Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The Padres last man standing in the Winter Leagues had his season end Monday night.Jose Pirela's season ended when Venezuela lost to Puerto Rico in the semifinals of the Caribbean Series in Culiacan, Mexico.Here's a look back
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The Padres last man standing in the Winter Leagues had his season end Monday night.
Jose Pirela's season ended when Venezuela lost to Puerto Rico in the semifinals of the Caribbean Series in Culiacan, Mexico.
Here's a look back at some of the top winter league performances:
You have to start with Pirela, who played left field for Venezuela League champion Zulia. Pirela, 27, hit .345 with three homers and 12 RBIs during the Venezuelan playoffs. He was 9-for-20 in the championship series with a double, triple and a home run with three walks, eight runs scored and five RBIs. He hit safely in all five games, but he was only 5-for-21 (.238) in five games in the Caribbean Series.
During the regular Venezuela League season, Pirela hit .343 (46-for-134) for Zulia with nine doubles, two triples and two homers for 16 RBIs and 29 runs scored. He had a .409 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage for a .894 OPS.
Center fielder Manuel Margot, 22, batted .259 (37-for-143) with six doubles, two homers, eight RBIs and 14 runs scored in the Dominican Republic. He also led the Dominican Republic with 15 steals.
Second baseman Carlos Asuaje, 25, hit .241 (19-for-79) with 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored in 21 games in the Dominican Republic.
In addition to Pirela, shortstop Jose Rondon, 22, spent the winter in his native Venezuela and hit .263 (44-for-167) with seven doubles, three triples and a homer for 15 RBIs. Rondon also drew 13 walks for a .332 on-base percentage.
Catcher Hector Sanchez hit .320 in 50 at-bats in Venezuela with three doubles and a home run.
Rafael Ortega hit .250 in Venezuela (27-for-108) with five doubles and five triples for 28 runs scored in 28 games.
Second baseman Fernando Perez, 23, hit .315 in the Mexican Pacific League (34-for-108) with six doubles and three homers for 14 RBIs. The product of Otay Ranch High near San Diego also drew 12 walks for a .385 on-base percentage.
Juan Carlos Gamboa hit .248 (50-for-202) in Mexico. Catcher Marcus Greene Jr., 22, and second baseman River Stevens, 25, finished among the hitting leaders in Australia.
Stevens hit .313 (30-for-96) with seven doubles, a triple and a homer for 12 RBIs with a .353 on-base percentage. He had the eighth-highest average in the league.
Greene hit .307 (43-for-140) with three doubles and six home runs for 26 RBIs and 22 runs scored. He tied for fourth in the league in home runs and tied for second in RBIs. He also finished with the 11th-highest batting average and 12th-highest slugging percentage (.457). In Panama,
Christian Bethancourt, 25, didn't catch. But he had a 2.25 ERA in four, one-inning pitching appearances and hit .171 while playing left and serving as a designated hitter.
Turning to pitching, recently-signed right-hander Carlos Fisher was the most active pitcher in the offseason with a 3-0 record and 1.69 ERA in 32 innings over 30 games. He had 40 strikeouts in the 32 innings. Right-handers Cesar Vargas had a 1.98 ERA in 10 appearances covering 13 2/3 innings while rehabbing an elbow injury. Right-hander Gerardo Reyes had a 1.00 ERA in 13 appearances. Right-handed starter Jhoulys Chacin was 2-2 with a 2.54 ERA in five starts covering 28 1/3 innings in Venezuela. Left-hander Jose Castillo didn't allow a run in 14 Venezuela appearances. Right-hander Michael Dimock was 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in eight appearances in the Dominican Republic. Right-hander Rafael De Paula didn't allow a run in 10 Dominican appearances.
Left-hander Keith Hessler had a 3.72 ERA in nine appearances in the Dominican Republic. Right-hander Zech Lemond was 1-2 with a 0.95 ERA in 16 appearances in Australia. He had 18 strikeouts in 19 innings. Right-hander Jason Jester had a 0.71 ERA in 11 appearances in the Arizona Fall League. He had 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. Right-hander Phil Maton was 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings in the AFL. Left-hander Kyle McGrath was 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in six starts and 17 innings in the AFL.