Mariners' Powell headlines top winter league performers

November 9th, 2016

missed much of 2016 while serving an 80-game suspension after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Now the Mariners' No. 20 prospect is playing in the Dominican Winter League to make up for lost time, and he hasn't show much rust while playing for Aguilas Cibaenas.

Powell received his suspension on June 23 in the wake of his positive test for the banned substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, and he did not return before the end of the season. The 23-year-old outfielder likely would have seen time in the big leagues with Seattle, but instead he finished the year with a .270/.326/.359 batting line over 64 games with Triple-A Tacoma.

Entering Wednesday, Powell ranks second among qualified DWL hitters in both average (.344) and hits (22) through 17 games, and he's compiled as many walks as strikeouts (eight) while going 4-for-5 on the basepaths.

Here's a look at some of the other top prospects currently making waves in the offseason winter leagues.

Dominican Republic

Manny Margot, OF, Padres -- The Padres' No. 2 prospect (No. 26 overall) excelled as a 21-year-old in Triple-A before getting a taste of the Major Leagues in September, when he batted .243 with five extra-base hits over 10 games with the Padres. He's continued to swing a hot bat for Tores del Este, with a .288 average, four doubles and five steals through 14 games.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Blue Jays -- After battling injuries early in his career, the Blue Jays' No. 9 prospect came into his own this year as a 21-year-old in Double-A by setting career highs in most offensive categories, including home runs (23), doubles (29), slugging (.530), OPS (.917) and RBIs (81). Tellez already gone deep twice in 12 games, to go along with a .265 average, while playing for Estrellas Orientales.

Dylan Cozens, OF, Phillies -- Cozens led the Minor Leagues with 40 home runs during the regular season, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Phillies' No. 6 prospect is currently pacing the DWL with four homers through his first 16 games for Aguilas Cibaenas.

, LHP, Tigers -- Labourt struggled as a starter to begin the season, posting a 7.48 ERA over 12 starts. The Tigers' No. 13 prospect fared much better after a midseason shift to the bullpen, where he recorded a 3.07 ERA and held hitters to a .189 average over 44 innings spanning 18 appearances. The 22-year-old left-hander is making even greater strides as a reliever, and he's allowed one earned run in five appearances for Gigantes del Cibao.


, 2B, Athletics -- The A's No. 27 prospect impressed during his time in the big leagues by hitting .260 with a pair of extra-base hits and 11 runs scored in 28 games. After playing 153 regular-season games between the Minors and Majors, the 26-year-old second baseman is getting even more work this offseason with Yaquis de Obregon in Mexico, for whom he's hit .319/.356/.511 with 12 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs over 24 games.


Ariel Jurado, RHP, Rangers -- Jurado made quick work of the hitter-friendly California League to earn a mid-season promotion to Double-A Frisco at age 20. The Rangers' No. 6 prospect more than held his own at the more advanced level, posting a 3.30 ERA in 43 2/3 innings over eight appearances (six starts). It's been more of the same for the right-hander so far in the Venezuela Winter League, where he owns a 3.00 ERA through five starts for Navegantes del Magallanes.