Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 10, Pt 2

Season recaps of St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in Venezuela's Parallel League this winter. Jose Godoy, Cesar Valera and Jesus Ustariz were among the standouts.

Venezuelan Parallel League

Bravos –
Final Record: 28-18
Standing: Tied for fourth in Division A, five games back
- Ismael Brito: Brito began his season in the Venezuelan Parallel League, was promoted to the Venezuelan League in late November and spent the rest of the season there. The southpaw made nine relief appearances in the VPL from October 11th through November 21st, yielding five runs on 12 hits and 12 walks in 12 2/3 innings for a 3.55 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 1.89 WHIP, .261 BAA and .364 BABIP. Brito struck out 14 for a 1.2:1 K/BB ratio. Three of his appearances came with runners on base, two with his team up one, and the 20-year-old came through in two of three occasions. (He was unable to convert with a runner at third and one out and rhat run tied the game.)
Brito tossed five innings over eight appearances for the main club from November 28th through December 28th. His first three appearances occurred in blow outs but four of his last five were in high leverage situations. Three times he came in with runners on base and none of the four touched home. Brito gave up three runs in all, scored in two appearances, on five hits and six base-on-balls for a 5.40 ERA, 7.40 FIP, 2.20 WHIP, .278 BAA and .278 BABIP. He did not notch a strikeout. Overall, Brito experienced a significant lack of control during the winter campaign, issuing 18 free passes in just 17 2/3.

- Carlos Torres: Overall, Torres posted solid numbers, batting .306/.369/.417/.785, 44-for-144 in 44 games, 39 starts. Torres' total of 13 stolen bases was one off the league lead and his 100% success rate led the league, minimum 13 swiped bags,. However, his stats slid as the season progressed. In his first 53 at bats through November 18th, 16 games, Torres went .377/.441/.472/.912. That dropped to .280/.327/.440/.767 in his next 50 at bats through November 25th, 16 games. He managed a mere .244/.326/.317/.643 over his final 41 at bats through December 14th, 12 games.
By position 20 of Torres' first 24 starts were in left. From November 19th on, covering 15 starts, the 21-year-old played either right (11) or center (four) exclusively. After the first two weeks of the season, Torres typically batted either third or fourth.

Season: .306/.369/.417/.785, 144 AB, 44 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 21 R, 18 RBI, 12 BB, 19 SO, 13 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .349 BABIP, 1:8.5 K/PA, 1:13.4 BB/PA

Caracas –
Final Record: 31-11
Standing: First place in Division A, one game up
2013 Venezuelan Parallel League Champions
- Leobaldo Pina: The season's first 10 games highlighted how Pina and teammate Velazco handled given opportunities. Each had a comparable number of at bats, 17 versus 21, but their dramatically different results foreshadowed the further playing time of each. Pina seized his chance, getting off to a torrid .471/.500/.824/1.374 start, 8-for-17 with two doubles, two triples and three walks. That earned him steady playing time with starts in about half of his team's remaining games. Pina's hot bat continued through November 11th to the tune of .448/.485/.690/1.175, 13-for-29. His offense fell off the cliff the next week with only one hit in nine at bats. Pina rebounded to post a modest line of .263/.286/.263/.549, 5-for-19 in his final six contests, He did not appear in any of his team's last five regular season games. Defensively, nine of Pina's 14 starts were at short with the remaining five coming at the hot corner. He was charged with nine errors.

Season: .333/.365/.456/.821, 57 AB, 19 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 11 R, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 7 SO, 2 SB, 0 CS, 9 E, .365 BABIP, 1:9 K/PA, 1:15.8 BB/PA

- Gerwuins Velazco: While Pina grabbed his opportunity, Velazco squandered his chance, going .3-for-21 in his team's first 10 games, eight games and six starts, for a .143/.333/.333/.667 line. The 22-year-old got only 18 more at bats in Caracas' last 32 games. Eight of his 10 starts were at catcher with the remaining two at first. He committed one error. Neither Pina nor Velazco saw time in the postseason. -

Season: .154/.327/.256/.583, 39 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 10 BB, 10 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1 E, .179 BABIP, 1:5 K/PA, 1:5 BB/PA

Caribes –
Final Record: 24-20
Standing: Sixth place in Division A, eight games back
- Ronnierd Garcia: Garcia's offensive numbers languished just above the Mendoza line most of the season despite regular playing time at third. The 20-year-old's best week came in mid-November with a line of .267/.313/.467/.779, 4-for-15 in four games. When Garcia did connect he displayed some extra base power as 15 of his 27 hits went for extra bases. He started the first 30 games but got only 15 at bats in the final 14 contests after compiling a mark of .223/.299/.429/.719 in 112 at bats through November 25th. 29 of his 34 starts were at third with the balance split between first and designated hitter.

Season: .213/.287/.394/.680, 127 AB, 27 H, 10 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 16 R, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 30 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS, 14 E, .250 BABIP, .154 ISO, 1:4.8 K/PA, 1:11.9 BB/PA

- Jose Godoy: Godoy, who just turned 19 in mid-October, put up some exciting numbers in limited playing time this season. He went .462/.533/.538/1.072 in 13 at bats over the first 25 games through November 18th and even got a hit in two at bats for the Venezuelan club in a game on November 16th. Godoy then started 11 of the next 14 games, going .300/.361/.433/.794 in 30 at bats through December 3rd. He was re-activated on the Venezuelan League roster on December 4th but did not see action after that point. Defensively, 12 of Godoy's 15 starts were at catcher with three as the designated hitter. He pinch hit once before taking over at catcher.

Season: .349/.412/.465/.877, 43 AB, 15 H, 5 2B, 10 R, 17 RBI, 6 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 1 E, .341 BABIP, .116 ISO, 1:52 K/PA, 1:8.7 BB/PA

- Cesar Valera: Valera started 33 of the 36 games in which he rook part, 25 at short and eight as the designated hitter. The 21-year-old saw his playing time increase as the season wore on, having 41 at bats in the initial 19 games and 87 at bats over the last 25 contests. Valera finished batting a hot .429/.517/.673/1.190, 21-for-49 over the last 14 games of the season. His .320 batting average was good for a tie for 14th in the league.

Season: .320/.418/.508/.926, 128 AB, 41 H, 6 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 30 R, 26 RBI, 12 BB, 16 SO, 6 SB, 2 CS, 9 E, .336 BABIP, .164 ISO, 1:9.6 K/PA, 1:12.8 BB/PA

Detroit –
Final Record: 25-22
Standing: First place in Division B, 2 1/3 in front
- Jesus Ustariz: St. Louis selected the 20-year-old in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft on December 12th. Ustariz appeared in 23 games for Detroit, 22 starts, but did not see action until November 12th, the 23rd game of the season. The 20-year-old appeared in 23 of the next 24 games, 22 of them starts. Ustariz made 19 starts solely at first, one at third only and two split between third and first. He quickly moved into batting either third or clean up.

Season: .390/.456/.636/1.092, 77 AB, 30 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 16 R, 16 RBI, 8 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 4 E, .386 BABIP, .247 ISO, 1:15 K/PA, 1:11.3 BB/PA

La Guaira –
Final Record: 32-14
Standing: Second place in Division A, one game behind Caracas, ½ game in front of Lara
- Anderson Gerdel: La Guaira's team leader in innings pitched appeared in 10 games, three starts. His seven relief appearances were mainly in long relief. Gerdel started twice in October and then did not make another start until December 6th. On the last day of the regular season, he took the mound in a must win for La Guaira's play-off hopes. Gerdel took over in the fifth inning with the score knotted at zero and retired 11 in a row before yielding a single. The righty finished his four-inning stint by notching his fourth strikeout of the day and picked up the win. The downside was that Gerdel was not available to pitch in La Guaira's brief play-off run, one in which they were swept. While the right-hander only fanned an average of 5.6 batters every nine innings, he posted a stellar 1.2 walks per nine innings pitched.

Season: 1.76 ERA/3.76 FIP, 5-0, 1 SV, 10 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 26 H, 7 R/6 ER, 2 HR, 2 HB, 4 BB, 19 SO, 0.98 WHIP, .228 BAA, .258 BABIP, 1.2 BB/9 IP, 5.6 SO/9 IP, 4.75:1 K/BB

- Kender Villegas: Villegas was mainly missing in action this season, tossing just 3 2/3 frames in two appearances including one start. He started the season opener on October 10th, yielding a tally on four walks (no hits) in two frames. On October 15th he gave up two hits in 1 2/3 while striking out three. One of those hits allowed an inherited runner to cross. Villegas was not seen in a game again.

Related article: Part one of this report covered Cardinals prospects' results the past week in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

© 2014 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories