The Miami Marlins had a small contingent playing in winter leagues this offseason, including many of the minor league free agents that the club signed this winter.
Signed in the offseason as a minor league free agent, 28-year-old outfielder Matt Angle will join the Marlins organization after spending his 2007 to 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles and the past two in the Dodgers’ organization. Angle reached the big leagues for 31 games in 2011 with the Orioles and ha s put up very solid numbers in Triple-A over the past two seasons. Angle went to Mexico to play this winter, hitting .241/.322/.370 with five doubles and three home runs in 108 at bats.
Shortstop Juan Diaz also signed as a free agent and played in 28 games in his native Dominican Republic this offseason. He hit only .191/.247/.294 in 68 at bats with four doubles and one home run but struck out 25 times with just two walks. Diaz, 28, played in 5 major league games in 2012 with Cleveland but has otherwise been a career, light-hitting minor league infielder.
Outfielder Angel Morales, 24, became a free agent after reaching Double-A in 2013 with the Minnesota Twins organization. He hit very well in High-A Fort Myers with a .525 SLG in 202 at bats but his bat failed him when he was promoted to Double-A New Britain, hitting just .169/.230/.307 with five home runs in 166 at bats. Morales played for two different teams in the Puerto Rican Winter League, totaling a .318/.362/.500 line in 44 at bats.
Marcell Ozuna, who made his major league debut in 2013 with Miami, hitting a solid .265/.303/.389 in 291 plate appearances, played an additional 34 games in his native Dominican Republic with a .277/.297/.376 line. He only walked three times and struck out 29 times but hit eight doubles and two home runs in 141 at bats.
Jimmy Paredes, who has played both the infield and outfield in his 118 major league games for the Houston Astros, was claimed off waivers by the Marlins this offseason despite his failing to break a .500 OPS in the last two seasons. Paredes, 25, hit only .192/.277/.247 in 73 at bats in the Dominican Winter League but showed a good eye, walking nine times and striking out only 14 times.
23-year-old outfielder Jesus Solorzano played in his first full-season in Class-A Greensboro this season, hitting a very solid .285/.325/.450 with 47 extra-base hits (including 15 home runs) and stealing 33 bases. Returning to Venezuela this offseason, he hit only .191/.224/.298 in 47 at bats.
Outfielder Jordany Valdespin, a 26-year-old free agent, signed with the Marlins after hitting just .188/.250/.316 in 133 major league at bats. That was a far cry from his hot streak in Las Vegas putting up a 1.296 OPS in only 58 at bats with the Mets’ Triple-A club last year. In the Dominican Republic, he hit .167/.316/.296 in 108 at bats with three doubles, a triple and three home runs.
Right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez picked up a few extra innings in the Venezuelan winter league after his best major league season so far only had him throwing 102 2/3 innings due to an injury. Only 23 year old, Alvarez posted a 2.74 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP in 23 innings in Venezuela, walking only five batters but striking out only six.
Right-hander Bryan Evans, 26, made four starts for Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican winter league, posting a 4.08 ERA, 0.91 WHIP with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 17 2/3 innings. He amassed 78 2/3 innings with Jacksonville in the Double-A Southern League with a 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 81 strikeouts and just seven walks.
The Marlins signed minor league free agent Jesus Sanchez this offseason. Sanchez, 26, spent 2013 in Triple-A Nashville as a very effective reliever, throwing 70 innings with a 2.83 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 18 walks and 50 strikeouts. In the Venezuelan winter league, he threw 16 1/3 innings with a 3.31 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, five walks and ten strikeouts.
25-year-old righty Rett Varner pitched in the Mexican Winter League this offseason, getting hit hard and allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits and five walks in just 10 1/3 innings while striking out 12. That was in stark contrast to the season that he had in Double-A and Triple-A, posting a very solid 3.21 ERA, 1.34 WHIP with 27 walks and 65 strikeouts in 73 innings.
Miami-born, 27-year-old righty Elih Villanueva pitched in the Dominican winter league, starting ten games out of his eleven appearances and racked up 52 2/3 innings with a 2.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, just seven walks and 42 strikeouts. Villanueva, who was out injured for much of the season, spent his year in the GCL rehabbing and then in Triple-A New Orleans and combined for a 2.80 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, 14 walks and 50 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.
Pitching fewer than 10 innings this offseason were Arquimedes Caminero (DWL – three runs in three and a third innings), Miguel Fermin (DWL – two earned runs in eight and a third innings with one walk and three strikeouts), James Leverton (DWL – three runs in seven and a third innings with one walk and six strikeouts), Henry Rodriguez (VWL – one earned run in four and two-thirds innings with five walks and four strikeouts), Juan Sosa (DWL – no runs in five innings with no walks and eight strikeouts) and Josh Spence (DWL – four runs in six and two-thirds innings with three walks and 11 strikeouts).
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