The chances that the Atlanta Braves can acquire a starting left fielder may have taken a hit on Tuesday when Shane Victorino was signed to a three-year, $39M contract by the Red Sox, a pricey deal for a 32 year-old outfielder who only had a .704 OPS in 2012. Not only is there one less free agent outfielder available, but the price might not be right for the Braves to land any of them if Victorino can get that kind of deal. They could just allow Martin Prado to remain in left field, instead of moving to third base, and Juan Francisco would be the beneficiary of regular playing time at the hot corner. The 25 year-old celebrated by hitting two homers on Tuesday with 6 RBI's as the Tigers del Licey, led by five no-hit innings from Francisco's Braves teammate Julio Teheran, shut out the Gigantes del Cibao in Dominican Winter League action.
- Jose Ramirez, 2B, Indians (Este-DWL): 3-for-5, RBI, K. He may not be the same caliber of prospect as Francisco Lindor or Dorssys Paulino — he's 10th in the Top Prospect Rankings, Lindor and Paulino are one and two, respectively — but all Ramirez has done is hit since arriving stateside. The 5'9" switch-hitter posted an .800 OPS in the AZL in 2011 and then followed that up with an .869 OPS between the short-season New York-Penn League and the Lo-A Midwest League in 2012. His .342 batting average, .383 OBP, and 29 stolen bases over his two seasons is impressive, although his lack of power makes it an absolute necessity that he keeps that up throughout the minors in order to be viewed as a future big league second baseman. The Dominican Winter League hasn't proven to be much of a challenge for the 20 year-old, as he boosted his average to .344 with three hits on Tuesday. His next test will come with Hi-A Carolina in 2013.
- David Vidal, 3B, Reds (Mayaguez-PRBL): 2-for-4, 2B, BB. The Reds currently have a hole to fill at the hot corner, which has to be frustrating for Vidal, a third base prospect still likely two years away from the big leagues. While he's put up big numbers in three different leagues (Hi-A, Lo-A, AZL) since being drafted in the 8th Round of the 2010 draft, Vidal must take the next big step and produce above-average numbers in Double-A. He did reach Pensacola of the Southern League as a 22 year-old early in 2012, and managed 11 homers and 21 doubles in 97 games, but he also struck out 90 times and had an OBP under. 300. He'll get another shot at the level in 2013. The Reds aren't expected to sign a third baseman long-term this offseason, so if Vidal can continue to impress, he could earn the 'Third Baseman of the Future' tag.
- Zach Walters, IF, Nationals (Ponce-PRBL): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K. Two versatile rookies, Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore, made significant contributions to the Nationals' 98-win season in 2012. There may not be a need for another one in 2013, but Walters could at least start preparing for a similar role while in Triple-A next season. Acquired from the Diamondbacks for pitcher Jason Marquis in July 2011, the 23 year-old switch-hitter has spent most of his time at shortstop but has also played second and third base over the past few years. He can hit, as evidenced by his .775 OPS in 322 minor league games. Now if he can continue to hit, while starting to show an ability to play adequate defense at three or four different positions, he could be ready to contribute to the Nats by September.
- Henry Wrigley, 1B/OF, Free Agent (Caracas-VWL): A minor league free agent after spending seven seasons in the Rays' system, the 26 year-old Wrigley is probably fortunate to still be playing professional baseball. Primarily a first baseman who has played some third base and corner outfield throughout his career, Wrigley didn't post an OPS higher than .676 in any of his first four pro seasons. The Rays must've seen something in him because he remained with the organization, finally showing some life in his bat with a big 2010 season in Hi-A. He ended up hitting .275 with 58 homers over the past three seasons between Hi-A, Double-A, and Triple-A., which is probably enough to land him a minor league deal with a big league invite to Spring Training. Just for good measure, though, he's hitting .311 with 10 homers and 34 RBI in 43 games for Caracas.
- Joseph Colon, RHP, Indians (Santurce-PRBL): 5 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K. A Midwest League All-Star in 2012, Colon tossed five shutout innings on Tuesday as Santurce defeated Manati 10-0. He's been impressive since returning from an elbow injury that knocked him out of action in 2010, posting a 3.46 ERA in 203 innings over three levels. The 22 year-old sinkerballer was knocked around in three starts after a promotion to Hi-A Carolina, but he'll get another shot there to start the 2013 season.
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