TigsTown MLN: How 's Avila Looking

Play continues down in the Dominican, Venezuela and elsewhere with winter ball underway, and eyes have been focused on Tigers' catcher Alex Avila, who has already been crowned by some as the team's next backstop. How's Avila looking so far this fall?

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

The player now dubbed the Tigers catcher of the future, Alex Avila, finished his winter season with a disappointing game that goes along with a relatively disappointing overall performance. Avila finished the DWL season with an 0-for-3 performance that dropped his overall line to .140/.228/.160 with just one extra-base hit in 15 games.

One NL scout that saw Avila play in the Dominican felt he may have just been run down after a long season, saying "He didn't look like the same player. He looked exhausted out there."

Avila's teammate, Brennan Boesch, started out strong in the DWL, but he too has seen his numbers dive over the last few weeks. Boesch did not play this week, and both he and Avila have headed back to the US to rest up for spring training.

One Tigers prospect still seeing time on the field in the Dominican is outfielder Wilkin Ramirez. Ramriez saw additional action in four games since our last update, and he managed a 5-for-14 performance in those games. Ramirez is still seeing plenty of time in center field, though reports are still varied on the success of the experiment, with some scouts indicating they think he could be an average defender out there, and others seeing a guy that is over-matched by the vast expanse of center field.

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

With Zach Simons gone from the VWL, there is little Tigers action in the league, but there are a few of the Tigers young Venezuelan prospects that are still seeing limited time on the field.

Reliever Lester Oliveros has now seen action in seven games for Caribes, with one outing coming in the last week. Oliveros tossed 3 2/3 innings this week with three hits and one walk allowed, along with two strikeouts. Though Oliveros has a lofty 5.93 ERA, he has managed 12 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings, but five walks and 11 hits in that same span has done him in.

Right-hander Brayan Villarreal has also seen time on the mound with Caribes, though there have been no outings in the last week. In his three outings, Brayan has tossed four innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.

Both Oliveros and Villarreal are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December, and their winter performances could help the organization make a determination on whether to protect them on the 40-man roster.

The Tigers also have two toolsy outfielders seeing time with Caribes, as Alexis Espinoza and Avisail Garcia have both gotten a few at-bats with the club.

In five games, Espinoza has amassed 16 at-bats, ripping a double and a triple among his five hits, while scoring three runs. Espinoza has seen regular playing time in the outfield over the last week, appearing in five games in the last seven days.

Garcia has seen action in only three games, with two of those appearances being pinch running stints where he has scored after entering the game. In his lone full action, Avisail went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Josh Rainwater has not seen additional action since his first outing in Puerto Rico, but he should still see some relief innings for Ponce as the winter league continues.

Casey Fien on the other hand saw time in last night's game tossing a perfect inning of relief with one strikeout in Ponce's 8-2 victory over Caguas.

The Tigers other two youngsters (very young), Giovany Soto and Edwin Gomez, in Puerto Rico have yet to see the field in game action, and they may not see time on the field this winter given just how raw they remain as players.

Liga Colombiana de Beisbol Profesional

Another week goes by, and another outstanding performance from hard-throwing right-hander Ramon Lebron. Lebron ha snow managed to compile an impressive 2.37 ERA over four outings. In his 19 innings on the mound, Lebron has allowed only 13 hits and four walks, while striking out 21. His stuff has been fantastic by most early reports, and hitters are having a hard time catching up to his blazing fastball, as 14 of his 21 strikeouts have been swinging.

Liga Paralela

The Tigers squad in Liga Paralela got back on the winning track this week, with a 3-2 record since our last update. The pitching was the story this week, allowing just nine runs in the team's three wins, but allowing an ugly 26 runs in the two losses.

The big stories continue to be Luis Salas and Hernan Perez for the Tigers. After another strong week for both players, their respective lines sit at .262/.382/.476 in 30 games, and .356/.385/.625 in 29 games. With experience stateside, both players are exerting themselves and helping the young Tigers squad to remain competitive in the Parallel League.

First year shortstop Erick Soto is also turning in a strong performance in the fall league, hitting .355 in 76 at-bats, with seven doubles, seven RBI, and six walks.

Toolsy outfielder Alexander Moreno also deserves mention for his strong performance through 22 games (all starts), as he has hit .361 with three doubles and two triples to go along with nine walks and two stolen bases.

On the hill, Yofrank Lopez made his Liga Paralela debut this week, and while the 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief are nice to see, of larger note is the health of his shoulder that shut him down during the Venezuelan Summer League season.

Also making his debut this week was Juan Espinoza. Espinoza picked up the win in his lone outing with a scoreless inning of relief, despite allowing two hits.

Left-hander Jose Siso has moved to the bullpen to keep his innings in check, and he is dominating at the back end of games for the Tigers. Now having picked up two saves at the end of games, Siso has struck out 26 hitters in just 21 2/3 innings this fall, while allowing 21 hits and eight walks.

The Tigers most dominating starter has continued to be right-hander Josue Carreno. Through six starts, Carreno has a 2-1 record and 2.25 ERA over 24 innings. In that span, he has allowed just 22 hits and eight walks, while striking out 21.

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