Cardinals Winter Recap: DR, PR, PAN, NIC, COL

Cumulative results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in Winter League in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua and Colombia. Carlos Martinez performed particularly well.

Dominican (Winter) League

Aguilas Cibaenas –

- Carlos Martinez (St. Louis): Martinez was spectacular in his relatively brief time in the Dominican League. His Aguilas debut on November 30th was the first of six, three regular and three postseason, over the following six weeks. He compiled a 2.19 ERA, 1.25 FIP and 0.81 WHIP in 12 1/3 regular-season frames, giving up three runs on 10 hits while fanning 12 and not issuing a free pass for a .227 BAA, .313 BABIP. The righty followed that up by tossing 16 2/3 innings in the round robin tournament, yielding 19 hits and two walks, resulting in six tallies, three earned, for a 1.62 ERA, 0.86 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, .284 BAA and .442 BABIP with 24 K’s.

Martinez’ overall line: 3-0, 6 G, 6 GS, 29 IP, 29 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 1 HB, 2 BB, 36 SO, .261 BAA, .387 BABIP, 11.2 SO/9 IP, 18:1 K/BB ratio.

- Nick Greenwood (Memphis): Greenwood spent just under a month in the Dominican League, starting twice in the regular season before making five more appearances, three starts, in the play offs.

The lefty hurled 13 2/3 frames in all, allowing 19 hits and one free pass that produced 10 runs, nine earned with eight strikeouts. He had a 5.93 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 1.46 WHIP, .333 BAA and .388 BABIP.

Gigantes de Cibao –

- Xavier Scruggs (Memphis): Scruggs’ contract with eventual league champions Cibao ran from the season’s start on October 17th through the end of November. It became apparent fairly quickly that the 2008 draftee was focusing on expanding his defensive repertoire during the MLB off-season. 738 times Scruggs had taken the field while in St. Louis’ minors and 736 of those games was as a first baseman with two more games in the outfield. For the Gigantes, the 27-year-old played in 28 games, with more games in left (12) than first (11) and the balance coming as the designated hitter (five). Twice he was charged with a fielding error, once in left.

Scruggs took 105 at bats in his 28 games, going 27-for-105 with eight doubles, five home runs, 14 walks and 19 strikeouts: .257/.352/.476/.829 with a .301 BABIP.

Puerto Rico League

Criollos de Caguas –

- Justin Wright (Memphis): Wright tossed 11 innings over 13 relief appearances, allowing nine hits and five bases-on-balls that translated to seven runs, a 5.73 ERA, 3.38 FIP and 1.27 WHIP. Control was an issue for the southpaw who averaged just over four walks for every nine innings pitched. Wright struck out 13, an average of 10.6/9 IP, and held opposing batters to a 220 BAA, .296 BABIP.

The 25-year-old inherited runners seven times in his 13 appearances and only one of 12 came around to score. Five of those times he took the mound with runners in scoring position and only one of seven crossed the plate, a jam with a runner at third and only one out. Wright needed only one out to escape five times and required two outs the other two jams. He did not pitch during the postseason.

Gigantes de Carolina –

- Juan Caballero (Johnson City): Caballero had a very solid season for Carolina, tossing 18 1/3 frames in 11 games, one start, during the regular season while yielding six runs, four earned, on 14 hits and nine free passes: a 1.96 ERA, 2.55 ERA 1.25 WHIP, .222 BAA and .301 BABIP. Although he fanned 21 during that span, an average of 10.6 SO/9 IP, Caballero averaged 4.4 walks every nine innings pitched.

He was not as effective in the postseason, surrendering four runs in 4 1/3 innings over two appearances and did not pitch in the final 10 games. Six times the right-hander came into the game with runners on, three times with none out and three times with two out. Three of seven inherited runners touched home, those three coming in two games and two of the three were in scoring position.

- Anthony Garcia (Palm Beach): When you are the unanimous selection as the MVP of the 2014 Puerto Rican Winter League season, you had a stellar campaign and Garcia was outstanding. The outfielder, who turned 23 in early January, went .321/.423/.635/1.058, 44-for-137 in 39 games during the regular season, with 10 doubles, a triple, 10 long balls, 20 walks and 26 strikeouts. Garcia scored 24 runs, driving in 34. He led the league in home runs, RBIs (for the second straight year) and slugging percentage while placing third in batting average and second in on-base percentage.

The right fielder managed just a .238 average in the round robin portion of the postseason, 10-for-42 in 13 contests, but drew more walks (eight) than strikeouts (six), giving him a .362 on-base percentage. Garcia was picked up by Santurce for the league finals where he posted a mark of .273/.385/.455/.839, 6-for-22, in six games with a double, home run, two walks and three K’s.

As league champions, Santurce represents Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series that runs from February 2nd through the 8th and Garcia is on their roster. He is the only active St. Louis minor leaguer participating in the series although Dernier Orozco, the Peoria Chiefs’ pitching coach, is the bullpen coach for Caribes, Venezuela’s representative.

Cangrejeros de Santurce –

- Jonathan Rodriguez (Memphis): Rodriguez appeared in 32 of Santurce’s 37 games during the regular season with 30 starts scattered between third base (12), first (eight), designated hitter (six) and the outfield (four). The 25-year-old swung a cold bat, going .155/.284/.227/.511, 15-for-97 with seven doubles, 17 walks and 37 strikeouts.

His playing time was curtailed dramatically in the postseason, thanks to an influx of talent from teams not qualifying for the Round Robin, getting just nine plate appearances and reaching base three times, all via the free pass.

Colombian League

Toros de Sincelejo –

- Ronald Castillo (Palm Beach): Castillo went .234/.302/.255/.557, 11-for-47, with a double, five base-on-balls, 10 strikeouts, five runs scored, 10 RBIs and one stolen base. With very limited information available, it is not known what defensive positions the regular outfielder played.

Caimanes de Barranquilla –

- Jonathan Escudero (Johnson City): The right-hander saw limited action for Caimanes, surrendering six runs, two earned, on six hits and five free passes over 6 1/3 innings, a 2.84 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. The 21-year-old fanned six and hit a batter.

Nicaraguan League

Indios del Boer -

- Jhonny Polanco (Peoria): Polanco began the season as Boer’s closer, a role he lost due to ineffectiveness. The righty made 11 appearances totaling 10 1/3 frames, allowing 11 runs on 11 hits and seven walks with 11 strikeouts, 1 9.58 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 1.74 WHIP, .275 BAA and .379 BABIP. Polanco had four saves.

Panama Winter League

Aguilas Metropolitanas –

- Jonathan Rivera (DSL): Rivera, Aguilas’ right fielder in 19 of his team’s 28 contests, had a line of .203/.236/.290/.526, 14-for-69, with two doubles, two triples, three walks, 21 strikeouts, touched home six times and knocked in two, batting mainly seventh or eighth. Defensively, the 17-year-old was charged with five errors. He was excellent in the three-game league finals, batting 4-for-10 with a double and two runs scored

- Edmundo Sosa (State College): The 18-year-old shortstop compiled a regular season mark of .270/.362/.371/.733, 24-for-89 in 24 games as Aguilas’ lead-off batter. Sosa doubled six times with one home run, 14 runs scored and five RBI and reached base 14 times with 15 strikeouts and a .307 BABIP. He committed three errors. Sosa was 5-for-10 in the finals, with one bomb, touched home once and drove in two.

Indios de Urraca –

- Allen Cordoba (DSL): Cordoba primarily manned second in his 22 games for the Indios, usually batting second. The 19-year-old’s line was .262/.351/.277/.628, 17-for-65, with a double, eight free passes, nine strikeouts, seven runs scored and three RBI. He committed three errors at second and had a .307 BABIP.

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