Regularly throughout the off-season, we’ll take a look at Phillies players who are participating in various winter leagues around the world. As you might suspect, the time has come once again to provide updates on the prospects and big leaguers staying active in foreign professional leagues.
-Wilson Valdez, playing with the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League, has posted a weak .213/.255/.301 line in 35 games. In addition, Valdez has slugged 2 homers, driven in 18 runs and stolen 6 bases. The 33-year-old infielder batted .249 in 99 games with the big league Phillies in 2011.
-Phillies utility man Michael Martinez has not seen action since December 9th with the Estrellas del Oriente in the Dominican League. Through 19 games, Martinez posted a .113 batting average with just 1 extra base hit, a double. The 29-year-old has been playing shortstop for the Estrellas. Martinez batted .196 in 88 games with the Phillies in his first MLB season in 2011.
-Lefty reliever Juan Perez has performed greatly in the Dominican Winter League with the Gigantes del Cibao. Through 26 games Perez has a 0-1 record with 3 saves and a 1.93 ERA. In 28 innings, the 33-year-old has produced a .140 batting average against. With the Phillies in 2011, the veteran reliever appeared in 8 games and went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, but is currently a free agent.
-Catcher Sebastian Valle has been appearing as an outfielder and in pinch hitting roles with his hometown Caneros de los Mochis in Mexico. The 21-year-old has 3 HR and 9 RBI as well. Valle, a righty batter, is the Phillies’ top non-pitching prospect. In 91 games with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers during the 2011 season, Valle batted .284 with 5 HR and 40 RBI en route to earning a nod as a full season All-Star in the Florida State League.
-Right-handed hurler Julio Rodriguez has made six relief appearances for the Gigantes de Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The 21-year-old Rodriguez has posted a 3.52 ERA with no decisions. The 6-foot-4-inch 200-pounder had an outstanding regular season for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers in 2011, going 16-7 with a 2.76 ERA and a .186 batting average against in 27 starts.
-Shortstop Freddy Galvis has begun to pick up the pace lately, posting a .318 batting average in his last 10 games for the Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan league. Galvis sports a .253 average with 7 doubles, 4 triples and 23 RBI in 45 games overall. The switch-hitting 22-year-old has posted a troubling .222 batting average against lefty hurlers in Dominican League play, while hitting .261 against right-handers.
-Righty pitcher Jesus Pirela, a 22-year-old native Venezuelan, is a teammate of Galvis. In 5 relief outings with the Aquilas, Pirela has tallied a 21.21 ERA with a 0-1 record and a .500 opponents batting average. In 17 games with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in 2011, Pirela went 3-0 with a 4.34 ERA and 31 strike outs in 29 innings.
-Well touted second base prospect Cesar Hernandez has posted a .259 batting average through 36 games with the Bravos de Margarita in Venezuela. The switch-hitting 21-year-old has only two doubles to claim as extra base hits. Hernandez’s low success rate on stolen base attempts (caught 3 out of 8 times) is clear evidence of an area of the youngster’s game that needs improvement. Hernandez posted a .268/.306/.333 line in 119 games with the High A level Clearwater Threshers during the 2011 regular season.
-Infielder Carlos Rivero is batting .250 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, a HR and 15 RBI through 46 games with the Leones del Caracas in Venezuela. The 23-year-old was claimed by the Phillies last off-season from Cleveland. The Venezuelan born Rivero had a solid 2011 regular season, posting a .270 average with 16 homeruns and 71 RBI in 136 combined games for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
-Reliever Justin Friend, a Rule 5 draft pick of the Phillies last off-season, has appeared in 18 games for the Tiburones de La Guaira in Venezuela. The 25-year-old has posted a 2-0 record with 3 saves and a 3.44 ERA. Friend has struck out 15 and walked 10 in 18 1/3 innings. In 55 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading during the 2011 regular season, Friend posted a 3-7 record with 28 saves and a 2.75 ERA while striking out 61 and walking 16 batters in 59 innings.
-Swarthmore, PA native RHP Mike McGuire, who pitched with the Clearwater Threshers and the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2011, is now a free agent, but was the starting pitcher for the World team in the Australian Baseball League All-Star game on Wednesday. The 25-year-old earned the win with 1 scoreless inning of work. As a member of the Canberra Cavalry, McGuire has tallied a 2-2 record with a 1.74 ERA in 7 regular season outings down under.
-Tim Kennelly, a member of the Reading Phillies in 2011, was the starting third baseman for Team Australia in the ABL All-Star game. The 25-year-old who ranks 4th in the league with his .341 batting average, went 0-for-4 in the mid-season exhibition. Kennelly is also a free agent.
Image- FOX Sports
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.