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January 22, 2014

Minor League Update

International Winter League Games of January 21

by Jeff Moore

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The Good

  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 1-3, R, HR, BB. Polanco connected on his first post-season home run on Tuesday night after hitting five during the Dominican regular season. Polanco’s best quality remains his ability to control the strike zone for the moment, but more power is still being developed in his 6-foot-4 frame.
  • Eddie Rosario, CF, Twins (Indios de Mayaguez, PRWL): 3-4, 2 R, HR. Rosario has resurrected what was thought to be a dead winter campaign with a hot stretch in the Puerto Rican playoffs, during which he’s hit .365. While he doesn’t offer much power and hasn’t hit well at all this winter, Tuesday’s home run was his fourth in Puerto Rico in roughly half the at-bats it took him to hit four in Double-A this season.
  • Mario Lisson, 1B, Giants (Navegantes del Magallanes, VWL): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR. I haven’t mentioned Lisson much this winter because he’s almost 30 and wasn’t with an affiliated team in 2013, but what he’s doing this winter is making Bobby Abreu look like Joe McEwing. Lisson hit two more home runs on Tuesday to give him 10 in the Venezuelan postseason to go on top of the 16 he hit during the regular season. The Giants signed him this winter in a deal that was so unpublicized that it was only reported because his teammate tweeted about it. Not much can be expected from Lisson, who was last seen in affiliated ball with the Royals in 2012 and has never hit more than 15 home runs in a minor-league season, but his power outburst this winter is too much to fully ignore.
  • Deolis Guerra, RHP, Twins (Navegantes del Magallanes, VWL): 1 IP, BB, 2 K. Another scoreless inning for Guerra and another one that includes multiple strikeouts. After a lost 2013 season, he’s pitching well enough for bullpen consideration this spring.

The Bad

  • Jordan Lennerton, 1B, Tigers (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 0-4, 2 K. After hitting .340 in the DWL regular season, the almost 28-year-old Lennerton remains hitless in the postseason.
  • Ender Inciarte, CF, Diamondbacks (Aguilas del Zuila, VWL): 0-5, K. This is what happens to hitters who put a lot of balls in play without much authority; they’re prone to some empty games from time to time.
  • Bobby Abreu, RF, Phillies (Leones de Caracas, VWL): 0-3, BB, 3 K. Of course, the day the Phillies invite Abreu to camp he has his worst game of the season. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come in March for either side.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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