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Winterball IV - Jorge Polanco and Oswaldo Arcia Shine

Jason O. Watson

The Winter leagues are always strange to follow. Guys pop in, then pop out. Sometimes a guy won't play for two weeks even though there is no injury. There is no spring training, lots of small samples and players being used in roles they normally are never used in. If you read Spanish then you stand a chance to follow game reports, but I don't so I am stuck looking at stats & box scores.

In general one shouldn't get overly exited about players new found success, or failures. This is why I am not too concerned about Buxton's struggles in the AFL. However, when we see a player continue the trends he showed during the regular season, we should take notice.

This leads me to the play of Jorge Polanco. He is continuing his break out performance from 2013 in Winter Ball. His triple slash of (.331/.396/.444) is pretty impressive. But more impressive is his plate discipline. 17 Walks, 20 SO in 133 AB. Thats pretty great. He won't turn 21 until Mid Season next year and he might be in AA by then. His offensive play has been nothing short of amazing. Drawbacks? He doesn't seem to able to steal bases. With his OB skills, if he could get some steals, he would be the lead-off hitter of the future. Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be his game. Furthermore he is not getting much time at SS in the Winter Leagues this year. From what I can see, he mostly is at 2B and DH. This kid needs a position. The FO needs to determine if he can play SS well enough. If he can play SS, his positional value along with his offensive production could make him a top 1-2 prospect in the system. If he can't play SS, that might hurt his prospect ranking, but does nothing to take away from a player who should be on the team sometime in 2015.

The next trend continuation is the dominance of Oswaldo Arcia. Frankly he should be dominating this league and he is. With a triple slash of .281/.420/.607 - .607!!! - he is doing everything you would expect a Major League Ready Bat would do in the Winter leagues. He is still up there swinging and racking up a a lot of SO's but I like to see his 20 walks which hopefully show he is working on this aspect his game.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the play of Lewis Thorpe too. As roger13 has been chronicling in the comments of the prospect rankings, Thorpe has been pitching quite well in the Australian leagues. 13 SO in 15 IP is pretty good especially for a kid who just turned 18, I don't care what league it is.

Dominican League:

Danny Santana has been hitting better and is now at a respectable .289/.324/.443. But his 15 SO to 4 Walks is not good. If only he had a better eye! Chris Colabello, has 10 SO in 10 games with no extra base hits. I have to wonder how long he will remain on the 40 man.

Venezuela:

Yorman Landa is doing very well out of the bullpen. This kid is just 7 months older than Lewis Thorpe and pitching in the Venezuelan league which is much higher competition than the Australian League. He has 16 SO in 15.2 innings pitched, he appears to be a ground ball machine sporting a 3.33 GO/AO. His BA against is a little high but so far so good for the youngster. Twins recently added a new Minor League Arm, Matt Hoffman and he is sporting a 20.25 ERA in 1.1 IP Edgar Ibarra continues to be really, really effectively out of the bullpen. He is doing well against both Lefties and Righties. Deolis Guerra continues to pitch well out of the bullpen as well. Eduardo Escobar is playing well but his offensive production has been fading a bit. Josmil Pinto, finally saw action again after not playing for 2 weeks.'

Puerto Rico

In 2011 Twins Drafted Ivan Rodriguez's kid Derick as an OF out of HS. He hasn't performed that well as a pro. However in the winter ball league he appears to being converted to a pitcher. He is not doing well at at it but if he has his father's arm strength, this is a transition to keep your eyes on. Kennys Vargas continues to smash the ball around with a triple slash of .279/.354/.477. Buzzkill of the offseason, Eddie Rosario is still playing despite his looming suspension but not hitting well.

Full Stats below:

BATTERS CLUB LEAGUE AVG OBP SLG OPS G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Buxton, Byron GDD Done 0.212 0.288 0.404 0.692 12 52 10 11 1 0 3 8 5 15 2
Kepler, Max GDD Done 0.234 0.306 0.313 0.618 18 64 8 15 5 0 0 4 7 13 0
Colabello, Chris TOR DWL 0.121 0.237 0.121 0.358 10 33 3 4 0 0 0 1 4 10 0
Florimon, Pedro ESC DWL 0.154 0.214 0.192 0.407 7 26 3 4 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
Herrmann, Chris EST DWL 0.200 0.324 0.267 0.591 12 30 4 6 2 0 0 5 6 9 0
Mejia, Aderlin ESC DWL 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Polanco, Jorge ESC DWL 0.331 0.396 0.444 0.840 38 133 20 44 8 2 1 15 17 20 3
Rohlfing, Dan LIC DWL 0.231 0.286 0.231 0.516 5 13 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
Romero, Deibinson ESC DWL 0.135 0.233 0.324 0.557 14 37 4 5 1 0 2 5 4 8 0
Sano, Miguel EST DWL 0.200 0.556 0.200 0.756 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 2 1
Santana, Danny AGU DWL 0.289 0.324 0.443 0.767 23 97 14 28 5 2 2 10 4 15 5
Fernandez, Jorge CAR PWL 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Ortiz, Daniel MAY PWL 0.233 0.258 0.300 0.558 25 90 9 21 3 0 1 9 3 16 1
Rodriguez, Dereck MAY PWL 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500 3 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Vargas, Kennys MAY PWL 0.279 0.354 0.477 0.831 24 86 11 24 2 0 5 12 9 19 1
Rosario, Eddie PWL & AFL 0.188 0.236 0.246 0.483 37 138 12 26 1 2 1 11 8 27 5
Arcia, Oswaldo ARA VWL 0.281 0.420 0.607 1.026 30 89 26 25 5 0 8 22 20 30 0
Escobar, Eduardo ORI VWL 0.291 0.342 0.480 0.821 40 148 20 43 11 4 3 17 12 32 0
Mitchell, Jermaine ARA VWL 0.178 0.275 0.200 0.475 12 45 8 8 1 0 0 2 6 14 1
Pinto, Josmil ARA VWL 0.179 0.179 0.179 0.357 10 28 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 8 0
Rodriguez, Jairo ARA VWL 0.000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wade, Logan BRI ABL 0.297 0.357 0.344 0.701 18 64 7 19 3 0 0 7 6 15 1

PITCHERS CLUB LEAGUE W L ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
Gibbons, Sam MEL ABL 0 0 23.140 1 2.1 6 7 6 2 3 1 3.860 0.500
Guyer, Josh SYD ABL 1 1 5.590 3 9.2 15 6 6 1 6 7 2.170 0.375
Thorpe, Lewis MEL ABL 1 1 1.720 3 15.2 14 7 3 1 4 13 1.150 0.226
Achter, A.J. GDD Done 1 1 5.250 11 12 11 8 7 2 4 10 1.250 0.229
Jones, Zack GDD Done 0 1 18.000 7 6 10 16 12 3 9 9 3.170 0.400
May, Trevor GDD Done 0 2 3.210 9 14 13 6 5 1 4 12 1.210 0.265
Meyer, Alex GDD Done 2 1 3.120 7 26 20 10 9 3 7 28 1.040 0.213
Salcedo, Adrian GIG DWL 0 0 0.000 1 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.500 0.333
Montanez, Josue PON PWL 0 1 4.910 8 7.1 8 4 4 0 2 4 1.360 0.308
O'Rourke, Ryan CAG PWL 0 1 4.500 8 6 6 3 3 0 5 3 1.830 0.300
Rodriguez, Dereck MAY PWL 0 0 9.000 2 1 3 2 1 0 1 1 4.000 0.500
Velasquez, Jon SAN PWL 2 0 2.410 15 18.2 13 6 5 1 4 15 0.910 0.217
Guerra, Deolis MAG VWL 0 1 2.160 19 16.2 15 8 4 2 4 19 1.140 0.242
Hamburger, Mark ARA VWL 1 1 4.910 4 7.1 5 4 4 1 5 5 1.360 0.200
Hoffman, Matt MAR VWL 0 1 20.250 3 1.1 4 3 3 0 1 0 3.750 0.500
Ibarra, Edgar ARA VWL 2 0 2.160 21 25 20 8 6 1 9 23 1.160 0.227
Landa, Yorman LAG VWL 2 0 3.450 12 15.2 13 7 6 1 5 16 1.150 0.245
Martis, Shairon LAG VWL 0 0 9.000 1 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 3.000 0.500
Oliveros, Lester ORI VWL 0 1 0.000 5 3.2 2 3 0 0 1 3 0.820 0.167
Sulbaran, Miguel ZUL VWL 0 0 0.000 6 3.2 2 0 0 0 1 3 0.820 0.182
Thompson, Aaron ARA VWL 2 1 5.250 16 12 17 7 7 0 3 9 1.670 0.340
Vasquez, Virgil ZUL VWL 0 4 6.490 9 43 55 33 31 9 4 32 1.370 0.311
Watts, Dakota ARA VWL 4 3 3.480 22 20.2 19 8 8 1 12 7 1.500 0.250
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