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January 6, 2014

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of January 3-5

by Jeff Moore

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Friday, January 3rd

The Good

  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 5 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 6 K. Martinez was back to his dominant ways again, hurling pure filth towards the plate once again for five innings. One can only hope they are serious about giving him a legitimate chance to win a rotation spot this spring. He has more than enough stuff to work as a starter and should have enough durability. In an organization with less depth, it wouldn’t even be a question.
  • Reymond Fuentes, CF, Padres (Leones de Ponce, PRWL): 2-4, 2 R, 3B. This is Fuentes at his best, using his speed to generate power. He doesn’t hit for power so much as he runs his way into it.

No Longer a Prospect

  • Starling Marte, LF, Pirates (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 1-3, R, HR, K. The Leones basically just brought Marte on for the playoffs, and it worked, watching him homer off of Red Sox prospect Rubby de la Rosa, who got roughed up for three runs in one-third of an inning.

Saturday, January 4th

The Good

  • Maikel Franco, 1B/3B, Phillies (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 1-3, R, BB. Franco has turned it around slightly toward the end of the winter, but he still generally struggled in his first chance to face advanced pitching.
  • Hernan Perez, 2B, Tigers (Aguilas del Zuila, VWL): 3-5, 3 R, 2B. Perez struggled mightily in his brief major-league call-up despite hitting well in Triple-A. That happens when an aggressive approach at the plate by a player with virtually no power faces major-league pitching for the first time. Whether or not he can adjust will determine whether his future is as a utility player or someone who sees more regular playing time.

Stop it, Bobby

  • Bobby Abreu, DH, Retired? (Leones del Caracas, VWL): 1-3, R, HR, BB. Abreu is still hitting for power and drawing walks. If the entire league used a DH, he’d probably be getting calls this winter.

Sunday, January 5th

The Good

  • Fuentes (see above): 3-5, 2 R. As an average-at-best hitter with great speed but also some contact issues, Fuentes will be susceptible to wild BABIP swings. Neither hot streaks nor cold ones change what he is—a plus defender and base runner who will need to strikeout less to be the leadoff hitter the Padres envision.
  • Leury Garcia, 2B/SS, White Sox (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 2-4, R. Plus speed and a plus arm are great, but we all know the difference between utility man and every day player is in the bat. Garcia will get his chance to work out the difference this season.

Where’s Waldo?

  • Carlos Santana, 3B, Indians, (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 2-5, R, HR. Santana sure has been playing a lot of third base this winter. That, of course, means exactly nothing, but he is a proven major-league veteran who could stop that kind of move in a minute should he want to, leaving us with enough to at least raise an eyebrow. The good news is that he hits no matter where he plays.

No, Seriously Bobby…

  • Bobby Abreu: 1-3, 2 R, HR, 2 BB, 2 K. Yeah, he homered on Sunday, too. He’s still 39, but .322/.416/.461 is like hips—they don’t lie.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jeff's other articles. You can contact Jeff by clicking here

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