Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals prospects in the Venezuelan League, Venezuelan Parallel League, Puerto Rico League and Nicaraguan League

The second of two weekly notebooks focuses on St. Louis Cardinals prospects in the Venezuelan League (VL), Venezuelan Parallel League (VPL), Puerto Rican League (PR) and Nicaraguan League (NIC). David Oca finished his solid stint in Venezuela.

Stats are through November 15th.

Venezuelan League

The Venezuelan League consists of eight teams competing in one group.  Opening Day was October 7th and the regular season ends on December 29th. 

Bravos de Margarita

Record for the Period:  3-5

Overall Record:  9-23

Standing:  Eighth, 10 back

Ismael Brito (Johnson City):  Brito was removed from Margarita’s active roster on November 3rd, having not appeared in a game since the 29th.  He resurfaced in the Venezuelan Parallel League and his performance there will be addressed in that portion of the notebook.  His cumulative VL line:  7 G, 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3.37 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, .182 BAA, .286 BABIP

Silfredo Garcia (Springfield):  Garcia was placed on the active roster on the 3rd after dealing with some shoulder discomfort.  He saw his first action on the 7th, working around a two-out fielding error by Breyvic Valera for a clean seventh, maintaining his team’s 4-2 advantage.  Things were a bit more dicey his next time out on the 14th, the righty coming into the eighth with a runner on first, none out and Margarita trailing 1-0.  An attempted bunt was transformed into a force at second but that was pretty much negated when Garcia plunked his next batter.  A swinging K ensued for the second out of the frame and it appeared as if Garcia would escape unscathed when the lead runner was called out at the plate trying to score on a subsequent single to left.  However, that call was overturned on a challenge, allowing what proved to be the difference in the game to score.  An intentional free pass was issued, setting up a force at any base but Garcia notched his second strikeout to end the inning.  His line so far:  2 G, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 IBB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .143 BAA, .167 BABIP, 1 IR/1 IRS 

Kender Villegas (State College):  Villegas last pitched in a Venezuelan League game on October 16th.  Like Brito he recently saw action in the Venezuelan Parallel League.  His cumulative VL line:  2 G, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 SO, 19.29 ERA, 2.67 WHIP, .545 BAA, .500 BABIP

Breyvic Valera (Springfield):  Although Valera hit for a mediocre .261 batting average over his most recent eight games, he was an on-base machine – his seven free passes translating to a .419 on-base percentage.  All six of his hits were singles.  He scored four runs, knocked in three and struck out just once, batting third.  Valera was active on the base paths, going 3-for-5 in attempted steals.  Defensively, he spent most of his time alternating between second and short although he did receive two starts in center and one at third.  All three of his miscues – two throwing and one fielding, occurred at short.  Overall, Valera is averaging a walk every eight plus plate appearances and a strikeout every 29 plate appearances.  His overall mark:  .255/.348/.347/.695, 25-for-98 in 29 games/28 starts, 5 2B, 2 3B, 15 R, 11 RBI, 14 BB, 4 SO, 3 SB, 6 CS, 5 E, .260 BABIP  

Caribes de Anzoategui –

Record for the Period:  4-5

Overall Record:  15-17

Standing:  Seventh, four back

Jeremy Hazelbaker (free agent):  Hazelbaker became a minor league free agent since the last notebook so falls off the report.  His cumulative winter ball results as a St. Louis farmhand: .316/.372/.506/.878, 25-for-79 in 22 games, 4 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 13 R, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 19 SO, 4 SB, 0 CS, 1 E, .407 BABIP

David Oca (State College):  A report out of Venezuela indicated Oca advised league officials that Sunday, November 15th, would be his last day with the club, per instructions from the St. Louis Cardinals.    On the 6th, the southpaw retired his only batter faced, a lefty batter, with a one out and a runner on third and was credited with his second win.  He was equally as effective two days later, fanning his only batter swinging, another lefty, leaving runners on the corners.  On Wednesday, the 20-year-old walked his only batter, the unearned run subsequently scoring.  His last appearance came on the 15th, his first since his departure announcement, in which he kept his opponents off the board over 1 2/3 with his team down 2-0.  But Oca needed both back-to-back K’s to strand his runner on 3rd in one inning and a double-play ball the next frame to accomplish that feat.  Oca’s cumulative line:  2-0, 13 G, 1.04 ERA, 8 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO, 1.27 WHIP, .226 BAA, .333 BABIP, 6 IR/0 IRS

Venezuelan Parallel League

The VPL is the developmental arm of the Venezuelan League with its own regular season, playoffs and championship.  14 teams compete in the league and St. Louis has four players currently active on four of the squads.

Bravos de Margarita –

Record for the Period:  4-2

Overall Record:  16-11-2

Carlos Torres (GCL):  Torres started three of six contests for the period, going 2-for-11 with a double and home run, two runs scored and one RBI - .182/.250/.545/.795, .200 BABIP.  He was hit by a pitch and fanned five times.  His cumulative line:  .255/.321/.511/.831, 12-for-47 in 14 starts, with two double, two triples and two home runs, four walks, ten strikeouts, seven runs scored and eight driven in, .278 BABIP.  Torres is two-for-two in stolen base attempts.

Ismael Brito (Johnson City):  Brito’s only appearance came on the 11th when he pitched the eighth inning with his team up 3-0.  He induced three groundball outs, issuing a one-out free pass.  Brito departed after his own throwing error allowed the lead-off batter to reach the next inning. 

Kender Villegas (State College):  Villegas faced the minimum in his only appearance, inducing two ground- and one fly- ball outs.  The right-hander picked up the save in the Bravos’ 4-2 win.

Caribes de Anzoategui -

Record for the Period:  2-2-1

Overall Record:  14-14-1

Ronnierd Garcia (State College):  After batting a meager .152/.278/.217/.495, 7-for-46 in the first 18 games, 12 starts, Garcia did not play at all in the last five contests.  He has a double, triple, eight walks, nine strikeouts, three runs scored and two knocked in, .189 BABIP.  He has committed three errors.

Leones del Caracas –

Record for the Period:  3-2

Overall Record:  16-13

Gerwuins Velazco (State College):  After starting three of his team’s first 12 games, Velazco has not pitched since October 19th.  His overall mark:  0-1, 3 G/GS, 3.75 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 12 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 1.50 WHIP, .318 BAA., 333 BABIP.

Jhohan Acevedo (State College):  Acevedo garnered just one hit in seven at bats over four games, three starts.  One positive is that he walked five times, giving him a .500 on-base percentage.  Acevedo struck out once.  His cumulative mark:  .143/.333/.143/.476, 3-for-21 in nine games, six starts, with six walks, three strikeouts, a run scored and two stolen bases, .167 BABIP.

Tiburones de La Guaira –

Record for the Period:  3-3

Overall Record:  14-15-1

Anderson Gerdel (Johnson City):  Gerdel took the loss in a start on the 10th, yielding two runs, one earned, on four hits over three innings.  He fanned three and did not issue a free pass.  To date the righty has issued just two free passes in 22 1/3 frames in seven games, four starts, averaging less than a walk for every nine innings pitched.  Gerdel has fanned 16 for an 8:1 K/BB ratio.  His line to date:  1-1, 7 G, 4 GS, 3.63 ERA, 22.1 IP, 28 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 16 SO, 1.34 WHIP, .333 BAA, .379 BABIP

Puerto Rico League

The struggling Puerto Rico League is down to just four teams with a regular season running from October 30th through December 30, 2015.  They do not play on either Mondays or Thursdays.  Three St. Louis farmhands are participating this season, all of them playing for the Gigantes de Carolina.

Gigantes de Carolina –

Record for the Period:  3-4

Current Record:  5-7

Standing:  Third, 3 1/2 back

Juan Caballero (Johnson City):  Caballero relieved twice with mixed results.  He retired seven straight on the 8th, stranding an inherited runner at second, in what turned out to be a 5-1 loss.  Caballero was charged with the loss on Saturday, giving up a single-stolen base-single combination in the ninth inning of a tie game.  His numbers:  0-1, 4 G, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB (1 IBB), 3 SO, 1.00 WHIP, .182 BAA, .211 BABIP, 2 IR/0 IRS

Anthony Garcia (Memphis):  Garcia posted a dismal mark of 3-for-27 in seven starts in right for Carolina, doubling twice with two base-on-balls and five strikeouts.  He had an interesting time in the field.  On the down side, Garcia committed two errors – one fielding and one throwing – but the plus side far outweighed the negative.  The 23-year-old was credited with four outfield assists, one at each base. His overall numbers:  .170/.259/.298/.557, 8-for-47 in 12 starts, with three doubles, a home run, four walks, eight strikeouts, four runs scored, eight RBI and a .179 BABIP.  He has committed three miscues.

Jonathan Rodriguez (Springfield):  Rodriguez was eligible for minor league free agency after the World Series finished but tweeted that he had re-signed with the Cardinals for the 2016 season.  The 26-year-old was not very productive at the plate, going 4-for-21 in seven starts at first, with two doubles, two free passes and six strikeouts.  His cumulative mark:  .244/.354/.317/.671, 10-for-41 in 12 games, with three doubles, five walks, 13 strikeouts, four runs scored and five knocked in, .357 BABIP.  He has not committed an error.

Nicaraguan League

The Nicaraguan League got underway on November 3rd and the regular season finishes on January 3rd.  Jhonny Polanco is part of the Indios del Boer bullpen.

Jhonny Polanco (Springfield):  Polanco has been in the thick of the action, relieving five times in Boer’s first 10 games.  The 23-year-old has permitted just one hit in seven innings, issuing two walks – one intentional, and striking out six.  He has yet to allow a run and has one save so far.  5 G, 1 SV, 7 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.29 WHIP.


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