Cubs in the Off-Season Leagues – Week 10

Good morning! As we get ready to give thanks, there are many teams in the off-season leagues that are thankful for Cubs' prospects. For more of the exciting highlights, take a look inside.

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Robel Garcia by Dylan Heuer/Iowa Cubs

Robel Garcia by Dylan Heuer/Iowa Cubs

The week began for Cibaenas with a pounding of Licey as the Aguilas had 12 hits in route to an 8-2 victory. Robel Garcia lined up at second base and batted third, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Cibaenas 8 - Licey 2

There was a mild scare for the Aguilas on Tuesday, but they were able to hold on to their lead and defeat Orientales 3-1. Second baseman Robel Garcia provided the winning margin in the fifth with his 2-run home run as he was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI in the game. Cibaenas 3 - Orientales 1

Looking to separate themselves from the pack in the DWL, the Eagles romped over Licey on Friday 10-1. Robel Garcia moved to clean-up as the second baseman blasted a 3-run homer in the seventh in going 1-for-4 with a walk, 3 RBI, and a run scored. Cibaenas 10 - Licey 1

On Saturday, Cibaenas was able to square their record at 16-16 by taking down powerful Escogido 9-1. Second baseman Robel Garcia was installed as the third place hitter and responded by going 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and 2 runs scored in the win. Cibaenas 9 - Escogido 1

Gigantes del Cibao

Tuesday saw the Cibao offense in funk, as they only managed 4 hits in a 2-0 loss to Escogido. Donnie Dewees was back at lead-off as the Designated Hitter had half of his team’s hits in going 2-for-4 on the night. Escogido 2 - Cibao 0

The Gigantes went toe-to-toe with Escogido for several innings on Wednesday before the Lions pulled away and handed Cibao a 5-3 defeat. Donnie Dewees remained at DH and lead-off and was 1-for-4 with a run scored. Escogido 5 - Cibao 3

It was marathon baseball for the Giants on Saturday as Cibao fell in 14 innings to Licey 4-3. Donnie Dewees was back in action at lead-off and in left field as he went 1-for-6 with a walk in the loss. Licey 4 - Cibao 3, 14 innings

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon

Obregon continued to roll on Tuesday as they relied on their pitching staff to curb the offense of Culiacan in a 4-3 win. Carlos Sepulveda was a big contributor as the second baseman went 2-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI in the win. Obregon 4 - Culiacan 3

The Yaquis chose to rest some of their regulars on Wednesday, and as a result dropped a 2-1 decision to Culiacan. Jose Albertos entered the game with 2 outs in the second and went on to toss a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Culiacan 2 - Obregon 1

On Thursday, the Tribe’s manager Sergio Gastelum may have out-thought himself in a 4-3 loss to Culiacan. Ahead 3-2, Gastelum pulled several starters from the game, including second baseman Carlos Sepulveda. The left-handed batter was 0-for-1 in the game with 2 RBI on 2 sacrifice flies while turning a double play. Culiacan 4 - Obregon 3

Saturday saw Obregon fall out of first place as their bullpen coughed up 4 runs to Hermosillo in the eighth and ninth to lose 7-5. Jose Albertos came in after the damage was done in the ninth, replacing an injured Carlos Machorro. In a shaky outing, Albertos gave up a walk that was charged to Machorro, issued a walk of his own, threw a pitch that was ruled a passed ball, and struck out a batter before getting the final out on grounder. Hermosillo 7 - Obregon 5

Roberto Clemente League

Cangrejeros de Santurce

On Sunday, Santurce almost let one slip away as Carolina tied the game in the ninth. However, the Cangrejeros were able to respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the tenth for a 2-1 victory. Aneuris Rosario was charged with holding the Gigantes in the tenth and he was able to do his job. The right-hander fanned 2 in a perfect inning of work. Santurce 2 - Carolina 1

An 8 run seventh inning on Thursday propelled the Cangrejeros to a 10-4 victory over Mayaguez. Entering the game in the fifth, Aneuris Rosario allowed a hit and struck out a batter as he pitched 0.1 innings. Santurce 10 - Mayaguez 4

Criollos de Caguas

Vimael Machin

Vimael Machin

Trying to gain some momentum on Friday, Caguas was able to best Mayaguez in a 2-0 win. Designated hitter Vimael Machin drove in the first run of the game in the fourth as he went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the game. Caguas 2 - Mayaguez 0

It was two in a row for the Criollos on Saturday as the doubled-up Manati in a 6-3 win. Vimael Machin remained at DH and was 2-for-4 with a run scored out of the clean-up spot. Caguas 6 - Manati 3

Indios de Mayaguez

After seemingly having the game in hand on Wednesday, Mayaguez had to rely on some late inning heroics to get past Manati 8-7 in 10 innings. Zach Davis led off started in centerfield and while he was 0-for-4 with 2 walks, Davis scored 3 runs including the game-winner in the tenth. Mayaguez 8 - Manati 7, 10 innings

Venzuelan Winter League

Leones del Caracas

It was a rough night for Caracas on Wednesday, as they were steam-rolled by Zulia 10-2.  Enrique De Los Rios started for the Leones and gave up 5 earned runs on 7 hits and 4 walks as he tossed 2 innings. Zulia 10 - Caracas 2

Navegantes del Magallanes

Gioskar Amaya

Gioskar Amaya

On Tuesday, the Magallanes bullpen “blew up” in the ninth, allowing 4 runs to Aragua that led to a 9-7 loss. Longtime Cubs prospect Gioskar Amaya had his winter debut at third base and was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored in the loss. Aragua 9 - Magallanes 7

The Navegantes waited to the seventh inning on Friday to score all of their runs, and came up a 4-3 winner over Lara. Gioskar Amaya moved over to second base and third in the batting order and was 2-for-5 for the night. Magallanes 4 - Lara 3

Saturday saw the Navigators mount a furious comeback after their bullpen blew a 5-3 lead by allowing 6 runs in the seventh, as Magallanes beat Margarita 10-9. The hero of the game was pinch-hitter Gioskar Amaya, whose walk-off single provided the game-winner for the Nav's. Magallanes 10 - Margarita 9

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    Thanks for all the work Tom. It's a lot to keep track of. Do you think that Garcia or Dewees have a chance to crack the Cubs roster?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank you Jonathan, and thank you for asking my opinion.

    Let's start with Robel Garcia.

    Unless there is a major roster shake-up in which they will need Garcia's power, or unless there is a significant injury, I do not see Garcia contributing much. The problem is the $5 million dollar contract to David Bote. Garcia and Bote are similar players. Garcia has the advantage of being a switch-hitter, while Bote is steadier on defense. Neither has the natural power to hit more than 10 HR's in a season, so therefore they have to rely on backspin/launch angle to generate power. This tends to reduce contact rate, something the Cubs need to improve next year. Because of the contract, Bote most likely will remain on the major league roster. Garcia will probably be triple-A depth and a potential deal "sweetener".

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Others have expressed their take on Donnie Dewees, so here is mine.

    I have always felt that Dewees has a better player profile than Albert Almora. In the same vein as Garcia and Bote, Dewees and Almora can be seen as similar players. However, the strength of one player is the weakness of the other. Almora has better bat-to-ball skills and has better baseball instincts. Dewees is a much better athlete and has more natural power and speed. Neither has a strong throwing arm, but Almora gets the slight nod.

    The difference maker for Dewees, in my opinion, is that he offers the Cubs something different than what they already have, while Almora is simply more of the same, but perhaps not as productive as others. Dewees is a player that can provide a spark to the offense with his athleticism, whether it is base-running or his surprising power. Dewees can also cover more territory on defense and outrun "mistakes".

    But Dewees has work to do this off-season and in the spring. I have made comments before that the development of Dewees has not been the best, and his approach has been messed with too much. Dewees needs to concentrate more on using his natural ability. The includes his plate discipline and getting on base, and then letting his athleticism take over. Dewees needs to get away from the idea of being a run producer.

    If Dewees can get back to the level in which some considered him a borderline first round pick, he could be a great help to the Cubs.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Interesting. One problem with Dewees and Garcia Is, that the baseball instincts part, are natural gifts that one either has or does not have. Hendry liked to draft athletes and try to make baseball players out of them. Cory Paterson or Brett Jackson types, who were pretty much unable to cut at the major league level. Those that do are more the exception, than the rule. Theo and Jed came in and drafted those with instincts, shortstops and bat on ball hitters. Neither method works all the time, but I see more success now.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    All four of those guys are looking like they are descended for AAAA at this point.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    IMO, I think your power assessment on Garcia is way out of whack. A guy who hit 27 HR in AA/AAA and 5 more in 72 MLB at bats clearly has natural power. To say he is a product of launch angle/ backspin is not accurate. The guy has a quick bat and makes hard loud contact. Unfortunately the contact rates are less then ideal. Because a guy swings and misses is not to say he is a product of launch angle.

    The rest of the assessment is pretty solid and what he ends up is likely what was written. I think the Bote deal was atrocious. Completely unnecessary, IMO. I’d rather see Garcia in the limited role as he is just a better athlete doing more on a field. However, neither of the two are going to make or break the Cubs.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    One thing that I forgot to mention was something brought up during the season. Because Garcia "disappeared" for 6 years, there was no "book" on Garcia that pitchers or managers could use as reference.

    A deeper dive into Garcia's numbers show that he hit around 50% of his home runs with no one on base. Without any history, pitchers were giving Garcia "meat" in low leverage situations, for which he took advantage. That will change, especially if Garcia continues to demonstrate problems with the breaking ball.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    That makes sense, but rbucato is right as well about Robel' s swing, and from both sides the plate. I'm not ready to give up on any of those four, but none link to be impact players.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Is Robel not supposed to hit with no one one? There are a lot of guys who don’t hit with no one on. I see a lot of guys foul off and miss pitches. Not his fault he hit 32 HR.

    Reads like you are trying poke him in the eye with this reply. I agreed with your overall assessment. Just think you are way off on his power from your original post.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Cubs had a guy who hit a ton of HRs in minor leagues. Lahare LoL! I would hold off on putting a guy in the hall of fame just because he disappeared overseas for a spell then came back & hit 32 HRs in his 1st season back. ;o)

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Read comprehension fail, Milk. Go read my first post.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I did. You’re talking the dude up (& dissing a guys take) like he’s the only minor leaguer ever to hit more than a few HRs. There’s a reason he disappeared LoL!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Wow. That’s what you read? I hardly talked him up. I actually agreed with his overall assessment.

    Do you agree he has 10 HR power as he is a launch angle/backspin guy after hitting 32 HR? If you do, then I disagree with you too and you would be wrong. He has more natural power than 10 HR’s. That was my only point and was not talking him up. Don’t know how you missed that.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Okay, I'll bite on the idea that the estimate may be low on a home run total for Garcia. I guess the larger point that I was trying to make is not to expect 32 home runs from him.

    Garcia's greatest asset is his power hitting. But with Bote's contract, the only way Garcia makes a large contribution next year is if the Cubs get "creative" with their middle infield.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    And, again, I completely agree with you on that. I think your overall conclusion was spot on. I see him as a guy on the shuttle due to Bote’s contract. I do like his speed, but it is not likely he is any threat to swipe a bunch of bags. He probably gets 50-100 at bats this year in a injury replacement role.

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