Winter Leagues: Garcia Returns From Injury, Strong Outing For Heredia

In the Dominican on Tuesday night, Alen Hanson picked up his second base hit, though he continued his slow start very early in the winter season. He is now 2-for-15 with two singles.

Willy Garcia returned from an injury(see video below) and batted lead-off, playing center field. He went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-4 with a double. Through three games, he is 5-for-13 with a home run.

Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Wilkin Castillo went 0-for-2 with a walk.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa and Jose Osuna both started in the outfield for Bravos de Margarita. Osuna was in left field and went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. It’s his first run of the winter and also his first walk. He’s hitting .290 through nine games and has picked up at least one hit in eight of those games. Sosa started in center field and went 1-for-4 with a run scored, a double, an RBI and a walk. He also picked up an outfield assist.

Jhondaniel Medina threw 1.2 scoreless innings, but continued to have command issues. He allowed a hit and walked two batters, giving him six walks in three innings.

In Mexico, Harold Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt. Through nine games, he is 6-for-36 at the plate.

Luis Heredia came into the game in the seventh inning with one out, two runners on and his team down 8-5. He got a ground ball double play from the first batter he faced, getting out of the inning. Heredia remained in the game and retired the side in order in the eighth. He needed 15 pitches total to record five outs.

Carlos Munoz hadn’t hit a triple during the regular season since 2013, but he hit one on Saturday. Munoz added a second triple on Tuesday night, finishing the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs. He finished a homer short of the cycle. He has just three triples total in five seasons of pro ball.

Rosters were announced in Australia on Tuesday and the only player from the Pirates’ system in the league is Sam Kennelly. He’s played two season in the league already. The ABL begins play this weekend.

Here is video of Julio Vivas pitching last week. It was uploaded on our Facebook page.

We also found video of Willy Garcia getting hurt during his first game of winter ball. He ended up hitting his face/eye on the ground after passing home plate and missed a few games before returning Tuesday night. Garcia actually got hurt in two straight games, leaving an Indianapolis playoff game early after sliding into an outfield wall trying to make a catch. He missed the final game of the postseason as well.

  • It would be great to see Garcia in Pittsburgh as 4th outfielder. Canon arm, potential power bat!

  • It’s no wonder that players are basically shot once they hit their early 30’s. I’m sure these leagues provide some development benefit but the wear and tear has to take its toll in the way of shorter careers or shorter periods of real effectiveness.

    • It depends on how you look at it. Is playing games more strenuous than the off-season workouts some players go through? Players stay in shape during the off-season and for some, playing winter ball is the way they do it. Some of these guys are playing winter ball for the money. It pays better than the minors(unless you’re on the 40-man roster). Others are making up for lost time during the season.

  • Anyone have any MLE’s on Hanson they have compiled after his 2015 season?

  • Several Questions:
    1) What do we see as Garcia’s position within the system and what contribution could we see him make in 2016? He seems to have some power and, additionally, some defensive value. Maybe a really, really high quality 4th OF?

    2) What do we think comes of Rojas? He hit, then stopped hitting, and now seems to be finding some success. Organizational depth or some upside still?

    3) Carlos Munoz seems to be hitting quite well against even better competition. He had a great year, again trailing off at the end of the season…what do we think he can become? He seems to have a nice bat and solid power-profile. Maybe we see him get an aggressive push and see him break-out further in 2016?

    • Garcia profiles as a 4th outfielder because of his walk and strikeout rates. He definitely has power potential and a terrific arm. He defense overall is solid, though he has definitely lost a step as he has filled out. A few years ago, he was an above average runner, not a blazer, but not average. Now he is average at best. I could see him in Pittsburgh at some time in 2016, though it might not be until September.

      Rojas was banished to Altoona and really never got going. He looked like he would be a midseason call-up coming into 2015 and now there’s a chance he doesn’t get more than a cup of coffee in the majors. Really dropped down in a year he was expected to breakout.

      Munoz has always been about staying in shape. If he can, he has big potential due to his eye at the plate and ability to drive the ball. He has slowed down every season, wearing out at the end because he has weight issues. If he takes his body serious, then you have a lot of upside. This will be his sixth season coming up though and every year has been the same, so it’s tough to predict he will finally make the necessary changes. He’s the type you want to see play as much winter ball as possible just so he remains active.

  • There’s our answer to Heredia. Make him a relief pitcher. 🙂

    • Not the dumbest idea ever…we have money tied up in him so why not give it a shot and see if he could be a fast mover.