Cardinals Winter League Notebook 9: Venezuela

Results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in Venezuela. Breyvic Valera keeps hitting.

Venezuelan League

Stats through December 18th.

Bravos de Margarita –
Record for the Period: 2-3
Overall Record: 20-35

- Breyvic Valera (Springfield): Valera’s .424 batting average in 17 at bats this week was fueled by an outstanding game on Sunday when he went a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, walk and three runs scored. The 22-year-old continues to bat at the top of the Bravos’ order but played centerfield in all four starts. This may well have been an attempt to kick start Margarita’s woeful offense by getting second baseman Alberto Gonzalez’ bat into the regular line-up. The 31-year-old minor league veteran sports a .314 batting average in 207 at bats for the Bravos who are hitting a collective .253 as a team, good for last in the league.

Valera has been superb in his relatively brief time with them, going .364/.417/.424/.841, 24-for-66, in 16 starts, with six walks, four doubles, 14 runs scored, seven RBI and a .414 BABIP. He has been successful in three of five stolen base attempts with eight strikeouts and four errors, mostly as a centerfielder.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
Record for the Period: 2-3
Overall Record: 35-21

- Cesar Valera (Palm Beach): Valera remains with Caribes’ VPL club, where he was reassigned on November 24th. The 22-year-old received only 12 at bats in nine of Caribes’ first 29 games, going 3-for-12 with a double, walk, two runs scored and five strikeouts. Valera made three starts at short for the Venezuelan League squad.

Leones del Caracas –
Record for the Period: 3-3
Overall Record: 26-32

- Miguel Socolovich (Triple-A): Socolovich remains out of commission with back discomfort and has not pitched since November 30th. Despite several blurbs indicating that he is expected to pitch soon, that day has not yet to arrive.

Overall, Socolovich has tossed 18 frames in 17 games, yielding four runs on 10 hits and two walks for a 2.00 ERA/2.09 FIP and 0.67 WHIP. The righty has struck out 21, giving him a 10.5:1 K/BB ratio. Opposing batters are hitting .156 off him, .209 BABIP.

Tiburones de La Guaira –
Record for the Period: 5-1
Overall Record: 28-29

- Rafael Ortega (Memphis): Ortega did not play during this period. Overall, the centerfielder has posted a line of .167/.231/.208/.439, 4-for-24 in 18 games, seven starts.

- Kender Villegas (Johnson City): The sole sighting of Villegas in a Venezuelan League contest remains on December 10th when he took the mound with the bases clear and two out in the visitor half of the ninth. He got the final out, a line out to left by the opposition’s number five bat, in an eventual 8-2 loss.

Venezuelan Parallel League

The Venezuelan Parallel League’s regular season finished on December 9th with the top two teams from Division A and Division B advancing to the play-offs. La Guaira and Lara moved on from Division A while Division was represented by Seattle and Caimanes. La Guaira swept Caimanes in their best-of-three but it took Lara three games before eliminating Seattle. Lara downed La Guaira in the league finals’ opener 13-5 but the latter bounced back, edging 4-3. Lara prevailed in a tight championship finale by a 2-0 score.

This report covers the play-offs.

La Guaira –

- Anderson Gerdel (Johnson City): Gerdel’s only play-off appearance came in the championship finale. The righty began the seventh with his team trailing 2-0 and did his part by holding Lara scoreless over the last two frames. Gerdel retired his first two batters on a pop out to third and liner to short before yielding consecutive singles that put runners at the corners. The 21-year-old got out of the jam via a force at second then tossed a one-two-three eighth with two fly outs and a caught looking.

- Kender Villegas (Johnson City): La Guaira’s leader in innings pitched for the regular season, 39 1/3 frames, did not pitch in the postseason.

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