Winter Leagues: Ramirez Leading the Way in Colombia, Osuna Suspended

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna received his suspension for his fight over the weekend with Bruce Rondon of the Detroit Tigers. Osuna has been suspended for six games, receiving a bigger penalty than some others involved in the fight because he took his helmet off and swung it at Rondon. An interesting side note to the suspension is that it could cost him the Rookie of the Year award, since he won’t be playing for a week. He has been mentioned among the top three choices due to his .330/.393/.503 slash line in 53 games.

In Colombia, Harold Ramirez is leading the league in OPS through 22 games. He has a .397/.478/.534 slash line in 58 at-bats, with four doubles, two triples, five walks and he’s been hit by a pitch five times. The only downside seems to be his 0-for-3 in stolen bases. Ramirez began the year playing winter ball in Mexico, but his team let him go after a .245/.268/.321 line in 15 games. The league in Mexico is tougher competition, so it would have been nice to see him do well there, but he has offset that by being the best hitter in Colombia.

Tito Polo is hitting .295/.400/.508 in 61 at-bats. He’s fourth in slugging, first with three triples, and sixth with 13 runs scored. Polo went 0-for-2 during the All-Star game over the weekend.

No player from the Pirates saw action on Monday. As for action on the field on Tuesday, starting in the Dominican, where Pedro Florimon went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .207 in 87 at-bats, with 31 strikeouts.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-1, grounding out as a pinch-hitter. While he has shown some power this winter, he’s down to a .231 average through 108 at-bats.

In Venezuela, A.J. Morris got the start and went four solid innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits and no walks, with two strikeouts. He now has a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings. He has also put up an impressive 2.84 GO/AO ratio.

Elvis Escobar grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and finished the game on defense in right field. He is 5-for-16 in 22 games this winter.

Jhondaniel Medina threw two shutout innings, allowing two hits and no walks, while picking up one strikeout. He has a 1.80 ERA in ten innings over 11 appearances.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-4, with a single and an RBI. He is hitting .198 through 32 games.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s now hitting .261 through 157 at-bats.

Sebastian Valle went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He is hitting .212/.250/.354 in 27 games.

  • Looks like Todd Frazier is on the move to Chicago White Sox. White Sox are my second favorite team, since I live in Chicago, theyre in the AL and I just hate the Cubs…a lot haha.

    I like Frazier, wish the Pirates would have gotten him, he could have added a lot.

  • One thing I can say about Ramirez on the basepaths after watching him- He IS aggressive. He isn’t afraid to get picked off or thrown out. If that can be brought together with knowing what he needs to know situationally and technically- then he could be a really good and successful baserunner, but for now he’s more like a stunt man out there.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 16, 2015 9:54 am

    Ramirez is a stud….the real deal….he just seems to hit wherever he plays. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in AA this year.

  • Crap what a shame about John Holdzkom’s brother. Terrible.

  • Thanks a lot John. You’ve done this before but could you please refresh my memory as to to the different Winter Leagues are generally considered to correspond to minor leagues. Colombian League? A step below double A maybe? Or better. I know it will never be perfect comparison. And Dominican League is clearly considered toughest Winter League? Venenzuela?

    • The Dominican League is about the same as AAA and during the playoffs it could get to as good as a bad MLB team because star players will join and better players off the roster of teams that didn’t make the playoffs, join other teams(they have a draft). I’ve seen lineups with as many as eight players with MLB experience during the playoffs.

      Mexico and Venezuela are just below that, strong AA now and bumps up to an average AAA team.

      Puerto Rico and Australia are about the same as AA, Colombia is close to High-A and Nicaragua, Panama and Varecruz are on par with the Appalachian League.

      All the leagues could be weaker/stronger some years, but these comparisons are just what I’ve noticed over the years looking at rosters

      • John correct me if I am wrong but at one time Puerto Rico was the premier winter league. Since the PR is not producing many MLB players the league has diminished.

        • They say the draft has really hurt PR. Ever since MLB made players their draft eligible, the talent has dropped. I know for a long time, Mexico was the best winter league. The PR doesn’t draw many players with MLB experience. Of the 15 pitchers with enough innings to qualify for the league leaders, one has pitched in the majors and that was back in 2010-11. He’s been in AAA the last four years

          • John, please elaborate. Are you saying there’s a link between the quality of talent available and being draft eligible?

            • Here is a great article on the subject

              • Thanks John. Don’t think I buy the explanation though. I kinda think the problem in Puerto Rico is the same or at least similar to the problem in the rest of the US. Kids today just aren’t playing baseball like they used to. And getting the government involved will kill whatever interest is still out there quicker than anything else!

                • Their explanation might be wrong, but it at least shows that it’s been a problem there. I didn’t read the whole article, but I know that some kids would leave there to be signed as an international free agent elsewhere, which would happen two years earlier, so that would take some of the talent out of the country. If scouts aren’t going as often, then maybe they don’t hold tournaments as often. The draft could have a trickle down effect that eventually diminishes interest and talent: Better players leave earlier, lesser competition, trainers leave, less scouts show up, less funding for baseball, less interest, lesser talent

  • Is A.J. Morris a minor league free agent?