Final 2006 Cardinals Liga Paralela Update

Our final report on the St. Louis Cardinals' young prospects from Venezuela's Liga Paralela this winter.

The St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in Venezuela's winter minor league, the Liga Paralela, have completed their 2006 season, finishing with a 16-39 record that placed them second to last in the 13-team league. The youthful club limped home on the heels of a five-game losing streak, winning just one of their last ten.

The team was 11th in batting average (.245) and slugging percentage (.355) and 12th in on-base percentage (.322) and fielding percentage (.947). Collectively, the hitters' 414 strikeouts were the most in the league.

The pitching staff was dead last in opposing batting average at .298 and ERA at 5.19. They led the league with 70 wild pitches and they had the second-most hit batters (51) and balks (6). On the positive side, the pitchers were fourth in strikeouts (347).

With the primary focus remaining player development, there were several standout individual performances on the "San Luis" club that kept the season from being a loss.

Alvarado and Garcia led the hitters

Catcher/third baseman Wilmer Alvarado was Cardinals' offensive star. The Cards' number three hitter finished seventh in the league in slugging percentage (.497) and fifth in hits (56). The 18-year old tied for sixth in home runs (eight) and was second in total bases (91). He hit .306 overall.

Second baseman Jose Garcia also excelled, as he ended up fifth in on-base percentage (.425) and fourth in hits (59). The Cards' two-hole hitter tied for fourth in the league in walks (30), tied for second in sacrifice bunts (five) and tied for seventh in stolen bases with 12 (in 17 attempts). The 18-year old's batting average was .326.

To qualify as league batting leaders, players must have had 2.5 at-bats per game and 2.7 plate appearances per contest. Pitchers were required to log 0.8 innings pitched per game.

On the downside, Alvarado and Garcia committed 14 and 12 errors respectively, the second- and third-most on their club after shortstop Dognnt Bolivar's 15.

Struggling hitters included this group of sub-.200 batters: Romulo Ruiz, Edwin Conde, Peter Jaspe and Oswaldo Morales.

Rondon and Rada among top arms

Swingman Jorge Rondon's 2.01 ERA was fifth-best among league qualifiers while teammate and relief pitcher Jose Rada was seventh at 3.09, demonstrating the few players who posted sub-3.00 ERAs. Rondon, age 18, started seven games and relieved in six more.

Rondon held his opponents to a sterling .210 batting average, fourth-lowest in the league and did not allow a home run all season long. Rada's seven walks allowed were third-lowest and Rondon's 13 just made the top ten, too. The 18-year old Rada fanned 33 in 46-2/3 innings and Rondon whiffed 26 in 44-2/3 frames.

Reliever Eduardo Sanchez, age 17, tied for second in the league with eight saves and led the circuit with 25 appearances and 22 games finished. He tied for seventh in batters struck out looking with 16. Like so many, there was downside along with the good, as Sanchez' ERA was 4.72 and opposing hitters managed a .304 average against him.

Pitchers posting ERAs over six included Jhonathan Gonzalez, David Brito, Fabian Marquez and Ivan Brizuela. The latter three walked more batters than they struck out.

Team Leaders

Here I lowered the at-bats and innings-pitched requirements to show the leaders on the San Luis club.

Team Batting Leaders
(55 at-bats)

1 Jose Garcia 0.326
2 Wilmer Alvarado 0.306
3 Willian Sandoval 0.306
4 Kleinenger Teran 0.274
5 Ivan Castro 0.263
1 Wilmer Alvarado 11
2 Jose Garcia 10
3 Freddy Parejo 9
4 Dognnt Bolivar 7
T5 Ivan Castro 6
T5 Jairo Martinez 6
Home Runs
1 Wilmer Alvarado 8
T2 Ivan Castro 5
T2 Francis Rojas 5
T4 Four players 2
1 Wilmer Alvarado 36
2 Jose Garcia 20
3 Ivan Castro 18
4 Francis Rojas 16
5 Quincy Martina 10
Stolen bases
1 Jose Garcia 12 of 17
2 Freddy Parejo 5 of 7
3 Dognnt Bolivar  4 of 4
T4 Romulo Ruiz 3 of 3
T4 Quincy Martinez 3 of 5
T4 Willian Sandoval 3 of 7
On-Base %
1 Jose Garcia 0.425
2 Kleinenger Teran 0.404
3 Wilmer Alvarado 0.383
4 Alberto Rivero 0.368
5 Willian Sandoval  0.348
Slugging %
1 Wilmer Alvarado 0.497
2 Ivan Castro 0.441
3 Willian Sandoval 0.412
4 Kleinenger Teran 0.411
5 Francis Rojas 0.407
1 Wilmer Alvarado 0.880
2 Jose Garcia 0.828
3 Kleinenger Teran 0.815
4 Ivan Castro 0.769
5 Willian Sandoval 0.760

Team Pitching Leaders
(25 innings)

1 Jorge Rondon 2.01
2 Elvis Hernandez 2.22
3 Jose Rada 3.09
4 Pablo Ortiz 4.53
5 Eduardo Sanchez 4.72
1 Jose Rada 3
T2 Pablo Ortiz 2
T2 Eduardo Sanchez 2
T2 Jhonathan Gonzalez 2
1 Jose Rada 46.2
2 Jorge Rondon 44.2
3 Pablo Ortiz 43.2
4 Jhonathan Gonzalez 43
5 Fabian Marquez 39
1 Jose Rada 33
2 Fabian Marquez 32
3 Eduardo Sanchez 30
4 Pablo Ortiz 29
5 Jhonathan Gonzalez 29
1 Jose Rada 4.71
2 Elvis Hernandez 2.63
3 Jhonathan Gonzalez 2.07
4 Jorge Rondon 2.00
5 Eduardo Sanchez 1.67

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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