The Hottest/Coldest Hitting Prospects in the Offseason Winter Leagues
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The Dominican Winter League regular season came to an end last week. Although he’s no longer technically a prospect, it's worth noting that Brewers shortstop Jean Segura captured the batting title with a .324 average.
However, there are plenty of prospects still active in the ongoing Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan leagues. This week’s award for overall hottest hitter goes to the Braves’ 26-year-old masher, Evan Gattis, who hit six home runs in the last 10 games.
Here’s a look at the hottest and coldest hitters participating in the Caribbean Winter Leagues.
Evan Gattis, OF/C, Atlanta Braves (Venezuelan Winter League): .303/.365/.595, 25 XBH (16 HR), 30/16 K/BB (53 G)
The 26-year-old’s power surge continues, as he’s batting .412/.500/.971 with six home runs and 13 RBI in his last 10 games. Say what you want about his age and defensive limitations, but his bat is legit and arguably the best in the Braves system.
Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Dominican Winter League): .316/.379/.507, 18 XBH, 21/14 K/BB (39 G)
I’m beginning to think that Taveras will never slump, which is precisely why he’s the best pure hitter in the minor leagues; final 10 games: .333/.364/.571, 7 2B.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins (DWL): .236/.289/.460, 21 XBH (9 HR), 5 CS, 46/11 K/BB (47 G)
Furthered his reputation as an all-or-nothing hitter in the DWL; almost homered more than he walked in 47 games.
Eury Perez, OF, Washington Nationals (DWL): .221/.256/.267, 3 XBH, 2 SB, 16/3 (27 G)
Struggled for most of the winter season, but made the most out of a string of starts in the final week; last six games: 8-for-26 and hit safely in each contest.
Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF, Minnesota Twins (Puerto Rican Winter League): .349/.395/.523, 11 XBH, 21/9 K/BB (30 G)
Rosario has been raking this winter after posting an .835 OPS last season in the Midwest League; was especially impressive against left-handed pitching, batting .361/.400/.389 in 36 at-bats.
Junior Lake, SS, Chicago Cubs (DWL): .312/.382/.474, 14 XBH, 11 SB, 46/15 K/BB (44 G)
Was raking for most of the DWL, but cooled off down the stretch and batted .237/.310/.395 with 12 strikeouts over his final 10 games; destroyed left-handed pitching: .560/.633/.680 in 25 at-bats; .763 OPS against right-handers.
Christian Bethancourt, C, Atlanta Braves (DWL): .224/.246/.276, 3 2B, 5/2 K/BB (23 G)
Bat has become borderline anemic; lack of extra-base pop is disconcerting, not to mention his enormous strike zone.
Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins (DWL): .265/.373/.571, 7 XBH, 17/8 K/BB (20 G)
After homering in back-to-back games on Dec. 9 and 13, Sano went ice cold to finish the winter season; final three games: 0-for-12, 10 K (!).
Sebastian Valle, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Mexican Winter League): .195/.238/.312, 5 XBH, 32/4 K/BB (28 G)
Valle has turned in an ugly performance in the MWL to cap an ugly overall 2013 season; last 10 games: .100/.095/.150, 11/0 K/BB. Ouch.
Christian Colon, SS/2B, Kansas City Royals (PWL): .274/.329/.341, 8 XBH, 8 SB, 17/9 K/BB (35 G)
Colon had been red-hot for most of the winter season, but has cooled off as of late with a .237/.310/.289 slash line over his last 10 contests.
Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (PWL): .226/.276/.340, 4 XBH, 17/3 K/BB (15 G)
Puig was highly impressive in his professional debut last season, as he batted .354/.442/.634 in 23 games while reaching High-A Rancho Cucamonga; 17 strikeouts in 15 games this winter.
Wilmer Flores, 3B, New York Mets (VWL): .279/.343/.430, 16 XBH, 25/15 K/BB (48 G)
Has shown solid power and plate discipline this winter, but his propensity to make weak outs continues to be a hindrance.
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF, Chicago Cubs (VWL): .218/.291/.295, 4 XBH, 6 SB, 26/8 K/BB (27 G)
Hoon has struggled mightily against right-handed pitching this winter, batting .167/.237/.241 in 54 at-bats.
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