-2 with a 2.29 ERA in five starts with Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League, or Liga de Beisbol Dominicano, but was let go by the club on Nov. 13. And San Francisco Giants outfielder Jarrett Parker (Colonial Forge) played one game with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican League, going 1-for-4 with an RBI double on Oct. 13.
Parker was shut down for the winter shortly after after having plate removed from his clavicle, which he initially injured when he crashed into a wall in April. He is expected to be healthy for spring training and to compete for a starting spot with the Giants.
New Bat Regulations Begin Next Month in Youth Baseball
Help is on the way for youth baseball pitchers, who in recent years have been taking a pounding as metal bat manufacturers find new ways to catapult the ball harder and further.
Beginning next month, both Little League Baseball and the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball will require their players to comply with USA Baseball’s new bat regulations, known as USABat. The new restrictions eliminate much of the trampoline effect current bats create, which has led to higher exit velocity, a spike in home run numbers and higher risk of injury to pitchers or players in position closer to the batter.
The regulations dampen the trampoline effect and will cause the new bats to perform more like the BBCOR bats that were implemented by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 2011. Bats approved for use in games will now come with a USA Baseball stamp indicating they meet its Youth Bat Performance Standard.
Other youth baseball organizations are also implementing USA Baseball’s regulations, including: American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, and PONY Baseball.
Marred in 47-Game Skid, Woodbridge’s Freedom Seeking New Head Coach
In the midst of an area-high 47-game losing streak, Woodbridge’s Freedom High School is once again seeking a head coach after Eric Richmond informed the school’s director of activities, Steve Bryson, that he would not be returning for a second season.
Under Richmond, the Eagles went 0-18 last spring after going 0-20 in former coach Derek Taylor’s final season in 2016. The program’s last victory came on April 17, 2015, when Freedom beat Gar-Field, 11-7.
The vacancy brings the total number of coaching changes in Northern Virginia to 16. Nearly 20 percent of area schools will have new coaches in place when the 2018 season begins. Interested applicants can contact Bryson at BrysonSN@pwcs.edu.
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Sponsor: Today’s notebook is sponsored by Stars Showcase Baseball, a Northern Virginia-based travel program. For more information, visit the Stars' website here.
Photo of Ryan McBroom courtesy of PSNenlinea