San Diego Padres Winter League Update #4

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Week by week it seems like more and more players within the Padres’ organization are venturing out to winter leagues around the globe in order stay active during the off-season. A few prospects within the organization have even made it out to Australia to participate in the ABL. Carlos Asuaje and Daniel Bravo still did not get any playing time with their respective teams this week. Another player who has not received much playing time is outfielder Jose Carlos Urena. Urena spent 2016 with Fort Wayne, and has decided to play with Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League. But unfortunately he has only had two at bats so far this winter.

Jabari Blash OF

Moving on to the players who have had participation this week. We look at a new addition to the list, Jabari Blash. The native of the Virgin Islands has decided to take his talents to the Dominican Republic with the Leones Del Escogido. Blash will see a familiar face with his new team in Carlos Asuaje. Blash’s debut with Escogido was not great as he went 0-3 with a HBP. The lengthy outfielder has struggled in his first few at bats in the LIDOM. So far, Blash is 1-for-9, with an RBI double being his only hit. He has walked three times in his limited playing time, so hopefully he is working on being more patient at the plate. With a little luck, Jabari Blash can find his swing and transition it to the 2017 MLB season.

Juan Carlos Gamboa SS

Gamboa has now participated in 45 games with his hometown Caneros de Los Mochis of the LMP. Gamboa’s numbers have been pretty average, with a .239 batting average, however he has managed to steal six bases in the process. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Gamboa lands a spot with a minor league affiliate of the Padres in 2017.

Marcus Greene Jr. C

Here’s one of the Padres prospects who have ventured out to play some Aussie baseball recently. Greene spent 2016 in A-ball with Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne. The young catcher struggled, batting just .189 on the year. So it is nice that the 22-year-old is trying to progress and turn things around for 2017. Greene is currently the backstop for the Adelaide Bite of the ABL. He has received plenty of playing time so far, already having participated in 16 games. The young backstop has done well, batting .250 with four home runs, 14 RBI, and he even a stolen base.

Manuel Margot OF

The young outfielder continues to be a consistent starter for Toros del Este in the LIDOM. The Dominican outfielder also continues to be very productive for his team. Margot has now participated in 36 games with Toros. The 21-year-old is batting .259 with two home runs, eight RBI, and a league-leading 14 stolen bases. Margot has really demonstrated just how fast he can really be. Margot is definitely one of the more promising players in the Padres organization and he will be fun to watch in 2017.

Alberth Martinez OF

The Venezuelan outfielder has not received much playing time, nor has he been very productive. Martinez is just 2-for-11 so far with Magallanes in the LVBP.

Fernando Perez

Perez continues to dominate the Mexican Pacific League. The Otay Ranch High School Alumni is now bating .341 with six doubles, three home runs, and 12 RBI. His on-base percentage is also at a very impressive .398. The young infielder should definitely start 2017 season in High A-Ball or Double-A.

Credit: LIDOM
Credit: LIDOM

Jose Rondon SS

The young shortstop just really hasn’t been the same since being traded by Magallanes to Aragua in the LVBP. Rondon is batting .188 with his new team with just two RBI and no extra base hits. Hopefully the young Rondon can get it together before the spring.  He has an outside shot at being an option for the Padres 25-man roster in 2017.

River Stevens 2B

The 24-year old spent 2016 with Fort Wayne, Lake Elsinore, and San Antonio. He had an average year, batting .237 during the season, but it is impressive that he managed to go up two levels on the year. Stevens is currently playing in Australia for the second consecutive year. Stevens has enjoyed success with the Canberra Cavalry. Last season the infielder batted .291 with a .358 on-base-percentage in 39 games in the ABL. This season Stevens has only played in six games, but he is still looking solid for the Cavalry, batting .280 with a stolen base.

Relief Pitchers

The relief core, for the most part, continues to be dominant throughout various leagues. There are a few players who have really not received much playing time recently. That would include Yimmi Brasoban, Jose Ruiz, Keith Hessler, Wilmer Torres, and even Gerardo Reyes. Reyes had been dominant in the Mexican Pacific League with a 1.04 ERA. He just pitched his first game since Nov.23, on Dec.10. Reyes threw just a third of an inning. The relief core, who are chewing up innings, have been very dominant. Jose Castillo is now up to 11 scoreless frames on the season with Magallanes in Venezuela. Rafael De Paula and Michael Dimock have also looked great for the Toros del Este in the LIDOM. The pair have combined for 10 and two-thirds without an earned run. Brayan Rodriguez is another arm that has looked sharp in the LIDOM. The righty has posted a 0.96 ERA in nine and a third innings. The recently signed Carlos Fisher has looked impressive in the LMP with Obregon. The 33-year-old is now up to 32 innings pitched with a solid 1.69 ERA out of the pen. Fisher, and some of the other relievers testing the waters in the winter leagues, could prove to be part of the 2017 Padres bullpen.

Zech Lemond

Lemond was used as both a reliever and a starter in 2016 with Lake Elsinore and San Antonio. He has been primarily a starter throughout his career, but that could change after his horrendous 2016 campaign. Lemond would post a horrible ERA of 6.66 in 78 and a third innings with Lake Elsinore. 13 out of the 19 games Lemond pitched would be as a starter. The Houston native pitched only one game with San Antonio and it would be nothing like Ginny Baker from the show “Pitch”. Lemond only managed to pitch three innings and allow eight runs in his only start in the lone star state with the Missions. Lemond is now in Australia to try to work on the flaws he had in 2016. So far, so good for Lemond in the ABL, as he has pitched nine scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and a o.89 WHIP. Lemond is pitching out of the bullpen for the same team that River Stevens plays on, the Canberra Cavalry. Hopefully, Lemond can continue his progression for the 2017 season and be a viable option for the Friars eventually.

Cesar Vargas

As is customary, we will wrap up the update in a “calmed down” fashion with Cesar Vargas. Vargas continues to get plenty of innings as he is now up to 12 and two-thirds on the season with Hermosillo in the LMP. Vargas has now dropped his ERA to 2.13 after pitching two and two-thirds scoreless innings this week. Carlos “El Calmado” Vargas has now not allowed a run since Nov.22 against Culiacan. The Mexican right-hander is clearly making the progression to being a starter in the big leagues again.

That wraps up a month of covering how some of your Padres have been performing in winter baseball leagues around the world. Check in next week to see how the boys in Australia and the rest of the crew are performing.

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Francisco Velasco

Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.


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