Mets positional prospect Wilmer Flores has returned to his native Venezuela this winter to play in the Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional (LVBP). During the 2012 regular season Flores progressed significantly as a prospect by putting together his best offensive season yet. While splitting 2012 between the Florida State League and the Eastern League, Flores hit .300 and belted 18 homeruns and only struck out 60 times. Flores has yet to play his age-21 season, and seems likely to start 2013 with the Mets’ AAA Las Vegas affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. But for now, Flores is playing third base in the LVBP. Over 57 at bats with the Bravos de Margarita, Flores has hit .333 with a .415 on-base percentage and only eight strikeouts. Wilmer has been especially hot of late, collecting multiple hits in four out of his last ten games while hitting .351 in that time span. Flores is quoted in an article on the official Bravos website as saying “si hay contacto, salen cosas buenas” (google translation: ‘if there is contact, good things come’). Indeed.
Known for his power display in the Eastern League this year, Darin Ruf has been playing for the Tiburones de la Guaira in the Venezuelan winter league and getting some mixed results at the plate. Through October 30, Ruff was hitting .222, but did have eight homeruns and a .685 slugging percentage. On back-to-back days Ruf hit two homeruns in a game on October 27 and 28. More than half of his hits had been of the homerun variety as he has gone 15 for 54 thus far in the LVBP.
Twins prospect Oswaldo Arcia has been suiting up for the Tigres de Aragua this winter. On October 30th, Arcia hit his second homerun of the season. He has a triple slash line of .200/.250/.400 over the span of 35 at bats . . . Bruce Rondon from the Tigers organization picked up his third save of the winter season on October 30. It was his sixth appearance for the Navegantes del Magallanes. Rondon has allowed three hits and tree walks while striking out five over his six innings of work . . . Freddy Galvis of the Aguilas de Zulia has continued the solid power he displayed with the Phillies in his Philadelphia debut in the regular season by hitting three homers, three doubles, and a triple in 64 at bats thus far in Venezuela . . . Aaron Hicks has struggled to hit for any power with the Bravos de Margarita as he has mustered only three extra-base hits in 42 at bats to go along with his fifteen strikeouts . . . Adys Portillo of the San Diego system and a native of Los Puertos Altagracia, Venezuela, has gotten some work out of the bullpen for Aguilas. In three innings Portillo has allowed three hits, two walks, and two earned runs while striking out none.