Hey guys, sorry about the lack of reliable winterball updates. Figured I’d post this article about some of the more intriguing/newsworthy stuff re: Mets. Note that this article isn’t going to cover everyone playing in winterball, just the guys who I want to talk about.We’ll start with someone who I’ve consistently and constantly hated on, practically since this site started.

Francisco Pena
St. Lucie: .254/.305/.423/.728; 142 ABs, 10 2b, 3b, 4 HR, 11/29 BB/K
Binghamton: .198/.299/.325/.624; 126 ABs, 7 2b, 3 HR, 16/25 BB/K

Pena’s NEVER. EVER. hit. In any season, at any level. His performance in St. Lucie this year was the best of his pro career. At 23 years old, 2013 will be his last season before he’s a 6 year minor league FA. In addition to never having hit in pro ball, Pena’s also never hit in winterball… until this year. Granted, ‘hit’ is always relative for catchers (when they’re not Mike Piazza or Joe Mauer, anyway). Pena’s hitting .270/.314/.444/.759 for Aguilas in the DWL, 63 ABs, 5 doubles and 2 homers, with a 3/9 BB/K. Again, they’re not… eyepopping numbers, but it seems he’s finally figuring things out, which is really good for us, since we have precisely -3 catching prospects in the system. Also keep in mind Pena wasn’t done ANY favors by being thrown straight into full season ball at age 17 by the idiots in charge at the time.

Jordany Valdespin
Buffalo: .285/.331/.411/.742, 151 ABs, 2 2b, 3b, 5 HR, 10/22 BB/K
New York: .241/.286/.424/.710, 191 ABs, 9 2b, 3b, 8 HR, 10/44 BB/K

I’ve always been on Valdespin, ever since his “where the FUCK did this guy come from… info… NOW” breakout in 2009, I’ve liked him better than Murphy for the interesting power/speed combination he’s got, which, of course, comes with high bust factor, as well. He had half a season of ABs this year and hit 13 HR between AAA and the majors, and stole 20 bases. How does having a 20+ HR/35 SB 2b sound to you? Sounds really good to me. The only thing that’s held him back has been his totally abysmal eye, his strikeout rates haven’t been BAD, but he. just. doesn’t. take. a. walk. Again… until this season in the Dominican. He’s hitting .310/.442/.476/.918 in 42 ABs, the most important number there is 10 walks in 42 ABs. That’s a .240ish walk rate, after a .060 in Buffalo and a .050 in the majors. Win, if he keeps it up.

Wilmer Flores
St. Lucie: .289/.336/.463/.799, 242 ABs, 12 2b, 10 HR, 18/30 BB/K
Binghamton: .311/.361/.494/.855, 251 ABs, 18 2b, 2 3b, 8 HR, 20/30 BB/K

Wilmer finally had his breakout, the one we’ve been waiting for (some have been forecasting for) the last 2 seasons. His low (absurdly low) strikeout rates have always led people to call for precisely the type of breakout we got. 30 doubles, 18 homers, and only 60 strikeouts. While his strikeout rate is up about 50% this winter (15 Ks in 82 ABs), his walkrate is through the roof, he’s at exactly 1/6 the ABs he had this season stateside, and he’s on pace for 36 doubles, 18 homers, and a 60/90 BB/K, 22 more walks for 30 more strikeouts, with an increase in power. Keep on going Wilmer, we’ll see you in the majors sometime in 2013.

And now, for some lessor prospect/less noteworthy things:

Cory Vaughn (PRWL Manati) .429/.500/.786/1.286, 6 for 14, 3 runs, 2 2b, HR, 2 RBI, 2/4 BB/K
Greg Peavey (AFL Surprise) 1-1, 2.77 era, 8 g, 13 ip, 9 h, 6/4 r/er, hr, 6/7 bb/k
Armando Rodriguez (DWL Escogido) 0-1, 2.19 era, 9 g, 12.1 ip, 3 h, 5/3 r/er, 9/10 bb/k
Jenrry Mejia (DWL Licey) 1-0, 3 era, 3 gs, 12 ip, 9 h, 5/4 r/er, hr, 5/9 bb/k (last 2 starts: 9.2 ip, 7 h, 3/2 r/er, hr, 3/5 bb/k)
Ryan Fraser (AFL Surprise) 1-1, 3.86 era, 7 g, 11.2 ip, 11 h, 6/5 r/er, 2 hr, 4/6 bb/k (darkhorse 2013 bullpen candidate, IMO)
Adam Kolarek (AFL Surprise) 0-0, 1.59 era, 8 g, 11.1 ip, 16 h, 2 er, hr, 4/8 bb/k

I’m going to close with this: keep in mind this is WINTERBALL, the level of competition, especially in the Caribbean Leagues varies WILDLY game to game. One night you could face Jenrry Mejia, the next, you could face some guy fresh off a 5 era in rookieball, just keep that in mind with the trends I’ve pointed out.


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