Winter League Update, 1/4/2011

It's been almost a month since we've checked in on these guys: my apologies for letting this get so long overdue. The regular season has wrapped up in all four of these leagues, so this look will focus on final stats for all players involved.

Mexico:

Luis Cruz
Final line:
178 PAs over 45 games, .325/.364/.633, 15 2B, 12 HR, 12 BB, 15 K

Cruz has hit 72 home runs in ten minor league seasons, or roughly one every 59 plate appearances. Yet somehow he went deep once every 14.8 plate appearances in Mexico this winter, leading Culiacan in round trippers. It's hard to tell what to make of his power surge: The sample size is small, but if he could flash anything like this kind of power in spring training he'd be an interesting asset.

The power is still the silver lining on this cloud, though: Even while leading his team in home runs and hitting .325, Cruz still very rarely draws walks and will likely struggle to get on base again in 2011.

Follow the jump for the rest!

Dominican Republic:

Erick Almonte
Final line:
184 PAs over 48 games, .285/.382/.386, 7 2B, 3 HR, 26 BB, 29 K

If you could just infuse Almonte's plate discipline into Luis Cruz, you'd really have something. His .382 OBP this winter is right in line with the .377 he posted in Nashville this season. A lack of defensive versatility (he's pretty much limited to first base at this point) is all that's preventing Almonte from being a potentially interesting major leaguer.

Carlos Gomez
Final line: 74 plate appearances over 19 games, .269/.364/.388, 4 2B, 2 3B, 7 BB, 20 K

Gomez never returned to Escogido after leaving the team in November.

Roque Mercedes:
Final line:
Seven relief appearances, 6.2 IP, 5.40 ERA, 4 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 6 K

Mercedes pitched sparingly for Escogido this winter, with seven appearances spread out over almost two full months.

Zack Segovia
Final line:
18 relief appearances, 23 IP, 2.35 ERA, 6 ER, 18 H, 10 BB, 15 K

Segovia picked up two wins and nine saves in his appearances, including five saves in his last ten games.

Puerto Rico:

Martin Maldonado
Final line:
73 plate appearances over 25 games, .243/.293/.343, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 19 K

This is actually a nice improvement for Maldonado, who was hitting .200/.263/.200 when we checked in last. He still likely doesn't have the bat to ever stick in the majors, but he's solid enough defensively to be worth keeping around for emergency situations.

Sergio Miranda
Final line:
170 plate appearances over 40 games, .353/.407/.429, 6 2B, 3 3B, 14 BB, 11 K, 5 of 8 SB

Luis Cruz is easily the Brewers' biggest winter league surprise, but Miranda is a close second. His .353/.407/.429 line dwarfs the .291/.351/.366 line he's put up while failing to advance past low A in four minor league seasons. Miranda won't turn 24 until March and will likely get a shot to play every day in Huntsville this season.

Wil Nieves
Final line:
46 plate appearances over 13 games, .279/.340/.302, 1 2B, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 of 2 SB

Nieves was one of eight catchers on San Juan's roster, which is probably at least part of the reason he didn't play much.

Hiram Burgos
Final line:
Eight appearances, two starts, 17.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 6 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 16 K

Burgos had a rough start on November 27 (four earned runs in three innings), and only made one more appearance after that. He could start the 2011 season in Brevard County, but it's also possible he'll repeat Wisconsin.

Darren Byrd
Final line:
Seven appearances, six starts, 32.2 IP, 4.68 ERA, 17 ER, 38 H, 11 BB, 18 K

Byrd had one disaster start in December (seven earned runs on 11 baserunners in 5.1 IP) and wasn't used again. He had a 3.29 ERA before that outing, but still wasn't getting many strikeouts and allowing a fair number of hits. He only made 13 appearances in Brevard County this season, so it's possible he'll go back there to start 2011.

Efrain Nieves
Final line:
12 appearances, ten starts, 49 IP, 4.41 ERA, 24 ER, 49 H, 22 BB, 26 K

Nieves' 49 IP and 26 strikeouts were the most by a Brewer pitcher this winter. He got the start in each of his five appearances for San Juan in December. He's struggled in each of the last two seasons for Wisconsin (5.64 combined ERA), but he only turned 21 in November so there's still time for him to figure it out.

Venezuela:

Brendan Katin
Final line:
68 plate appearances over 19 games, .233/.333/.417, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 BB, 24 K

After appearing briefly in Mexico, Katin moved to Magallanes in Venezuela and continued to play sparingly. He's got massive power but a long swing to go with it. 

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