Winter Leagues: Jose Osuna Homers; Marte Leaves After Hit-By-Pitch

In Venezuela on Tuesday night, Jose Osuna hit his first home run of the winter, a solo shot to lead-off the fourth inning. He finished 1-for-4 on the day with two strikeouts. Osuna is 5-for-27 (.185) through seven games. He played his fourth game at third base and handled two putouts and one grounder. He has two errors on eight total chances.

In the Dominican, Starling Marte was hit by a pitch in the first inning and left for a defensive replacement after running the bases. While there was no update during or after the game last night, the last time he was hit by a pitch he ran the bases, was replaced on defense, then played the next day, so it could be the team being cautious. I’m sure we will either find out more soon or he will just be back in the lineup tonight.

UPDATE: 9:22 AM: Escogido just announced that Marte left due to the flu, so apparently it had nothing to do with getting hit minutes earlier.

Pablo Reyes went 1-for-4 with a single. He’s batting .247/.320/.315 through 28 games.

Anderson Feliz went 1-for-4 with a single, giving him a .254 average through 25 games.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-4 with an RBI single. After coming through with the go-ahead hit in each of his last two games, Munoz tied the score in the eighth inning with his single. His team would go on to win 6-5 in the ninth. He is batting .260/.356/.368 through 38 games.

  • Jose Osuna is the type that would hit eleventy hundred dingerz in an Asian league over a decade-long career.

  • John…with sooooo many empty seats in that video, is that a norm in winter ball? Are these contracts payed almost entirely through corporate sponsorship to the best of your knowledge?

    • Yeah, I was shocked at how empty that was.

    • That’s about average for there, some teams do better than others. The stadium holds 11,000 people, so even when it’s half full, it looks empty. The teams are popular, although Leones del Caracas is by far the most popular. It’s like comparing the Pirates to Altoona, with Altoona representing most of the rest of the league.

      • Gotcha…appreciate the info. I normally try to figure things out on my own, but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of info on stuff like that (which I understand, but still it’s the internet..lol)

  • John, I know this is not related to winter league, but I wonder if you know why BP say Tucker’s not a threat to steal 30 in the majors. I thought he’s good, fast baserunner learning how to steal more so he could use that as his weapon?

    And apparently Marte left because of a flu, I think https://twitter.com/EscogidoBBClub/status/935871873711255552

    • I beat you to the news this time, already updated the article 🙂

      I have no idea why they say that about Tucker. He has the speed to steal that much and should be on base enough to get it done. He’s not the fastest player in the system, but he is up near the top. Possibly they consider 30 stolen bases elite now because of six players in all of MLB had 30+ steals this season, in which case he doesn’t have elite speed. I would still say he has 30 steal potential though.

      • Ha! Unless there’s another player signing with KBO I’m pretty sure you’ll always beat me. 🙂

        Good to know you think he has 30 steal potential. I’d imagine you saw Tucker way more than BP did. Speed is one thing but what I’ve read so far, I felt like Tucker has better instincts and intelligence in terms of baserunning. (which Frazier seems to be lacking…)

        • I should add that Tucker’s speed seems to be under-appreciated by scouts, but we have the numbers that show he is above average. Pirates measure running speed four different ways on the bases and only Casey Hughston was better in each category than Tucker with Bradenton this year.

          • Now I understand why you added this. I only read the fantasy baseball part and now that I’m reading everything, it does says “merely average footspeed”. Wonder if his long and lean frame makes the scouts think he’s slower than his actual speed. Interesting…

            Also interesting some think Tucker’s not going to stick to SS when he’s an above average defender at it :/ I’m surprised to see Newman at SS and Tucker at 2B or 3B on BA/BP writings. (I expected Newman to move to 2B once Tucker reaches the majors)

            • No, the actual speed at which they’ve clocked him compared to their standard scouting scales is what leads them to say he has “merely average footspeed”.

              This is the easiest tool to scout. Buy a stopwatch. Click it twice.

            • Possibly old scouting reports about his defense. I saw him in 2015 and was iffy on him sticking there. In 2016, he looked a little better, but I didn’t see anything great. Heck, even in very early 2017, he looked like an average shortstop. He made great strides later in the year and by the time he got to Altoona, he was a highlight machine. There is still some consistency work to do, but there is no reason to think he won’t be a solid MLB shortstop unless he suddenly fills out his frame and loses some of the quickness.

              I learned years ago with the Pirates that it’s best to check into players. That was when I saw a huge transformation in Eric Avila at third base. He went from awful, to someone who looked like he was thinking too much, to a solid third baseman, making plays that the first version would only dream about. The “thinking too much” version was him going through a mental checklist on each play, slowing it down to get used to what he was learning, then eventually it clicked. I saw the same thing with Elias Diaz during his first year with West Virginia, where he had an odd hitch in his throws to bases. What he was doing was making sure he had the technique down correctly, sacrificing stolen bases for his own good. By the next time I saw him, everything was sped up.

          • “He has the speed to steal that much and should be on base enough to get it done.”

            John, please show what you’ve clocked Tucker at in your scouting of him.

      • Your comment raises an interesting question. What has happened in the game that elite SB production has been cut in half? Used to be that Brock would get his 70 or Wills or Henderson would get their 100 steals in a season. Now 35 or 40 is considered exceptional. How can speed decrease over time?

        • I think it’s more of a willingness to let players run. There were years in which the league leader in the NL had fewer than 20 steals. Maury Wills came along and stole 586 bases, but he also had 208 caught stealing, leading the league seven times in that category. That doesn’t include times he was picked-off.

          Not many teams are willing to give up that many outs now, but a cycle will probably come along where they are more in fashion. Being a 30 stolen base guy really just means your team is willing to let you run often enough to get to that mark, which might mean 4-5 caught stealing for some players and 10-15 for others. If your manager isn’t giving you a green light, then it doesn’t matter how fast you are, you’re not getting 30 steals.

          That’s a long-winded way to say that it’s better just to say things like plus speed, above average, average, etc. Tucker is an above average runner with good base running instincts.

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