Daily Notes: Top Performers of the Venezuelan Winter League

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

1. Top Performers of the Venezuelan Winter League
2. Unhelpful Video: Alex Torres Recording a Strikeout Once
3. Final (!) SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League

Top Performers of the Venezuelan Winter League
The playoffs for the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL) have begun — and, as such, the regular-season stats for the players in said League are final.

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

Best Hitter (Overall): Luis Jimenez
One of the best hitters in last year’s edition of the VWL, DH-type Luis Jimenez finishes this year with the league’s best regressed offensive line, as well. A bit on the giant side so far as humans are concerned, Jimenez received his first major-league plate appearances in 2012, his age-30 season, posting this line in seven games: 18 PA, .059/.111/.059 (.077 BABIP), 1 BB, 4 K, -0.3 WAR. While finishing just ninth in the VWL by total home runs (nine), Jimenez’s plate-discipline numbers (39:29 BB:K) set him apart. A part of the Mariners organization in 2011-12, Jimenez signed with Toronto at the beginning of December.

Best Hitter (Prospects): Evan Gattis
Two questions are continuously being asked of Atlanta prospect Evan Gattis. First is this: “How meaningful have Gattis’s minor-league numbers actually been considering his age (older) relative to level?” Second is this other one: “What position would Gattis play at the major-league level?” Owing to the presence of Brian McCann, the answer to the latter question necessarily begins with, “Probably not catcher.” Regarding the first question, there are indications that Gattis, who has followed a non-traditional development path, ought to be evaluated differently from other players precisely his age.

Best Pitcher (Overall): Alex Torres
Were he in any one of ca. 25 (or more, maybe) other organizations, there’s a strong chance that left-hander Alex Torres would have thrown more than just eight major-league innings so far. Tampa Bay, meanwhile — despite dealing both James Shields and Wade Davis this offseason — still features a strong starting rotation. Torres posted the VWL’s highest regressed strikeout rate, at 32.5% — the only figure above 30% in the league. Walk rates certainly remain a concern for him, however — especially so far as starting is concerned.

Best Pitcher (Starters): Alex Torres, Again
As the league’s best overall pitcher, Torres is naturally its best starter, as well. So let’s consider his runners-up in both categories, instead. The first of those is right-hander Enrique Gonzalez, who posted a 34:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 27.2 relief innings for Magallanes. A veteran of four major-league organizations, Gonzalez pitched in Japan for Seibu this past season — although not particularly excellently, it seems. Against all odds, Austin Bibens-Dirkx is not the name of a great Dutch and/or alien leader, but rather the name of a right-handed pitcher from Salem, Oregon. Taken by Seattle out of the University of Portland in the 16th round of the 2006 draft, Bibens-Dirkx has played most recently for Colorado, but appears currently to be a free agent.

Unhelpful Video: Alex Torres Recording a Strikeout Once
Here’s video from September of Tampa Bay prospect Alex Torres recording a strikeout — on what appears to be a slider, it seems:

Final SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
Below are the final SCOUT leaderboards for the Venezuelan Winter League. (Ages as of July 1st, 2012. Players listed on team with which he ended 2012 season. Click here for more on what is SCOUT.)

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Hitters
Below is the final SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter 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+
Luis Jimenez Mariners 30 DH 209 3.7% 18.7% 13.9% 153
Evan Gattis Braves 25 DH 211 6.0% 7.6% 14.2% 147
Carlos Maldonado Nationals 31 C 207 4.7% 14.0% 21.7% 135
Luis Valbuena Cubs 26 2B 217 2.6% 15.7% 15.2% 128
Chris Nowak IND 29 3B 140 3.1% 13.3% 15.8% 127
C.J. Retherford Dodgers 26 3B 263 2.9% 11.4% 12.9% 124
Jose Lopez White Sox 28 3B 188 2.5% 12.6% 12.2% 124
Carlos Rivero Nationals 24 3B 232 3.8% 11.6% 19.0% 124
Salvador Perez Royals 22 DH 141 3.8% 7.3% 12.4% 123
Justin Henry Tigers 27 RF 106 1.4% 14.4% 10.4% 120

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Hitters (Prospects)
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter 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+
Evan Gattis Braves 25 DH 211 6.0% 7.6% 14.2% 147
Carlos Rivero Nationals 24 3B 232 3.8% 11.6% 19.0% 124
Salvador Perez Royals 22 DH 141 3.8% 7.3% 12.4% 123
Darwin Perez Angels 22 SS 179 2.2% 19.5% 24.6% 116
Ezequiel Carrera Indians 25 LF 129 1.9% 11.8% 13.1% 113
Darin Ruf Phillies 25 LF 137 4.5% 11.5% 29.5% 110
Dave Sappelt Cubs 25 CF 124 2.9% 7.6% 14.3% 110
Rossmel Perez Diamondbacks 22 C 28 2.0% 11.1% 14.0% 109
Pablo Sandoval Giants 25 3B 39 2.2% 9.6% 13.4% 109
Yangervis Solarte Rangers 24 OF 195 1.4% 9.7% 9.2% 108

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Pitchers
Below is the final SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter 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-
Alex Torres Rays 24 14 14 60.1 264 32.5% 9.6% 60
Enrique Gonzalez NPB 29 27 0 27.2 108 27.3% 8.0% 69
Deolis Guerra Twins 23 20 0 26.0 107 25.4% 8.2% 75
Danny Farquhar Mariners 25 21 0 24.0 98 25.7% 8.5% 75
Austin Bibens-Dirkx Rockies 27 12 10 53.2 226 25.3% 8.1% 75
Seth Etherton N/A 35 7 7 30.0 127 24.5% 7.5% 75
Anthony Ortega N/A 26 29 0 31.1 135 25.0% 9.0% 78
Jarrett Grube Mariners 30 7 7 27.2 120 24.7% 9.6% 80
Ryan Reid Rays 27 21 0 22.0 94 23.5% 8.8% 81
Josh Schmidt Marlins 29 11 11 59.2 249 22.9% 8.8% 83

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Pitchers (Starters)
Here is the SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter 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-
Alex Torres Rays 24 14 14 60.1 264 32.5% 9.6% 60
Austin Bibens-Dirkx Rockies 27 12 10 53.2 226 25.3% 8.1% 75
Seth Etherton N/A 35 7 7 30.0 127 24.5% 7.5% 75
Jarrett Grube Mariners 30 7 7 27.2 120 24.7% 9.6% 80
Josh Schmidt Marlins 29 11 11 59.2 249 22.9% 8.8% 83
Paolo Espino Indians 25 7 7 30.2 132 20.0% 8.0% 88
Eric Berger Indians 26 9 9 45.0 191 19.9% 7.9% 88
Sergio Perez Astros 27 14 14 72.0 302 19.5% 7.9% 89
Donovan Hand Brewers 26 7 7 34.1 148 18.9% 8.1% 91
Thad Weber Tigers 27 5 5 23.1 106 18.8% 8.4% 92




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


11 Responses to “Daily Notes: Top Performers of the Venezuelan Winter League”

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  1. wilt says:

    evan gattis is 26.

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  2. RA Rowe says:

    Seth Etherton: Keep on Chuckin’

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  3. Matty Brown says:

    I’m confused, Jiminez is listed as a Mariner, but you claim he is now part of my beloved Blue Jays.

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  4. slackerjack says:

    Defense aside, you could make one hell of a platoon using Luis Jiminez and Barbaro Canizares. Both are huge gentlemen with decent plate discipline and power.

    Jiminez actually has a gigantic reverse platoon split in the VWL this year…

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  5. travisfrymanfan says:

    Ernesto Mejias won the MVP over Gorkys Hernandez.
    Mejias:298/340/551. 16 HR in an extremely pitcher friendly park. The record for a season 20
    Hernandez:372/440/478.

    ERNESTO MEJIA 169 points

    GORKYS HERNANDEZ 134

    LUIS JIMENEZ 37

    JOSÉ CASTILLO 27

    EVANS GATTIS 14

    ELIEZER ALFONZO 13

    LUIS VALBUENA 6

    CARLOS RIVERO 1

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  6. glib says:

    Javier Herrera hit 396/632 OBP/SLG. Why is he not mentioned in the article?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Much of Herrera’s production was based on home-run rate, which, by the model here, receives the strongest regression (up till 300 plate appearances). Because Herrera had only about 100 PAs, his expected rate becomes only 4.1% — still very good, but not enough to offset his relatively poor discipline numbers (9:25 BB:K).

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  7. Sean says:

    Bit concerning seeing Ruf strike out 30% of the time in the Venezuelan Winter League.

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    • Clifford says:

      i disagree to some extent. everyone knows hes gonna strikeout a lot. thats just the kind of hitter that he is right now. i understand the saber-community has put a huge emphasis on strikeouts for hitters, and rightfully so, but since when did power hitters NOT strikeout a lot? yeah, Ruf’s number is particularly high, but at the end of the day, he compiled 642 ABs this year between AA, winter league, and the show, and hit 51 HR.

      Power is power. Im praying the Phils give Ruf a full-time shot in LF this year. Why not? What do they have to lose? Even if Ruf flops, is John Mayberry really gonna be thaaat much better? We all know what Mayberry can do, but the same cant be said about Ruf. I dont think its out of the question for him to hit .260-.270 with 25-30 HR given everyday ABs. Will he be good in LF?…prolly not, but like ive said countless times this offseason….Raul Ibanez and Pat Burrell. ’nuff said.

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