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December 18, 2013

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of December 17

by Jeff Moore

Prospect of the Night: Wilmer Flores, 2B/3B, Mets (Bravos de Margarita, VWL): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB, K. Flores is already making his case to stick in the majors with the Mets this spring, and if he hits anything like he has this winter, the Mets will find a way to get his bat in the lineup and will be able to ignore his poor defense at second base. Flores is hitting .352/.438/.481 for the Bravos this winter.

Good

  • Bryan Holaday, C, Tigers (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 1-4, R, HR, K. Holaday is a defense-first catcher who will likely settle in as a backup in the majors, so any power he displays is a bonus. His best asset at the moment is being a right-handed hitter (to platoon with Alex Avila) and being a solid receiver for a veteran staff.
  • Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 1 1/3 IP, BB, 4 K. Anytime a player strikes out four of the five batters he faces, it’s noteworthy. This particular performance comes on the heels of a solid outing over the weekend. Familia will be battling for a spot in the Mets bullpen this spring.
  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 3-4, K. There’s not much else to say about Polanco other than to remind Pirates fans of his impending arrival in the majors this summer, when they complain about t>he team’s lack of action this winter.

Bad

  • Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 0-4, 2 K. Few players have played more this winter than Franco and his 42 Dominican League games, so there’s certainly a chance he’s wearing down. His trademark power has been non-existent, with just two home runs this winter.
  • Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins (Indios de Mayaguez, PRWL): 0-4, 2 K. This winter can’t end soon enough for Rosario, who continues to play regularly despite hitting just .141 for the Indios.

No Longer a Prospect

  • Rubby De La Rosa, RHP, Red Sox (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K. After Tommy John surgery in 2011 that cost him most of 2012, De La Rosa made 20 starts in 2013 but threw just 80 1/3 innings. The Red Sox are still working him as a starter but aren’t exactly building up his durability by throwing. Of course, he still has an upper-90s fastball and a good change-up, so he’s not going anywhere. He probably belongs in a bullpen throwing smoke, and if he’s healthy, that could be as soon as this year.

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