The playoffs are underway in all four factions of the offseason winter Leagues, with the winner of the Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan leagues to represent their country in February’s Caribbean Series.
Since there’s a small sample size for this installment given the recent start of the playoffs, my focus will once again be on each league’s hottest position prospects. This week features several notable prospects in Oswaldo Arcia (Twins), Jesus Aguilar (Indians), and the red-hot Leury Garcia (Rangers).
Carlos Rivero, 3b, Washington Nationals (Venezuelan Winter League)
The 24-year-old third baseman posted a .783 OPS last season with 10 home runs at Triple-A Syracuse; currently batting .286 with one home run in the VWL playoffs.
Jesus Aguilar, 1b, Cleveland Indians (VWL)
Aguilar, a power-hitting first-base-only prospect, had a breakout year last season, batting.280/.372/.461 with 15 home runs in 127 games between High-A and Double-A; batting .444 with two home runs in the VWL playoffs.
Yadiel Rivera, ss, Milwaukee Brewers (Puerto Rican Winter League)
The 20-year-old shortstop struggled in the Midwest League (Low-A) last season, posting a .692 OPS with 119 strikeouts in 127 games; had a strong regular season in the PWL by batting .347/.347/.429 in 21 games, though he also posted a 16/0 K/BB; has stung the ball to open the league’s playoff as evidenced by his .444 batting average.
Leury Garcia, ss, Texas Rangers (Dominican Winter League)
Somewhat obscured by Jurickson Profar, Garcia is a diminutive switch-hitting shortstop who batted .292/.337/.398 as 21-year-old at Double-A Frisco; has been raking in the DWL playoffs, batting .700 with two doubles and four RBI; turned in a 5-for-5 performance last week.
Anthony Garcia, of, St. Louis Cardinals (PWL)
21-year-old outfielder was old for the Midwest League (Low-A), but showed above-average raw power by batting .280/.354/.525 with 19 home runs in 109 games; batting .318 in the PWL with two home runs.
Oswaldo Arcia, of, Minnesota Twins (VWL)
Arcia enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, batting .320/.388/.539 with 61 extra-base hits (17 home runs), including a .955 OPS in 69 games at Double-A New Britain; batting .438 with two home runs in the VWL playoffs.