Cards 2012 Venezuelan Parallel League Recap

Final results of Cardinals prospects competing in the 2012 Venezuelan Parallel League.

Venezuelan Parallel League

The Venezuelan Parallel League season ran from mid-October through mid-December.

Bravos –
- Ismael Brito: The Bravos played 43 games and Brito appeared in 10, starting once. He yielded single tallies in three outings, including his start, but never more than that number. Six of nine relief appearances lasted at least one inning.

Brito's sole win came in his start when he limited the Tiburones to a run on four hits and two free passes issued in four while fanning five. His most impressive relief appearance was on November 6th when he escaped an inherited jam via a swinging strikeout and two pop outs to strand three. The righty began his stint with runners on only twice, the other time being with a runner on first, two outs and Brito came through then as well.

He induced 19 ground outs and 14 fly outs to go with 9 strikeouts. Brito allowed less than a hit per inning pitched but control was his main difficulty as he walked an average of 6.5 every nine innings against an average of 5.3 strikeouts.
Season: 1.76 ERA/4.37 FIP, 10 G, 1 GS, 15.1 IP, 14 H, 3 R/ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 2 WP, 11 BB, 9 SO, 1.63 WHIP, .255 BAA, .304 BABIP

- Breyvic Valera: Valera began his season with the Bravos' Venezuelan League squad where he appeared in one game on October 18th prior to his transfer to the Venezuelan Parallel League. A big factor in the decision to re-assign the 20-year-old may have been playing time since Margarita appeared to go with an older, more experienced shortstop in Philadelphia's Edgar Duran, who turns 22 in less than a month and spent the 2012 season in the Florida State League.

In any event, Valera debuted with the Bravos on October 23rd, playing in 32 of their final 35 games with 31 starts. He made 29 starts at short and one each at second and in right. His .379 batting average ranked him fifth in the league and he was the youngest player in the top five by almost a year minimum. All five are affiliated with Major League teams.

Consistently, Valera was the Bravos' lead-off batter but his .442 on-base percentage was driven by his .379 batting since he drew only 13 base-on-balls in 148 plate appearances. The 20-year-old was a very disciplined hitter, fanning only nine times in all or once every 16.4 plate appearances on average.

He posted a line of .420/.467/.536/1.003, 29-for-69, through his first 16 games with three doubles, a triple, his only long ball of the season and five walks against four strikeouts. Valera was successful in five of six stolen base attempts during that span. The final 16 games saw him go .333/.417/.429/.845, 21-for-63, with six doubles, eight walks and five strikeouts. He swiped six bags and was caught stealing three times. Overall, Valera had 49 putouts, 113 assists and made seven errors.
Season: .379/.442/.485/.927, 132 AB, 24 R, 50 H, 9 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 13 BB, 9 SO, 11 SB, 4 CS, .402 BABIP, 7 E, 6.1 K%, 8.8 BB%

Caracas –
- Gerwuins Velazco: Velazco saw his playing diminish as the season progressed. He played in four of Caracas' first five games, three starts, singling once in 12 at bats. He took part in four of the next eight contests, three starts, going 5-for-11 with a double before appearing in just nine of the last 31, seven starts.

Velazco made seven starts at first, four catching and two as the designated hitter, batting mainly either seventh or eighth. Five of his six errors were at first base with the other at catcher. The 21-year-old displayed little pop with his bat, mustering a .320 slugging percentage and drew only five base-on-balls. Velazco struck out once every 6.9 plate appearances/6.25 at bats on average.
Season: .220/.291/.320/.611, 50 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .244 BABIP, 6 E, 14.5 K%, 9.1 BB%

Caribes –
- Ronnierd Garcia: Garcia had a tough season in the Venezuelan Parallel League as he was unable to capitalize on opportunities. He started in 12 of the Caribes' 14 October games but went .182/.229/.341/.570 in 44 at bats, with five singles, a double, two home runs, one base-on-balls, 14 strikeouts and a .207 BABIP.

As his playing time began to decrease in November, Garcia went from playing third to acting as the designated hitter. He saw his numbers drop even further, .106/.154/.149/.303, 5-for-47 with two doubles, two walks, 11 strikeouts and a .132 BABIP. He finished by hitting safely in his last five games from November 29th through December 7th, singling three times and doubling twice in 15 at bats while working six base-on-balls and striking out four times. Garcia mainly hit in the seven hole but the second most was third, interestingly enough.
Season: .170/.254/.274/.528, 106 AB, 10 R, 18 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 9 BB, 29 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS, .205 BABIP, 6 E, 23.8 K%, 7.4 BB%

- Alirio Negrette: Negrette's season was a tale of dwindling returns as the season progressed. The lefty was part of the Caribes' rotation, pitching once every six-to-seven days from October 12th through November 20th. His 2.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through his first three starts were driven by only four hits yielded in nine innings for a .129 BAA and an extremely low .111 BABIP. Negrette issued six free passes against only three strikeouts and he had a 6.31 FIP. At that point he had recorded 15 ground outs versus nine fly outs.

His production over his last four starts was minimal, at best. Negrette coughed up 19 runs, 18 earned, on 22 hits and 12 base-on-balls in 12.2 plus frames for a 12.80 ERA, 8.33 FIP and 2.69 WHIP. The opposition teed off to a tune of a .407 batting average with a .432 BABIP. Negrette had 10 ground outs and 15 fly outs over that span. Looking a bit closer at those four starts, seven of the 19 runs yielded crossed after his departure from the contest. Negrette was prone to ‘losing it' fairly quickly with very bad results and the bullpen was unable to escape jams with multiple runners on and only one or no outs.

He made one last appearance out of the bullpen on November 27th where he took the loss after giving up three tallies, earned, on three hits and two walks in just one inning. Negrette never faced the same team twice.
Season: 9.13 ERA/8.05 FIP, 8 G, 7 GS, 22.2 IP, 29 H, 24 R, 23 ER, 5 HR, 3 HB, 20 BB, 12 SO, 2.16 WHIP, .319 BAA, .320 BABIP, 7.94 BB/9 IP, 4.76 SO/9 IP

Cesar Valera
- Cesar Valera: Valera took the bench in favor of Detroit farmhand Luis Cortez at short in the early going but seized a starting job when he got the chance to play.

After two pinch hit appearances, he made first start on October 22nd and went .360/.370/.560/.930, 9-for-25, with three doubles and a triple through the end of October. Valera became his squad's starter at short with former St. Louis' signee Ted Obregon spelling him on days off and Cortez being shifted eventually to right.

Valera compiled a line of .267/.333/.400/.733, 16-for-60, with five doubles and a long ball in November and finished the season by going .286/.400/.619/1.019, 6-for-21, with two doubles, a triple and a home run in December.

An item to note is Valera's increasing plate discipline as the season wore on. He walked once in 27 plate appearances in October, four times in 69 plate appearances in November for an average of 1:17.25 BB/PA and three times in 25 plate appearances (1:8.3 BB/PA) in December. As his walks increased, Valera's strikeouts decreased from an average of one every 4.2 at bats in October to one every 5.45 in November before taking a slight dip to one every 5.25 in December.

Valera's slot in the batting order ranged from second to seventh (excluding fourth) but mainly hit either sixth or seventh. Defensively, he had 35 putouts, 90 assists and committed 12 errors.
Season: .292/.355/.481/.836, 106 AB, 15 R, 31 H, 10 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 8 BB, 21 SO, 5 SB, 1 CS, .337 BABIP, 12 E

La Guaira –
- Anderson Gerdel: Gerdel tossed 29.2 innings in 10 outings, including two starts, from October 13th through December 13th. He faced two teams twice but those appearances came at least a month apart. The righty stranded all seven runners he inherited over three stints, six of them in scoring position and five of those coming with only one out. Five of the 13 earned runs he gave up were the result of three long balls.

While Gerdel's shortest stint was 1.1 frames, he was never pulled in the midst of an inning. His worst outing on October 30th in which he yielded seven tallies, five earned, on 10 hits in four innings bumps up his overall numbers as he only allowed as many as three runs in an appearance one other time. Gerdel walked an average of 2.12 batters every nine innings while averaging just under seven strikeouts per game for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.3:1. He recorded 28 ground outs and 32 fly outs.
Season: 3.94 ERA/3.87 FIP, 10 G, 2 GS, 29.2 IP, 35 H, 16 R, 13 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 7 BB, 23 SO, 1.42 WHIP, .299 BAA, .344 BABIP

- Dail Villanueva: Villanueva made three starts and three relief appearances from October 31st through December 3rd. While he faced two teams twice, his results the second time around did not differ significantly from the first go round. His performance was mediocre, at best.

Villanueva had a scoreless outing only once and he permitted multiple tallies in three of his remaining five stints. The southpaw, who turns 23 on January 23rd, walked almost as many batters (16) as he fanned (19), a 1.19:1 K/BB ratio. Villanueva had five ground outs to 17 fly outs.
Season: 6.00 ERA/4.73 FIP, 6 G, 3 GS, 15 IP, 18 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 16 BB, 19 SO, 2.27 WHIP, .305 BAA, .425 BABIP

- Kender Villegas: Villegas began the season with the La Guaira's Venezuelan League team where he tossed one inning on October 20th. The 19-year-old was re-assigned to the Venezuelan Parallel League, debuting there on October 25th with three scoreless frames against the Tiburones, a team he would face again on November 16th. Although Villegas was twice re-activated by the VL squad, after his November 16th outing to the beginning of December and again after the VPL season finished, he did not appear in another contest for them.

All 10 appearances by the right-hander came in relief, including an outing for the Tiburones on December 7th, and nine of 10 were for more than one inning. Villegas gave up just 17 hits in 24 frames, walked three batters every nine, on average, while fanning an average of 8.6 for a 2.9:1 K/BB ratio. The six tallies given up came in five appearances. He recorded 26 ground outs and 20 fly outs.
Season: 1.88 ERA/3.33 FIP, 10 G, 0 GS, 24 IP, 17 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 8 BB, 23 SO, 1.04 WHIP, .202 BAA, .267 BABIP

Zulia –
- Jose Gomez: Gomez was one of six catchers that started more than one game for Zulia during the season. From October 11th through early November, he was part of a trio that received the majority of the starts with Gomez receiving six. An additional catcher was injected into the ‘rotation' at that point which expanded his time between starts.

Gomez started just three more times after November 8th with one of those starts as the designated hitter. He was substituted into a contest at catcher four times during that time frame. It is difficult to draw any conclusions about Gomez' season with only 27 at bats over 13 games.
Season: .222/.323/.333/.656, 27 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .278 BABIP, 1 E

Related articles: Part one of this report covered Cardinals prospects' results the past week in Australia, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Part two provided last week's results from the Venezuelan League post-season.

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