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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 the 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.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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