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December 19, 2012

Minor League Update

Games of December 18

by Jason Martinez

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It was an interesting night in the Dominican Winter League. This kid named Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He must be terrible, right? Wait a minute. I'll search the internet and find some info on him. Oh, never mind. He hit 28 homers in Lo-A ball as a 19 year-old and those prospect geeks here at Baseball Prospectus are supposedly ranking him in the Top 25 of their upcoming Top 101 Prospects List. Must’ve been an off night. I also noticed that this guy named Manny had four hits in his game. Figured he must be in this top 101, too. He wasn’t. It turns out he's an older guy that debuted in the majors way before the invention of prospect ranking.

More notable performances from La Liga de Beisbol Dominicano 

  • Juan Lagares, OF, New York Mets: 2-for-4, 2B, SB. Has hit in all nine of his starts (12-for-30) since returning from a three-week break. 
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins: 1-for-3, HR (9), 3 RBI. Could be the forgotten man in a projected Double-A outfield with top prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick in 2013, but he blasted his 9th homer on Tuesday and has 11 hits in his last 31 at-bats.
  • Jose De Paula, LHP, San Diego Padres: 5.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K. Gearing up for a return after missing 2012 because of visa problems, the 22 year-old has allowed just 2 earned runs (pair of solo homers) in his last 14 innings with 3 walks and 17 strikeouts.
  • Johan Yan, RHP, Texas Rangers: 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, K. Recently re-signed to a minor league deal after struggling in his first stint in Triple-A in 2012; had been very good otherwise as he moved up the ladder.

Notable performances from La Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente 

  • Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros: 0-for-3, K. The #1 overall pick in this year's draft is struggling at the plate in Puerto Rico (10-for-46, 2 2B, 0 HR, 2 BB, 13 K) but he did make one heck of a catch recently. Click HERE to see it.
  • Angelo Gumbs, 2B, New York Yankees: 2-for-4, RBI, K. The top second base prospect in the Yankees' system, Gumbs is off to a 7-for-18 start in Puerto Rico after posting a .752 OPS with 26 stolen bases for Lo-A Charleston in the regular season.
  • Matt Langwell, RHP, Cleveland Indians: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K. One of several good relief prospects for the Indians, the 26 year-old has allowed just 2 earned runs in 16 innings for Carolina; nice follow-up to a season in which he posted a 2.74 ERA with 27 walks and 81 strikeouts in 69 innings between Triple-A and Double-A.

Notable performances from La Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional 

  • Henry Blanco, C, Free Agent: 2-for-3, HR (4), 2 RBI. 'Hank White' is still plugging away, hoping to land another big league job at age 41. He still can't hit for any batting average whatsoever (.196 BA in 39 games) but he has 921 games of big league experience under his belt and can probably still throw out 40% of attempted base stealers.
  • Javier Herrera, OF, San Francisco Giants: 2-for-3, HR (8), 2B, RBI, BB. It wasn't that long ago when Herrera was a highly-touted prospect for the A's. In fact, he checked in at #8 on their top prospect list five years ago. His prospect status was already on the decline, although Kevin Goldstein still had some good things to say about him at the time, "Herrera's tools still rank with anyone's in the system when he's 100 percent. He has bat speed, power, speed, good fielding skills, and a strong arm. He's equally effective against both lefties and righties and still shows the occasional ability to take over a game offensively or with his glove." Aside from the Winter Leagues and a few Independent League stints, he's been out of professional baseball since 2009 but the Giants have taken note of his impressive numbers in Venezuela (.415 BA, 8 HR, 19 RBI in 20 games) and signed the 27 year-old to a minor league deal. Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for great comeback story? I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
  • Luis Avilan, LHP, Atlanta Braves: 2.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, K. If the Braves choose to go with three lefties in their bullpen to go along with Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, Avilan has proven that he's up to the task. The 23 year-old posted a 2.00 ERA in 36 big league innings after making the jump from Double-A last season and now has a 1.48 ERA in Venezuela while holding opponents to a measly .107 BA in 19 relief appearances. 

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