There are a lot of familiar names playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in the Caribbean winter leagues this offseason. The list of players is headlined by several major league veterans as well as a couple of the club’s top prospects.
Bobby Abreu, who has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies after not having played in the majors since 2012, played 50 games in his native Venezuela, hitting .322/.416/.461 with 10 doubles, three triples and three home runs. The 39-year-old outfielder has a minor league contract that will pay him $800,000 if he makes the major league club and he can opt out if he’s not placed on the big league roster by March 26.
24-year-old Dominican prospect Leandro Castro played in 27 games at home and hit .278/.341/.347 in 72 at bats. Castro didn’t have the best season in Lehigh Valley, hitting .256/.280/.368 in 458 plate appearances in his first attempt at Triple-A.
Major league veteran Ronny Cedeno played in 39 games at home in Venezuela, hitting .301/.399/.375 in 136 at bats. The 31 year old is also signed to a minor league contract and hit .242/.287/.330 split between the Padres and Astros in 2013.
Venezuelan shortstop Edgar Duran, 22, hit .238/.333/.381 in 42 Venezuelan league at bats. The youngster reached Double-A Reading for the first time in 2013 and hit only .225/.277/.311 in 405 at bats.
21-year-old Dominican third baseman Maikel Franco split 2013 between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading and hit an impressive .320/.356/.569 with 31 home runs in 541 plate appearances. He played in 47 games in the Dominican winter league and hit .226/.275/.348 with eight doubles and three home runs in 155 at bats.
Freddy Galvis, a 24-year-old Venezuelan utility man, improved his numbers in 2013 in the major leagues, hitting .234/.283/.385 (up about 50 OPS points from 2012) while hitting worse in Lehigh Valley in 241 at bats there. He put up some excellent numbers, playing 50 games as a shortstop for Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan winter league, hitting .306/.373/.404 with 11 doubles, a triple and two home runs.
Another top prospect, 23-year-old second baseman Cesar Hernandez returned home to Venezuela and hit .254/.318/.347 in 118 at bats with five doubles and two home runs. Hernandez made his big league debut in 2013, hitting .289/.344/.331 in 121 big league at bats and hitting .314/.378/.406 in just over 400 at bats in the minors.
22-year-old catching prospect Tommy Joseph tried to make up for some lost time due to injuries in 2013 but only had 26 at bats in the Dominican Republic, hitting .192/.222/.269 in only 26 at bats. Joseph only had 123 at bats over four different levels in the minors in 2013.
Jim Murphy, a 28-year-old first baseman who reached Double-A in 2013, played for two different Caribbean teams this offseason, racking up 78 at bats between teams in the Venezuelan and Dominican leagues. Murphy combined for a .295/.382/.410 line with three doubles and two home runs. Murphy had a very good season for Reading, hitting .273/.352/.465 with 23 home runs in 579 plate appearances.
23-year-old Mexican catcher Sebastian Valle hit .304/.349/.435 in 138 at bats in the Mexican winter league after a season that saw him hit just .203/.245/.359 in Double-A Reading.