A Minors Obsession

Winter league top performers

While the Major League season has been over for more than a month, winter league baseball around the world is still going. With leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, and Australia, there’s plenty of baseball to still follow along with if you’re needing your fix.

Early in the Dominican Winter League Jose Siri was relegated to pinch running duties. He had seven stolen bases before he had seven at-bats. There wasn’t much playing time in October for the center fielder, and when he did see action on the field, he couldn’t find a groove at the plate. That changed in November when he began to see more consistent playing time and he hasn’t looked back. After getting a week off for traveling to and from Redsfest this past weekend, he returned to action on Tuesday night and had two hits. The 22-year-old is now hitting .308/.345/.558 for Gigantes del Cibao with 10 steals in 11 attempts. Just prior to leaving for Redsfest he homered in back-to-back games. You can see video of both moonshots here.

Sebastian Elizalde has been hitting well in the Mexican Winter League since the start of the season. The recently turned 26-year-old hasn’t slowed down much at any point over the last seven weeks. Playing the outfield for Culiacan, he’s hit .375/.445/.511 with more walks, 23, than strikeouts, 22. In 48 games played he has also stolen 10 bases. He’s showed off good pop in the league, doubling 14 times with a triple and three home runs.

There hasn’t been much pitching from the Reds in the international winter leagues. Rafael De Paula has easily the most innings of any Reds prospect with a whopping 11.1 innings pitched. He’s posted a 3.97 ERA for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League. Keury Mella hasn’t pitched in over a month, but he performed quite well in the five games that he did pitch in. For the Toros he allowed just one earned in 7.1 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

19 thoughts on “Winter league top performers

  1. Doug, last spring Elizalde was surprisingly one of the very last cuts coming out of spring training. Do you see Elizalde making a serious run for a 4th/5th OF spot this coming spring? Especially if the Reds trade an OF?
    Nice to see Siri to continue picking them up and laying them down.

    • I don’t think Elizalde has much of a chance as things stand right now. The 5th outfielder will need to be someone who can play center, and that’s not Elizalde. If they trade someone, then maybe. Still, you’d like to see him have more success in Triple-A than he has if he’s going to be a corner only type of guy.

  2. I joked with Jose Siri at Redsfest. He signed my ball and I said ”
    don’t be in a hurry, we don’t expect to see you in the big show until July or august. He looked at me kind of strange. I don’t think he saw the humor in it.He seemed like a very nice young man. As are Jose Peraza and Eugenio. Nice kids both and here is hoping they have great careers.

  3. off topic but would you guys be willing to give up Senzel in a trade with say Tampa Bay for a big time Starting pitcher?

    • I saw where the Cards don’t expect to get Stanton so they’re talking to Tampa about Evan Longoria and closer Alex Colome. Tampa is always a feeder team for someone, but no way would I trade Senzel for Chris Archer. For one….I think he’s overrated. He’s 29 and had a 4.97 era on the road last year. A guy I love is lefty Blake Snell. I think he could be another Castillo for someone, but he’s still young and cheap. No reason for Tampa to deal him really?

    • Depends on what you mean by “big time starting pitcher”. Anyone is available to trade for the right package, but I personally would rather see the Reds see what they have going into next season. Between Castillo/Mahle/Homer/Disco/Finnegan/Romano/Stephenson et al, I think they have the pieces to put together a pretty strong rotation.

      In all honesty, the Reds should look at signing someone like Alex Cobb if they are really worried about fleshing out their rotation. He would be a decent #3 on this team and nice insurance policy if the young pitchers tank/get injured. He could also be a nice piece to flip at the deadline if there continues to be a logjam in the rotation (best possible scenario).

      • Cobb has had 2 TJs (I think?) or just a ton of time in general, plus he signed the qualifier from Tampa so whoever signs him has to give them a corresponding draft pick. I’m thinking like $45mil 3 yrs which is not worth it imo. He’s already 30.

  4. I have seen Sebastian Elizalde play, and think he could be a solid major leaguer, if he was given the chance. Which seems unlikely, because he has done nothing remarkable in AAA. He has a good approach, is patient, and has a good eye.Agree with Doug that it is unlikely he would be on the 25 man as the fifth outfielder.
    PS: at this point in time, I would not trade Senzel for anyone, unless it was a pitcher that would guarantee the Reds win the pennant. He is too valuable, and has too much potential to give him up for someone else’s magic beans.

    • If the reds get a pitcher that would guarantee the Reds win the pennant, he would develop arm trouble in spring, they would announce he will be miss the 1st 2 weeks of the season, the next thing you hear about him he had a set back doing a Rehab stint in Dayton sometime in early summer and he might be ready by September after they shut him down

  5. If I were making a trade with Tampa Bay for pitching, it would be a deal for Brent Honeywell. I wouldn’t trade Senzel, but I would offer one of the outfielders mentioned (Trammell and Siri) and include maybe Shed Long and Jeter Downs to get him.

    I don’t look for the Reds to do much, if anything, at the Winter Meetings.

  6. The Marlins are open for business. Dee Gordon traded to Seattle, Stanton on the move before long. If they go into complete rebuilding, might that mean Yelich is available too? I wonder if they’d take a package of Siri, Stephenson and another prospect for Yelich? More importantly, should the Reds make that trade?

    • A serious offer that doesn’t include either Senzel or Hunter Greene? Taylor Trammell, Tyler Mahle, Billy Hamilton, and Tony Santillan. I think the Marlins likely still say no to that, but that’s about as much as I’d offer.

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