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December 17, 2013

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of December 16

by Jeff Moore

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Mondays are slow in the Caribbean, at least when it comes to winter league baseball, with only the Venezuelan Winter League in action and just two games on the schedule. On top of that, one of the two was postponed. The resulting Minor League Update, therefore, is additional depth on the players that were in action in the lone live baseball game from yesterday, of the prospect, veteran, and laughably irrelevant variety.

  • Ender Inciarte, CF, Diamondbacks (Aguilas del Zuila, VWL): 3-5, R. The Diamondbacks outfield is getting more crowded by the day, but now that Inciarte is on the 40-man roster, they’re no longer rushed to make a decision on him. Inciarte has a true table-setter skill set with the big question being whether or not his hit tool is enough to be a top-of-the-order guy. His plate discipline also dropped off last season in Double-A, so that’s worth keeping an eye in this year when he’s likely to spend the majority of the year in Triple-A.
  • Elvis Araujo, LHP, Indians (Aruilas del Zuila, VWL): 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER) 2 BB, 2 K. Araujo continues to make up for a lost 2013 season with a strong winter and now has a 2.78 ERA. He’s already 22 and will need to spend most of 2014 in the Carolina League, but he could move quickly if he proves he’s now healthy. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling but there’s some pitchability there.
  • Hernan Perez, 2B, Tigers (Aguilas Del Zuila, VWL): 0-5, 2 K. The presence of Ian Kinsler pretty much ends the chances of Perez becoming the Tigers everyday second baseman anytime soon, but he probably profiles best as a utility man, and that role is attainable as soon as this season for Perez. There are questions about his stick, namely his aggressive approach at the plate turning him into a serious out-maker, but his glove and versatility are enough to keep him in the majors.
  • Salvador Perez, C/1B, Royals (Tiburones de La Guaira, VWL): 2-5, R, HR, K. Perez obviously isn’t a first baseman, but in order to get him in the lineup the Tiburones have been playing him there a lot this winter. There’s absolutely nothing to read into for Royals fans, but it is nice to know he’ll have some experience at the position should the Royals want to make a switch in a decade or so.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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