There are 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the United States, and right now, all of them are as frozen as an Alaskan tundra, at least metaphorically. While we count down the painstakingly slow days until Spring Training and Opening Day, some of Arizona’s top prospects are staying warm playing baseball in the Caribbean. I thought now might be a good time to check in on the “top 4” for Arizona.
Let’s start off with a player that I know fans are always so torn over – Randall Delgado. Delgado’s stuff is absolutely electric, nobody is denying that. However, he has an Achilles’ heel – his command (or lack thereof). If you have a moment to spare, this will refresh your memory of just how electric Delgado’s “stuff” can be. In 33.0 IP for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, Delgado is again not looking overly sharp in terms of control. Those innings were accrued over a total of 7 games, all of which were starts, where he posted an 0-3 record with a respectable 3.55 ERA. The peripherals tell a pretty good story, albeit one that says he still has command issues – at times. 10 walks, none of them intentional, over 33.0 IP isn’t anything to write home about – he basically walked 10% of the batters he faced. On the other side of that coin, however, is his electric (there’s that word again) stuff, as he struck out a whopping 41 batters in that 33.0 inning span! With Delgado’s team sporting an 18-28 record and the Dominican Winter Leagues ending on the 21st of December, Delgado’s time pitching this winter is most likely over.His 1.18 WHIP, .234 BAA, 3.55 ERA, and 41 K over 33.0 IP impresses me, even with the command issues still lingering. Of course, this was not Major League hitting he was up against, so we’ll see just how far he’s come when Spring Training rolls around.
Eury De La Rosa is down in the Caribbean as well, playing for the Estrellas Orientales. Eury may have been keeping warm in the beautiful Caribbean, but he was keeping opponents bats ice cold. In 12 appearances, all in relief, De La Rosa posted a .84 ERA – yes, you read that correctly – in 10.2 IP. Hitters couldn’t even reach the Mendoza line against Eury, batting only .194. Eury’s WHIP is a very solid 1.13, with 11 K to go along; the only problem I see are the 10 walks he posted – none of them being intentional – in so few innings – that breaks down to just a shade under 1.0 for BB/IP. With the exception of the walks, his numbers have been impressive, even though we must keep in mind this is not Major League hitting. Eury’s Estrellas are 30-16, and on top of their division. Like Delgado, De La Rosa’s season ends on the 21st of December and I’m very much looking forward to seeing him in a couple of months. Although De La Rosa was recently DFAd to make room on the 40 man roster for Rubby De La Rosa, if Eury’s success continues (2.95 ERA, and a 3.49 FIP), I feel it’s a safe bet we’ll see him in the bigs in 2015. UPDATE: DE LA ROSA ACQUIRED BY OAKLAND A’S SINCE TIME OF POSTING
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Aquilas del Zulia is Ender Inciarte’s winter league team, and his ‘fan favorite’ status will continue if these numbers do as well. Ender had 117 AB and slugged (I use that term loosely with players like Inciarte, who is more important defensively than offensively) .410 with 6 two-baggers, 1 3B, and 7 RBI. These numbers have me excited about what he could possibly do on the big league roster come 2015. For what it’s worth, Ender’s team finishes the season on the 30th of December, and is currently 31-24, 4.0 games back.
Perhaps the most exciting Arizona player participating in Winter League baseball is David Peralta – playing for the Bravos de Margarita. Peralta is looking sharp just like his big league teammate Ender Inciarte, and I’m sure is looking to continue the success he had last year with the Diamondbacks. Over 176 ABs, he’s posted a very healthy slash line of .313/.374/.432 with 2 homeruns and a whopping 29 RBI – approximately 16% of the time he comes to the plate, he drives somebody in – with 18 walks, 11 doubles, and 2 triples. After last year’s solid campaign, I would expect Peralta to continue to get better as time wears on. David’s Margaritas are a horrific 20-34, and his season, like Inciarte’s, ends on the 30th of December.
Is there an Arizona player participating in Winter League baseball that I didn’t mention, and you’d like to know more about? Find me on Twitter: @cjackdback and let me know!
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