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Winter leagues roundup: D-backs' Alcantara mashing in Dominican

MLB.com

The Dominican Winter League finals began Thursday as Aguilas Cibaenas defeated Tigres del Licey, 4-3, in Game 1 of the best-of-nine series.

Despite going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the contest, Tigres shortstop Sergio Alcantara has been one of the circuit's hottest hitters in the postseason as well as a major reason his team has reached the finals. The D-backs' No. 28 prospect went 7-for-21 at the plate in six games last week to improve his playoff average to .339, the fourth-best mark in the league, while also tallying three runs scored, three RBIs and two steals.

The Dominican Winter League finals began Thursday as Aguilas Cibaenas defeated Tigres del Licey, 4-3, in Game 1 of the best-of-nine series.

Despite going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the contest, Tigres shortstop Sergio Alcantara has been one of the circuit's hottest hitters in the postseason as well as a major reason his team has reached the finals. The D-backs' No. 28 prospect went 7-for-21 at the plate in six games last week to improve his playoff average to .339, the fourth-best mark in the league, while also tallying three runs scored, three RBIs and two steals.

Alcantara, 20, struggled in his first taste of full-season ball but fared better in his return to the Midwest League in 2016, hitting .267/.313/.328 over 53 games -- after an impressive 15-game stint with Class A Short Season Hillsboro to begin the season -- before finishing the year with Class A Advanced Visalia. The switch-hitter makes a lot of contact from both sides of the plate but offers little power, a notion supported by his three career home runs in 288 Minor League games. However, as a plus defender with plus-plus arm strength, Alcantara could still reach the big leagues even if he fails to develop any pop.

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

Australia

D.J. Davis, OF, Blue Jays -- Davis, Toronto's No. 24 prospect, connected on his third ABL home run on Sunday as part of a 2-for-4 performance for Canberra Cavalry, though he's batting just .181/.262/.287 on the season. The No. 17 overall pick in the 2012 Draft appeared to have turned a developmental corner in 2015 during his second tour of the Midwest League, only to take a considerable step back in '16 with the move up to the Florida State League, where he produced a .197/.295/.263 batting line over 83 games.

Dominican Republic

Aristides Aquino, OF, Reds -- The Reds' No. 22 prospect broke out to hit .273/.327/.519 with 23 home runs, 61 extra-base hits and 79 RBIs in 2016 en route to MVP honors in the challenging Florida State League. Aquino, 22, appeared in just three regular-season contests for Leones del Escogido this offseason but received more playing time in the postseason, collecting two hits in 11 at-bats across parts of six games.

Chesny Young, 2B/3B, Cubs -- Young, the Cubs' No. 28 prospect, cooled off at the plate last week as he went 5-for-19 with one extra-base hit in five games for Aguilas Cibaenas. The 24-year-old infielder is having a strong postseason, hitting .288/.373/.333 with 12 RBIs through 18 games after slashing .351/.438/.364 during the regular season.

Jairo Labourt, LHP, Tigers -- Labourt, 22, made a pair of scoreless appearances for Gegantes del Cibao last week, allowing two hits and one walk with three strikeouts in two innings. The Tigers' No. 13 prospect had a strong offseason overall, recording a 1.93 ERA across 11 regular-season appearances before working six games in the postseason.

Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals -- The Royals' No. 4 prospect was sharp in his final offseason appearance for Gigantes del Cibao, piling up four strikeouts over 2 2/3 scoreless frames. The performance was a positive step for the 23-year-old right-hander, who struggled to the tune of a 5.92 ERA in 76 innings between Double- and Triple-A last season after making his big league debut the previous year.

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.