Winter leagues wrap up in Latin America

Open Thread: Alfonso Soriano
Fan Confidence Poll: January 9th, 2012

The Yankees have re-signed infielder Doug Bernier to presumably again serve as Triple-A Scranton’s backup infielder according to Matt Eddy. They also released a ton of players…

Released: RHP Jim Blueberg, RHP Francisco Cruceta, RHP Nathan Forer, RHP Mike Gipson, RHP Dustin Hobbs, RHP Corey Maines, RHP Mike Recchia, RHP Michael Solbach, LHP Trevor Johnson, C Jon Hurst, 2B Emerson Landoni, OF Mike Ferraro, OF Taylor Grote, OF Bobby Rinard

Maines officially won the “first 2011 draftee to be released” race, and Landoni has already hooked on with the Braves. Grote was probably the best prospect of the bunch, though he hit just .221/.309/.311 in nearly 1,200 plate appearances after signing for $250k as the team’s eighth round pick in 2007.

The regular seasons for the four major Latin America winter leagues are officially over, so this will be the final minor league update of the 2011 baseball season. The minor league regular seasons actually starts before the MLB regular season this year, as all four full season officiates open their season on Thursday, April 5th. The big league team plays its first game the next day. How about that?

Arizona Fall League – see Nov. 27th update for final stats

Dominican Winter League – see Dec. 26th update for final stats

Mexican Pacific League
Jose Figueroa, OF: 9 G, 3 for 10, 4 K (.300/.300/.300) – 19-year-old spend last season in the Dominican Summer League
Walt Ibarra, IF: 48 G, 25 for 151, 15 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 8 BB, 34 K, 2 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP (.166/.213/.212)
Ramiro Pena, IF: 36 G, 32 for 130, 12 R, 4 2B, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 14 BB, 15 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.246/.317/.369)
Jorge Vazquez, 1B/DH: 56 G, 70 for 212, 34 R, 7 2B, 18 HR, 60 RBI, 21 BB, 66 K, 3 HBP (.330/.397/.618) – finishes the year with 50 homers, 49 unintentional walks, and 232 strikeouts in 737 plate appearances
Felipe Gonzalez, RHP: 2 G, 0 GS, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HB (20.25 ERA, 3.00 WHIP) – 20-year-old spent the season in the Dominican Summer League
Cesar Vargas, RHP: 2 G, 0 GS, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HB (4.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP) – soon-to-be 20-year-old struck out 85 in 71.2 IP in the Dominican Summer League this year
Pat Venditte, SwP: 32 G, 42.1 IP, 30 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 7 BB, 46 K, 6 HR, 1 WP (2.34 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)

Puerto Rican League
Ray Kruml, OF: 20 G, 13 for 59, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K, 6 SB, 2 CS (.220/.242/.305)

Venezuelan Winter League
Dan Brewer, OF: 6 G, 1 for 19, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP (.053/.174/.053)
Colin Curtis, OF: 32 G, 29 for 111, 17 R, 6 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 16 BB, 21 K, 3 SB, 1 CS, 3 HBP (.261/.369/.369)
Jose Gil, 1B/C: 32 G, 22 for 81, 16 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RIB, 7 BB, 16 K, 1 SB (.272/.326/.432)
Gus Molina, C: 42 G, 31 for 121, 11 R, 7 2B, 5 RBI, 9 BB, 26 K, 2 HBP (.256/.313/.314)
Jose Pirela, IF: 60 G, 71 for 236, 25 R, 8 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 13 BB, 29 K, 4 SB, 2 CS, 4 HBP (.301/.344/.407) – nice winter for him
Rich Martinez, RHP: 1 G, 0 GS, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA, 2.50 WHIP)

Open Thread: Alfonso Soriano
Fan Confidence Poll: January 9th, 2012
  • Johnny


    • Lazy Bones Andruw Jones

      Sarcasm noted, but I wonder if he could run into enough pitches to be useful to some MLB team. Not for the Yankees, but maybe someone like the A’s or Mariners.

      If given an entire ML season I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 20-25 homers. Of course, he’d probably strike out about 350 times.
      Again, not thinking he has any trade value or any team would actually try to acquire him.

      • YANKZ1FAN

        How do you know teams arent trying to acquire him!?!?! ;)

  • Danny

    Don’t understand why they released Maines so soon, he put up really good #’s in the GCL. I mean, I understand that he was a college arm in the GCL, but he only pitched 20 innings, kinda wonder what they didn’t like about him.

    • Plank

      Maybe he requested it. Maybe he got a job offer and wanted to give up baseball since he was such a long shot.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    Man Ramiro Pena sucks.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Jim Blueberg got hosed.


    If you look at Jorge Vazquez’s ZiPS projections for 2012, which all ML teams do, in comparing him to Teixeira giving Jorge the same ab’s, Tex would have 32hr and 109rbi. Vazquez would have 32hr and 106rbi. Yes Tex has 117K’s and Vazquez has 189K’s but so what with that production. Grandy had 170K’s this year and all people said was MVP. He will not strike out that much in the Bigs. He was playing upset half the year when everyone was getting called up except him when he was crushing in Scranton. Jorge was totally focused in ST and he led the Yanks in avg. He didn’t get the bench job, but was totally focused for when someone got hurt, he knew that he would get his chance. He dominated for a month. Then Chavez got hurt…ARod got hurt, and then the Yanks started bringing up other players because Jorge is not on 40man, and he was discouraged, and went in to a slump. Every time he was not called up he went in to a slump and struck out more, but then started focusing again hoping for his chance. It was back and forth. And then he wasn’t even called up in Sept when he absolutely earned it! The thing is, Chato was a superstar in Mexico…. He is like Hideki Matsui was in Japan. He knows he is getting older. He thought he was going to get a call up his first year, and the Yankees led him to believe he would, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened yet. The Japanese players get their shot when they are older….Matsui(28), Fukadome(31), Kuroda(33), Saito(36), he should too … In the majors he will be totally focused. If the Yanks bring him in, he will make more contact, which will bring up his average since he had a .412 BAC last year, which will bring up his OBP, and even increase his already impressive HR total with more contact. He would be a perfect fit off the bench. Plus he hits righties just as much if not better than lefties. And we all know he will hit better than his projected average. There is no way Ramiro Pena would have a higher average!! The averages are sometimes off due to circumstances, but the projection on production is always very close. He has worked very hard on his defense, and ZIPS has him at ‘average’ at 1b, which also was surprissing that Tex was also projected ‘average’. jorge had a .993% last year at 1b, and a little 3b. He is definitely playable at third. But, he could also split time there with Nunez. His totals right now for this season in AAA and the MEXPAC , which is very similar to AAA are, in 178 games, a .285avg, 52hr, and 161rbi, he is an rbi machine! Just a couple of days ago in the playoffs Chato hit a game winning grand slam. He always comes up with the clutch hit. Perfect for a pinch hitter!! I am not saying he should start over Tex! He would be exactly what the Yanks need off the bench. I am telling you, for sure, he will be a huge help to the team. You don’t need to spend a million or two for Chavez, or bring anyone in, when you will get better production from Chato, and he will stay healthy. Chavez will be on the DL, guaranteed. Yankees you dont know what you are missing.

    • Bryan G


    • Monteroisdinero

      Chato time or YankZ1FAN is going to die an early death. I’d give him a shot.

      • YANKZ1FAN


    • Plank

      If you look at Jorge Vazquez’s ZiPS projections for 2012, which all ML teams do

      I highly doubt that.

      • YANKZ1FAN

        Are you kidding me!!?! That is all they do is look at the numbers!!! They even hire computer geeks to go over everything. I forgot what team hired Bill James to do their computer analysis. And more often than not, they are right.

  • Short Porch

    Damn, Jorge Vazquez deserves a shot. Why can’t he be the backup at 1B and 3B? With how badly Chavez played last year, why not go offense first in that role? We’re talking at most 1 WAR either way and I’d much rather have his bat on the bench than someone like Chavez.

    • Mister Delaware

      Because almost every past and present and future version of Jorge Vazquez can’t hit in the majors. There’s a reason 4A Slugger is a commonly used phrase, because that’s an actual class of player. Can occasionally hit bad pitching 475 feet, gets dominated by legit pitching, no in between. In over 300 PAs last year, Wily Mo Pena hit .358/.440/.712 in the minors. That’s 200 point more SLG and 125 of OBP better than Vazquez. He got his callup and hit .204/.250/.416. And neither was a fluke because Wily Mo Pena can destroy bad pitching (and put on the greatest BP show you’ll ever see) but he cannot hit major league stuff. “Maybe Vazquez can”, you’ll say. He’s 29 and has just finished back to back years of .313 and .314 OBPs. AAA pitchers get him out at the same rate major league pitchers get out major league catchers. What do you think major league pitchers would do to Vazquez, who would be expected to carry a position like 1B or DH most of the time? It wouldn’t work. There might be a memorable blast or two, but there would be tons of outs.

      • YANKZ1FAN

        You can not even compare Willie Mo Pena to Vazquez. Obviously you dont know the PCL!! Every power hitter in the PCL hits .200 in the Majors. It is a power league. The IL is a pitchers league. Jorge would hit 45+hrs in the PCL. When a player in the PCL hits .320 his average drops dramaticly in the Majors. A player in the IL hitting .300 does not have even close to the same drop off in the Majors.Some even are equal! Your point is not taken! Oh, and Willie Mo played winter ball in the Carribean and hit .220. with 4hrs. Vazquez is at .330 with 20hrs so far!!

        • Mister Delaware

          Would you like me to retype my rant but use Dan Johnson? Or Brandon Moss? Or Val Pascucci? Or Dallas McPherson? Or Jeremy Hermida? Or John Bowker?

          (You see where I’m going with this, right?)

          • YANKZ1FAN

            Exactly….. They all earned their shot and were found to be AAAA players. Jorge has not been given the shot. How come these teams let these players come up and show what they could do. Because they werent AAAA players until they showed they couldnt hit in the majors. If these major leage teams cant figure out Johnson was a AAAA player before he got his chance, who do you think you are to think you can decide. You should be a GM!! Dan Johnson is a strange player. You would think there is no way he could be a AAAA player, but he is. That is why you dont know who is until you see it in the Bigs. The other players you mentioned are nothing. They are not even close to Vazquez’s talent. Like I said, if Jorge ever gets his chance he would be even more effective because he will be more focused. How hard would you work at your job if you know you earned a promotion, and other crappy workers kept getting a promotion. Do you see where Im going with this? Peace V

          • YANKZ1FAN

            And an FYI…. Moss in the Carribean hitting .257 and 2hr.

          • Mister Delaware

            By this path, shouldn’t Cashman sign Barbaro Canizares and give him a chance before Jorge Vazquez? Better isoP, 25 points of OBP, ALL IN THE CARRIBBEAN!!!

            • YANKZ1FAN

              If you notice, for some reason Barbaro did not have much power while with Atlanta system. The highest was 13hr in 126games. Now that he is older, three years older than Jorge, I wonder why he has more power in Mexico? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm?!? And yes, if he showed that power when he was with the Braves then he should have had more of a chance, but he did get a shot in the bigs, and he didnt do anything.