I held off on doing an update in the middle of last week because two other leagues were starting up at the end of the week: the Nicaraguan League (NPBL) and the Colombian League. Turns out that nobody from the Giants is playing for either league right now. Oh well.
Plus I waited for the big day of my entire trip here. My first Dominican League baseball game! As luck would have it, the Sunday night game I went to was Licey v. Escogido so I got to see Brandon Belt play.
We’ll get to all that.
In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale has the worst record in the league at 7-14 and they are seven games out of first place. The playoff races really don’t matter that much in the AFL, but I was psyched after last year’s Scorpions win. I bet you were too.
Most of the Giants pitchers are thriving in the AFL. Austin Fleet, Steven Harrold, and Seth Rosin all have ERAs under 2.
Fleet has a tidy 1.00 ERA in nine innings and has eight strikeouts. He has four pitchers ahead of him with sub-1 ERAs, including starter Terry Doyle who’s cleaning house with a 4-0 record and a 0.92 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. He also has the fourth best WHIP at 0.89. Fleet picked up his second win October 22 by pitching a scoreless inning against Phoenix.
Harrold’s BAA is .167 and he hasn’t allowed a run over his last nine innings pitched. He has 10 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings and collected a win October 27, making him the winningest pitcher on the Scorpions staff at 3-0.
Rosin has pitched six innings in five appearances. While he doesn’t get into games on a regular basis, Rosin is making the best of it. He allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings against Phoenix on October 18 but since then has been nearly flawless.
Daryl Maday hasn’t fared as well. He allowed two runs over four innings October 20 and hasn’t pitched since. He was on a regular schedule before his last outing. His AFL season ERA stands at 4.91.
Gary Brown has played three games since my last update and hasn’t seen action since October 22. He was 2-for-5 in his last game. His ability to walk appears to have vanished in the desert, with one walk to 10 strikeouts.
Brandon Crawford remains in the top 10 in hitting with a .341 average…in 44 at-bats. Most regulars in the league have 60-70 at-bats already. Still, Crawford’s tearing it up at the plate with a nine-game hit streak and three of his last five games have been multi-hit efforts. He’s also whiffing at a high rate with 10 strikeouts to two walks. Crawford has played every game at shortstop except for his first game on October 5, where he started at the designated hitter.
I suspect that Crawford and Joe Panik are suffering the same problem: crowded infield positions stocked with talent. Panik has 48 at-bats so far and gets to play a few games a week. He’s put together a nice little run at the plate lately with 9 hits and four RBIs over his last seven games. Panik’s patience at the plate has looked much better than Brown and Crawford’s: the second baseman has seven walks in 14 games.
Over in the Mexican winter league, Brett Pill has yet to play. I received a tip that Tyler Graham was playing in LMP (thanks, sfgiantsgirl) so I’ll give you the skinny on his season so far. He’s playing center field for los Tomateros de Culiacan and is 20-for-73 in 17 games so far. Graham has hit well of late with 10 hits over his last 21 at-bats but has only two walks. He has been the Tomateros leadoff man for all of the team’s games.
Fred Lewis is playing for Hermosillo. I have a habit of pointing out failed and/or obscure former Giants in these updates. Bear with me.
In the Dominican league, Juan Carlos Perez is officially off the chain. He’s leading the league in batting at .404 but has no power and one RBI. At least his 21 hits are tops in the DWL. Perez has a hit in every game except for one and he’s on a 10-game hit streak. Like Peguero, he’s also playing center every day. Perez and Peguero have grown together in the outfield during their Giants careers and while I see Peguero as the more talented, complete ballplayer, these two will likely be playing in Fresno next year. They’ll probably move between right and center as they always have, but that leaves the question of what Perez’s future is in the system, especially with Gary Brown as the desired center field prospect.
MLB’s database has Perez’s info wrong. They have his place of birth in Panama. So if you can’t find his stats via MLB.com or MiLB.com, don’t worry. I know he’s playing for Aguilas and I know his stats are correct because I’m keeping tabs on him here.
Francisco Peguero is getting the bulk of the playing time on the Gigantes team with 52 at-bats. He’s their every day center fielder and has hit leadoff and ninth. Maybe the team likes the idea of putting two speedy guys who can hit near the top of the lineup for offensive turnover. Peguero hit a home run October 21 and he has seven hits and two RBIs over his last 13 at-bats. His nine strikeouts are high compared to just two walks.
David Quinowski had a bad time against los Toros on October 21 when they touched him up for two runs in one inning of work, but Quinowski recovered to throw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball on the 26th. He faced only one batter in his last outing, walking him before exiting the game without recording an out. The bad game puts Quinowski’s ERA at 4.05, but he has six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings over five games.
Felix Romero allowed his first run in the winter season on October 26 in 1/3 inning against Escogido. Since the last update, Romero has added a win in relief and pitched 2 1/3 innings. The bump in the road against Escogido raised his ERA to 1.42. He bounced back with a scoreless inning on October 29, also against Escogido.
I kept a close eye on Belt last night. Everything looks fine with his swing. His bat is staying level through the zone and his feet are the same at the plate. He played first in last night’s game against Licey and looked fine there too, except for a botched backhand play at the bag. The shortstop’s throw was rushed so Belt didn’t have a good chance at it anyway.
As for the stats, Belt has 45 at-bats for Escogido and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. He played first two games in a row! I’m positively starry-eyed over that.
Here’s a picture I took from my seat at the game. That way you can be sure that Brandon Belt happened.
I tried to get video of his at-bats but my camera battery died as he was walking up to the plate for his first at-bat. Positively rancid timing.
Osiris Matos had two good appearances this past week, allowing one hit and one walk over 1 1/3 innings. Matos has four strikeouts over 3 1/3 frames.
The Venezuelan League has a lot of happenings, but some notable players missing or not yet playing. First, let me tell you all that Jerome Williams is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Yes, that Jerome Williams. He has eight walks, so you know it’s really him. I anticipate the Giants offering him a contract within the next few weeks.
The big group of Giants prospects on Zulia haven’t seen action yet. Ebert Fernandez, Renzo Freite, Jose Flores, Nelder Gonzalez, and Ydwin Villegas aren’t into games.
Max Ramirez has been playing a lot of first base and has had about half of his starts at DH. He has not yet played catcher. Ramirez is hitting .234 and hasn’t showed much power since the last update. He has four hits in his last five games but also has eight strikeouts since the last update.
Edwin Escobar pitched one game last week. It was his first start of the winter season and he went 3 2/3 innings with five hits and one run allowed. Previous to his October 26 start against La Guaria, Escobar had pitched 1/3 innings and allowed a run in his second outing of the year without recording an out. Looks like Escobar is on the right track since trying his hand as a starter.
Jean Machi three saves has him tied for third in the league and he has a 1.17 ERA in seven games. He’s 3-for-4 in save pops but stumbled October 29 when Carolina tagged him for two runs (one earned) and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. It was Machi’s only bad game all year. He had three scoreless outings prior to the October 29 game . He’s old–30 in February–but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a non-roster invitee in spring training and then in the Fresno Grizzlies bullpen in 2012.
Alberth Martinez is a recent addition to the Giants family. He’s listed under the Giants as his parent club. Martinez is an outfielder who had 263 at-bats in the Padres organization this year, most in the AZL, where he hit .354 with seven homers and 24 RBIs. He spent last year in the Padres DSL team and is young–20 years old. So I don’t know why the Padres dumped him, but I think he has potential if the Giants snapped him up.
He’s 4-for-8 with a run scored so far in four games with Magallanes. His last two appearances have been pinch-running situations.
Pablo Sandoval took off to Taiwan for the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series, arriving in Taiwan Sunday. An All-Star team of MLB players will face the Chinese Taipei National Team–oh how I hate to refer to Taiwan as that. FU, China.
Ehire Adrianza is sporting a .417 average. Now the bad news: he’s only had 17 at-bats. He missed about a week at the start of the season, played three straight games, then sat for another week. He came back last night with a walk in two at-bats. The great momentum he built up by starting his year with seven hits in his first three games has yet to return.
Hector Sanchez is hitting well too, though he’s been limited to 21 at-bats. Sanchez’s time has been a little more consistent and he too started off hot with all eight of his hits in the first five games. I think Sanchez and Adrianza are victims of expansive VWL rosters; Sanchez is one of five catchers for the Tiburones and the team has a glut of infielders.
The Colombian League was cancelled last year because of an unusually harsh winter in the country. No roster info or box scores or stats have been posted to teamrenteria.com yet, but I’m checking frequently to keep up with it. The league was due to start October 22.
I didn’t see the Bucardo brothers, Jorge or Wilber, listed on Nicaraguan League rosters. I remember them playing there before. Mark Minicozzi is playing for Oriental-Granada in the NPBL. You might remember him. He was in the Giants system from 2005-2007 and played the 2006 and 2007 seasons in San Jose.
All these leagues are subject to changing rosters. Carlos Zambrano just signed with Caribes in the VWL and will join the team this coming weekend, so that shows you that these rosters change and guys join teams at all times during the season.
MLB.com’s winter leagues portal has an updated interface and look, making it much nicer and cleaner. Check it: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/
Don’t forget that the Australian League (November 3) and the Puerto Rican League (November 4) begin this week.