Winter leagues roundup: Arozarena mashing in Mexico

December 18th, 2017

Randy Arozarena connected on two more home runs last week, continuing what has been a powerful offseason performance in the Mexican Winter League.
Arozarena, the Cardinals' No. 9 prospect, currently leads the MWL with 14 home runs, and he's one of just two players to have produced double-digit homers so far this season. He's also pacing the circuit in runs scored (44), slugging percentage (.570) and total bases (130), with a .294/.359/.570 batting line through 55 games for Mayos de Navojoa.
Signed for $1.25 million in July 2016, Arozarena reached Double-A in his first pro season in the U.S. while producing an overall line of .266/.346/.437 in 121 games across two levels. The 22-year-old outfielder showed plenty of gap power, but ultimately produced just 11 home runs, a total he's easily surpassed this offseason in nearly half as many games.
Here's a look at the top prospects making waves in the offseason winter leagues.
• Gabriel Arias, SS, Padres' No. 15-- Arias entered the Padres' Top 30 Prospects list this week after the club dealt righty to the Phillies for . The 17-year-old shortstop, whom the Padres signed for $1.9 million in July 2016, blasted another home run over the weekend, giving him four homers in 19 games for Canberra. The Venezuela native failed to homer during the regular season, but still opened plenty of eyes by batting .265 and reaching Class A Fort Wayne in his professional debut.
• Garrett Whitley, OF, Rays' No. 9 -- A recent seven-game hitting streak, along with a .314 average (11-for-35), over Whitley's past 10 games has boosted the toolsy 20-year-old's ABL batting line to .282/.414/.465 through 19 games for Perth. He's tallied seven extra-base hits thus far and has more walks (16) than strikeouts (15), though his one stolen base in six attempts leaves much to be desired.
Dominican Republic
, OF, Padres' No. 12 -- Cordero hit safely in five of his six games for Leones del Escogido last week to improve his slash line to .331/.399/.497 through 47 games. After hitting .228 over parts of 30 games with the Padres during the regular season, the 23-year-old outfielder is leading the DWL league in hits (58), runs (tied-27) and total bases (87), with an .896 OPS that ranks second among qualified hitters.
, C/3B, Indians' No. 1 -- MLB Pipeline's No. 14 overall prospect's second offseason campaign is now underway, as he's collected three hits in 14 at-bats (.214 average) in his first three games for Estrellas Orientales. This comes after the 22-year-old switch-hitter slashed .365/.397/.476 in the Arizona Fall League while exclusively playing third base.
, OF, D-backs' No. 10 -- Brito suffered a possible fracture of his right pinkie finger over the weekend while playing for Estrellas Orientales. The 25-year-old outfielder was batting .301/.368/.472. No stranger to finger injuries, Brito missed much of the first half due to a dislocated ring finger on his left hand suffered during Spring Training.
• Jose Siri, OF, Reds' No. 22 -- Siri's average is up to .321 this offseason thanks to a robust .412/.417/.588 battling line over his last 10 games for Gigantes del Cibao. The 22-year-old outfielder was named the Reds' Minor League hitter of the year after a breakout season in which he slashed .293/.341/.530 with 24 home runs, 59 extra-base hits and 46 stolen bases in 126 games for Class A Dayton.
, OF, Blue Jays' No. 3 -- The No. 44 overall prospect appeared in four games with Toronto in May before landing on the disabled list with a left hamate fracture. Now making up for the time in the MWL, the 23-year-old outfielder has hit safely in seven straight contests for Charros de Jalisco to boost his offseason slash line to .333/.362/.483. He's also totaled seven extra-base hits, including two home runs, and eight steals in 21 games.
• Isaac Paredes, SS, Tigers' No. 9 -- Acquired from the Cubs at the 2017 Trade Deadline as part of the trade, the 18-year-old Paredes has collected hits in five of his first six games for Yaquis de Obregon, including three multi-hit performances. He's batting .348 overall (8-for-23) after posting a .252/.338/.387 line with 11 home runs and 28 doubles in 124 Midwest League games during the regular season.
• Carlos Tocci, OF, Rangers' No. 29 -- Tocci's name was in the news late last week after he was selected by the White Sox (from the Phillies' system) in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft and then traded to the Rangers. The 22-year-old outfielder has also been making news with his bat in his native Venezuela, where he's put together a 10-game hitting streak after going 0-fer in his offseason debut for Tigres de Aragua.