Five Players to Watch in the Dominican Winter League
Tomorrow will be the fifth edition of Opening Day in the Dominican Winter League (DWL). The opening game will feature Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. their rivals from the northern region, Gigantes Del Cibao.
The DWL has functioned as a bridge to showcase players to major league clubs. This talent was on full display last year as the league produced quite a few notable storylines.
Joey Rickard was the league MVP during the DWL regular season and was deemed “MLB Ready” by scouts. Rickard was selected during the Rule 5 draft by the Baltimore Orioles serving as a part-time starter and backup role. Another interesting story was Tyler White, a Winter League MVP candidate, this performance helped him be considered for the starting job at first base for the Houston Astros. White ended up winning the position out of spring training and started the year off on a torrid pace before MLB pitchers figured him out.
The DWL has a competition level that is closely behind Japan. One of the keys to the league is making adjustments as the players face many different levels of pitching and batting. In one at bat you could be confronted with a 100 MPH fastball. Then next at bat you would be facing a veteran pitcher pitching low 80s with pinpoint accuracy and movement.
This article will cover the top 5 players to watch in the DWL, and then try to figure out who might be the next Joey Rickard or Tyler White.