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Gutierrez, Peguero lead Seattle winter ball contingent

SEATTLE -- Franklin Gutierrez and Carlos Peguero continued their strong offseasons, as the two Mariners outfielders turned in excellent weeks in Winter League play.

Gutierrez has hit .382 over his last nine games with Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan League, raising his average to .313 in 18 games overall. The former Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder is looking to show he's healthy again after playing just 40 games for the Mariners last season due to a torn pectoral muscle and a concussion.

Gutierrez, 29, has four doubles, a home run, nine runs and nine RBIs this winter. The Venezuelan Winter League runs through the end of December.

Peguero, 25, returned to action after taking a month off in the Dominican Winter League and went 8-for-21 (.381) in five games for Gigantes del Cibao. Peguero, who grew up in the Dominican, is batting .367 with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games.

Right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar, a 25-year-old prospect acquired by the Mariners in the Ichiro Suzuki trade with the Yankees last July, continued his strong winter in the Venezuelan League with three appearances last week without an earned run allowed over 4 2/3 innings.

Farquhar, a Louisiana native, is 2-1 with three saves and a 1.50 ERA in 21 outings for Cardenales de Lara. He's held opponents to a .217 batting average with six walks and 30 strikeouts and has the second-highest strikeout-per-nine innings ratio among relievers in the VWL at 11.25.

Yoervis Medina, another Mariners prospect, gave up one earned run in 3 1/3 innings over three outings last week for Lara. Medina, who pitched for Double-A Jackson last season, is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 25 1/3 innings over 22 appearances this winter, with nine walks and 21 strikeouts.

Gabriel Noriega, a 22-year-old outfielder who split time between Jackson and Class A High Desert last year, has seen significant time with Lara this winter, and is batting .252 (43-for-123) in 43 games.

Several Mariners prospects have been competing in the Australian Baseball League, and first baseman Ji-Man Choi and right-handed pitcher Seon Gi Kim played in the ABL All-Star Game on Sunday, with Choi going 0-for-2 with two walks and Kim pitching a scoreless inning with one hit.

After allowing six runs in his first two starts, Kim has given up just three runs in his last 12 2/3 innings to lower his ERA from 7.36 to 4.05. Choi is batting .298 with one home run and nine RBIs in 16 games. Both played for Class A Clinton last year.

Seattle Mariners, Franklin Gutierrez, Carlos Peguero