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Daily Notes: Top Performances of the Puerto Rican League

Posted By Carson Cistulli On January 9, 2013 @ 10:00 am In Daily Notes | No Comments

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Top Performances of the Puerto Rican League
2. Mostly Relevant Video: Boston Prospect Jose De La Torre
3. Final (!) SCOUT Leaderboards: Puerto Rican League

Top Performances of the Puerto Rican League
The playoffs for the Puerto Rican League (PRL) have begun — and, as such, the regular-season stats for the players in said League are final.

Here are the top performers of the PRL, per SCOUT (a metric explained below, but which, briefly stated, uses regressed inputs to help make sense of small samples).

Best Hitter (Overall): Pedro Valdes
A one-time member of both the Rangers and Cubs organizations — and owner of 93 major-league plate appearances — Pedro Valdes has spent the past 10-plus seasons in Japan and Mexico, predominantly. Provided his Baseball Reference page is accurate, he appears actually not to have played professional ball in 2012. Provided the author understands three words in Spanish, Valdes appears to be retiring from baseball completely following the completion of the Puerto Rican League. While hitting just two home runs in the PRL, Valdes owned the strike zone, posting a 30:16 walk-to-strikeout ratio in an estimated 116 plate appearances.

Best Hitter (Prospects): Jeff Dominguez
After playing his first seven professional seasons in the Seattle system, Jeff Dominguez spent 2011-12 with Miami, although the results weren’t much different. Dominguez, who turned 26 at the end of July, is a .245/.303/.328 career hitter in over 3,200 minor-league plate appearances — nor, if his early Total Zone figures are any indication, he’s of no great benefit at either shortstop or second base, either. Perhaps more notable among prospect-age hitters in Puerto Rico this winter was Houston minor leaguer Enrique Hernandez. Taken in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, the second baseman reached Double-A in his age-20 season in 2012. Hernandez struck out in just 10.5% of his 411 plate appearances at High-A Lancaster this past season — a rate he very closely approximated (10.8%) in his 158 plate appearances in the PRL.

Best Pitcher (Overall): Jose De La Torre
Right-hander Jose De La Torre has been a reasonably effective minor-league relief pitcher for the better part six seasons now, striking out over a batter per every one of 339.2 professional innings. Originally signed by the Mets, he began 2012 with the Indians and then moved to the Red Sox (in exchange for Brent Lillibridge) at the end of July, with which club’s Triple-A affiliate he posted a 16:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 3.36 FIP in 18.1 innings. According to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, De La Torre features a 90-94 sinking fastball, although lacks a dominant secondary offering.

Best Pitcher (Starters): Javier Vazquez
Former major-leaguer Javier Vazquez joined the PRL at the beginning of December with a view towards preparing to the upcoming World Baseball Classic. In a mere five starts, he established himself as the best starting pitcher in the league — something of an accomplishment, considering his numbers, in a smaller sample, were subject to greater regression. Vazquez posted a 30:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23.0 innings with Ponce. He made a playoff start on Friday with another team, Caguas. His line from that (box): 6.0 IP, 4 K, 0 BB, 0 HR, 3 H, 5:6 GO:AO.

Mostly Relevant Video: Boston Prospect Jose De La Torre
Here’s footage of Boston minor-league right-hander (and, as noted above, Champion of Puerto Rican League Pitchers) Jose De La Torre striking out three Syracuse batters this August, on what appears to be a changeup (although the announcer refers to it as a breaking ball) and then fastball and then slider. Click this hyperlinked text for other video of De La Torre.

Final (!) SCOUT Leaderboards: Puerto Rican Baseball League
Below are the final SCOUT leaderboards for the Puerto Rican League. (Ages as of July 1st, 2012. Players listed with last organization actually played for. Click here for more on what is SCOUT.)

SCOUT Leaderboard: Puerto Rican League Hitters
Below is the final SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Puerto Rican League. SCOUT+ is calculated using regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average.

Player Team Age Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Pedro Valdes N/A 39 DH 146 1.5% 17.4% 11.2% 139
Carlos Rivera MEX 34 1B 138 3.2% 11.3% 14.8% 134
Andy Gonzalez Brewers 30 3B 161 2.4% 14.8% 18.6% 127
Johnny Monell Giants 26 DH 121 3.3% 11.6% 20.9% 123
Luis Matos MEX 33 LF 124 1.3% 11.4% 10.6% 119
Angel Sanchez Astros 28 SS 133 1.6% 10.5% 11.4% 118
Ruben Gotay Braves 29 1B 156 0.8% 13.0% 10.9% 117
Irving Falu Royals 29 2B 156 1.1% 9.0% 7.1% 117
Jesus Feliciano Rays 33 CF 168 0.7% 9.4% 5.4% 117
Jeff Dominguez Marlins 25 3B 126 1.6% 14.3% 18.3% 116

SCOUT Leaderboard: Puerto Rican League Hitters (Prospects)
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Puerto Rican League, but only populated with players who are 25 or under — i.e. something more like “prospect” age relative to the league.

Player Team Age Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Jeff Dominguez Marlins 25 3B 126 1.6% 14.3% 18.3% 116
Jaime Ortiz Marlins 23 LF 52 2.4% 9.7% 16.9% 114
Enrique Hernandez Astros 20 2B 158 1.4% 7.4% 10.8% 109
Ivan De Jesus Pirates 25 2B 156 1.8% 8.5% 14.7% 108
Brandon Snyder Rangers 25 1B 12 1.9% 10.0% 17.8% 108
Michael Perez D-backs 19 C 15 2.2% 9.3% 19.5% 106
Anthony Garcia Cardinals 20 RF 118 2.0% 10.7% 20.6% 105
Roberto Perez Indians 23 C 70 1.3% 11.3% 17.3% 105
Juan Centeno Mets 22 C 101 1.4% 9.0% 14.8% 105
Christian Colon Royals 23 2B 166 1.1% 8.0% 11.4% 105

SCOUT Leaderboard: Puerto Rican League Pitchers
Below is the final SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Puerto Rican League. SCOUT- is calculated using regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.

Player Team Age G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Jose De La Torre Red Sox 26 19 0 24.1 93 26.8% 7.9% 74
Javier Vazquez N/A 35 5 5 23.0 98 26.2% 8.2% 76
Jason Urquidez Red Sox 29 18 0 25.1 104 24.1% 7.6% 80
Julio Rodriguez Phillies 21 10 3 27.0 114 24.3% 9.0% 84
Scott Kazmir N/A 28 5 5 22.2 103 23.7% 8.5% 84
Ricardo Gomez IND 34 16 0 17.2 71 24.2% 9.0% 84
Randy Fontanez Mets 23 12 0 25.0 98 22.2% 7.5% 85
Rob Bryson Indians 24 15 0 15.1 57 23.8% 9.0% 85
Tyrelle Harris Cubs 25 5 2 12.2 51 23.2% 8.6% 85
Giovanni Soto Indians 21 11 0 15.1 57 23.8% 9.2% 86

SCOUT Leaderboard: Puerto Rican League Pitchers (Starters)
Here is the SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Puerto Rican League, but only populated with pitchers who’ve made at least half of their appearances as starts.

Player Team Age G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Javier Vazquez N/A 35 5 5 23.0 98 26.2% 8.2% 76
Scott Kazmir N/A 28 5 5 22.2 103 23.7% 8.5% 84
Kelvin Villa IND 26 9 8 43.0 189 21.7% 7.9% 88
Shoki Kasahara NPB 21 7 7 31.0 137 21.6% 8.0% 88
Derek Blacksher IND 27 2 2 10.0 39 21.3% 8.0% 89
Tomas Santiago N/A 30 10 6 43.2 180 22.3% 9.1% 89
Dennis Suarez IND 28 12 6 35.2 150 22.7% 9.6% 89
Josh Romanski Yankees 25 7 7 35.0 144 20.1% 7.8% 92
Mark Cohoon Mets 24 7 7 31.1 140 18.5% 7.2% 94
Shinya Kayama NPB 22 7 7 37.1 168 20.2% 8.9% 95

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