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Amarista, Noel advance with winter clubs to Caribbean Series

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Padres infielder Alexi Amarista and Minor League center fielder Rico Noel are on league champion teams headed to the Caribbean World Series.

Amarista plays second base and hits third in the order for champion Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Winter League. Noel is the leadoff hitter and center fielder for Mexican Pacific League champion Culiacan.

The Caribbean World Series starts Monday and runs through Sunday in Puerto Rico.

Amarista went 7-for-20 with three doubles, a home run, seven runs scored and six RBIs as Anzoategui defeated Magallanes in five games in the best-of-seven Venezuelan championship series.

A native of Barcelona, Venezuela, Amarista, 25, scored at least once and drove in at least one run in all five games of the championship series.

Amarista hit .388 (26-for-67) after joining the Caribes for the final 16 games of the regular season with 10 runs scored, a homer and seven RBIs. He hit .227 overall during the playoffs, with a homer in the first game of all three rounds.

Noel, 26, was 6-for-20 with two doubles, a triple, a stolen base, four runs scored and three RBIs as Culiacan defeated Jalisco in five games of the best-of-seven Mexico championship series. Noel hit .195 during the league playoffs.

Noel hit .233 (42-for-180) during the regular season and led the league in steals (28), finished second in walks (36), third in runs scored (44) and 11th in on-base percentage (.387).

Read More: San Diego Padres, Alexi Amarista, Rico Noel