The Dominican Winter League ended with a tour de force by Maikel Franco who capped off a spectacular playoffs by going 3-4 with two home runs and 7 RBI, including a grand slam. Outside of the short appearance of an injured Darin Ruf, the Dominican was kind to members of the Phillies 40 man roster. So here is how everyone did statistically, keeping in mind that in person reports are rare and the level of competition can vary greatly.
Maikel Franco – 3B – Gigantes del Cibao
Regular Season: 38 G 147 AB .272/.335/.469 7 HR 14 BB 34 K
Postseason: 22 G 86 AB .337/.344/.570 4 HR 2 BB 15 K
Overall it was a really good winter for Maikel Franco. He showed a lot of the same problems that have plagued him over the past season. The walk rate across both regular and postseason was not good, and I worry about how his approach will continue to work against better pitching. At this point, the best case scenario seems to be the lack of walks are just a cap on high value can get. Additionally, he showed some amount of platoon splits in a small sample size, it isn’t debilitating, but as a right handed hitter he needs to stay at least competent against RHPs. Both of these are reason why he could benefit from a month or two in AAA so that we see the power and impact on a more consistent basis.
Joely Rodriguez – LHP – Gigantes del Cibao
Regular Season: 21 IP 4.29 ERA 23 H 2 HR 5 BB 18 K
Rodriguez was shut down before the Gigantes made their playoff run. He was traded to the Phillies between his 3rd and 4th starts of the season, and his last two starts were his worse. However, that likely had to do with his 177.1 IP across 3 levels and 9 months of near continuous pitching. The encouraging thing for Rodriguez was that he continued to miss bats in the DWL after making big strides in the AFL. Rodriguez will be in big league camp courtesy of his 40 man spot, and is expected to start the year in AAA, where he will be one of the first pitchers in line for a call up if the rotation falters.
Luis Garcia – RHP – Estrelles de Oriente
Regular Season: 4 G 4 IP 2.25 ERA 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 3 K
Postseason: 9 G 10 IP 0.00 ERA 3 H 4 BB 7 K
Garcia showed up late and was mediocre to end the regular season, albeit in a small sample size. In the playoffs Garcia was incredibly dominant for the Estrellas club that fell to the Gigantes in the playoffs. Overall, Garcia remain a bit of a mystery. His fastball has great velocity, and his slider shows good promise. In AAA he was able to show control and dominance, but in the majors he walked more than he struck out. The good news is he was at his best in September for the Phillies where he pitched 8.1 fairly steady innings. Due to his inconsistencies, Garcia likely won’t settle into a late inning role, but his raw stuff is not too far behind Nefi Ogando.
Hector Neris – RHP – Toros del Este
Regular Season: 20 G 18 IP 0.00 ERA 14 H 5 BB 13 K
Postseason: 8 G 8.1 IP 2.16 ERA 2 H 5 BB 10 K
It was a dominant winter for Neris. The Phillies really like him and he would have been in Philly for the Rookie Camp, but opted to stay behind to help his team in the playoffs. Neris’ stuff doesn’t have the same impact as some of the other relievers in the system, but he has the pitches to be a solid middle reliever. He has already seen the majors (for 1 inning) and is on the 40 man. Given the current glut of relievers, he will likely need to wait his turn, but he should be back up at some point in 2015.
Nefi Ogando – RHP – Aguilas Cibaenas
Regular Season: 5 G 5.2 IP 0.00 ERA 5 H 1 BB 3 K
Postseason: 5 G 5 IP 0.00 ERA 3 H 1 BB 7 K
Ogando has gotten the most press of any of the Phillies minor league relievers, and deserving so. His stuff has continued to get better, as has his command. At his best Ogando will be 96-98 touching 99-100 with a potential plus slider. It is a profile reminiscent of Ken Giles, but with everything just a little bit less exciting. Ogando will likely go to AAA to start the year, but once he shows that the off season numbers are real, he is going to arrive in the majors very quickly.
Malquin Canelo – SS – Toros del Este
1 G 1 AB 1 H 1 RBI 1.000/1.000/1.000
Made the most of his opportunity.
Darin Ruf – OF/1B – Tigres del Licey
11 G 36 AB 1 HR 2 BB 10 K .167/.262/.278
Ruf was battling injury and was released from the team when he was providing value. Nothing really to see here, more a misfire than anything.
Overall the Phillies relief pitching was very impressive in the Dominican, and hopefully will carry over into 2015, both in AAA and the majors.