Randy Arozarena (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Weekly summary of 20 St. Louis Cardinals players competing in winter leagues around the world.

In our first winter league report of the 2016-2017 period, teammates Randy Arozarena and Kyle Grana are excelling for Navojoa in Mexico.

Welcome back to The Cardinal Nation’s weekly summary of St. Louis Cardinals players competing in winter leagues around the world.

The leagues

As you probably know from our daily game notebooks, the Arizona Fall League prospect showcase has moved into its second week of action.

Two of the four leagues which join Cuba in the annual Caribbean Series in February have already gotten underway – in Mexico (LMP) and Venezuela (LVBP). The Dominican League opens on Thursday, October 20 and play in Puerto Rico follows on October 27.

In addition, there is a minor winter league in Venezuela called Liga Paralela or Parallel League. At times, players move up to the LVBP temporarily and many times right back down.

Other winter leagues yet to open, which typically feature lower level players from those nations, include Panama (November 3) and Colombia (November 4).

The pitchers

In addition to the one starter, Austin Gomber, the Cardinals have three relievers assigned to the Glendale Desert Dogs of the AFL – Corey Littrell, Ryan Sherriff and Rowan Wick.

Three Cardinals farmhands are pitching in the LVBP and another in Liga Paralela – starter Kurt Heyer and relievers Pedro Echemendia and David Oca. Silfredo Garcia is relieving in the Parallel League.

Finally, Palm Beach reliever Kyle Grana is closing for Navojoa in Mexico.

Pitching stats

Following are pitching stats through October 19, ordered by ERA.

Pitcher Lvl Tm Lg IP   ERA   WHIP   AVG  
Littrell, Corey Mem GDD AFL 4.0 0.00 0.50 0.133
Grana, Kyle PB NAV Mex 4.2 1.93 1.07 0.133
Echemendia, Pedro Mem LAG Ven 3.1 2.70 1.20 0.154
Gomber, Austin Spr GDD AFL 7.0 3.86 1.14 0.192
Heyer, Kurt Mem ZUL Ven 8.2 5.19 1.38 0.306
Wick, Rowan Spr GDD AFL 3.0 9.00 2.67 0.308
Sherriff, Ryan Mem GDD AFL 2.1 11.57 3.00 0.417
Oca, David JC ORI Ven 1.1 27.00 3.00 0.333
               
Garcia, Silfredo PB BAC Par 6.1 0.00 0.16 0.050

 

Pitcher W   L   G   GS   SV   SVO   H   R   ER   BB   SO  
Littrell, Corey 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1
Grana, Kyle 1 0 3 0 2 2 2 1 1 3 6
Echemendia, Pedro 1 1 4 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 0
Gomber, Austin 1 0 2 2 0 0 5 3 3 3 9
Heyer, Kurt 0 1 2 2 0 0 11 5 5 1 3
Wick, Rowan 0 1 3 0 0 0 4 3 3 4 2
Sherriff, Ryan 0 1 2 0 0 0 5 3 3 2 4
Oca, David 0 1 5 0 0 1 3 4 4 1 2
                       
Garcia, Silfredo 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6

Pitching standouts

Of the AFL hurlers, lefty Corey Littrell has performed best in early action, allowing just one baserunner in four scoreless innings over two relief outings.

http://www.scout.com/player/192919-corey-littrell?s=321

Grana has two saves in two opportunities and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander has walked more batters (three) than hits allowed (two) and has yielded just one earned run (1.93 ERA).

http://www.scout.com/player/180422-kyle-grana?s=321

Reliever Pedro Echemendia is pitching well in Venezuela. The Cuban has allowed four baserunners and just one run in 3 1/3 innings.

http://www.scout.com/player/197686-pedro-echemendia?s=321

If early indications are accurate, Garcia is a man among boys in the Parallel League. In 6 1/3 innings of relief over three contests, the right-hander has given up just one hit and no walks to go with six strikeouts. Perhaps Silfredo will be called up to the LVBP.

http://www.scout.com/player/140318-silfredo-garcia?s=321

The hitters

In the AFL, the Cardinals position player contingent includes catcher Carson Kelly, Paul DeJong, who is playing shortstop, and outfielder Harrison Bader.

In Mexico, the player to watch is Cuban center fielder Randy Arozarena, Grana’s winter ball teammate. Mexican native and league veteran Efren Navarro is also back as is young catcher Irving Wilson.

Four hitters are suiting up in Venezuela, two regulars and two part-timers. Outfielder Jose Martinez, who finished in St. Louis, played his first game Wednesday and went 3-for-4 including a home run. His Memphis teammate, second sacker Breyvic Valera is also competing. Catchers Jose Godoy and Joshua Lopez are also active.

Though Leobaldo Pina was pushed to third base at Peoria due to the presence of other prospects, he is back at shortstop in Liga Paralela.

Hitting stats

Following are hitting stats through October 19, sorted by batting average.

Hitter Pos Lvl Tm Lg AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS  
Martinez, Jose OF Mem LAG Ven 0.750 0.750 1.500 2.250
Bader, Harrison OF Spr GDD AFL 0.400 0.471 0.667 1.137
Navarro, Efren OF Mem HER Mex 0.400 0.429 0.440 0.869
Arozarena, Randy CF TBD NAV Mex 0.364 0.500 0.364 0.864
Valera, Breyvic 2B Mem MAR Ven 0.313 0.361 0.563 0.924
Kelly, Carson C Mem GDD AFL 0.278 0.318 0.444 0.763
Godoy, Jose C Peo ORI Ven 0.250 0.400 0.250 0.650
Wilson, Irving C GCL CUL Mex 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Lopez, Joshua C JC MAR Ven 0.200 0.200 0.800 1.000
DeJong, Paul SS Spr GDD AFL 0.118 0.118 0.118 0.235
                 
Pina, Leobaldo SS Peo CCS Par 0.333 0.400 0.630 1.030

 

Hitter G   AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   SB   CS  
Martinez, Jose 1 4 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0
Bader, Harrison 4 15 5 6 1 0 1 2 2 4 1 0
Navarro, Efren 6 25 3 10 1 0 0 3 2 5 1 0
Arozarena, Randy 6 22 5 8 0 0 0 2 3 1 3 4
Valera, Breyvic 9 32 7 10 2 0 2 5 3 5 1 2
Kelly, Carson 5 18 2 5 0 0 1 5 2 2 0 0
Godoy, Jose 3 8 2 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0
Wilson, Irving 3 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Lopez, Joshua 2 5 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
DeJong, Paul 5 17 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 0
                         
Pina, Leobaldo 7 27 7 9 5 0 1 5 3 3 2 0

Hitting standouts

Bader is leading the way among Cardinals in the AFL, with a .400 batting average through 15 at-bats and two walks. The outfielder has a home run, a stolen base and five runs scored in just four games.

http://www.scout.com/player/175479-harrison-bader?s=321

Arozarena, playing in center daily, has eight hits in 22 at-bats (.364), though all are singles. The Cuban is running wild, but has just three successful steals in seven attempts over six games.

http://www.scout.com/player/210771-randy-arozarena?s=321&year-2016

Also in Mexico, Navarro is hitting .400 over his first 25 at-bats. The 30-year-old last played winter ball in 2011-2013. At this point, it is unclear whether Navarro is returning to the Cardinals in 2017.

http://www.scout.com/player/104973-efren-navarro?s=321

Valera is having good results early in Venezuela, with a .313 average and four of his 10 hits having gone for extra bases. The second baseman also has seven runs scored and five RBI in nine games.

http://www.scout.com/player/143613-breyvic-valera?s=321

Also of note is Pina’s hot start in Liga Paralela. The shortstop is leading the league with five doubles, has driven in five, scored seven runs and stole two bases to go with a .333 average in seven games.

http://www.scout.com/player/152876-leobaldo-pina?s=321

What is next

Our week two reports will include the first week of Dominican Winter League action. Among Cardinals prospects making final rosters are TCN's 2016 Player of the Year Eliezer Alvarez and prospect center fielder Magneuris Sierra.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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