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December 16, 2013

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of December 13-15

by Jeff Moore

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Friday, December 13th

  • Francisco Peguero, CF, Orioles (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 3-3, 2 R, 2B. Peguero, the newest addition to the Orioles outfield, is playing this winter like he’s already competing for a job. Even when he’s on, he’s ultra-aggressive (just one walk in 15 games), and he’s not going to hit .356 all the time, so you can see his limitations.
  • Engel Beltre, RF, Rangers (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 2-4, R, 2B, K. It’s not Beltre’s bat that’s going to earn him a spot as the Rangers fourth outfielder this year, although the better he hits, the more times he’ll work his way into the lineup. His athleticism and defense are what will keep him in the majors. At this point, the bat hasn’t caught up with his raw talent and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll ever hit enough to play regularly.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Cangrejeros de Santurce, PRWL): 2-4, R, HR, 2 K. A brief home run drought ended with two bombs over the course of the weekend, giving him nine on the winter. He’ll head back to Triple-A to start the season, but if his power stroke is back for good, he won’t be there for long.
  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Leones del Caracas, VWL): 1-4, R, HR. Not to be outdone, Aguilar hit his 17th home run of the winter on Friday night. At this point, Aguilar has proven that he has big-time power; the only question remaining is whether or not it will play against upper-level pitching.

Saturday, December 14th

  • Joey Terdoslavich, 1B/RF, Braves (Toros del Este, DWL): 3-4. Terdoslavich had multi-hit days on both Friday and Saturday, and he continues to enjoy a hot winter. He has just enough pop and can play enough positions to justify a bench spot with the Braves this spring.
  • Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 1 IP, H, 2 K. Pitching once a week isn’t easy and it’s shown in Familia’s limited chances this winter, but he was sharp on Saturday. His upper-90s fastball will get a long look in the plans for the Mets bullpen this spring if he can prove his elbow issues are behind him.
  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 2 IP, 2 H, R (0 ER), 2 K. When last we saw Martinez, he was dominating in the eighth inning in the post-season for the Cardinals. This was only a two-inning stint, but he did start the game, and he’ll compete for a rotation spot this spring.

Sunday, December 15th

  • Bryan Holaday, C, Tigers (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 1-2, R, HR. Holaday will enter camp trying to prove he can hit enough to be Alex Avila’s backup in the majors this season. At this point, he is what he is and his ceiling is limited, but he’ll have to show a little power like this to justify playing, even against lefties, which are Avila’s weakness.
  • Wilmer Font, LHP, Rangers (Leones del Caracas, VWL): 2/3 IP, 2 H, BB, K. Even when Font is effective (2.57 ERA this winter), he does it with wildness (12 BB in 14 IP). That lack of control will keep him from ever being a dominant closer, but he remains effective enough to pitch some important innings in the Rangers bullpen in the future.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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