The league, designed to enhance teaching, is organized similarly to the Dominican Summer League. The teams are "owned" by the MLB organizations, staffed by players from their academies, with an occasional tryout player (not yet signed) passing through.
Because it is an instructional format and the focus is on learning, the stat-keeping is not as rigorous as in many other leagues. The numbers that follow were accumulated in divisional play only.
The first-place Cards suited up for 20 games in a four-team Santo Domingo North Division against players from the Phillies, Athletics and Mariners. The listed team order aligns with the 2009 standings, as the St. Louis entry went an impressive 14-4-2. Their .778 win mark was 4.5 games better than the Phils.
The Cardinals also added two late games that were not scored by the league. In addition, stats from interdivision games, primarily with teams representing Boston and San Diego are not included.
Following are some of the divisional leaders. Note the Cards had the top three run scorers. Nice to see some offense from the academy players, though results were concentrated in a relative few.
Checking out the detailed stats, it was great to see the debuts of top July 2nd signings like third baseman Roberto De La Cruz and pitcher Santo Franco and previously injured players like catcher Luis De La Cruz and pitcher Elvis Hernandez get some work in. (Note that in his one outing, "The Mosquito" yielded three hits and fanned the side!)
Though I tried to correct many of them, there are sure to be misspellings remaining in the tables. Again, consider these numbers a gauge only. With so few at-bats or innings pitched, no conclusions should be drawn.
Cardinals Director of International Operations Moises Rodriguez called out four pitchers when asked for names of some emerging hurlers to keep an eye on. They are Amaury Castillo, Eddy Rivera ("94-95 mph and an electric arm"), Angel De Jesus, and of course, six-figure bonus baby Franco ("highest ceiling of anyone we have at the academies").
Link to Cardinals Dominican Instructional League Statistics. (Due to space considerations, they had to be placed on a separate page.)
Look for some of these players to make the trek to the US for Extended Spring Training while most will compete in the 2009 Dominican Summer League.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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