Winterball Roundup - 10/16-17

Three Rangers position players combined to reach base nine times for the Surprise Rafters on Saturday afternoon. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at the weekend's winterball action.

Arizona Fall League: Surprise 10 – Phoenix 4
2-3, 0.5 GB

• Catcher Jose Felix often earns rave reviews from the Rangers' developmental staff for his abilities as a defender. He isn't generally known for his bat.

But the 22-year-old had a strong performance on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. With five hits and three doubles in his first three games, the prospect is off to a quick start offensively.

Despite an aggressive approach that led to only one walk in 107 Double-A plate appearances, Felix rarely strikes out due to his excellent hand-eye coordination. He fanned just six times (5.6%) after the promotion to Frisco.

The Mexico native showed some maturity as a hitter this season. He did a better job of keeping his front foot square to the pitcher, allowing him to make more solid and consistent contact. If Felix becomes more selective, he could develop into a defensive-minded big league backup catcher.

• Second baseman Davis Stoneburner also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored. The 6-foot-0, 175-pound infielder has surprising pop for his size (51 extra-base hits in 117 games) and batted .289 during the regular season.

• The Rafters got another strong performance from leadoff hitter and centerfielder Engel Beltre, who had a single, a walk, and a hit-by pitch in five plate appearances. Like Felix, the 20-year-old Beltre makes plenty of contact but must improve his pitch selection. He has two walks in his first four Fall League games.

• Reliever Corey Young, who was added to the Surprise roster prior to Saturday's game, tossed a scoreless inning on just eight pitches. The southpaw threw six fastballs between 88-91 mph and a pair of 77-78 mph curveballs. He got two groundouts and a flyout around a hit batsman.

Young projects as an intriguing lefty specialist providing he locates his fastball down in the zone. The 23-year-old comes from a deceptive arm angle with a sinker and a sharp-breaking curveball. Fellow left-handers posted a punchless .176/.317/.206 line against him in the Cal League this regular season.

Adalberto Flores came in after Young and threw only 11 strikes in 26 pitches. He recorded two outs, giving up a run on three walks and a hit. Flores walked in a run with one of his free passes before Cardinals prospect Blake King came on to extinguish the fire.

The Fall League was quiet on Sunday. Surprise returns to action against Scottsdale on Monday afternoon.

Venezuelan Winter League

Saturday's La Guaira game was completed after seven innings due to rain, but leadoff hitter and third baseman Renny Osuna still logged four plate appearances. Osuna went 1-for-4 with a double in the losing effort. After leading off the contest with a two-bagger, he flew out to right twice and popped to short once.

The Tiburones played the full nine innings on Sunday. Osuna batted eighth and went hitless in four trips, striking out once. David Paisano entered in right field as a late defensive replacement. He laid down a successful sacrifice bunt in his lone at-bat.

Coming off a disastrous winterball debut, Rangers top prospect Martin Perez was much more effective in his second start with Magallanes. The 19-year-old hurled three scoreless innings on Sunday, working around two hits and a walk. He struck out one.

Perez allowed baserunners in the first two frames but finished with a 1-2-3 third inning. He kept the ball in the infield, getting a groundout, a popout, and a lineout from the top three hitters in the Lara order.

Catcher Max Ramirez (La Guaira) and pitcher Guillermo Moscoso (Caracas) are expected to join their respective clubs within the next few days.

Mexican Pacific League

The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.

Dominican Winter League

The Dominican Winter League will begin its season on October 22.

Puerto Rican Winter League

The season in Puerto Rico will also commence on October 22.

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