In each previous installment of this series, I highlighted both the hottest and coldest pitching prospects in the Caribbean Winter Leagues. However, with so few legitimate arms still active in the Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan leagues, it was impossible to find enough ice-cold prospects to fill out the category.
So, this week’s version offers an expanded look at the winter league’s hottest pitching prospects. And, as you’ll see, there are plenty of them.
Bruce Rondon, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Venezuelan Winter League): 15 IP, 8 SV, 4.80 ERA, 17/6 K/BB (16 G)
After blowing a save on Dec. 14, the hard-throwing right-hander bounced back a few days later with a scoreless frame; now has eight saves in 16 appearances.
Adys Portillo, RHP, San Diego Padres (VWL): 19.2 IP, 4.58 ERA, .268 BAA, 12/10 K/BB (17 G)
Was struggling to miss bats with consistency early in the season, but has been much better as of late; last three appearances: 4 IP, 2 H, 4/0 K/BB.
Alex Torres, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (VWL): 55.1 IP, 4.07 ERA, .246 BAA, 78/24 K/BB (13 GS)
After registering a 7.30 ERA last season at Triple-A Durham and moving to the bullpen, Torres has been solid this winter. However, his high pitch counts and inability to work deep into starts continue to be a problem.
Julio Rodriguez, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Puerto Rican Winter League): 19 IP, 3.32 ERA, .200 BAA, 19/11 K/BB (8 G; 2 GS)
Rodriguez was much more effective in his second PWL start: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3/3 K/BB.
Daniel Corcino, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Dominican Winter League): 20.2 IP, 3.48 ERA, .291 BAA, 10/6 K/BB (5 GS)
Twenty-two-year-old turned in his best DWL start on Wednesday: 5 IP, 1 H, 4/2 K/BB.
Jose De Paula, LHP, San Diego Padres (DWL): 38.2 IP, 3.72 ERA, .240 BAA, 39/10 K/BB (13 G; 7 GS)
Missed entire 2012 season due to visa problems; was moved to the starting rotation in mid-November and allowed 11 earned runs in his first four starts; has been dominant in his last two: 10.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 13/1 K/BB.