The Hottest/Coldest Hitting Prospects in the Offseason Winter Leagues
A trio of Twins’ prospects, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and Oswaldo Arcia, highlight this week’s installment of the hottest and coldest hitters of the Caribbean Winter Leagues.
In addition to batting .500 over the last week, Sano has collected five extra-base hits and tallied seven RBI. The 21-year-old Rosario hasn’t showcased as much power, but is batting .395 with 15 hits over the last 10 games. Arcia, on the hand, hasn’t been nearly as consistent, but does have 13 RBI in his last 10 contests.
Beyond that, it was nice to see Evan Gattis—arguably the Braves’ most projectable offensive prospect despite his age (26)—turn in a big week with three home runs in his last five games.
Unfortunately, there are a few familiar faces on the not-so-hot front this week; both Christian Bethancourt’s and Sebastian Valle’s lack of plate discipline is disconcerting.
Here’s a look at this week’s hottest and coldest offensive prospects from the Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues.
Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins (Dominican Winter League): .317/.431/.683, 7 XBH (3 HR), 10/8 K/BB (18 G)
Sano displayed his effortless plus-plus raw power with 28 home runs last year in his full-season debut for Low-A Beloit. He’s continued to showcase the same consistent power this winter while also improving his plate discipline; last five games: 6-for-12, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4/1 K/BB.
Leury Garcia, SS, Texas Rangers (DWL): .293/.344/.386, 8 XBH, 9 SB, 31/8 K/BB (36 G)
The switch-hitting shortstop struggled during the first week of December, but has picked it up as of late; last five games: 6-for-15, 4 SB.
Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF, Minnesota Twins (Puerto Rican Winter League): .369/.400/.536, 8 XBH, 14/5 K/BB (23 G)
Absolutely on fire and making loud contact on a daily basis; last 10 games: .395/.425/.500, 15 H, 3/2 K/BB.
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Christian Colon, SS/2B, Kansas City Royals (PWL): .304/.355/.375, 7 XBH, 6 SB, 14/7 K/BB (29 G)
Cal State-Fullerton alumnus played in only 85 games last season due to injury, but has played well since returning; could emerge as the Royals’ big league second baseman sooner rather than later; last 10 games: .316/.366/.342, 12 H, 8 R.
Zach Walters, SS, Washington Nationals (PWL): .260/.325/.340, 8 2B, 5 CS, 27/10 K/BB (28 G)
Switch-hitting shortstop played at three levels last season, but could emerge as a super-utility player next year in the major leagues.
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins (Venezuelan Winter League): .253/.310/.488, 19 XBH (9 HR), 34 RBI, 40/13 K/BB (48 G)
His approach (and the results) continue to be all-or-nothing, but the left-handed hitting outfielder clearly has a knack for driving in runs; last 10 games: .239/.262/.564, 5 XBH, 13 RBI, 8/1 K/BB.
Evan Gattis, C/OF, Atlanta Braves (VWL): .282/.337/.534, 20 XBH (12 HR), 26/12 K/BB (47 G)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gattis can mash; last five games: 5-for-16, 4 R, 3 HR, 4 RBI.
C.J. Retherford, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (VWL): .296/.389/.480, 22 XBH (7 HR), 27/30 K/BB (52 G)
He’s an older “prospect,” but enjoyed a career year in his first season with the Dodgers (.913 OPS in 118 games between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga); has continued to hit this winter; last 10 games: .321/.474/.464, 4 2B, 2/9 K/BB.
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Cesar Puello, OF, New York Mets (DWL): .185/.313/.333, 3 XBH, 12/3 K/BB (12 G)
After posting a .661 OPS in the Arizona Fall League, Puello has continued his offseason in the DWL, where things have only worsened; last 10 games: .227/.370/.409 with nine strikeouts.
Christian Bethancourt, C, Atlanta Braves (DWL): .224/.246/.276, 3 XBH, 5/2 K/BB (23 G)
Bat just isn’t developing, though he still has age on his side; doesn’t strike out a lot, but makes excessive weak contact and rarely drives the ball; last 10 games: .174/.208/.174.
Sebastian Valle, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Mexican Winter League): .211/.256/.338, 5 XBH, 28/4 K/BB (25 G)
22-year-old spent the final month of the 2012 season at Triple-A, but I don’t see him reaching the major leagues without improved plate discipline; last 10 games: .238/.261/.286, 9 K.
Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros (PWL): .233/.267/.279, 2 XBH, 12/2 K/BB (18 G)
Correa was heating up in early December, but has made only three starts since Dec. 5; still invaluable experience for the 18-year-old.
Avisail Garcia, OF, Detroit Tigers (VWL): .196/.281/.235, 14/5 K/BB (14 G)
After finishing the season on the Tigers’ postseason roster and taking a few weeks off, Garcia has struggled to get things going at the plate; last 10 games: .171/.256/.200, 11/3 K/BB.
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