The more you dig into baseball, the more baseball you find underneath. While the majors may be the pinnacle, there is much along the way and parallel to the straight path. During the winter in Venezuela the main league is Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional (LVBP), but beneath it is Liga Paralela de Beisbol. The League functions as a feeder system of sorts for LVBP, and its teams consist of locally affiliated teams, major league affiliated teams, and hybrids. The Phillies field a team out of their academy during the winter. The league offers the first look at July 2 prospects as well as continued playing time for other other young players in the organization. Like most winter leagues, it is best not to read too much into the stats as we have little context for what is actually occurring in these games. The full stats for the team can be found here, but here is a quick recap of names that should be familiar to most of you. As always keep in mind age as well when you make any snap judgements.
- Lenin Rodriguez ($300,000), Arquimedes Gamboa ($900,000), and Daniel Brito ($650,000) represent 3 of the Phillies top 4 July 2 signings
- After getting hit by 22 pitches in 63 regular season VSL games, Jesus Alastre was hit by 8 pitches in his 25 games this winter
- Sergio Velis was a $125,000 signing as part of the July 2, 2011 class that saw the Phillies sign Carlos Tocci and Jiandido Tromp
- Arteaga has struggled to miss bats at every level but his velocity was apparently up to 96mph in NYPL
Bonus Panamanian Shortstop:
Since we have the stats for fellow J2 shortstops from Venezuela it is only fair we add in the third member of the group in Jonathan Arauz ($600,000) who is playing in the Panama teenage league, with fairly good success.