A number of high-profile San Diego Padres prospects made their way to the Dominican Republic for winter ball, with a few even bigger names making their way to the field shortly.
In the last of our weekly winter league updates, we’re taking a quick look at how some of our favorite San Diego Padres prospects are performing down in the Dominican Winter League, Liga de Beisbol Dominicano.
The six-team league is approximately one week into their regular season, featuring a large number of exciting and elite young prospects from around minor league baseball. The San Diego Padres have a number of representatives down in the Dominican Republic this winter, with outfielders Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero set to take the field within the next two weeks.
As you may recall, Cordero was the 2017 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Dominican Winter League, leading to growing excitement from many fans about his ability to transform to an everyday major leaguer. After an injury prematurely ended his MLB season, Cordero will begin his rehab this winter, looking to enter spring training healthy and ready to compete for a starting job again.
As for the guys currently playing, let’s begin our snapshot around the league with the first-place Gigantes del Cibao. Cibao features two Padres on their roster, pitcher Eric Yardley and catcher Webster Rivas.
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Yardley will look to make the major league squad after a semi-successful season with the El Paso Chihuahuas and San Antonio Missions in 2018. The fight for bullpen roster spots will be intense, but a successful winter could help Yardley’s chances. Currently, he has appeared in three games, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out one and allowing zero runs. His teammate Webster Rivas has yet to appear in a game.
Infield prospect Esteury Ruiz, currently playing for the Toros del Este, just might be the most exciting prospect down on the farm that not enough people are talking about. Ruiz has appeared in just two games thus far, going 3-7 at the plate (.429) with a run scored and two stolen bases. Like many of the teenage prospects competing in winter ball, one thing to keep an eye on is Ruiz and his strikeout totals, after striking out 141 times in 117 games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Jeisson Rosario looks to build on his successful 2018 season.
He hasn’t had the chance to really get going yet, however, a lot of people are expecting big numbers from outfielder Jeisson Rosario this winter. He has appeared in three games for the Tigres del Licey, going 0-3 with a strikeout.
Last but not least, we have the Aguilas Cibaenas, home to infielder Diego Goris and pitcher Bryan Valdez. Valdez has yet to appear in a game while Goris is currently hitting .231 (3-13) with one double, two runs driven in, and two runs scored. After going 3-5 in his debut, Goris is on an 0-8 streak over his last three games.
He spent this past season with the El Paso Chihuahuas, hitting .265 with seven home runs, 20 doubles, and a .299 on-base percentage.
On Monday, we will take a look at how current Padres prospects are performing in the Arizona Fall League and continue our 2018 series review by looking at more individual player performances.