Winter Leagues Report: Week 5

Week 5 in the winter leagues was a little quiet, as the Cubs did not make any further moves or add any more players to the winter league rosters. But Manuel Rodriguez continues to impress in Mexico while Gioskar Amaya continues his comeback in Venezuela.

Mexican Pacific League

Caneros de los Mochis

It seems that Los Mochis can never string together any success this year, but Wednesday saw the Caneros top equally inconsistent Navojoa 2-1. Entering in the sixth inning, Manuel Rodriguez had one of his best outings of the winter, tossing two perfect innings and striking out three. Los Mochis 2 - Navojoa 1

The first half race is tightening in LMP, as the Canemen moved to three games out of first place with a fourteen inning 5-4 victory over league leading Culiacan on Saturday. With two out in the eleventh inning, Manuel Rodriguez entered and struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings. Los Mochis 5 - Culiacan 4


Tomateros de Culiacan

It was a total collapse for Culiacan on Wednesday, as the Tomateros allowed seven runs in the final two innings to lose 9-2 to Hermosillo. Ali Solis caught the entire game and was 1-for-3 in the loss. Hermosillo 9 - Culiacan 2

The Tomatomen fell into a three way tie of first place on Saturday with a 5-4 loss to Los Mochis fourteen innings. Running for Alexis Wilson in the eighth inning, Ali Solis stayed in to catch the rest of the game and go 1-for-2 at the plate. Caneros 5 - Tomateros 4


Venezuelan Winter League

Cardenales de Lara

In Monday night’s spotlight game, Lara pitching was roughed up in a 9-7 loss to Zulia. Coming in for former Cubs prospect Yoanner Negrin with one out in the fifth, Yapson Gomez gave up two earned runs while failing to record an out. Zulia 9 - Lara 7

It was a doubleheader day on Friday for the Cardenales as they were thumped in Game 1 by Zulia 5-1. Iowa right-hander Williams Perez served up four earned runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run. Perez would go only 2.1 innings and strike out three batters. Zulia 5 - Lara 1


Caribes de Anzoategui

Anzoategui continued to try and crawl out of the VWL basement on Sunday as they took Game 2 of a doubleheader with Margarita 3-0. Erick Castillo caught the second game and was 1-for-3 in the win. Anzoategui 3 - Margarita 0

Still fighting to stay relevant in the first half of the season, the Caribes defeated Magallanes 6-2 on Thursday. Erick Castillo had a hand in the outcome, as he was 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. Anzoategui 6 - Magallanes 2

The Tribe broke out their bats on Friday as they pounded out 16 hits in an 11-6 victory over Magallanes. Erick Castillo was back at catcher and went 1-for-5 with a run scored in the victory. Anzoategui 11 - Magallanes 6


Navegantes del Magallanes

In the only game on the schedule on Tuesday, Magallanes continued the trend of high scoring affairs in the VWL with a 10-6 in over Caracas. In his first start in the field, Gioskar Amaya was 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored while manning second base. Magallanes 10 - Caracas 6

Make it two in a row for the Navegantes as they used a three-run seventh to edge out Anzoategui 8-5 on Wednesday. Gioskar Amaya moved over to third base and was 0-for-4, but had an RBI and a walk in the win. Magallanes 8 - Anzoategui 5

In a slugfest on Friday, the Nav’s were unable to keep up with Anzoategui, losing 11-6. Gioskar Amaya was back at second base and went 1-for-4 in the loss. Caribes 11 - Navegantes 6

The offense continued to be in high gear for Magallanes on Saturday as they turned 12 hits into an 8-5 victory over La Guaira. Joining in on the festivities was Gioskar Amaya, who went 1-for-4 while remaining at second base. Magallanes 8 - La Guaira 5


Bravos de Margarita

Margarita was stymied on Friday night, as their six hits led to nothing in a 6-0 loss to Caracas. Eugenio Palma was the only Braves pitcher not scored upon, as he tossed a perfect sixth inning. Caracas 6 - Margarita 0


Tiburones de La Guaira

In a potential bid for a second half surge, LaGuaira doubled up Margarita 10-5 on Wednesday. After a few starts at third base, Yasiel Balaguert was at DH and homered in the seventh inning, going 1-for-4 with two RBI. La Guaira 10 - Margarita 5


Tigres de Aragua

Aragua started the week on a sour note, losing to Magallanes 5-3. Stephen Perakslis was roughed up once again, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. Teammate James Pugliese was able to stem the tide, pitching 1.1 innings of relief. Lead-off hitter Carlos Penalver was 0-for-5. Magallanes 5 - Aragua 3

Two days off were no help for the Tigers on Wednesday, as they were humbled by Caracas 7-2. Former Iowa Cub Seth Frankoff throttled Aragua for five innings, as Carlos Penalver went 0-for-4. James Pugliese entered in the seventh and struck out a batter while giving up a hit in 1.1 scoreless innings. Caracas 7 - Aragua 2

A pitcher’s duel on Saturday saw the Tigres come out on the short end, as they lost to Zulia 1-0. Carlos Penalver collected one of Aragua’s five hits, as he went 1-for-3 in the loss. Zulia 1 - Aragua 0


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  • Thanks for the summaries Tom. Always good to see what the 'kids' are up to down there. Carlos Penalver might be a guy to watch as SS - be nice though if he had a bit more power potential.

    Any chance he is anything more than a solid glove guy should he make it to MLB in a couple of years?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    You never know what adjustments players can make and when everything clicks, so there is always potential.

    I'm not a person who believes that power hitting is the end all, be all that many are now embracing. As long as a player can drive the gaps in order to keep defenses honest, there is no reason why all of them have to find their way over the fence.

    That said. Penalver still has some work to do in order to show he is that type of player.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Didn't mean to imply that he had to be (or I expected him to be) a 20+ HR guy or anything to be successful Tom.

    As long as he can regularly make solid contact with a 95+ MPH fastball and can deal with food off-speed pitches at MLB level, he might have a career. Defense and a decent OBP would be enough on the right team.

  • Aramis Ademan just name the Cubs' top prospect by Baseball America.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Seems a little high. What do you think?

  • In reply to John57:

    Yes. If you are saying Ademan is the default top prospect, I can somewhat buy that. But I would still put Adzolay ahead of him.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    I would add Caratini too. His defensive skills are improving and his offensive skills are good already. A switch hitting catcher raking at AAA I think is worth a little more than a slick fielding SS at the A level.

  • In reply to John57:

    Ademan is not in my top 5 for what it is worth. Though neither is Caratini or any position player for that matter.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    One thing that jumped out at me on the BA list, is the best power hitter: Nelson Velazquez. I don't think you have had a chance to see him play yet, but does that surprise you?

  • In reply to couch:

    And maybe this says more about the Cubs farm system lack of power hitters than anything else. But they could of gone with Vosler or Rice.

  • In reply to couch:

    I think it is more the lack of power hitters than anything. Vosler and Rice are not guys with outstanding raw power. Vosler in particular. He led the system in homers, but frankly, most of them seemed to clear the fence by about 5 feet. He is not a guy hitting 400+ footers with regularity.

    I have not seen Velazquez, but he was said to have raw power prior to the draft, then immediately tapped into upon turning pro as an 18 year old, despite massive contact issues. There is something to be said for a guy that already translate his strength into in-game power at that age so their decision does not surprise me.

    Another guy I haven't seen but was likely in that same discussion is Sierra, but unlike Velazquez he has yet to translate BP power into game situations. Martarano has very good raw power but hasn't learned to lift the ball yet. Mitchell and Martinez are another couple of guys with 20-25 HR power capabilities. Filiere as well. Gailindo and Wilson have power as well. The issue is that all of these guys are raw or significant contact concerns.

  • In reply to couch:

    Another player with contact issues that has a lot of raw power also is OF Kwang-Min Kwon.

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    Ademan is the cubs top prospect? OMG how the mighty cub farm system has fallen.. Ademan wouldn't make the top 15 in either the brewers or the cardinals farm system.

  • fb_avatar

    It's interesting that their projected 2021 lineup has everyone now playing (with Schwarbs still in LF) except Happ is in RF. Pitchers are Q, Lester, Hendricks, Albert Alzolay and Mike Montgomery with CJ as the closer. Even 4 years from now the oldest position player is Rizzo and he's only 31. That shows how young and talented we are now and even will be then.
    We have a great future.

  • This reminds me, when does the 2018 spring training schedule get announced?

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