Rangers Winterball Roundup – 10/15

Venezuelan right-hander Wilfredo Boscan dealt five shutout frames in his first career winterball start on Saturday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's winterball action in the Texas Rangers' system.

Arizona Fall League: Surprise 3 – Mesa 14
8-2, 2.5 GU

There were strikeouts aplenty in Saturday's game at Surprise. The nine hitters in the Saguaros lineup combined to whiff 14 times.

Leadoff man and shortstop Leury Garcia was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. He also stole his second base and committed his first error.

Garcia, who has phenomenal range and arm strength but still struggles with his error totals, has split his action between shortstop and second base thus far in the Fall League.

DH Elio Sarmiento batted eighth and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Left fielder Ryan Strausborger––batting ninth––fanned once in four hitless at-bats.

Through six AFL games, Strausborger is 5-for-21 (.238) with a double, a triple, a walk, and eight strikeouts.

Baseball World Cup

The bronze medal game between the U.S. and Canada was rained out on Saturday, meaning both teams will finish in a tie for third place. The Netherlands took home its first-ever Baseball World Cup victory.

In 11 tournament games, third baseman Tom Mendonca went 10-for-42 (.238) with a double, three home runs, and seven runs batted in. Chad Tracy appeared in seven games, going 3-for-26 (.115) with a double and two RBI.

The club will fly back to the United States before traveling to Mexico for the Pan American Games between October 18 and 25.

Venezuelan Winter League

After pitching well in a relief appearance earlier in the week, right-hander Wilfredo Boscan earned the first start of his winterball career on Saturday.

The 21-year-old earned the victory in his first start, hurling five scoreless innings while scattering four hits. He fanned four without issuing a base on balls.

Boscan opened the 2011 regular season at Double-A Frisco but was sent back to High-A Myrtle Beach after some early struggles. It was a tough season overall for Boscan, who went 5-15 with a 5.04 earned-run average in 141 innings.

The 6-foot-2 hurler once ranked among the Rangers' organization's top young arms, but his velocity hasn't taken the once-projected step forward, as it still sits between 87-91 mph. Although he features a plus changeup, he still struggles with his breaking ball.

There's still some time for Boscan, who turns 22-years-old later this month. The 2012 season will be an important one for the Venezuelan prospect.

Liga Paralela (Venezuela Minor League)

No Rangers appeared in the circuit on Saturday.

Dominican Winter League

Much like Boscan, righty Carlos Pimentel is also looking to bounce back from an inconsistent season while getting his first-ever winterball action. Pimentel, who turns 22 in December, tossed three innings of no-hit, shutout ball for Escogido on Saturday. He walked one and struck out three.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound prospect pitched the entire 2011 regular season with Double-A Frisco. He posted a 4.74 ERA in 142.1 innings, yielding 128 hits, walking 80, and striking out 110.

Pimentel's velocity took a step forward this season, as he began sitting at 89-92 mph and touching up to 95. He also works with a curveball, a slider, and a changeup.

The biggest key for Pimentel will be learning to command his fastball at the higher velocity. After having just 35 free passes in 123 innings at Single-A Hickory in '09, Pimentel topped the Texas League in walks issued this season.

Licey centerfielder Engel Beltre was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his second game of the season.

Mexican Pacific League

Guasave backstop Jose Felix went hitless in four at-bats, striking out once. He is 1-for-8 with a double through two contests.

Felix, 23, is trying to finish on a strong note––like outfielder Engel Beltre, who is playing in the Dominican Republic. Following a strong offensive campaign in 2010, Felix batted just .228/.263/.297 in 72 contests at Double-A Frisco this season.

While the Mexico native projects as a potential future backup catcher due to his plus abilities behind the plate, the Rangers certainly hope to get more production from his bat.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Begins November 4.

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