As I wrote in my last column here at Redleg Nation, the winter league began last week for multiple leagues around the world. The Arizona Fall League, the Dominican Winter League, the Venezuelan Winter League and the Mexican Winter League have all started. The Australian Winter League gets started in a month. With Puerto Rico still struggling to get power and water to many of their citizens, I’d be very surprised if they played winter ball this year, though as far as I’ve seen there has been no official announcement.
Several players are out to good starts to their winter league seasons. Third baseman Taylor Sparks is wasting no time to make up for lost time. After being hit by a pitch and missing nearly two months of the regular season, the 24-year-old is out to a torrid start in the Arizona Fall League. He’s played in five games thus far and he’s hitting .429/.478/.667 with a triple, home run, two steals, six runs scored and seven RBI. He’s gone 9-21.
In the Mexican Winter League the Reds only have two players in the league currently: First baseman/outfielder Sebastian Elizalde and reliever Robert Stock. For Elizalde, it’s been much like the start for Sparks. The 25-year-old enters Tuesday night (the games in Mexico start very late so I won’t be updating his line by waiting until 2am when the game ends) hitting .421/.500/.684. That’s come along with three walks, two doubles, a home run, six runs scored, a steal and three RBI.
On the pitching side of things, right hander Jake Ehret is out to a quick start with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. The 24-year-old has made two appearances. Both were shutout appearances of 2.0 innings. He’s yet to walk a batter and he’s struck out five.
Here’s a rundown of how everyone is performing thus far, through games played before Tuesday night that is currently in a winter league:
Quick links of other notes
If you aren’t checking out RedsMinorLeagues.com, where I write about the farm system every day, you should be. But just in case you aren’t, there are a two stories you should probably check out.
The first is the return of a reliever throwing 99 MPH in instructional league after having Tommy John surgery and missing all of the 2017 season.
The other interesting story of the last week revolves around top prospect Nick Senzel. Dick Willaims spoke with C. Trent Rosecrans and Zach Buchanan about a whole bunch of things, one of which is where Senzel could eventually wind up. Apparently, there are a lot of different options.