Cards Venezuelan Parallel League Reserves

Josh Jones looks at position player performances by reserves on the St. Louis Cardinals team in the recently-completed Venezuelan Liga Paralela.

Editor's note: This is the fourth report in a series digging into the details of the Venezuelan winter minor league, called the Liga Paralela, or Parallel League. The Cardinals sponsored their own club of teenage prospects as well as supplied players to another team, Aragua. Our next report will cover Cardinals youngsters on the Aragua club.

In each capsule that follows, the player's age and regular season 2007 team are noted in parentheses following his position and name. Players are listed in order of number of appearances. Overall, the Cardinals Parallel League team played 52 games.

Links to earlier articles in this series:
"Cards Venezuelan Parallel League Starters"
"Cards Venezuelan Parallel League Relievers"
"Cards Venezuelan Parallel League Hitters"



Jose Cortez (18-VSL) played in 27 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .231 with a .310 OBP and .333 SLG. Cortez was 18-for-78 with 13 runs, 5 doubles, 1 home run, 10 RBI's, 26 total bases, 3 walks, and 1 stolen base. Cortez struck out 15% (12) of the time and only had 4 errors. He played a majority of his time in LF, but also spent time in LF and CF. Cortez started out the season as a starter in the outfield, but was moved to the bench at the end of October. He spot started after being moved to the bench.

Cortez had a four-game hitting streak in the beginning of November were he went 4-for-15 (.267) with 1 HR, 2 doubles, 6 RBI's, 3 runs, and only 3 strike outs. He was not a consistent hitter during the winter season, one of the main reasons he came off the bench. As a reserve, Cortez hit 5-for-17 (.294). Cortez best game came November 5th when he hit 1-for-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI's, and 2 runs. He did not play any games in December for the Cardinals Parallel team. Cardinals must have had plans on him being a starting outfielder, but those plans didn't go through.

Cortez' stats were really similar to his past season at VSL, just with a drop in at bats, doubles, total bases, and AVG. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 10-3, 4 RBI's)

Yorbel Alcala (17-VSL) played 27 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .351 with a .425 OBP and .446 SLG. Alcala was 26-for-74 with 13 runs, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 14 RBI's, 33 total bases, and 8 walks. Alcala only struck out 19% (14) of the time, had 4 errors, and no passed balls. He played most of his time at the catcher position, but also had spot starts at 1B and DH. I had him pegged as the starting catcher but soon went back through his games and noticed he backed up Moscatel in five or so games and Moscatel never backed him up.

Alcala ended his winter season with a six-game hitting streak going 10-for-21 (.476) with 1 home run, 2 doubles, 5 RBI's, 5 runs, 1 sac fly, 1 walk, only 3 strike outs. Alcala's best game came December 8th when he hit 3-for-4 with 1 double, 2 runs, 1 strike out, and assisted in 1 double play.

Alcala's stats improved dramatically compared to what he put up in VSL and his fielding was much improved. Let's hope he continues this, because he has some competition coming in next year with Moscatel. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 8-3, 4 RBI's)

Hector Garcia (17-VSL) The third baseman played in 22 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .232 with a .323 OBP and .286 SLG. Garcia was 13-for-56 with 9 runs, 3 doubles, 10 RBI's, 16 total bases, and 6 walks. He struck out 27% (15) of the time and had only 2 errors. He mainly was a pinch hitter or substituted for position players. When he played in the field it was either 3B or 1B.

In late November, he had a five-game hitting streak as he went 5-for-18 (.278) with 1 double, 4 RBI's, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 strike outs, and assisted in 1 double play. His best game came November 29th when he hit 2-for-5 with 3 RBI's, 1 run, 1 walk, and assisted in 1 double play. He did manage to knock in runs when hitting with runners in scoring position (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 11-3, 7 RBI's).

Garcia played the same role he did at VSL, with a little improvement compared to the regular season. He could be a solid bat off the bench if he continues his recent progress.

Anthony Fonseca (18-VSL) played in 17 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .324 with a .410 OBP and .412 SLG. Fonseca was 11-for-34 with 7 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBI's, 14 total bases, and 1 stolen base. He only struck out 18% (6) of the time, had only 1 error, and was caught stealing once. He made spot starts for the team mainly in RF, but a couple games at LF and CF. Fonseca's best game came December 8th in which he went 2-for-3 with 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 run, and 1 strike out.

Like Garcia, Fonseca played basically the same role he did for VSL, but with much improvement in the winter season. I see him maybe contending for a starting role for VSL next year if he continues his progress. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 5-1, 1 RBI)

Roberto Perez (19-VSL) played 14 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .171 with a .279 OBP and .257 SLG. Perez was 6-for-35 with 4 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBI's, 9 total bases, and 5 walks. He struck out a horrible 42% (15) of the time and only had 1 error. Perez was supposed to be the starting first baseman, but really never caught on in the hitting department and was moved to the bench. Perez best game came November 8th when he went 2-for-4 with 1 triple, 1 run, 1 strike out, and assisted in 1 double play.

Perez showed no improvement over the winter season compared to his VSL season. If he continues his lack of progress over the next season and given his age, I would figure him to be cut from the farm system. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 3-0, 0 RBI's)

Gerardo Mannbel (17-VSL) played in 14 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .267 with a .404 OBP and .356 SLG. Mannbel was 12-for-45 with 7 runs, 4 doubles, 7 RBI's, 16 total bases, 10 walks (9th on the team), and 1 stolen base. Mannbel only struck out 13% (6) of the time, had 5 errors, and was caught stealing once. Mannbel appears to have shown a lot of patience at the plate with his walks and strike outs. Mannbel played mainly LF, RF, or 3B, but had some time at 2B and SS. Mannbel's best game came December 13th when he hit 4-for-5 with 1 RBI, 1 run, and 1 walk.

Much like Ruiz, Mannbel didn't get any real playing time at shortstop like he did in the VSL, due to Obregon and Bolivar. But he did play a solid fill position player role when players needed rest. Mannbel showed a little improvement this winter compared to his VSL season. I would expect him to be the starting shortstop this next season at VSL much like last year. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 4-1, 3 RBI's)

Alexander Castellano (19-Fall signing) played 13 games for the Cardinal Parallel team, batting .200 with .306 OBP and .300 SLG. Castellano was 6-for-30 with 9 runs, 1 home run, 4 RBI's, 9 total bases, 3 walks, and 1 stolen base. He struck out 20% (6) of the time, had only 1 error, and was caught stealing once. Castellano played all his games in RF, except for a couple when he was a pinch runner or filled in at LF. Castellano's best game came November 16th when he went 2-for-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI's, 2 runs, and 1 strike out.

Castellano came in a month into the season and has no prior experience in pro ball. Guess we will have to wait ‘til next season in the VSL to gather more info on him. Maybe he will contend for an outfield position. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 5-1, 3 RBI's)

Wilfred Vivas (18-VSL) played in 11 games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .125 with a .222 OBP and .125 SLG. Vivas was 2-for-16 with 2 runs, 2 total bases, and 2 walks. Vivas struck out 19% (3) of the time and had only 1 error. He mainly was a pinch runner, but did get some time at second base (backing up Garcia).

If Garcia wasn't in the Parallel League, Vivas would have had more playing time. He really needed that to improve on his fielding and hitting. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 2-0, 0 RBI's)

Kaisar Inojosa (17-July 2nd signing) played eight games for the Cardianls Parallel team, batting .050 with a .095 OBP and .050 SLG. Inojosa was 1-for-20 with 2 runs, 1 total base, and 1 walk. Inojosa struck out 40% (8) of the time and had 4 errors. He played a bulk of his games in CF, and had few stints in RF, LF, and as a pinch hitter. His best game came December 15th when he hit 1-for-5 with 1 run.

Inojosa's strike out percentage and errors may be high, but he has no prior experience in pro ball. Will have to wait ‘til next season to see how he turns out.

Henry Guerrero (25-Springfield) played eight games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .296 with a .417 OBP and .407 SLG. Guerrero was 8-for-27 with 5 runs, 3 doubles, 7 RBI's, 11 total bases, and 6 walks. Guerrero struck out 22% (6) of the time and had 4 errors. He played most of his games as a fill in at 1B, but spent some time as catcher. His best game came November 6th when he hit 2-for-3 with 2 doubles, 4 RBI's, 2 runs, and 1 strike out.

The only reason I can think of that he played for the Parallel team is to fill in at first base, maybe work on his hitting, and give pointers to the younger players. Guerrero also played for the Caribes team in the Venezuelan League. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 4-1, 1 RBI)

Francisco Guzman (19-VSL) played in seven games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .214 with a .214 OBP and .500 SLG. Guzman was 3-for-14 with 1 run, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI's, and 7 total bases. He struck out only 14% (2) of the time, had no errors, and 1 passed ball. Guzman spent most of his time at catcher, but also had a couple stints at 1B. He only played in the beginning of the winter season, with no appearances after mid-November. His best game came October 13th, when he hit 2-for-4 with 1 home run, 1 RBI, and 1 run.

Guzman showed a lot more power than what he did for VSL this past season, but he only played a limited amount of games. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 3-1, 1 RBI)

Carlos Yequez (17-July 2nd signing) played in seven games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .188 with a .278 OBP and .188 SLG. Yequez was 3-for-16 with 1 run, 3 total bases, 2 walks, and 1 stolen base. Yequez struck out 38% (6) of the time and had only 1 error. Yequez played a majority of his games at 2B, with a couple stints at SS and 3B. His best game came December 13th when he went 1-for-5 with 1 run and 2 strike outs.

His strike outs might be high, but like a few others he has no prior experience in pro ball. Could he contend for the 2B position next year or be just another platoon infielder? (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 1-0, o RBI's)

Wilson Perez (18-VSL) played in six games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .048 with a .130 OBP and .190 SLG. Perez was 1-for-21 with 1 run, 1HR, 1 RBI, 4 total bases, 2 walks, and 1 stolen base. He struck out a horrible 71% (15) of the time and had only 1 error. He managed to strike out in every game and had multiple games with multiple strike outs. He began the season starting in RF, but soon was moved to the bench for his lack of hitting. And he never played another game after November 7th. Perez's best game came November 3rd when he went 1-for-3 with 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 run, and 2 strike outs.

Like Roberto Perez, Wilson Perez showed no improvement in Parallel League play. If he continues through the next season with the same numbers, he might also not make it in the farm system. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 3-0, 0 RBI's)

Peter Jaspe (17-VSL) played in five games for the Cardinals Parallel team, batting .143 with a .200 OBP and .143 SLG. Jaspe was 2-for-14 with 2 runs, 2 total bases, 1 walk, and 1 stolen base. Jaspe struck out 36% (5) of the time and had no errors. He played most of his games in LF, but also played CF. His best game came October 20th when he hit 1-for-4 with 1 run.

Like Wilson Perez, Jaspe never played a game after the first couple weeks of November. Jaspe showed a major decline in his numbers compared to VSL, but some of that could be due to lack of playing time. (runners left in scoring position, 2-outs: 1-0, 0 RBI's)

Jose Valera (N/A) played in one game for the Cardinals Parallel team. He was a pinch hitter for Jose Cortez and was left in the game to play 3B. He went 0-for-1 with 1 run. There is no further information on Valera, so we will have to wait to see if and where he shows up next season.

Jesus R. Montero (16-July 2nd signing) was also on the roster for the Cardinals Parallel team, but never played in a game. It could be because of his youth and the fact the team already had a good amount of possible catching prospects.



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