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December 23, 2013

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of December 20-22

by Jeff Moore

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Friday, December 20

  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 4 1/3 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 7 K. It doesn’t matter if Martinez is pitching in the US. or in the Dominican. It doesn’t matter if he’s starting or relieving. It doesn’t matter if he’s on the Cardinals or the Aguilas, Carlos Martinez can flat out pitch. If the Cardinals give him a legitimate chance to earn a starting spot this spring, it’s hard to believe he won’t win one.
  • Francisco Peguero, CF, Orioles (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 K. Peguero has been playing this winter like his new team is watching his every move, which they very well may be. What they’ve seen is more power than he’s shown thus far, as his home run on Friday was his fifth in 18 games this winter after hitting just four in 76 minor-league games this season.
  • C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 1-5, R, HR, K. It took Cron 15 games but he finally ran into his first home run in the Dominican this winter. For a player with big-time power like Cron’s, it’s interesting to see how it disappears for stretches at a time.
  • Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins (Indios de Mayaguez, PRWL): 2-4, R, HR. Perhaps no prospect needed a solid game over the weekend more than Rosario, who has been abysmal in winter ball. Even a three-hit weekend only brought his average up to .157 in Puerto Rico. Plus, here’s your weekly reminder that he’s facing a 50-game suspension when the regular season gets underway.
  • Wilmer Flores, INF, Mets (Bravos de Margarita, PRWL): 3-5, 2 R, K. There’s not much left to say about Flores, who, after going 4-10 over the weekend is now hitting .385 this winter. Dude can hit. If he can’t play somewhere other than third base, the Mets need to trade him to get full value out of him.
  • Ender Inciarte, CF, Diamondbacks (Aguilas del Zulia, PRWL): 3-4, 2 R, BB, K. There’s no power to speak of in Inciarte’s game, but he does a nice job of understanding his strengths at the plate, most notably his speed. Decent on-base skills, good defense in center field, and great base running could make him a nice major-league player.

Saturday, December 21

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Leones del Caracas, VWL): 2-4. At this point, it doesn’t even seem like news when Aguilar doesn’t homer, but it’s actually a better sign. We know he has power. What’s more impressive is reaching base five times in nine tries over the weekend without an extra-base hit. That’s what we haven’t seen from him. For those who have asked, however, there’s almost nothing Aguilar can do this winter to crack a crowded Indians major league roster this spring.
  • Andrew Lambo, RF, Pirates (Cardenales de Lara, VWL): 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, K. Unlike Aguilar, Lambo can absolutely help his cause with a strong winter. Last year’s breakout star will enter spring training battling for a roster spot. For a player who needs to prove that his power outburst from 2013 is here to stay, not having hit a home run in 27 winter league games isn’t a good start, however.

Sunday, December 22

  • Reymond Fuentes, CF, Padres (Leones de Ponce, PRWL): 2-4, R, 3B. Fuentes has been a bit of an enigma because of his recent success in the minors but extreme struggles in the majors. He has enough plate discipline to make up for his lack of power and work with his speed profile, but the amount of swing-and-miss in his bat leaves some serious questions about whether or not he’ll hit enough to be a top-of-the-order bat. There are no questions about his glove, though.
  • Gabriel Lino, C, Phillies (Cardenales de Lara, VWL): 2-2, BB. Lino can do enough things in a ballfield that he’ll stick around for a while, namely hit for power and throw well from behind the plate. What he doesn’t do well is hit, especially advanced breaking pitches. He still has a lot to prove, but if he makes some improvements, his arm and power may be enough to carve out a role.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Prospects Will Break Y... (12/20)
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