A Minors Obsession

Winter league baseball is underway

As I wrote in my last column here at Redleg Nation, the winter league began last week for multiple leagues around the world. The Arizona Fall League, the Dominican Winter League, the Venezuelan Winter League and the Mexican Winter League have all started. The Australian Winter League gets started in a month. With Puerto Rico still struggling to get power and water to many of their citizens, I’d be very surprised if they played winter ball this year, though as far as I’ve seen there has been no official announcement.

Several players are out to good starts to their winter league seasons. Third baseman Taylor Sparks is wasting no time to make up for lost time. After being hit by a pitch and missing nearly two months of the regular season, the 24-year-old is out to a torrid start in the Arizona Fall League. He’s played in five games thus far and he’s hitting .429/.478/.667 with a triple, home run, two steals, six runs scored and seven RBI. He’s gone 9-21.

In the Mexican Winter League the Reds only have two players in the league currently: First baseman/outfielder Sebastian Elizalde and reliever Robert Stock. For Elizalde, it’s been much like the start for Sparks. The 25-year-old enters Tuesday night (the games in Mexico start very late so I won’t be updating his line by waiting until 2am when the game ends) hitting .421/.500/.684. That’s come along with three walks, two doubles, a home run, six runs scored, a steal and three RBI.

On the pitching side of things, right hander Jake Ehret is out to a quick start with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. The 24-year-old has made two appearances. Both were shutout appearances of 2.0 innings. He’s yet to walk a batter and he’s struck out five.

Here’s a rundown of how everyone is performing thus far, through games played before Tuesday night that is currently in a winter league:

Player LG AB
2B 3B
HR
BB
K AVG
OBP
SLG
Alcantara, Arismendy DWL 12 0 0 1 0 2 .250 .250 .500
Aquino, Aristides DWL 4 1 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .500
Bell, Brantley AFL 17 1 0 0 0 9 .235 .235 .294
Chavez, Alberti VWL 3 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Elizalde, Sebastian MWL 19 2 0 1 3 3 .421 .500 .684
Gonzalez, Luis DWL 6 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
Guerrero, Gabriel DWL 8 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .556 .500
Reynoso, Jonathan DWL 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Siri, Jose DWL 0 0 0 0 0 0 .— .— .—
Sparks, Taylor AFL 21 0 1 1 0 8 .429 .478 .667
Trahan, Blake AFL 12 0 0 0 1 2 .250 .308 .250
Tromp, Chad AFL 7 1 0 0 1 0 .571 .625 .714
Player LG W
ERA
IP H
HR
BB
K WHIP
AVG
Bautista, Wendolyn AFL 0 13.50 4.0 8 0 2 1 2.50 .400
Bender, Joel AFL 0 3.00 3.0 2 0 3 3 1.67 .222
Bernardino, Brennan AFL 0 0.00 2.0 0 0 0 2 0.00 .000
Ehret, Jake AFL 0 0.00 4.0 3 0 0 5 0.75 .231
Guillon, Ismael VWL 0 0.00 1.2 3 0 2 3 3.00 .429
Mella, Keury DWL 0 9.00 1.0 2 0 0 0 2.00 .400
Stock, Robert MWL 1 0.00 2.2 1 0 3 2 1.50 .167

Quick links of other notes

If you aren’t checking out RedsMinorLeagues.com, where I write about the farm system every day, you should be. But just in case you aren’t, there are a two stories you should probably check out.

The first is the return of a reliever throwing 99 MPH in instructional league after having Tommy John surgery and missing all of the 2017 season.

The other interesting story of the last week revolves around top prospect Nick Senzel. Dick Willaims spoke with C. Trent Rosecrans and Zach Buchanan about a whole bunch of things, one of which is where Senzel could eventually wind up. Apparently, there are a lot of different options.

4 thoughts on “Winter league baseball is underway

  1. Sebastian Elizalde was a surprise late, late spring cut last year. He had a respectable 2017 season at AAA. He’ll be 26 next year. He seems to not have the power (ISO) or the OBP for a corner OF. But with a K% of 12.5% at AAA last year, could he be a 5th OF and pinch hitter of the bench in 2018 for the Reds?? The Reds could use a LH bench bat for next year. What can you tell us about Sebastian Elizalde?? He isn’t a top prospect and doesn’t get much pub. Winker found more power at the ML level, could Elizalde??
    Let’s don’t put the cart before the horse when it comes to Nick Senzel. This vertigo thing he had is his first real bout with adversity in the minors. Let him get into spring training, get his feet down, find his stroke again, and then we can talk about when he gets promoted. The late-April call-up wishful thinking is now out the door. Mid-June to late July is now more of a reasonable ETA. It may take a late July trade of Scooter Gennett for the Reds to call up Senzel. I’d hate for the Reds to wait that long before calling up Senzel, but that looks like a real possibility at this time.

    • If no 3B for Nick Senzel and Suarez remains at 3B, and no 2B for Senzel if Scooter Gennett stays on-board, Dick Williams seems to be open to the idea of Senzel in the OF. This option seems like a good way to get his bat in the lineup. But that would require a trade of Duvall or Schebler , or both. Maybe all 3 OF can be traded.
      Can you envision a Reds outfield in the second half of 2018 with Winker in LF, a new CF or BHam, and Senzel in RF? This scenario might require the Reds to re-sign Cozart at SS and commit to Gennett/Herrera or Blandino at 2B.

      • I would be ok with Nick Senzel replacing Billy Hamilton in CF for a year. He is a good enough athlete to play SS (almost) then he can play CF for me next year. Then as we shake out the infield, you move him back in.

        Now if you trade for that next generation SS, the Senzel goes to 2nd so that you develop that Trammel/Whitaker next decade pair at SS/2nd

        But until then, I would be ok for him not to develop the glove but just get his bat in the lineup.

        Trade:

        1) Billy

        2) Adam

        3) Scooter

        but I do not care which order they get traded in. Packaged with he right pitching trinkets, this should be a fun offseason. Lots of options for you there DW!

  2. Peraza is OPSing 1.306 after two games in the Venezuelan league…..that’s something, right?

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