The Good

  • Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (Gigantes del Cibao, DWL): 2 IP, H, 4 K. Familia hasn’t thrown a lot this winter, but when he has, he’s been lights out, missing a ton of bats and flashing the mid-to-upper-90s velocity that has scouts raving. You can’t put a lot of stock in winter league performances, but you can put a ton of stock in young pitchers returning from injury and regaining velocity and missing bats.
  • Kennys Vargas, 1B, Twins (Indios de Mayaguez, PRWL): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, K. Large with big power best describes Vargas, but there are serious questions about whether or not the switch-hitter has what it takes to hit at higher levels. Still, 19 home runs in the Florida State League and five more this winter helps explain why he will continue to get chances. He’s limited to first base, however, and he’s not very good at that.

The Bad

  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (Leones de Escogido, DWL): 0-4, 3 K. If this were the majors, everyone would forget how good Polanco has been because of a terrible first playoff game, but luckily we don’t hold a grudge over winter league games like that. Polanco has been fantastic this winter and has shown that he’ll be ready to make in impact with the Pirates this season, but this was a rough one for him.

Don’t Call it a Comeback

  • Dee Gordon, UTIL, Dodgers (Indios de Mayaguez, PRWL): 3-4, R, K. The most notable thing about this performance by Gordon isn’t the three hits but that he was playing second base and has seen some time there this winter. We also know that he’s been working out in center field in addition to his natural shortstop position. He may never hit enough to play regularly, but a player with plus-plus base-running ability that can fill in at shortstop and center field has some value, and if he can also back-up at second base, well that’s a plus. Think of a faster Desi Relaford.

Saturday, December 28th

The Good

  • Joey Terdoslavich, 1B, Braves (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 2-3, R, 2B, BB. As a switch-hitter who can play first base, left field, and third base for short stints, Terdoslavich has just enough versatility to justify a bench spot this spring and just enough power to not let it go to waste.
  • Eddie Rosario, RF, Twins (Indios de Maraguez, PRWL): 1-4, R, HR, 2 K. It’s been a rough winter for Rosario—what with the announcement of his 50-game suspension and all—so a home run here and there could go a long way toward rebuilding his confidence for next season.
  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Lenoes de Caracas, VWL): 2-3, R, 2 BB. You know the drill on Aguilar by now. Plus power, questionable hit tool, but the more he controls the strike zone this winter the more I’m buying in that it could translate to success in Triple-A this season.

The Bad

  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 1 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R (3 ER), K. I’ve been blowing Martinez up all winter because he’s a dominant pitcher in the making, whether the Cardinals use him as a starter or a reliever. One bad start in December doesn’t change that. Merely a blip on the radar.

Sunday, December 29th — Major Leaguers Take Center Stage

  • Carlos Santana, 1B, Indians (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 1-3, 2 R, HR, BB. Classic Santana showed up on Sunday with a home run and a walk. He played first base on this night but has been seeing a lot of time at third base. If he can handle it at all, his bat would be immensely more valuable than if the Indians have to use him at DH.
  • Wilson Ramos, C, Nationals (Tigres de Aragua, VWL): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B. Unlike Santana, Ramos is going to catch this season, assuming he’s healthy. The Nats catcher has struggled to stay on the field, but when he’s out there he’s been an above-average hitter.