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Reds Abroad: Your guide to winter ball

US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Outside of the highly publicized Arizona Fall League, which Weezy so eloquently TMed, there's a list of Reds playing winter ball in Latin America too. Some you haven't heard of, and some names will surprise you. Here's the list:

Dominican Republic

The DR started their season just the other day, so a lot of these guys won't have stats yet.

Josh Judy - RHP - Aguilas Cibaenas

Judy spent the whole year in AAA Louisville, and is 26 and approaching non-prospect status. In 56.2 innings, he struck out 56 and walked 30 en route to a 5.99 ERA. Yuck. Luckily he's on a minor league deal, and might not be back, but for now he's ours.

Alfredo Simon - RHP - Gigantes del Cibao

Wait, Simon's pitching for a team nicknamed the "Giants"? Chances are you're familiar with him, but his 2.66 MLB ERA is better than I expected it to be. He won't be under contract after this year either, but could this be someone they could bring back? The numbers are there, but the manager's confidence isn't. I predict that Astros fans will love him and he'll be their first AL All-Star this century.

Junior Arias - IF - Gigantes del Cibao

Finally, a prospect! (Okay, kind of.) The 20-year-old Arias has definitely stalled a bit in his first year of full-season ball, hitting .208/.255/.568 in Dayton. Let's hope being in front of his home fans gets his confidence up, as he likely won't be advancing next year.


Henry Rodriguez - IF - Aguilas de Zulia

Hank-Rod is one we know well, and the 22-year-old should see some playing time at home in Venezuela. He hit .282/.310/.370 in AA and AAA this year, and then struggled in his cup of coffee towards the end of the year. Probably the highest profile prospect down here, so he'll be worth keeping an eye on.

Felix Perez - OF - Aguilas de Zulia

Hank's teammate from Louisville will join him in Zulia. The 27-year-old Perez hit .301/.348/.401, which in all honesty was a pretty solid season in AAA. I'm not sure he'll make the leap next year, but if we need a 5th outfielder due to injuries next year, you could do a lot worse.

Jose De Sousa - LHP - Leones de Caracas

Here's one you probably haven't heard of. De Sousa pitched in the Dominican Summer League this year, throwing up a 2.03 ERA in 31 innings. Despite his time in the DR this year, he's a native Venezuelan. The 20-year-old will likely head to the states next year if he impresses here.

Franderlin Romero - RHP - Leones de Caracas

Another DSLer from last year, Romero was even better, putting up a 1.64 ERA in 64.2 innings (14 starts). Strikeout numbers aren't stellar, but that ERA will get him a look next year. I'm rooting for him, if only to hear our beloved Franchester announce one of Franderlin's starts, and watch the world cave in on itself.

Justin Freeman - RHP - Leones de Caracas

Yeah, I don't know what he's doing here either. He made 57 appearances in Pensacola this season, putting up a 2.91 ERA in 68 innings.

Xavier Paul - OF - Leones de Caracas


JR Morillo - LHP - Tiburones de La Guaira

Morillo is another native Venezuelan who pitched in the DR this last year, going 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings. He's got one appearance in La Guaira so far, going 2/3 of an inning. He turns 21 in a week and a half.

Miguel Rojas - IF - Tiburones de La Guaira

Another name who should be familiar to most RR faithful, Miggy hit .199/.263/.224 last year between AA and AAA. And he's 23 already. I think he'll need this instruction right now.

Aguido Gonzalez - LHP - Caribes de Anzoategui

Yeah, say that team name 3 times fast. 26-year-old Venezuelan who had his best success as Dayton's closer in 2009, pitched in High-A in '10 (1 inning), rookie ball in '11, and nowhere this season. I'm suspecting that he's coming back from some kind of injury.