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Caribbean Series features top prospects

Red Sox's Devers, Rangers' Kivlehan among those on rosters

The 2016 Caribbean Series gets under way today, featuring the top team from each of the Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues, as well as an entry from Cuba.

Here is a quick look at the top prospects on each of those teams.

The 2016 Caribbean Series gets under way today, featuring the top team from each of the Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues, as well as an entry from Cuba.

Here is a quick look at the top prospects on each of those teams.


• Venados de Mazatlan won a five-game series against Aguilas de Mexicali to move on to the Caribbean Series. Though Mazatlan's roster is comprised of mostly native players and a former big league journeyman, the club does have a pair of notable Pirates' prospects listed as reserves in outfielder Harold Ramirez and right-hander Luis Heredia, who respectively rank as the Nos. 7 and 27 prospects on Pittsburgh's Top 30.


• Tigres de Aragua are moving on to the Caribbean Series after defeating Navegantes de Magallanes, 4-2, in the best-of-seven championship series in the Venezuela Winter League. Here are some of the top prospects featured on Tigres' roster:

Tayron Guerrero, RHP, Padres -- San Diego's No. 14 prospect saw time at Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso in 2015. To go along with his 3.05 ERA with 14 saves and a .199 opponents' batting average across 48 appearances, Guerrero also fanned 61 batters in 56 innings and yielded only three home runs.

Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Mets -- Back in 2012, Becerra was viewed as a "throw-in" as part of the R.A. Dickey trade that netted the Mets Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud. Now, he ranks as the organization's No. 12 prospect after hitting .290/.342/.423 with nine home runs, 27 doubles and 16 stolen bases in 118 games for Class A Savannah in his full-season debut. The 21-year-old outfielder has continued to impress this offseason in Venezuela, hitting .405/.416/.500 over 21 games for Tigres de Aragua.

Dominican Republic

It was all Leones del Escogido in the LIDOM Championship, as they needed only six games to knock off Tigres del Licey in the best-of-nine series. Prospects currently listed on Leones' active roster include:

Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox -- Recently ranked as baseball's No. 17 overall prospect by, Devers appeared in only 13 games for Leones this offseason but hit a respectable .279/.340/.349 with three doubles during that span.

Erik Gonzalez, SS, Indians -- The Tribe's No. 10 prospect had another solid season in 2015, hitting .255/.292/.373 with 40 extra-base hits and 18 steals in 137 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Patrick Kivlehan, OF/1B/3B, Rangers -- Kivlehan, 25, was sent to Texas in early December as the PTBNL to complete the November trade between the two teams. Now ranked as the Rangers' No. 18 prospect, Kivlehan has impressed this offseason in the Dominican Republic, where he's hitting .301 with three home runs, nine doubles and 13 RBIs through 20 games for Leones del Escogido.

Joey Rickard, OF, Orioles -- Rickard was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft in December. The 24-year-old outfielder hit .277 with a .794 OPS in 50 regular-season games for Leones del Escogido, and he led the league with 32 RBIs and 86 total bases while tying for second with six home runs and 13 doubles.

Puerto Rico

In the LBPRC Finals, Cangrejeros de Santurce won the best-of-seven series against Indios de Mayaguez, 4-2, to advance to the Caribbean Series. Notable prospects on the club's roster include:

Reymond Fuentes, OF, Royals -- Kansas City's No. 20 prospect continued to show an intriguing blend of hitting ability and speed in '15, hitting .308 with 29 steals in 107 games for Triple-A Omaha. This offseason, Fuentes led all hitters in the Puerto Rican Winter League with a .326 average and finished in a three-way tie for second place with eight steals.

Ian Miller, OF, Mariners -- Seattle's No. 19 prospect, Miller hit just .267/.319/.330 but stole a career-best 50 bases in 126 games last season between Class A Advanced Bakersfield and Double-A Jackson.


The Brisbane Bandits and Adelaide Bite will square off in this year's Australian Baseball League Championship Series beginning on Feb. 5. Before that happens, however, here is what you need to know about prospects on both team's active rosters.

Riley Unroe, 2B, Rays -- Fellow Rays prospect and teammate Unroe, who was coming off an underwhelming full-season debut, bounced back during his time with Brisbane, as the switch-hitter batted .318/.402/.389 over 55 games and paced the circuit in hits (67), runs scored (42) and stolen bases (14).

Justin Williams, OF, Rays -- Rays No. 22 prospect Williams arguably was the top performer for Brisbane this offseason as well as one of the best hitters in the league, finishing with a robust .342/.398/.582 batting line, 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 47 games.

Travis Demeritte, INF, Rangers -- Demeritte played a major role in helping the Bite advance to the ABLCS. In Game 1 of the preliminary series, the Rangers' No. 14 prospect paced Adelaide to a 6-4 win over Canberra with a perfect 3-for-3 performance in which he hit a pair of solo home runs and plated four. On Sunday, Demeritte went 2-for-3 with two more solo homers and scored three runs. He finished the preliminary series with an impressive .455 average.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.