The D1 playoffs begin… demain!… which gives us just enough time for one last look at players who crushed it during this year’s regular season.
The third and final part in our series features four peloteros with roots in four different Latin American countries, including Argentina, which — believe it or not — has a few different connections to French baseball.
The featured players, along with the nine guys we’ve already profiled, are listed in alphabetical order (based on last names). This isn’t a ranking, in other words, though having said that, Le Baseblog wants to tip its cap to one man in particular — Monsieur Andy Paz — for putting together a season for the ages.
Apologies, again, for all the talented players who didn’t make our “baker’s dozen” (13) list. Your accomplishments don’t go unnoticed.
Okay, enough bla bla bla. Adelante con la lista… [10-13]
Ramiro Milar — La Rochelle Boucaniers
Better known, obviously, as the birthplace of soccer stars Maradona and Messi, it turns out that Argentina — at least in this case — has also produced a pretty formidable baseball talent.
Meet Ramiro Milar, who picked up the sport at a Japanese cultural center in Buenos Aires (while his brother attended Japanese language classes), went on to play for the Argentine national team, and decided this year to take his talents to France. Good choice!
In the regular season, the athletic Argentine batted an impressive .347, led the D1 in doubles, with eight, was third in total hits (25) and tied Savigny’s Ivan Acuña for third in the league in RBIs (16).
Andy Paz — Sénart Templiers
The best player on the D1’s most successful team so far, Andy Paz has been nothing short of phenomenal.
The former Oakland Althetics prospect finished the regular season with 33 hits (tied with Montas for the league lead) and a .446 batting average, second in the league behind Alfredo Angarita (but with 31 more at bats). He also led the D1 in RBIs (23) and runs scored (22), and looks very much like the front-runner to earn MVP honors.
In addition, Paz was one of the few bright spots in France’s disappointing run earlier this month in the European Baseball Championships, in northern Italy. He led Les Blues in all offensive categories, collecting eight hits in the tournament (including the team’s only home run) and batting .364.
Alex Perdomo — Sénart Templiers
Andy Paz and Felix Brown aren’t the only players lighting it up this season for the playoff-bound Templiers. The speedy Alex Perdomo of Venezuela has been a force to be reckoned with as well, and finished second in the league (tied with Montpellier’s Patrick Cromwell) in runs scored with 20.
The former Philadelphia Phillies prospect also tied Cromwell for the league lead in triples (4), was among the league leaders in hits, with 20, and batted a nifty .392. Oh, and to top it all off he just had a baby.
Yeixon Ruíz — Savigny Lions
Last but not least our list of hot hitters is Savigny’s Yeixon Ruíz, who is currently in his third year in the D1 and has been a model of consistency from the get-go.
In 2018, his first year in the league, he batted .338 with 22 hits in 16 games played. So how’s he doing so far this year? Also in 16 games played, Ruíz has a .333 average to go along with 21 hits, 14 runs scored and 11 RBIs. Talk about reliability!
Before coming to France, the 30-year-old Dominican spent a number of years in the U.S. minor leagues, reaching as high as the AA level (in 2015) with the New York Mets organization.