Another week, another league begins play as the newly formed Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League started up in Puerto Rico. The Cubs have two players represented, for now, in newly signed infielder Edwin Maysonet and catcher Rafael Lopez.
Meanwhile, back in Arizona, infielder Logan Watkins is beginning to make a name for himself while outfielder Matt Szczur continues to improve as the “leadoff man of the future”.
There was also a lot of action in the Caribbean as Junior Lake and Nelson Perez flexed their muscles in the Dominican Republic. Jay Jackson was a Jack-of-all-trades in Mexico and Luis Valbuena kept chugging in Venezuela.
For a more in-depth look, see this week’s report. Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday
Arizona Fall League
Mesa Solar Sox
This week saw a turn in fortune for the Solar Sox as the AFL team in Mesa recorded five wins. It all started on Monday as Mesa defeated Scottsdale 5-4. Nick Struck was the pitcher of record. Struck tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Struck walked a batter and posted two strikeouts. Dae-Eun Rhee started the game and pitched the first four innings. Rhee walked two, struck out a pair and surrendered two earned runs. Cubs’ prospects were all able to get on base and score, beginning with Logan Watkins. Watkins was 0-for-2 with two walks. Matt Szczur was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while Rubi Silva went 1-for-4 with a triple. Both Szczur and Silva contributed on defense and notched an outfield assist.
Logan Watkins continued working the count on Tuesday as he was 1-for-3 with a walk in Mesa’s 7-0 loss to Surprise. Matt Szczur went 1-for-4 and Tony Zych tossed a scoreless inning.
It was the offense that carried the day on Wednesday as Matt Szczur had a big game in the Solar Sox’s 4-3 win over Scottsdale. Szczur went 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base, and two RBI. Rubi Silva also drove in a run as part of a 1-for-3 performance.
Tony Zych helped bail things out on Thursday, as his two scoreless innings contributed to a 4-3 victory over Phoenix. Zych rescued teammate Nick Struck who blew a save by allowing three earned runs in 1.1 innings. It was a quiet day on the bases as Logan Watkins went 0-for-4, but scored a run. Matt Szczur (0-for-1) worked two free passes. Rubi Silva was used as a pinch-runner and did not have an official at bat.
However, it would be Logan Watkins’ time to shine again on Friday. Logan Watkins doubled and scored as part of a 2-for-5 afternoon, as Mesa beat Salt River 7-5. Rubi Silva (0-for-4) also scored a run.
Saturday saw Logan Watkins once again putting up big numbers, as the Solar Sox muscled their way past Peoria 11-8. Watkins was simply on fire as he went 3-for-5 while touching them all with his first AFL home run. Watkins scored two runs and drove in two in the victory. Matt Szczur (2-for-5) was also productive hitting out of the leadoff spot. Szczur doubled and scored a run. Dae-Eun Rhee started for Mesa and gave up four runs (one earned), as his throwing error opened up the floodgates in the first inning. Rhee tossed two innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Dominican Winter League
Michael Bowden didn’t do so well in his second start for the Eagles. Bowden lasted only 1.1 innings while giving up six runs (five earned) in an 9-1 loss to Estrellas on Tuesday.
Leones de Escogido
Lendy Castillo continued to put up zeroes for the Lions this week. Unfortunately, they didn’t help translate to wins. Castillo struck out a batter while shutting out Cibao for an inning in a 15-13 loss on Tuesday. Castillo made another appearance on Friday and tossed a scoreless 0.2 innings as Escogido lost 3-2 to Licey.
Toros del Este
The week started out well for the Toros as they were able to handle Escogido in a 3-1 win on Sunday. Diory Hernandez (2-for-4) scored a run in the victory.
It was a rare Monday game for the Bulls this week, as they shut out Escogido 5-0. Diory Hernandez had a big performance. Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a walk, a RBI and an stolen base.
Este was thumped big time on Tuesday and lost 9-2 to Oriente. Reliever Jeffry Antigua played a large part by giving up four earned runs in 0.1 innings. Antigua was hung with the loss. Diory Hernandez was 0-for-2 with a walk.
All of the Cubs’ players for the Bulls contributed on Wednesday as Este coasted to a 9-3 win over Licey. Lefty Horacio Ramirez started and struck out seven in four innings while allowing two earned runs. Jeffry Antigua threw 1.2 scoreless innings and picked up the victory. Diory Hernandez went 0-for-4, but walked, stole a base and drove in two runs.
Este was back in action on Friday after an off day on Thursday and the Toros continued to come up big in a 10-4 victory over Estrellas. Diory Hernandez was the only player from the Cubs’ system that contributed. Hernandez was 1-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
On Saturday, Jeffry Antigua picked up his third hold of the winter as the Bulls beat Cibaenas 4-1.
Tigres del Licey
It was a brief but productive week for infielder Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara had appearances in four games. Alcantara worked a walk in a pinch-hitting appearance on Sunday as the Tigers lost 14-12 to Cibaenas. Alcantara was used as a pinch runner in two losses, a 10-7 loss to Escogido on Tuesday and Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to Este.
Arismendy Alcantara was able to score the winning run as a pinch runner on Thursday as Licey edged Cibao12-11. Alcantara also lined up for an inning at second base.
Estrellas de Oriente
Cubs’ prospects Junior Lake and Nelson Perez had very productive weeks for the Stars. On Sunday, Nelson Perez (1-for-4) drove in two with his first home run of the winter and Junior Lake went 1-for-1 in a pinch-hitting appearance in a 7-4 loss to Cibao.
Oriente made two in a row to the Giants as they lost to Cibao 6-4 on Monday. Junior Lake made his first start at third base and committed two errors, but made up for it by going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI at the plate. Nelson Perez was 1-for-2.
Estrellas returned to winning ways on Tuesday, as they rode big performances from Junior Lake and Nelson Perez to a 9-2 victory over Este. Junior Lake was 4-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored and Nelson Perez drilled a pinch-hit, three-run homer.
The Stars had another big win on Thursday and defeated Cibaenas 8-1. Nelson Perez went 0-for-4 but scored a run in the victory.
Friday saw a reversal of fortunes as Oriente lost 10-4 to Este. Junior Lake was 1-for-3, while Nelson Perez went 0-for-3 with an RBI.
The Stars topped off their week with a 5-2 victory over Escogido on Saturday. Junior Lake continued to swing a hot bat. Lake went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI while Nelson Perez was 1-for-3 with a walk.
Oriente followed the victory with a make-up game from a postponement on October 25. Estrellas defeated Escogido in the nightcap 1-0. Junior Lake was 0-fo-2 with a walk and Nelson Perez went 0-for-4.
Mexican Pacific League
Venados de Mazatlan
How do you play two games in a day without playing a doubleheader? Mazatlan found out on Friday as it took 18 innings to resolve a contest with Hermosillo with the Stags bowing 5-4 to the Orangemen. Jay Jackson did his part to keep Mazatlan in the game. Jackson pitched five innings of one-hit ball while striking out four batters in the process.
The news that Jay Jackson is a good athlete must have spread south of the border, as Mazatlan used Jackson as a pinch-runner in their 3-2 loss to Hermosillo on Saturday.
Yaquis de Obregon
As hot as the Yaquis were last week, they were equally as cold this week. Alfredo Amezaga remained on fire this past Sunday. Amezaga was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI as Obregon lost 13-11 to Hermosillo. Esmailin Caridad tossed a scoreless inning in the game.
Things went ice cold for Alfredo Amezaga following Monday’s break. Amezaga was 1-for-4 in Tuesday’s 8-6 loss and then went 0-for-4 in the Tribe’s 5-3 loss on Wednesday. Christian Villanueva was 0-for-4 in Tuesday’s game.
The Cotton Pickers made it a sweep on Thursday by beating Obregon 7-2. Alfredo Amezaga was 1-for-4 with a double, while Esmailin Caridad allowed three runs (one earned) with two strikeouts in an inning of work.
Success found its way back to the Yaquis on Friday as they edged Novajoa 2-1. Alfredo Amezaga was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI while Christian Villanueva went 0-for-2. Esmailin Caridad kept the Mayos off the board for an inning.
The Yaquis put on a winning kick on Saturday by scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Novajoa 6-2. Esmailin Caridad was the winning pitcher as he walked one and struck out a batter in a scoreless ninth. Alfredo Amezaga was 2-for-5 with a run scored while Christian Villanueva (0-for-3) continued his struggles.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Atenienses de Manati
The newly christened Roberto Clemente League opened in Puerto Rico on Thursday. Recently signed infielder Edwin Maysonet started at short for the Athenians. Maysonet went 0-for-3 with a walk as Manato lost 3-2 to Caguas.
Edwin Maysonet managed his first hit as a member of the organization. Maysonet was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Warriors lost 11-2 to Mayaguez on Friday.
Manati notched their first victory of the winter on Saturday as they defeated Caguas 8-5. Edwin Maysonet was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI.
Indios de Mayaguez
Daytona catcher Rafael Lopez made his first start of the winter Saturday for Mayaguez. Lopez was 1-for-3 with a walk as the Indians shut out Santurce 4-0.
Venezuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
After a good start, it ended up being a really tough week for Lara and infielder Luis Valbuena. Valbuena was 1-for-3 on Sunday with two walks as the Cardinals defeated Zulia 3-2.
Luis Valbuena could not manage a hit for the next two games. Valbuena went a combined 0-for-6 as Lara lost 1-0 to Anzoategui on Tuesday and dropped Wednesday’s game 6-1 to Margarita. Valbuena came back Thursday and went 1-for-3 with an RBI as the Redbirds lost 13-4 to Caracas.
After Friday’s day off, Luis Valbuena was back with a vengeance on Saturday. Valbuena smacked a two-run home run as part of a 2-for-3 performance. Lara ended up losing 9-5 to Magallanes.
Tigres de Aragua
It was a strange week for the Cubs’ prospects that suit up for the Tigers as they failed to contribute in wins, but had decent games in the losses. Sunday saw Ty Wright go 1-for-4 with his first home run as the Tigers lost 3-1 to Anzoategui. Jae-Hoon Ha was 1-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and stole his fourth base.
Both Ty Wright and Jae-Hoon Ha failed to make a mark in Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to Magallanes.
Jae-Hoon Ha then had brief appearances in wins on Thursday and Friday. Ha went 0-for-1 in both games as Aragua beat Caracas 8-7 in ten innings on Thursday and defeated Anzoategui 5-1 on Friday.
Ty Wright ended the week by going 1-for-5 with a double on Saturday as the Cats dropped their second straight to Anzoategui.
Leones de Caracas
It was a different result for Yoanner Negrin this week. Negrin gave up four earned runs in five innings while walking two and striking out two as the Lions lost 8-7 to Aragua on Thursday.
Tiburones de La Guaira
The versatile Eduardo Figueroa received a start on Wednesday for the Sharks. Figueroa allowed three earned runs, walked three, and struck out two in two innings as La Guaira lost 12-11 to Magallanes.
Aguilas del Zulia
The Eagles continued to flounder this week as Juan Apodaca again received sporadic playing time. Apodaca was 0-for-2 with an RBI on Sunday as Zulia lost 3-2 to Lara.
Juan Apodaca went 2-for-4 with a run scored as the Raptors lost 13-6 to La Guaira on Thursday.
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