Winter League Dominican Update

The Dominican League is now down to the four team round robin format to determine the Series del Caribe representative. Toros del Este finished the season with a 12 game winning streak to blow away their competitors. The other three teams playing in the round robin are the Licey Tigers, Aguilas Eagles and the Escogido Lions. Below are the names of the players who were impact players for their respective teams.

Toros del Este (34-16)

Peter O’Brien - He leads the Dominican League in homeruns with 9 and RBIs with 35. A .243 batting average will prevent him from winning the Triple Crown. His 36 walks and 58 strikeouts are also tops in the Dominican League. He will be turning 30 in 2020 so perhaps a foreign league will show some interest in the slugger, though most of the teams have signed their quota of players.

Jordany Valdespin - His five homeruns put him third in the league but his .340 average is second. He has more walks than whiffs (20/18) but at 33 his playing days in the minor leagues may be done.

Yamaico Navarro - He is tied with Jordany for third in homeruns with 5 giving the Toros three of the top four power hitters in the Dominican. Last year the 33 year old spent his summers playing baseball in the Mexican summer league.

Jorge Mateo - He is at least a prospect but he is struggling with a .197 average, but still getting regular playing time. The right handed hitter is hitting only .138 against lefthanded pitching.

Carlos Hernandez - At 6-1, his six wins are tops in the league. He is also second in ERA with a 1.94 in nine starts. He is also a veteran pitcher in the Mexican League.

Raul Valdes - When you play on a winning team you get a lot of wins as a starting pitcher. Raul is second in the league in wins with 5 against two losses and his 2.51 ERA is fifth in the league. The Cuban is also a veteran of the Mexican Summer Leagues. Two of his last four starts have been seven inning shutouts.

Ramon Ramirez - With all those wins someone has to pick up some saves. Ramon is their top closer with 10 saves, putting him second in the League. He is 2-1, 2.20 and at 39 last saw time pitching in the summer in the United States was 2016.

Tigres del Licey (27-23)

Socrates Brito - He is making waves this winter, enough for the Pirates to sign him. His 30 runs scored is just second to Peter O’Brien and he is hitting .296. His ten doubles are second in the league and his four triples are first. The 28 year old may still have some juice left in him. A propensity for injury early in his career closed a window on his prospect status.

Jorge Bonafacio - He is the big RBI bat for Licey with 23. He has also slugged four homeruns and is batting .330. His .938 OPS would be tops in the Dominican League if he had enough at bats. Jorge will try to get an opportunity in the Detroit outfield next year. His 13 doubles are tops in the Dominican.

Cesar Valdes - His 1.11 ERA is the league leader. He shows some excellent command with a 4/40 walk to whiff rate. Four of his last six starts he did not allow an earned run, including a 9 inning five hit shutout. Cesar pitches in the Mexican League and at 35 in March may be too old to garner any major league interest.

Jairo Asencio - His 11 saves are tops in the Dominican League. He is 1-2 with a 3.12, but has not given up an earned run in his last six appearances, picking up three saves. Jairo pitches in the Mexican Summer League.

Aguilas Cibaenas (24-26)

John Nogowski - He has been their most consistent hitter with his .316 average, four homeruns and 22 RBIs. The slugger hasn’t played with the team since November 23rd so they may have to play the round robin without their best hitter.

Robel Garcia - The Dominican came via the Italian National team where the Cubs signed him. He is only hitting .219 but has been their RBI source with four homeruns and 19 RBIs. He has walked 30 times but struck out 46 in 46 games. The Cubs will hope his power bat will add some explosiveness to the team.

Edmundo Sosa - Sosa stirs the drink with his 27 runs scored, second in the league. A 7/41 walk to whiff ratio is cause for concern.

Yuniesky Maya - We thought he would be a star in the major leagues, but he has had his struggles in the KBO and the major leagues. Pitching in the Dominican Winter League he is 1-3, 3.46 and is second in the league in strikeouts with 46. He last pitched in the United States during the summer in 2016.

Leones del Escogido (24-26)

Ivan Castillo - Not a lot of big bats on this team. Ivan leads the team in RBIs with 18. He also has 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts and his 26 runs scored is tops on the team. His two homeruns is tied for the team lead with many.

Melky Mesa - He used to be a big time outfield prospect with the Yankees. Now he is hitting .272 with two homeruns for Escogido. His .306 batting average against lefties makes him a possible platoon fit.

David Kubiak - His 52 whiffs in just 51.1 innings leads the Dominican League. His 12 starts are the second most, where he has put together a 4-3 record with a 2.81 ERA. Kubiak has only given up one run in his last three starts. David also pitches in the Mexican Summer League.

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