The Mexican Winter League is composed mainly of veteran Mexican summer league prospects and former journeymen major leaguers trying to make a living extending their baseball careers. There are not a lot of prospects to weed out from these teams. They have two halves, with the winner of the halves qualifying for the playoff. The other teams become eligible based on a point system. Below is an update of the season to date. Five teams are separated by just a game for first place.
Culiacan Tomateros (15-11)
Sebastian Elizalde (.367, 3, 13) is their top hitter, leading the team in all Triple Crown categories, including runs scored with 17. He also leads the team in stolen bases with 6. Not far behind is Alfredo Amezaga who is hitting .333. Both players have more walks than whiffs.
Pitching is the reason they hold the top spot with Dan Rodriguez (3-0, 0.87) the ace. In five starts he has limited the opposition to a .137 average and a 0.71 WHIP. Edgar Gonzalez (1-1, 1.88) and Anthony Vasquez (2-1, 2.76) have not been quite as dominant, but effective nonetheless. Chad Gaudin shores up the bullpen with five saves. He has yet to give up a run in his seven appearances.
Mexicali Aguilas (14-12)
Daniel Castro gets on base with his .387 average allowing him to score 17 runs. He has an 8/4 walk to whiff ratio. Walter Ibarra (.356, 5, 15) and C.J. Retherford (.211, 4, 16) drive the runs in. Chris Roberson (.340, 4, 10) is the igniter from the leadoff spot, second in runs scored with 16.
Rolando Valdez (1-0, 1.71) is their top starter. Ryan Kussmaul (1.98 ERA with 10 saves) has been racking up the saves.
Jalisco Charros (14-12)
Tony Tarrasco is their manager. Manny Rodriguez (.388, 4, 26) is their big bat. His 20 runs scored and 11 doubles are also team bests as well as the Triple Crown categories. Veteran Agustin Murrillo (.268, 4, 12) shares the team homerun lead with Manny. Billy Burns (.295, 13 runs scored) leads the team in stolen bases with 7. Japhet Amador is a recent arrival from Japan and in five games is making a difference, hitting .375 with one homerun and five RBIs. Chris Colabello (.246, 1,8) is trying to rejuvenate his bat in Mexico.
No pitchers to brag about except for closer Robert Stock, who has picked up four saves and has yet to give up a run in 11 appearances.
Hermosillo Naranjeros (14-12)
Domonic Brown (.365, 4, 10) is raking. His 20 runs scored is tied for the team lead with Efren Navarro (.343, 2, 19). Bryce Brentz (.205, 6, 20) leads the team in homeruns and RBIs but his 22 whiffs lead to too many quiet at bats. Hunter Dozier (.211, 4, 12) also has 22 whiffs. Fernando Perez (.361, 5, 15) is also another productive bat.
Cesar Vargas (1-2, 3.09) has only two starts but 8 relief appearances. He leads the team and league in whiffs with 30 in 24 innings. His two starts have been mixed with one shutout performance in four innings and one three run outing in 4.2 innings where he walked three of his season total five hitters. Chandler Shepherd (3-0, 2.59) has been the ace of the staff.
Mazatlan Venados (14-12)
Jeremias Pineda (.403, 0, 5) has been a difference maker in the 18 games he has played. He has stolen 16 bases without being caught and scored 21 runs. He has no power with just one double and one triple of his 31 hits. Brian Hernandez (.300, 3, 17) leads the team in RBIs while Corey Brown (.299, 4, 11) takes the top spot in homeruns. Garin Cecchini (.288, 1, 11), brother of Mets prospect Gavin, is trying to attract the attention of major league scouts.
Los Mochis Caneros (12-14)
Sebastian Valle (.190, 5, 9) has been providing too many swings and misses (26) but leads the team in homeruns. Minimal offense here.
The 6′6″ Akeem Bostick (2.78 ERA) has been lights out in his six starts, pitching in five innings in only two of his starts, limiting his ability to get any W’s. He has 25 whiffs in 22.2 innings. His ERA would be much lower but he gave up five of his season seven earned runs in his first start. Maikel Cleto (1-2, 3.63, 7 saves) has been a bit wild with 10 walks in 17 innings as the closer.
Navojoa Mayos (12-14)
The Cuban Randy Arozarena (.293,5, 14) is trying to spruce up his bat but a 4/24 walk to whiff ratio is cause for concern. His 20 runs scored leads the team. Jovan Rosa (.323, 6, 20) leads the team in homeruns and RBIs. Jesus Castillo (.323, 4, 18) and Alan Sanchez (.318, 4, 19) are two other productive bats worth noting.
Raul Carillo (0-4, 2.00) has been pitching in bad luck, taking four losses in five starts despite giving up only 8 runs. Zach Dodson (2-2, 2.97) and Tyler Kane (3-1, 3.09) have had a little more success in the rotation.
Obregon Yaquis (9-17)
Cedric Hunter (.262, 4, 10) is their most productive bat. Felix Pie (.305, 0, 5) is the only player hitting above .300. Alex Liddi (.156, 1, 3), Irving Falu (.212, 0, 4), Jake Smolinski (.184, 2, 5) and Reid Brignac (.206, 0, 1) are ex-major leaguers impressing no one.
David Reyes (2-0, 2.78) has pitched well in his four starts. Pablo Ortega (0-5, 5.70) has lost five of his six starts.