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.
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.
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.'
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:
|Rosario, Eddie||PWL & AFL||0.188||0.236||0.246||0.483||37||138||12||26||1||2||1||11||8||27||5|