Winter ball continues in the Caribbean for Phillies prospects. But especially good news for the four Phillies playing in Columbia is that the FARC rebels signed a peace agreement with the government there last week. Most of the Phillies farmhands from the USA mainland have returned home after playing a month or so in the Dominican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues. Two relievers Ulises Joaquin in the DWL and lefty Jeff Singer in the AFL have stood out in relief.
The battling four Phillies prospects continue playing in the Columbian Winter League for the first place, 12-9, Toros and continue to produce. Catcher Chace Numata is still one of the top hitters in the league with a .372 average. But the hottest hitter is Josh Tobias who just went over .300 for the first time in the season by going one for three last night. His two RBIs provided the margin of victory for Jacob Waguesback to pick up his league leading fourth win as a starter for manager Eddie Dennis, a Phillies minor league coach, who runs the Toros. Grenny Cumana has settled in at second base after struggling defensively at short to start the season there and is hitting .309 after 21 games.
Few Phillies U.S. minor league position players are still playing winter ball and most have returned to the mainland. Rhys Hoskins has been tweeting from the banks of Lake Tahoe after hitting four homers and 16 RBIs in 21 games in the Dominican and Dylan Cozens has left there after hitting four homers off of left handed pitching for the Winter Meetings to receive the Joe Bauman Award for his minor league most 40 home runs in 2016. Only mainlanders, catcher Logan Moore and pitcher Alec Asher, appear to be still toiling on in the Dominican. Licey always seems to win when Moore catches and Asher leads the DWL in innings pitched and has the lowest WHIP for the Gigantes.
Also some of the most impressive Phillies arms in winter/fall ball have come from two relief pitching prospects. In the D.R., Ulises Joaquin, has been outstanding pitching 13 innings, giving up only one earned run and striking out 20. The other one was in the Arizona Fall League where 23-year-old lefty Jeff Singer recorded the sixth lowest ERA of 64 listed pitchers in the league stats. He had a 1.42 ERA in ten games over 12.2 innings in relief with three holds. Against left handed hitters he gave up only one hit in 10 at bats in and no runs in the AFL.
Left-handed relief is a commodity in demand at the Winter Meetings tweets Jon Morosi
Many teams at Winter Meetings looking for left-handed relief;
Down in Venezuela, native center fielder Carlos Tocci and first baseman/catcher Wilson Garcia continue to hit over .300 in the VWL. Columbian native, catcher Jorge Alfaro, has tailed off after a strong start in the VWL but he is still hitting .247 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 21 games.
Over in Puerto Rico, 40-man roster second baseman Jesmuel Valentin is hitting .271 for the 12th highest average in the PRWL.
So as the Winter Meetings heat up and the the new year is only a few weeks away, the young Phillies minor league prospects continued to get ready for the upcoming season. It is only a little more than two months away when pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater to get the 2017 season started.