The Good

  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 1-4, R, HR, K. If you’ve been reading the Minor League Update all winter then you know that Polanco has been having a great season in the Dominican. He’s doing more than just hitting well, however, with Thursday night’s blast marking his fifth home run of the winter.
  • Maikel Franco, 1B/3B, Phillies (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 1-1, R, HR. Franco didn’t play a position on Thursday but came through with a pinch-hit home run, just his third bomb of the winter.
  • Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 2 IP, H, 5 K. This is the third straight outing in which Familia has racked up big strikeout totals, and his longest outing of the winter.
  • Jordan Lennerton, 1B, Tigers (Leones de Ponce, PRWL): 3-4, R, 2B, K. I’ve spent most of the winter trying to quell the excitement over the 27-year-old Lennerton, but him hitting .350/.412/.567 this winter isn’t helping. It is surprising that a team looking for a cheap first base option (like the Pirates, for a hypothetical example) doesn’t want to take a chance on his power.
  • Wilmer Flores, INF, Mets (Bravos de Margarita, VWL): 2-5. Flores is now hitting .382 on the winter. He doesn’t have a position, but pure hitters just hit, and he’ll find his way into the Mets lineup somehow.
  • Andrew Lambo, RF, Pirates (Cardenales de Lara, VWL): 2-3, 2 BB. After re-establishing his power last season, Lambo could be in line for some at-bats in right field to start the 2013 season while the Pirates wait to call up Polanco. He’ll have to prove his power binge was for real to provide any value.

The Bad

  • C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 0-5. Thursday was the 168th game of the season for Cron, so it’s understandable if he’s wearing down. He has struggled in the Dominican, where he’s likely seeing much better breaking stuff than he did in the AFL, but it’s not fair to blame his .196 average on that.
  • Leury Garcia, SS/CF, White Sox (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 0-6, 4 K. Ouch. Garcia doesn’t have huge strikeout issues, but his strikeout-to-walk ratios are poor for someone with such little power. He’s playing some center field this winter, including on Thursday night, adding to his versatility, which is his best tool anyway.

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RE: Lennerton and the Pirates. Would he be considered an upgrade over just trying Lambo at first?
He's along the same lines with many of the same questions, but he has a Garrett Jones feel to his career path. Also, the Pirates have shown no real inclination towards using Lambo at first base.