The Mexican winter league has wrapped up their regular season. How did San Diego Padres prospects fare?
To wrap up 2018, we continue our trip around the San Diego Padres winter ball scene, taking a look at how Padres prospects performed in the Mexican winter league, which has just concluded their 2018 regular season.
The biggest names to take the stage in Mexico were supposed to be top-ranked second base prospect Luis Urias and last season’s third baseman, turned utility infielder, Christian Villanueva, however, Urias returned to San Diego to rehab his hamstring and did not compete this winter. Villy continued to play in his home country, but won’t be returning to San Diego after being purchased by a Japanese professional baseball team.
Leading the way in Mexico was Padres relief pitcher Gerardo Reyes. Reyes was recently added to the 40-man roster and is expected to make his MLB debut at some point in 2019. As we mentioned earlier this month, Reyes completed his winter ball tour with 18 shutout innings of relief pitching. Armed with a sweeping slider, Reyes is known for his ability to miss bats and keep the ball in the yard, making him an interesting prospect to keep an eye on in spring training.
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A former Pacific Coast League champion with the El Paso Chihuahuas, RHP Chris Huffman made the trip to Mexico in preparation of what is likely his last opportunity to crack the major league roster with San Diego. Huffman made nine starts for the Caneros de los Mochis, finishing with a 1-4 record and 5.65 ERA. He walked 24 hitters, struck out 20, and allowed opponents to hit .306 against him across 36 innings of work. Ouch. I have watched Huffman since he was a teenager in the mountains of Virginia, but I’m not sure how much longer he will be in the organization.
Lastly, Adrian Martinez, a Padres minor league pitcher who spent much of last season with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, logged just four outings for the Aguilas de Mexicali. He gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits in 6.2 innings (9.45 ERA). The 22-year-old RHP will look to find success in full-season ball in 2019 after giving up 19 runs on 28 hits in 17 innings with the TinCaps last season.
Next up in our winter ball update series, we dive into the eye-opening season from Fernando Tatis Jr down in the Dominican Republic.