San Diego Padres Winter League Update #6
Winter League Baseball is coming down to its last few games.
The Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan League are actually already in the playoff stage of their seasons.
With that being said, there really hasn’t been too much action since the last update. In fact, there are several players who have not seen a single pitch for several weeks.
We’ll take a look at them first, and then look at the guys who have been active.
There are several players who have been inactive as of late. There are no reported injuries on them, so they have just left their respective teams and gone on to train for the 2017 season elsewhere. The big ones have to be Carlos Asuaje and Manuel Margot. Asuaje hasn’t participated in a game since Nov. 19, while Margot’s last LIDOM game came on Dec. 11. Other players who have not participated in a professional game for a while include Jose Carlos Urena, Jabari Blash, and Luis Tejada. Unfortunately, with the type of performance Blash had in the LIDOM, it doesn’t bode well for him getting a shot at the Major League team in 2017. The native of the Virgin Islands has only managed to go 3-for-26 in his spell with Leones del Escojido in the LIDOM. Dominican Baseball doesn’t wrap up until Jan. 17, but it is unlikely that we will see an at bat from any of these Friars.
Daniel Bravo 2B
Bravo has not played in a game since Oct. 30th. The playoffs have started in the Venezuelan League and Bravo’s team, Tigres de Aragua, has made it to the postseason. It seems unlikely that Bravo will get any playing time. But we will look at how Bravo did in the LVBP this winter. It was a pretty cold winter for Bravo, as the young second baseman only managed to hit .190 in 20 games. The 21-year-old also hit no home runs, had just two RBI, and had two stolen bases. Bravo really wasn’t impressive and it seems like he could find his way to Lake Elsinore to kick off 2017. The good thing about Bravo is that he is just still 21 years old. There is definitely room to grow for the young Venezuelan infielder.
Gamboa is an interesting case. The Padres do own the 25-year-old infielder, but he has yet to play for any affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Since 2014, Gamboa has played Mexican League baseball year round. Hopefully, 2017 can be different for Gamboa and he can find a spot on one of the Padres’ affiliates. The 5-foot-7 shortstop had a decent season in the LMP with his hometown Caneros de Los Mochis. He hit .248 with a home run, 12 RBI, and six stolen bases. Hopefully it works out for Gamboa this year. If not, it seems like he will stay playing Mexican League baseball for the rest of his career.
Marcus Greene Jr. C
Greene has not slowed down one bit in the Australian Baseball League. The young catcher is batting .304 with six home runs and 22 RBI with the Adelaide Bite. Hopefully, the young backstop can keep it going with the affiliate he lands with in 2017. He was acquired from the Rangers last year with Jon Edwards for Will Venable, and might one day be a serviceable catcher for the Friars.
It really wasn’t an exciting season for Martinez in the LVBP. The Venezuelan outfielder only participated in 13 games with Navegantes del Magallanes. Navegantes did not make the postseason, so those 13 games will be it for Martinez this winter. He went 3-for-13 with a .357 on-base-percentage in his limited playing time. His moment of the season had to be his first game with Magallanes where he provided a walk-off hit against Caribes de Azoategui. Martinez, 25, doesn’t look like he will provide much for the Friars in 2017. But he looks like he can be a role player on an MLB team in a year or two.
I believe that Ortega does have a real shot of making the Padres in 2017. If he doesn’t crack the opening day roster, I think it is almost guaranteed that we will see him have a stint with the Friars at some point in the 2017 season. Ortega had a solid campaign with Caribes de Azoategui in the LVBP. Ortega’s team did crack the playoffs, and hopefully he and his team can make an impact. Ortega was solid in the regular season with a .250 BA, five doubles, five triples, and six RBI. One thing that was surprising is that Ortega didn’t have a stolen base. That is very odd since speed has been a big part of Ortega’s game in the past. Even last season with the Angels, Ortega had eight stolen bases in 66 games.
Fernando Perez INF
Perez was one of the most successful members of the Padres’ organization out in the winter leagues. The Otay Ranch High School alumnus killed the Mexican Pacific League with Hermosillo. Perez batted .315 with a killer .385 on-base-percentage in 43 games. The Baja California native looks like he is well on his way to playing Minor League ball in Texas in 2017.
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Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.
Our bullpen, if our starters do their job, could give us a serious chance at some wins.
Yeah for sure. Apart from the obvious names like Buchter and Brad Hand. There are definitely some guys within the organization who may step up this season. Hopefully they can continue with their winter league performances.