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Diamondbacks Winter League Round-up

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The Arizona Fall League moves into its final week, and the Caribbean and American winter leagues are hitting their strides.

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Arizona Fall League

Since our last round-up, the Salt River Rafters and the Arizona Diamondbacks prospects who play for them, have kept themselves above .500, and have a 14-12 record with four games left to play. However, they currently find themselves two games back of the Scottsdale Scorpions. Salt River do face Scottsdale one more time, but that is in the final game of the 2015 AFL season on Thursday, and it may well be entirely academic by that point. There was also the AFL All-Star game on Nov. 7, which saw the West beat the East 8-3. Oscar Hernandez was the starting catcher for the East, but went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, and allowed three stolen bases.

Hernandez has also been having a fairly rough go of it generally, batting only .204, with a .556 OPS. Infielder Jack Renheimer hit .221, but is second on the team for walks with 13, which has helped boost his on-base percentage to a solid .346, though his lack of power is shown in a SLG that's 81 points lower, at .265. Taxi squad (part-time) player Gabby Guerrero has done fairly well in his limited playing chances, putting up a triple-slash of .286/.362/.381 for a .743 OPS. The best numbers belong to someone who is no longer a D-backs: Daniel Palka, now a Twin, has an .841 OPS and his 16 RBI are tied for the Rafters lead. Guess they didn't transfer him to the Scorpions!

On the mound, the best numbers have been posted by Daniel Gibson, albeit in a smaller sample-size than I would have liked. Over his six appearances and innings, he has yet to allow an earned run, allowing three hits and striking out 10. A 7th-round pick in 2013, the 24-year-old put up a 1.56 ERA between Visalia and Mobile this season. The other figure of note is Yoan Lopez, who has had more mixed results. In six starts, he has a 5.18 ERA. Over 24.1 innings, he has fanned 26, but 14 walks and an opponents' batting average of .309 has proven problematic. Looks like he'll get one more start, so be nice to see him finish a rough 2015 on a good note.

Other winter leagues

Best offensive numbers currently put up outside of Arizona go to 3B Ildemaro Vargas, who is playing for the Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela. After batting .321 for Kane County, Vargas is hitting .316 this winter, with more walks than strikeouts (9:6) for a .393 OBP. The switch-hitter is particularly feasting on righties, with a .453 OBP there. Elsewhere, Socrates Brito has four HR in 16 games for Dominican side Estrellas de Oriente, but his OBP is just .250. And down under, Jamie Westbrook is batting .276 for Sydney in the Australian Baseball League, but has drawn only a single base on balls in 14 games. I guess you can't walk off that island continental landmass.

Not much to report on the pitching front. Luke Irvine is the only other starter in action: his is an interesting tale, being signed out of indy ball to fill a slot in the Visalia Rawhide for their stretch and playoff run. He's 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in Mexico with the Caneros de los Mochis, and all but the first of his seven starts have been quality ones. Gabriel Moya, who posted a sub-two ERA out of the Rawhide bullpen, is the only other pitcher currently seeing action, having appeared 14 times for Venezuelan outfit, Aguilas del Zulia. He has been scored upon in just one of those, giving Moya a 2.08 ERA and a K:BB ratio of 9:2, mostly operating as a LOOGY.