Notable Performances from the Dominican Winter League
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
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Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
The Dominican Winter League had much more talent this offseason than in recent years. From Oscar Taveras to Miguel Tejada, some of the best baseball the DWL has ever seen was played this winter. In particular, four players have made this year’s DWL class a lot of fun. Hector Luna and Bartolo Colon are both MLB veterans trying to prove to their individual teams what they are capable of. Oscar Taveras and Miguel Sano, two of the top prospects in the minors, are trying to make it clear to the scouting world that they are destined for success. These four players provided numerous highlights and were essential to their team’s success during the DWL Regular Season.
Oscar Taveras Highlights from 2012 – Mature Content so Parental Guidance is advised
32-Year-Old Hector Luna has been in and out of the majors for the last eight years. He’s a Second Baseman who can’t hit enough to be a second-division starter for a Major League club. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, news broke that Luna was going to play for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan in 2013. It’s fair to say that Luna has likely seen his last plate appearance in the Majors. Nonetheless, in 175 PA’s for Aguilas Cibaenas, Luna was nothing short of a superstar. He hit .303/.408/.514 with 7 HRs and a 29/30 BB/K. This doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things, but Luna’s fantastic season was the main reason the Aguilas won their division.
Oscar Taveras is one of the top prospects in the minors today. After a breakout season with the Cardinal’s Double-A Springfield, in which he hit .321/.380/.572, Taveras has generated a lot of attention. My favorite part about watching Taveras play is his swing. It is powerful, yet fluid, which is something that you don’t see very often with young power hitters. Taveras played for Aguilas Cibaenas, where, in 152 AB’s, Taveras hit .316/.379/.507 with 12 Doubles. In a League where hitters often don’t post numbers similar to their ones back in the U.S., Taveras’s statistics seemed to match up very closely with his stats in Springfield. In other words, Taveras proved his serious talent to the Dominican Republic this offseason.
Miguel Angel Sano is the best prospect in the Minnesota farm system. Sano signed with Minnesota for $3.15M out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, despite numerous questions circulating regarding his age. In 2012, Sano played in 129 games for Beloit in the Midwest League. Sano hit .258/.373/.521 with 28 HRs and a 14.5 BB%, which most think cemented his status as the hitter in the minors with the most raw power. Playing for Estrelles de Oriente in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Sano hit .265/.373/.521 with 4 HR in just 49 AB’s. Playing during the offseason has probably been a nice way for Sano to stay in shape, as he seems ready for a breakout season in 2013.
Bartolo Colon is 39-Years-Old and he has a suspension for testosterone that will affect when his 2013 season begins. However, he still earned a 1 YR/$3 Million Contract from Oakland this offseason. In 24 starts in 2012, Colon only walked 1.39 batters every nine innings, posted a 1.00 HR/9, which helped him get a 3.43 ERA. In order to stay in shape, or whatever Colon considers “in shape”, Colon was pitching with Aguilas Cibaenas. In just four outings, Colon posted a 4.61 ERA, allowing only seven earned runs in 13.2 innings. All signs show that Colon is ready for another season pitching at the friendly confines that is the Oakland Coliseum.
All four of these players have helped to created an exciting vibe around the Dominican Republic this year. With the playoffs about to start, let’s hope that these four stay healthy and continue to lead their teams to the championship.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter Follow @RJA206
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Posted on January 13, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @RJA206 on twitter, aguilas cibaenas, bartolo colon, bartolo colon oakland, baseball, Chunichi Dragons, dominican baseball, dominican winter league, dwl, estrellas de oriente, hector luna, miguel angel sano, miguel sano, minnesota twins prospects, mlb, oscar tavares. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.