D-backs in winterball: the final numbers

USA TODAY Sports

The winter leagues in South and Central American are in their playoffs, with the winners progressing on to the Caribbean World Series, which starts in Venezuela on February 1. How did the D-backs do?

Dominican Winter League

The Leones del Escogido made it to the championship, where we'll see outfielder Alfredo Marte, who played 22 times for the D-backs last year (you might have forgotten that). He saw most action of any of our hitters in the DWL, playing in 42 games and hitting .248 with three home-runs for Leones. A tense finish in the round-robin playoff round saw Licey prevail over Gigantes in a play-in. On the outside were the Aguilas Cibaenas, whose roster included 3B Andy Marte, signed by us in December; he hit .257 with three homers for the runners-up. Elsewhere, catchers Tuffy Gosewisch and Raywilly Gomez also got some time, the former going 8-for-48.

There were some interesting pitching performances, such as Rule 5 draft pick Marcus Mateo. He picked up nine saves and a 1.71 ERA in 19 games, with 24 strikeouts in 21 innings, and seems fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery. , We'll see more of him next month, I'm sure. Left-handed reliever Eury de la Rosa also put up decent numbers, allowing two earned runs over 13.1 innings, but Willy Paredes was hit around at a .304 clip over his 15 appearances for Gigantes del Cibao, though they still made the playoffs.

Mexican Winter League

Mike Jacobs, the first pro athlete in North America to be suspended for failing an HGH test, didn't exactly make a strong case for himself in the Mexican League. In 21 games for Aguilas de Mexicali, he managed to hit only .182, though five home-runs boosted him OPS to a more respectable .748. A far better impression was provided by pitcher Derek Eitel: you can hardly do better than a 0.00 ERA, in 21 games and 23.2 innings for Yaquis de Obregon. Eitel struck out 28 and held batters to a miserly .146 average. Amusingly, despite the zero ERA, he still managed to take the loss in a game, due presumably to unearned runs.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Compared to their island cousins, not many Diamondbacks at all play in Puerto Rico. The only one of note was left-handed starting pitcher Hector Hernandez, who was another one of our Rule 5 picks [though in a later round, so doesn't have to be kept on the 25-man roster]. He started six games for the Indios de Mayaguez, and also made three appearances out of the bullpen, but ended winless, despite a respectable 3.24 ERA. However, he did seem to have control issues, with 11 walks, four wild pitches and a hit batter in 25 innings. Mayaguez will face Caguas in the championship series here.

Venezuelan Winter League

I hope Gerardo Parra is keeping something back for the regular season. I mean, it's not as if he needed winter ball this year, having appeared in all but six of the Diamondbacks games last summer, and piling up a career-high 663 PAs. You can add another 26 games and 114 PAs in Venezuela, and he did done very well, batting .360, with almost as many walks as strikeouts (11:12) for a .987 OPS. He played for Leones del Caracas until the end of December; they now have Henry Blanco on their post-season roster. Non-roster spring invitee Danny Dorn appeared for Caracas too, the outfielder batting .313 over 31 games with them.

Bravos de Margarita is the other stronghold for Arizona position players down there. That's where Blanco started his season, and 2B Gerson Montilla and OF David Peralta were also part of the Bravos roster. Peralta had the better statistics, batting .288 and driving in 16 runs over 111 PAs, to follow up on a season where he hit an impressive .346 for Visalia. Montilla hit .212 with a .601 OPS. Completing the D-backs, CF Ender Inciarte did well for Aguilas del Zulia, hitting exactly .300 in .263 at-bats, with a solid K:BB ratio of 31:25.

On the mound, the best performance was likely Mark Serrano's for the Aguilas del Zulia. He started eight games for them, going 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA. His best outing was seven shutout innings of four-hit ball on November 8, in which he walked none and struck out four. During his last four starts, he held the opposition to three runs in 24 frames, with a K:BB ratio over that time of 15:2. Reiliever Silvino Bracho also impressed, especially considering he pitched 2013 for the rookie Missoula Osprey. Over 21 appearances, he held opponents to a .177 average, with 28 strikeouts in only 21.1 innings. Jess Todd was the only other D-back with more than 10 innings, returning a 3.38 ERA.

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