San Diego Padres Winter League Update #5

Credit: Stephen Laffer

Christmas is here and it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the San Diego Padres.

The Padres have added several players to their roster, including some players who are participating in winter league baseball.

There are now 28 players within the Padres’ organization participating in winter league baseball around the globe. Winter league baseball has been heating up recently with MLB stars Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano now playing in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. It’s a great example of just how competitive winter baseball can get. Here’s how your Friars are shaping up in their respective leagues.

Inactive Players

Carlos Asuaje and Manuel Margot are among the players who have been inactive. Unfortunately, the two biggest prospects in the Padres’ winter leagues have not received much playing time recently. Margot has not played since Dec. 11 while Asuaje has yet to play since Nov. 19. Obviously they are both toning down on their playing time and getting rested for the 2017 season. Other than those two, the only other position player not to get playing time has been Daniel Bravo over in Venezuela with Aragua.

Jabari Blash OF

Blash has really become quite a worrying subject in winter league play. The lanky outfielder has struggled heavily in the LIDOM with Leones del Escojido. Blash is just 3-for-26, with two RBI and three walks. This type of performance could prove to cost him a spot on the opening day roster for 2017. If Blash is unable to compete against the pitchers out in the LIDOM, chances are he won’t do much against major league-quality pitchers.

Juan Carlos Gamboa SS

The Mexican Pacific League is winding down to its last few games this season, and Gamboa is still a consistent starter for Los Mochis. The 5-foot-7 infielder has held a solid .257 BA and a very nice .319 on-base-percentage in 53 games. Chances are quite slim for Gamboa to make the major league club, but perhaps a spot in San Antonio or El Paso could be a nice fit for him in 2017.

Marcus Greene Jr. C

Greene is one of the players who was obtained in the infamous Will Venable trade to the Texas Rangers back in 2015. The young backstop has been tearing it up lately in the Australian Baseball League, and took part in the all-star game. Greene was joined by a former member of the Padres’ organization in Jeremy Guthrie. Greene has been one of the league’s best catchers, batting .282 with five home runs and 17 RBI. While the ABL might not be one of the most competitive leagues, it is still nice that Greene is finding success in a professional baseball league. That could prove to translate into 2017 with the Padres’ organization.

Alberth Martinez OF

Martinez has not been a consistent starter for Magallanes in the LVBP. Which is why he only has 12 AB’s in 13 games so far. He is now joined in Magallanes with MLB superstar, Felix Hernandez. Martinez hasn’t had much going with the bat, going just 3-for 13 this season. His on-base-percentage has been impressive at .357, but he has little to no playing time. Martinez has drawn two walks in his 13 AB’s.

Rafael Ortega OF

Ortega is a fresh face in the Friars’ organization. The 25-year-old outfielder did receive plenty of playing time with the Angels in 2016. Ortega participated in 66 games with the Halos. He would struggle, but not horribly, as he would post a .232 BA with a home run, 16 RBI, and eight stolen bases. With Jabari Blash struggling heavily, Ortega might just make his way onto the 2017 opening day roster. Ortega is currently with Caribes de Anzoategui in the Venezuelan league. If the team name sounds familiar, it should. Anzoategui is where former Friar Alexi Amarista has played this winter. The young outfielder gets consistent playing time with the coastal team, as he has participated in 28 games so far. Ortega has looked decent, batting .250 with a very impressive on-base-percentage of .336. The odd thing is that Rafael has yet to steal a base. With speed being a focal point of Ortega’s game, he should try to swipe a few bases soon.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 20, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College, I have been a Padres fan all my life, huge soccer fan as well. I do not need the NFL in my life. In it for the passion not for the money.

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