Winter Leagues: Young Shortstop Prospect Debuts in Colombia

Monday was a slow day around winter ball, but I noticed I missed a trio of players debuting, so here’s a look at them (one played on Monday), followed by a recap of Tuesday’s action for the Pittsburgh Pirates

In Colombia, shortstop prospect Tsung-Che Cheng debuted on Sunday and went 0-for-4 while batting in the lead-off spot. On Monday he went 1-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. The league is off until the 26th now. Cheng, who turned 20 years old mid-season in 2021, put up a .940 OPS in 38 games for the FCL Pirates, with a 30:14 BB/SO ratio and 16 stolen bases.

In Puerto Rico, Oliver Garcia, who spent the 2021 season in the bullpen for Greensboro, made two appearances last week after being added to the roster of Gigantes de Carolina and he allowed three runs and four walks in two innings.

In Mexico, Jared Oliva played four games last week for Yaquis de Obregon. He went 4-for-18 with a homer, walk and eight strikeouts in those games. I included video of the home run at the bottom of this article.

Tuesday

In the Dominican, Rodolfo Castro went 0-for-1 with three walks, a run scored and his second stolen base. He’s hitting .241 with an .868 OPS.

Hunter Stratton recorded two outs, with a walk and a strikeout to his credit. He has allowed two runs over three innings in four appearances this winter.

Free agent Enyel De Los Santos threw two shutout innings on one hit and two walks. He has throw seven shutout innings in four appearances.

In Puerto Rico, Bligh Madris returned to the lineup after leaving a game early about a week ago. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He’s hitting .348 with a .918 OPS in limited time.

In Mexico, Randy Romero went 0-for-4. He’s now hitting .310 with a .735 OPS in 42 games.

Jared Oliva went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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