Rangers Winterball Roundup – 10/20

The youngest player in the Arizona Fall League this season, 18-year-old prospect Luis Sardinas belted a home run and had four RBI for Surprise 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 16 – Mesa 10

The Surprise Saguaros' bats pounded out seven runs in each of the first two innings before cruising to a 16-run outburst.

Leadoff-hitting shortstop Luis Sardinas was the only Rangers prospect in the Surprise lineup on Saturday, but he helped fuel the club's early offensive outburst.

Sardinas, who hit only two home runs in 96 games at Single-A Hickory this season, socked a two-run round tripper in the second inning. Overall, he went 2-for-6 with that homer and four RBI. He also struck out three times.

Through his first four AFL games, the 19-year-old Sardinas is 6-for-18 (.333) with that homer, a walk, and five strikeouts. The Venezuela native is the youngest player in this year's Arizona Fall League.

Submarining reliever Ben Rowen worked around a walk in two-thirds of an inning to finish the third. The unique right-hander featured a 79-81 mph fastball with a 71-72 mph slider, according to the Surprise Stadium pitch f/x system.

Dominican Winter League

Licey's trio of Rangers prospects accounted for three of the club's six hits on Saturday. Third baseman Mike Olt (1/3, 2B, BB) and left fielder Engel Beltre (1/2, 2B) both doubled while centerfielder Leonys Martin (1/3) added a single and a run-scoring sacrifice fly.

Gigantes del Cibao leadoff hitter and second baseman Leury Garcia continued his hot start to the winterball campaign by going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.

While Garcia committed his fourth fielding error in five games, he's also hitting .545 in those first five games.

Triple-A Round Rock relievers Johan Yan and Fabio Castillo each appeared for their respective clubs on Saturday. Yan and Castillo, who were initially signed by the Rangers as 16-year-old prospects out of the Dominican Republic, are set to become six-year free agents this offseason.

The sidearming Yan retired all seven batters he faced in long relief, getting five strikeouts and two groundouts. Castillo tossed 1.2 scoreless innings for his club, working around two hits and striking out two.

Venezuelan Winter League

The Navegantes del Magallanes scored seven runs in their final two at-bats in Saturday's 11-5 victory, and Rangers prospect Eduard Pinto played his part off the bench. Pinto entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning and singled in his only plate appearance.

Although La Guaira left-hander Joe Ortiz didn't permit a run in one-third of an inning. he gave up a hit and walked a batter. Arlett Mavare allowed three runs on three hits in two innings, walking one and fanning three.

All three of the runs scored off Mavare came via an Eliezer Alfonzo home run in the third inning.

Making his second start of the winterball season, Aguilas del Zulia right-hander Wilfredo Boscan hurled five innings of two-hit shutout ball, striking out three and walking one. The 22-year-old Boscan hasn't allowed a run in eight innings over those first two starts.

Liga Paralela (Venezuela Minor League)

The Liga Paralela had Saturday off.

Mexican Pacific League

Playing in his second game for Mazatlan, cleanup hitter and right fielder Joey Butler singled and walked in five plate appearances. He also struck out twice.

Butler made his Mexican Pacific League debut on Friday by belting a home run in his only at-bat.

Jose Felix got the start behind the plate for Guasave and went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly, bringing home his club's only run of the contest. Felix also threw out Culiacan's only attempted base stealer.

World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Qualification for the 2013 World Baseball Classic began on September 19, when two of the four qualifying round groups were played. Spain and Canada each won their respective group and earned a spot in next year's Classic.

The Spanish and Canadian squads each feature one Rangers prospect. For Spain, it's outfielder Engel Beltre, who was actually born in the Dominican Republic and lived in the United States for a period while growing up. Regardless, Beltre is eligible to play for the Spanish side. Playing as the club's leadoff hitter and centerfielder, the 22-year-old prospect went 6-for-16 (.375) with a triple in four games. He also drew four walks, was hit by a pitch, and stole three bases.

Rangers catching prospect Kellin Deglan is the youngest player on Team Canada's squad by two and a half years. Working as the club's backup catcher, Deglan appeared in one game as a defensive replacement but didn't get a plate appearance.

Left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier made two appearances for Israel, who finished as runners-up to Spain in Qualifier 1. Bleier tossed one hitless, scoreless inning between the two games, working around a pair of walks.

In other international baseball news involving Rangers prospects, infielder Nick Urbanus recently competed in the 2012 European Baseball Championship. Although Urbanus played well, his Dutch side fell to Italy in the title game. But over nine games, Urbanus was 11-for-28 (.393) at the plate with a double, two triples, three walks, and eight runs batted in. He saw time at second base, shortstop, and third base during the tournament.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Begins November 8.

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