Need a fix? Here’s what’s happening in the winter leagues (NL West)
After a long Thanksgiving weekend, it’s time to finish off this list of prospects and major league players in winter leagues. The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is finished, but be sure to keep up with players in other leagues as they will continue all the way up until February.
However, most major league players won’t finish the winter league season as they’ll look to move back to the U.S. and prepare for the 2013 season with their respective teams.
Now it’s time to look at prospects and players from the NL West who are playing baseball during the offseason.
Gerardo Parra — Parra has played in at least 133 games the last three years for the Diamondbacks. He’s been a serviceable fourth outfielder, but at 25, he’s hoping to earn an everyday spot in the lineup. In 49 at-bats in the Venezuelan League, he’s hitting .327 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
Chris Owings — The former first round pick worked his way up to double-A in 2012 where he batted .263. The 21-year-old shortstop was selected to play in the AFL and hit .275 with nine doubles, one triple and one home run. He also stole four bases, but failed to earn a walk, while striking out 17 times. Still young, the Diamondbacks are hoping Owings has a strong showing in triple-A this year to prepare him for a jump to the majors.
Chase Anderson — The ninth-round pick in 2009, Anderson followed up a solid 2012 campaign by posting a 3.47 ERA in six starts in the AFL. In 23.1 innings, he only allowed 19 hits and struck out 26. At double-A in 2012, he had an ERA of 2.86 over 104 innings giving up 91 hits and 25 walks, while striking out 97. At 25, Anderson could be a middle-of-the-rotation starter as soon as this year, or a possible trade option with all the arms the Diamondbacks have.
Wilin Rosario — Rosario played 117 games for the Rockies in 2012 and put up good numbers for a catcher (.270/28/71). He’s trying to build off that success in the Dominican League, where he has three hits in his first seven at bats, including a home run. The 23-year-old catcher could become the center piece of the Rockies future behind the plate.
Corey Dickerson — An eighth-round draft pick in 2010, Dickerson hit .364 in the AFL with two triples and eight stolen bases. The 23-year-old outfielder finished the 2012 season in double-A so he could be ready for a promotion soon.
Charlie Blackmon — Blackmon has spent time with the Rockies in each of the past two seasons and has been a formidable substitute for injured outfielders. He’s hitting .323 in 96 Dominican League at-bats with an OBP of .421. If Blackmon proves to be an everyday outfielder, he gives the Rockies flexibility to deal Dexter Fowler or Tyler Colvin.
Coty Woods — Woods enjoyed great success at double-A in 2012, saving 16 games with a 0.76 ERA in 35.2 innings before being promoted to triple-A where he was roughed up. The Rockies sent him to the AFL, and he recorded two saves in two chances, while striking out nine batters over 11.1 innings and only allowing seven hits.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hanley Ramirez — Han-Ram showed signs of how great he can be after being traded to the Dodgers in 2012. He hopes to keep that going by spending some time in the Dominican League. In only 17 at-bats, he’s recorded six hits, which includes two doubles and a home run.
Rafael Ynoa — An undrafted signee by the Dodgers in 2005, Ynoa played in the AFL this offseason and impressed by hitting .330 with four doubles, four triples, two home runs and 20 RBIs, while also swiping seven bases. The 25-year-old second baseman finished the 2012 season at double-A, but could push for a promotion to the big leagues soon if this trend continues.
Dee Gordon — The Dodgers shortstop is trying to find himself after a disappointing 2012 season in which he batted just .228. In the Dominican League, he’s hitting .287 in 101 at-bats with six triples and nine stolen bases. Still young at 24, the Dodgers hope he can regain his 2011 form and become the leadoff hitter of the future in L.A.
San Francisco Giants
Hector Sanchez — In order to help keep Buster Posey healthy and fresh, Sanchez has become a valuable asset to fill in behind the plate on days Posey plays first. Sanchez batted .280 in 74 games for the Giants this year. He is playing in the Venezuelan League now and has six hits in just 18 at-bats. I look for Posey to find a home at first as Sanchez continues to take over the catcher role. If not, this 23-year-old could bring back great value in a trade.
Chris Dominguez — A third round pick in 2009, the 26-year-old third baseman needs to prove he’s ready for the big leagues after finishing the 2012 season in triple-A. In only 41 AFL at-bats, he hit .317 with three home runs. He’s blocked by Pablo Sandoval but could be a good backup or trade piece.
Gary Brown — Brown was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft and spent the 2012 season in double-A where he hit .279 and stole 33 bases. The 24-year-old outfielder could be looking to make the major league roster soon after a strong performance in the AFL where he hit .313 in 64 at-bats.
Chris Gloor — Gloor spent time as a reliever and a starter for the Giants double-A affiliate in 2012, posting a 2.81 ERA in 105.2 innings. In the AFL, he started seven games and had an ERA of 2.70, while only allowing 28 hits in 30 innings. He also struck out 22 batters. At 25, Gloor needs to be given a shot as a back-of-the-rotation starter in the majors or moved to the bullpen.
San Diego Padres
Cory Spangenberg — The Padres first round pick in the 2011 draft was impressive in only 24 at-bats during the AFL, collecting 10 hits including a double and a home run, while walking eight times and only striking out five times. He spent the 2012 season at high-A ball where he hit .271 with 27 stolen bases. The second baseman is 21 years old and could be a future middle infielder for the Padres.
Rymer Liriano — The 21-year-old outfielder is considered one of the Padres best prospects, and he proved that in the AFL by batting .319. He also had four home runs, five doubles and six stolen bases. He finished the 2012 season in double-A and could become a dangerous tandem with Cameron Maybin in the Padres outfield. Liriano is continuing his winter league stint in the Dominican League.
Jeudy Valdez — Valdez struggled in his first full year in double-A, but was still invited to play in the AFL, where he hit .303 in 66 at-bats with 10 doubles and two home runs. The 23-year-old second baseman could be a good utility man for the Padres, or a possible a trade piece.
Robbie Erlin — A former third round pick by the Rangers, Erlin was dealt to the Padres for Mike Adams in 2011. During his past two seasons in the minors, he had an ERA below three and managed to strike out more than a batter an inning. Through seven starts in the AFL, the 22-year-old left-hander posted a 2.28 ERA in 23.2 innings, allowing 18 hits and six walks, while striking out 31. Erlin looks to be a legitimate top-of-the-rotation starter for the Padres in the foreseeable future.
Kevin Quackenbush — The 24-year-old closer had 27 saves in high-A ball this season and was invited to the AFL, where he recorded six saves, while tossing 11 innings and only allowing four hits and three walks and striking out 16. He still has much to prove in the minors, but I could see him getting pushed into the Padres bullpen sooner rather than later.