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Milwaukee Brewers Winter Ball recap

There are myriad reasons that players participate in foreign baseball leagues during the winter time. Many return to their home countries after the regular season and are eager for an opportunity to suit up for the teams they grew up watching. Some players head to winter ball to get extra reps if they missed time with an injury during their regular season in MLB-affiliated ball, or if they had a down year performance-wise and are trying to get back on track. Others still are simply looking for an extra paycheck to help supplement the generally poverty-level wages that they earn playing minor league ball in the States.

According to MLB.com’s offseason league stats, the Milwaukee Brewers have 15 players currently in the organization that participated in the various foreign winter leagues during the 2018-19 MLB offseason. That’s quite a bit fewer than last offseason, but now that these leagues have wrapped up with Spring Training beginning tomorrow, let’s take a look at how those players fared this past winter:

2018-19 Winter Ball – Hitters

BATTERS CLUB LEAGUE AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
BATTERS CLUB LEAGUE AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
Aguilar, Jesus ARA LVBP 0.291 22 79 7 23 5 0 0 10 11 13 0 0 0.378 0.354 0.732
Arcia, Orlando ORI LVBP 0.333 19 72 8 24 6 0 1 9 10 5 0 0 0.405 0.458 0.863
Clark, Zach AKL ABL 0.237 40 135 17 32 5 0 6 19 9 46 7 5 0.295 0.407 0.702
Feliciano, Jay CAR PWL 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hall, Alex PER ABL 0.317 40 145 27 46 11 2 6 37 16 41 4 2 0.393 0.545 0.937
Orf, Nate ESC LIDOM 0.218 15 55 9 12 3 0 0 1 3 11 0 1 0.338 0.273 0.611
Stokes Jr., Troy ARA LVBP 0.298 28 94 21 28 2 0 4 12 13 18 7 0 0.391 0.447 0.838
Williams, Jess PER ABL 0.175 32 103 16 18 2 0 0 7 9 24 3 0 0.254 0.194 0.449

2018-19 Winter Ball – Pitchers

PITCHERS CLUB LEAGUE ERA G GS SV SVO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
PITCHERS CLUB LEAGUE ERA G GS SV SVO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
Archer, Tristan ESC LIDOM 1.8 5 0 0 0 5 4 1 1 1 1 3 1 0.235
Castaneda, Victor CUL LMP 2.16 7 0 0 0 8.1 8 2 2 1 3 8 1.32 0.258
Claudio, Alex MAY PWL 5.4 5 1 0 1 8.1 12 5 5 0 4 1 1.92 0.364
Guerra, Deolis MAG LVBP 1.57 27 0 1 3 28.2 24 6 5 2 7 28 1.08 0.214
Guerra, Junior LAG LVBP 9 4 0 0 1 5 10 5 5 1 2 3 2.4 0.435
Meister, Christian MEL ABL 6.75 8 1 0 0 12 15 10 9 0 18 14 2.75 0.3
Rodriguez, Wuilder ARA LVBP 3.38 6 0 0 0 5.1 7 3 2 0 2 1 1.69 0.304
Wilkerson, Aaron GIG LIDOM 6.43 2 2 0 0 7 6 5 5 1 4 4 1.43 0.231

Now to highlight some of the notable successes:

C Alex Hall (Perth Heat)

Hall, 19, put up a .712 OPS with a pair of homers in 27 Arizona League games during his first year in the Brewers’ organization, then he returned to his home country of Australia for his third season with Perth. His .937 OPS was 11th-best on the circuit and his 6 homers were tied for ninth-most. He was tied for second in the league with 11 doubles and was third with 37 RBI. The athletic young catcher even stole four bases, to boot.

SS Orlando Arcia (Caribes de Anzoategui)

After posting one of the worst overall batting seasons of any player in the big leagues, Arcia went back to his native Venezuela looking for some more consistency at the plate. He might’ve found it, building on a strong performance in the MLB playoffs by collecting 24 hits in 72 LVBP at-bats. He didn’t hit for a ton of power, but he did do something he hasn’t done a ton of at the big league level – draw free passes, of which he collected 10. He only whiffed five times.

OF Troy Stokes (Tigres de Aragua)

Stokes has broken out a bit as a power-speed outfield in the mid-minors the last two seasons, and was rewarded with a 40 man roster spot after posting a 121 wRC+ with 19 homers and 19 steals for AA Biloxi in 2018. He played winter ball for the first time in his career this offseason and thrived in the LVBP, again showing off tantalizing offensive tools with four homers and seven stolen bags in 28 games.

RHP Deolis Guerra (Navegantes del Magallanes)

Guerra is a veteran of parts of three MLB seasons, but didn’t pitch at the game’s highest level in 2018 as a member of the Rangers’ organization. He was among LVBP leaders this winter with 27 appearances, though, and was one of the top relievers on the circuit with a sparkling 1.57 ERA. He’ll be a non-roster invitee to camp with Milwaukee this spring and hoping to win a spot in the bullpen.

Statistics courtesy of MLB.com

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