Yariel Gonzalez / University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Hitting stats from 15 St. Louis Cardinals position players competing in winter leagues around the world.

In our seventh St. Louis Cardinals winter league report of the 2016-2017 period, Yariel Gonzalez is the Hitter of the Week.

Welcome back to The Cardinal Nation’s weekly summary of St. Louis Cardinals players competing in winter leagues around the world. Again in Week 7, we start with the offense.

The leagues

The four leagues which join Cuba in the annual Caribbean Series in February continue – the Dominican League (LIDOM), Mexico (LMP) and Venezuela (LVBP) and Puerto Rico League (PWL).

The hitters

In Puerto Rico, three Cardinals hitters are still participating – Anthony Garcia, Yariel Gonzalez and Roberto Bautista. A fourth player has joined them in recent free agent signee, second baseman Dickie Joe Thon.

http://www.scout.com/player/158872-dickie-joe-thon?s=321

In the Dominican are Memphis catcher Alberto Rosario, Palm Beach shortstop Juan Herrera plus Peoria outfielder Magneuris Sierra. However, Herrera and Sierra have not played since November. If they do not reappear by next report, they will be removed.

The two Mexican Winter League position players still under Cardinals contracts are Cuban outfielder Randy Arozarena and Mexican native and catcher Irving Wilson. They have been joined by DSL catcher Carlos Soto, another Mexican native.

http://www.scout.com/player/210324-carlos-soto?s=321

Three hitters have been suiting up in Venezuela, including outfielder Jose Martinez, who finished 2016 in St. Louis. Also playing are recently-signed free agent shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and new 40-man roster player, second sacker and outfielder/second baseman Breyvic Valera.

http://www.scout.com/player/88019-tommy-pham?s=321

The week, they are joined by St. Louis outfielder Tommy Pham and another recent free agent signee, catcher Gabriel Lino. However, this will be Lino’s only appearance here as his winter season is over.

Hitting stats - season

Following are hitting stats for the winter ball season through December 12, sorted by OPS.

Hitter Pos Lvl Tm Lg AB AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS  
Valera, Breyvic UT Mem MAR LVBP 180 0.350 0.403 0.561 0.964
Martinez, Jose OF Mem LAG LVBP 150 0.313 0.399 0.440 0.839
Arozarena, Randy CF TBA NAV LMP 182 0.302 0.396 0.363 0.759
Gonzalez, Yariel 3B SC AGU PWL 68 0.309 0.365 0.368 0.733
Herrera, Juan SS PB EST LIDOM 14 0.286 0.333 0.357 0.690
Garcia, Anthony OF Mem CAR PWL 113 0.274 0.305 0.372 0.677
Tovar, Wilfredo SS AAA CAR LVBP 154 0.279 0.319 0.357 0.676
Wilson, Irving GCL CUL LMP 50 0.220 0.220 0.380 0.600
Bautista, Ricardo OF SC AGU PWL 26 0.192 0.276 0.231 0.507
Soto, Carlos C DSL MOC LMP 4 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Lino, Gabriel C AA LAR LVBP 37 0.189 0.205 0.270 0.475
Pham, Tommy OF StL MAG LVBP 21 0.143 0.280 0.143 0.423
Sierra, Magneuris CF Peo TOR LIDOM 59 0.153 0.206 0.169 0.376
Rosario, Alberto C Mem EST LIDOM 38 0.079 0.182 0.105 0.287
Thon, Dickie Joe 2B A+ AGU PWL 24 0.083 0.120 0.083 0.203

 

Hitter G   AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   SB   CS  
Valera, Breyvic 49 180 32 63 10 5 6 21 16 17 9 5
Martinez, Jose 41 150 22 47 7 0 4 31 22 25 2 3
Arozarena, Randy 49 182 33 55 7 2 0 16 15 30 16 10
Gonzalez, Yariel 22 68 4 21 4 0 0 5 6 8 2 1
Herrera, Juan 6 14 1 4 1 0 0 0 1 3 0 0
Garcia, Anthony 29 113 9 31 8 0 1 10 4 15 2 0
Tovar, Wilfredo 39 154 20 43 12 0 0 13 6 20 3 3
Wilson, Irving 27 50 10 11 2 0 2 3 0 17 0 0
Bautista, Ricardo 11 26 5 5 1 0 0 2 2 9 2 0
Soto, Carlos 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Lino, Gabriel 17 37 2 7 1 1 0 2 1 11 0 0
Pham, Tommy 8 21 3 3 0 0 0 0 4 9 0 0
Sierra, Magneuris 21 59 4 9 1 0 0 2 3 16 0 1
Rosario, Alberto 19 38 2 3 1 0 0 1 5 11 0 0
Thon, Dickie Joe 12 24 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 1

Hitting standouts - season

Valera continues lead the way among Cardinals in the four slash categories. Despite fewer at-bats, the RBI leader is Martinez. The two have almost as many walks as strikeouts. Other .300 hitters for the winter to date are Arozarana and Gonzalez.

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

Arozarena still leads Cards winter ball players with 16 steals, though his so-so success rate of 61.5 percent is eroding slightly.

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

Newcomers Lino and especially Thon have really struggled this winter, but the fact they were signed anyway reminds us to not get too wrapped up in winter ball results. As mentioned above, Lino is already done the winter, but Thon remains active.

http://www.scout.com/player/167708-gabriel-lino?s=321

As was the case with his Peoria teammate Eliezer Alvarez, new 40-man roster player Sierra performed badly against this advanced level of competition.

Recent results

Following are hitting stats for the last week only, sorted by batting average. (The exceptions are Lino and Thon, whose full winter results are shown.)

Hitter G   AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   SB   CS   BA
Gonzalez, Yariel 5 19 0 8 2 0 0 2 2 1 1 1 0.421
Garcia, Anthony 7 29 1 8 1 0 1 2 0 3 1 0 0.276
Martinez, Jose 10 38 4 10 1 0 0 2 4 9 1 1 0.263
Soto, Carlos 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.250
Bautista, Ricardo 5 13 2 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0.231
Valera, Breyvic 9 35 1 8 1 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0.229
Wilson, Irving 6 14 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0.214
Arozarena, Randy 11 37 5 7 1 0 0 2 3 11 2 2 0.189
Lino, Gabriel 17 37 2 7 1 1 0 2 1 11 0 0 0.189
Tovar, Wilfredo 7 27 1 5 2 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0.185
Pham, Tommy 8 21 3 3 0 0 0 0 4 9 0 0 0.143
Thon, Dickie Joe 12 24 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 1 0.083
Rosario, Alberto 8 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 0 0.000
Herrera, Juan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Sierra, Magneuris 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  

Hitting standouts – week

The hot hitters for much of the winter, Valera and Arozarena, have hit a decided cold patch. Martinez continues his solid performance and while Garcia is doing ok, he is hitting nowhere near as good as in his prior winter league MVP-caliber years.

Then, we have nine hitters batting under .231 for the week – ouch! They include major-leaguer Pham, who one would hope will get going. Three singles and nine strikeouts in 21 at-bats is hardly worth writing home about.

As the only Cardinal batting over .276 for the period, third baseman Yariel Gonzalez at .421 is the clear choice as our Hitter of the Week.

http://www.scout.com/player/210027-yariel-gonzalez?s=321

The June free agent signee from the University of Science and Arts, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) institution located in Chickasha, Oklahoma, is no stranger to high batting averages. Gonzalez hit over .400 in each of four collegiate seasons with three different institutions.

The 22-year-old switch-hitter began his professional career with Johnson City and was promoted to short-season Class A State College at the end of July. Between the two stops, Gonzalez slashed a credible .284/.345/.387/.732, driving in 20 in 41 games, but hitting just one long ball.

Next up

Look for the Week 7 Pitching Report coming on Thursday.

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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