Since the Los Angeles Dodgers are so heavily invested in Latin American players and have so many playing in winter leagues, I’ve decided to split up this Winter League report into two posts. And away we go!
22-year-old Jesus Arredondo, a Mexican shortstop who played in the Mexican league this summer after spending 2012 with the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League, hit .246/.328/.281 in the Mexican winter league with thirteen stolen bases.
Dodgers farmhand James Baldwin, a 22-year-old center fielder from North Carolina, has been spending his winter in Australia, hitting .213/.278/.326. He has spent two consecutive seasons in Class-A Great Lakes and had an improved 2013 season there, hitting .238/.323/.388 with 22 doubles, six triples and seven home runs to go with 42 stolen bases.
Center fielder Nick Buss made his big league debut with the Dodgers this season after a strong 2013 campaign with Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League. Buss, 27, went down to Venezuela and hit .301/.337/.495 in 93 at bats with three doubles, three triples and three home runs. Both a speed and power threat in the minors. Buss hit .303/.363/.525 with the Isotopes with 29 doubles, 11 triples and 17 home runs to go with 21 steals (in 23 attempts).
Texan John Cannon, a 23-year-old catcher, also headed Down Under for winter ball and has hit .211/.242/.268 in 123 at bats in the Australian Baseball League. Playing for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Cannon only had 21 at bats in seven games, likely due to an injury.
Outfielder Noel Cuevas, originally from Puerto Rico, returned home and played in the Puerto Rican winter league, mostly as a backup. He went six for 30 with just one walk and ten strikeouts and hit just .200/.226/.267. Cuevas, 22, played with Rancho Cucamonga in the California League and hit a very good (if league-inflated) .284/.341/.454 with 12 home runs and 38 stolen bases in 53 attempts.
Another 22-year-old Puerto Rican outfielder, Jon Garcia, also went home for winter ball but didn’t do much better than Cuevas, hitting .220/.256/.366 with one home run in 41 at bats. Garcia had solid numbers (with 17 home runs in 258 at bats) in Rancho Cucamonga but struggled after he was promoted to Chattanooga.
Infielder Elevys Gonzalez, 24, only managed to get 139 at bats playing at four different levels in the Dodgers’ system and hit .139/.225/.139 in his native Venezuela with jsut 36 at bats.
25-year-old shortstop Dee Gordon had a very solid season in Albuquerque before coming up to the big leagues for 94 at bats (hitting .234/.314/.298) and played for both the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Republic and the Mayaguez Indians in Puerto Rico this offseason. He only combined for 63 at bats, hitting .381/.426/.397 with four stolen bases.
Cuban free-agent signee Alexander Guerrero, 26, will be coming to the Dodgers in 2014 but played in 12 Dominican Winter League games this offseason, hitting .289/.325/.447 with three doubles and a home run in 38 at bats.
Outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker, traded from the Red Sox this offseason, played twelve games in Venezuelan Winter League, hitting just .147/.189/.353 with two home runs in just 34 at bats. Hazelbaker, 26, played for the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket in 2013.
25-year-old Chris Jacobs is currently down in Australia hitting .244/.336/.397 for the Adelaide Bite. He played mostly in High-A Rancho Cucamonga, hitting .286/.381/.516 with 14 home runs in 294 plate appearances.
Osvaldo Martinez, a 25-year-old third baseman, played at home in Puerto Rico and had some good results, hitting .290/.353/.419 with nine doubles, two triples and a home run in 124 at bats. Spending most of the season in Double-A Chattanooga, Martinez hit .249/.307/.340.
Outfielder Joc Pederson, 21, had some solid numbers in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .255/.439/.473 with seven doubles, a triple and five home runs. This performance followed up his strong 2013 season in Double-A Chattanooga where he hit 22 home runs along with a .278/.381/.497 line with 31 stolen bases.
24-year-old shortstop Miguel Rojas didn’t have a great season with the bat in Double-A Chattanooga, hitting just .233/.303/.307 and put up somewhat similar numbers in his time in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .241/.298/.287 with four doubles in 87 at bats.
Outfielder Jamie Romak, a native of London, Ontario, hit much better playing for the same Venezuelan League team as Rojas, with a .250/.358/.394 line that included four doubles, a triple and three home runs in 104 at bats. Playing in the Cardinals’ system last year, Romak, 28, hit .242/.322/.461 with 22 home runs in Triple-A and signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers this offseason.
Also signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers was catcher Alberto Rosario, 26. Rosario played at home in the Dominican Republic and hit .255/.255/.314 in 51 at bats. Rosario had 126 at bats split between Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox’ system last year.
Jesmuel Valentin and Jan Vazquez both played sparingly for the same team, Leones de Ponce, in the Puerto Rican winter league. Valentin, a 19-year-old second baseman, split the season between Great Lakes and Advanced-Rookie Ogden, hitting .264/.364/.367 in 349 at bats. In Puerto Rico, he hit .320/.370/.360 in 25 at bats. Vazquez, a 22-year-old catcher, played minimally for Double-A Chattanooga with a .190 batting average in 126 at bats. In 48 at bats in Puerto Rico, he hit .250/.333/.396 with two home runs.