Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals prospects results in the Venezuelan and Puerto Rican winter leagues

This weekly notebook covers St. Louis Cardinals prospects playing in winter leagues in Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Breyvic Valera is red hot in Venezuela.

Stats are through January 5th.

 Venezuelan League

The Venezuelan League consists of eight teams competing in one group.  Opening Day was October 7th and the regular season ended on December 29th.  Six teams advanced to the postseason which began on January 2nd.

Bravos de Margarita –

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 whose regular season ended on December 4th.  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’s final appearance of the regular season was in mop up duty on December 22nd.  The righty pitched the ninth inning in a 6-0 loss, giving up three singles but no runs, thanks to a 5-4-3 double play that erased the lead-off single.  St. Louis pulled Garcia from participation in the postseason, leaving him with a final line of 9 G, 7 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB (2 IBB), 3 SO, 6.43 ERA, 2.43 WHIP, .367 BAA, .393 BABIP, 3 IR/2 IRS in two opportunities

Juan Perez (State College):  Perez’ stay in the Venezuelan League was brief, the 20-year-old relieving once on November 28th.  He began the ninth trying to maintain the Bravos’ 9-3 lead but alternated two outs with two bases-on-balls.  Perez capped the performance with a two-run double before recording the final out.  He was removed from Margarita’s active roster on December 3rd. 

Breyvic Valera (Springfield):  Valera’s bat was back on the upswing during the last week of the regular season, going 6-for-16 with a triple and two walks, a mark of .375/.444/.500/.944 in four starts split evenly between third base and left field.  His hot streak continues in the early postseason with four hits in 11 at bats over three starts in the outfield.  Valera has worked three base-on-balls against one strikeout, touched home twice and driven in one.  Current postseason line:  .364/467/.364/.830, 4-for-11 in three starts, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SO, 0 E, .364 BABIP.  His regular season line:  .292/.381/.401/.782, 62-for-212 in 60 games/59 starts, 9 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 31 R, 20 RBI, 30 BB, 12 SO, 8 SB, 13 CS, 10 E, .299 BABIP. 

Justin Wright (Memphis):  Wright pitched a scoreless final frame in Margarita’s 6-0 win on the 27th.  The southpaw gave up a single to his first batter but recorded two quick outs via a strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out combination.  Wright fanned his final batter swinging. 

His postseason got off to an inauspicious beginning when he was charged with a run on one hit while retiring just one batter.  In Wright’s defense he received little help from either his defense or his successor on the mound.  The Virginia native began the seventh with the game knotted at four all and yielded a single to right to his initial batter.  An attempted sac bunt in what should have been the first out instead resulted in two runners in scoring position, thanks to a throwing error by the Bravos’ third baseman.  Wright fanned former Cardinals’ farmhand Ildemaro Vargas swinging before putting the force in play with an intentional free pass to his final batter.  A run scored subsequently on a wild pitch, giving the opposition a temporary 5-4 lead in an eventual 7-5 victory by Margarita. 

On Tuesday Wright inherited a runner on first with one out and his team trailing 7-6 and recorded two ground outs to limit the damage.  Current postseason line:  2 G, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 IBB, 2 SO, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, .250 BAA, .333 BABIP, 1 IR/0 IRS in one opportunity.  His regular season line:  11 G, 1 SV, 6.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R/ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1.35 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, .375 BAA, .474 BABIP, 7 IR/3 IRS in four opportunities

Caribes de Anzoategui -

Jeremy Hazelbaker (Memphis):  Hazelbaker’s contract with Anzoategui ended in early December, leaving his team without their leader in in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.  He was second in on-base percentage, minimum 100 at bats.  Hazelbaker’s final line:  321/.382/.506/.888, 52-for-162 in 45 games, 11 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 30 R, 22 RBI, 15 BB, 35 SO, 11 SB, 1 CS, 3 E

Tiburones de La Guaira –

Juan Gonzalez (Memphis):  Gonzalez, whom St. Louis signed as a minor league free agent last month, was removed from La Guaira’s active roster on December 8th.  His overall mark:  1-1, 14 G, 13.2 IP, 24 H, 19 R/ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 8 BB, 5 SO, 12.51 ERA, 2.34 WHIP, .381 BAA, .375 BABIP, 8 IR/5 IRS in four opportunities

 Puerto Rican League

The struggling Puerto Rican League is down to just four teams with a regular season that ran from October 30th through December 30, 2015.  The top three teams advanced to the Round Robin tournament that began on January 2nd, the Gigantes de Carolina being eliminated.  Anthony Garcia was the first choice of regular-season champion Mayaquez in the dispersal draft.  Neither Pedro Echemendia nor Jonathan Rodriguez were selected.

Gigantes de Carolina –

Pedro Echemendia (State College):  Echemendia finished his stint with the Gigantes by tossing 5 2/3 scoreless frames over four relief appearances, more than doubling his innings pitched to that point.  The righty allowed just two hits and did not issue a free pass while striking out four.  Those performances moved his stats from awful to a very solid final mark of 2-1, (2 BS), 10 G, 3.48 ERA, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 SO, 0.97 WHIP, .211 BAA, .250 BABIP, 5 IR/3 IRS in three opportunities 

Anthony Garcia (Memphis):  Garcia ended his regular season on an offensive tear, accumulating seven hits in 19 at bats over five games with a triple, home run and two walks, .368/.429/.632/1.060.  He struck out three times, scored four runs and knocked in four.    His regular season numbers:  .223/.288/.362/.649, 29-for-130 in 35 games, with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, 10 walks, 27 strikeouts, 15 runs scored, 21 RBIs and a .245 BABIP.  He committed three miscues.  Garcia’s postseason stats appear under Mayaquez.

Jonathan Rodriguez (Springfield):  Rodriguez went 1-for-12 in four games with a double, two walks and four strikeouts.  His regular season mark .218/.358/.310/.669, 19-for-87 in 28 games, with eight doubles, 17 walks, 33 strikeouts, seven runs scored and eight knocked in, .352 BABIP.  He committed four errors.

Indios de Mayaquez (Round Robin) –

Anthony Garcia:  Garcia has one single in eight at bats in two games in the very early going.


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