Just wanted to give a little heads up. As you may know, the winter leagues are in full swing. Not just the Arizona Fall League, either. There is the highly regarded Venezuelan League, in addition to the Mexican Pacific League, the Dominican League, and the Puerto Rican League. The folks at MLB.com are doing something very nice to us fans this season, they are recording the stats in ALL of these leagues. Not only that, they even have a page that shows you all Nationals’ players stats in the winter leagues.
Keeping in mind that some are harder than others, here are a few players of note from the league so far:
Danny Espinosa (.282/.343/.343, 38 PAs)
Arizona Puerto Rico (thanks, Nate!) – He’s hit well and he has taken a few walks, which is encouraging. He could use a few extra base hits, but power is the one thing we know is there.
Michael Burgess (.222/.265/.311, 48 PAs) Arizona – He’s struck out 15 times and just doesn’t appear to be ready to play at this level. He is still only 21 so try not to get too worked up., but this isn’t a good sign.
Bryce Harper (.368/.429/632, 21 PAs) Arizona – It’s not a ton of appearances, but he’s shown power and an ability to hit. He’s walked twice, both yesterday, but the lack of patience probably shouldn’t be too troubling right now. He is demonstrating now that he’ll advance quickly through the lower levels of the minors.
Jesus Flores (2 for 3 with a double) Venezuela – Not much to go on here, but he’s playing somewhere, he hit and he played Catcher. It’s a good step in his long road back. If he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t play in the Spring for the Nats.
Derek Norris (.281/.467/.719, 43 PAs) Arizona – Just a great start to a guy who had a difficult beginning to 2010 in terms of stats. He is showing why he is considered one of the teams best prospects, and looks to again supplant Ramos as the catcher of the future…
Wilson Ramos (5 for 9, 2 BB, 3 doubles) Venezuela – Of course Ramos has something to say about that. He has had decidedly fewer chances than Norris but still looks very good.
Chris Marrero (.324/.351/.412, 36 PAs) Puerto Rico – The numbers don’t look too bad, but it’s not a ton of power or patience in a league that is at best the third toughest winter league. Over such a short time, for him and all these guys, it’s hard to come to any conclusions, we’ll have plenty of time this year to see how the 22 year old hits in AAA.
Cole Kimball (8 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 8 K) Arizona – After having nothing impressive to show for four seasons of pro baseball other than strikeouts, he was great in high-A and AA this year. He continues to pitch well in Arizona, showing that he may have actually found something.
Yunesky Maya (10 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 12 K) Venezuela – He has looked much better in this pro circuit than in the big leagues. With some time and some more experience in the league, he could end up looking good some time next season.
The catching situation is probably what is most interesting. If the Nats really have 3 catchers at the end of the year, they could conceivably trade 1 or even 2 of them and get a significant young player in return. All of these stats, though, should be taken with the understanding that they are extremely small samples sizes. Still, it’s nice to see some success from most of these guys.