Venezuelan Winter League has begun play and seven Cubs prospects (five pitchers) appear on the initial rosters in the eight-team league. Others may join as the season progresses and instructional league is over. Keep up to date with NSR’s winter league daily reports beginning on Oct. 13.
IF Bryant Flete, Zulia—The 23-year-old is starting at second and opened the VWL season slashing .360/.448/.600 over six games with a homer and four RBI. Flete began 2016 with South Bend (.228/.290/.342, 81 G, 4 HR) and was promoted to Myrtle Beach (.285/.395/.415, 34 G, 2 HR) in late July. He’s Rule 5 eligible.
LHP Yapson Gomez, Lara—The left-hander spent his first three seasons in the VSL with the Cubs and after a year in the DSL, made his stateside debut this summer in Mesa. The 23-year-old left-hander was one of the Cubs top bullpen arms, going 3-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 43.2 IP, 10 BB, 50 K, 1.03 WHIP. Gomez has made two appearances in the VWL, allowing a hit and a walk to the only two hitters he’s faced.
RHP Mark Malave, Caribes—The right-hander made the switch from a position player to the mound in 2015 and fared well in his first full season. Malave, 21, went 8-for-8 in save opportunities in Eugene and earned a promotion to South Bend in late August. Malave, Rule 5 eligible, has not pitched.
LHP Gerardo Concepcion, Magallanes—A member of the Cubs 40-man roster, the left-hander made his big league debut in 2016 after starting the year in AA. The Cuban native was nearly perfect in 17.2 innings at Tennessee, not allowing a run while only surrendering five hits. After 12 appearances at Iowa, Concepcion was promoted to Chicago and made his MLB debut June 21 vs. Cards, fanning two in 1.1 scoreless innings. After two more games in Miami, Concepcion we sent back to Iowa and really struggled, allowing 29 earned runs over 24.2 innings and a .389 BAA. Concepcion has appeared in three games, allowing four runs over 3.1 innings in Venezuela.
RHP Greyfer Eregua, Magallanes—The 22-year-old right-hander threw 74 relief innings for South Bend, going 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA. Eregua, in his fifth season with the Cubs organization, fanned 67 and only issued 13 free passes for a 1.09 WHIP. Eregua, Rule 5 eligible, has fanned five over four shutout frames in two games for Magallanes.
RHP Armando Rivero, Aragua—The Cuban right-hander led the Cubs organization with 14 K/9 in 67.2 innings in AAA but he also sported a 4.7 B/9 in his 43 appearances. Rivero, Rule 5 eligible, went 5-3 with a 2.13 ERA and one save. The 28-year-old fanned two and allowed two hits in two scoreless innings of work in two games for Aragua.
RHP Gioskar Amaya, Aragua—The minor league free agent is off to a hot start, going 9-for-17 (.529) with four extra base hits and three RBI in his first four games for the Tigers. An all-star second baseman in the Florida State League in 2014, Amaya made the switch to catcher in 2015 and spent 2016 between Myrtle Beach and Tennessee.null