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Winter League wrap-up: The Dominican Winter League regular season has finished, how did each prospect do?

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Photo credit:Más Allá del Béisbol
Brennan Delaney
1 month ago
One Winter League regular season has wrapped up, so it’s time for another Winter League report! 
Thankfully, the Dominican Winter League is still ongoing, therefore select players will continue to play. However, there are a few players who may be inactive until the start of spring training. 
In this article, we’ll look at each player that played in LIDOM, as well as their performance. In an accompanying article that will come out later on Monday, we’ll look at how other Jays prospects are doing in the three other Winter Leagues.
Editor’s note: I didn’t include Nate Pearson because I wrote an article about him here when he finished up his season. Also Spencer Horwitz didn’t participate, even though he was apparently loaned to Estrellas.

Otto López:

It was surprising to me that I didn’t see López’s name pop up on the end-of-season draft. Yes, LIDOM has a draft where the four playoff teams pick players off the rosters of the two non-playoff teams.
López slashed .304/.353/.380 with no homers in 88 plate appearances but was an everyday player filling in at centre field and second base. Below is a Tweet that shows all 20 players drafted by the four teams.
 
Interestingly, former Blue Jays farmhand Rhiner Cruz was selected by Estrellas, who have both Rainer Núñez and Vinny Capra on the roster. We’ll get to them.

The prospects:

Throughout each of these articles, I’ve mentioned a few prospects that didn’t get a lot of plate appearances, and likely won’t if their team has qualified for the playoffs. Let’s just go through them quickly.

Juan Nunez:

The 26-year-old righty didn’t pitch for Águilas Cibaeñas this season, but he was on the daily roster towards the end of the season. He throws high-90s, and Nunez posted a 4.43 ERA with a 32.4 K% in 42.2 innings between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A. 
While he’s on the older side for most of those levels, his velocity is something to monitor next season.

Jol Concepcion:

Another pitcher who didn’t get an opportunity this past season, Concepcion is a 24-year-old reliever who had a solid season in High-A and Double-A. He posted a 4.40 ERA with a 29.4 K% in 59.1 innings pitched.
Concepcion sits in the mid to high 90s with a nice slider. Keep an eye on him as he’ll likely start the 2023 season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Jommer Hernandez:

The 22-year-old catcher didn’t play much in his rookie season. He slashed .125/.222/.375 in 9 plate appearances, along with five strikeouts. There isn’t a lot to say about his tenure with Licey, but we can look at his 2022 numbers in the Jays organization.
Between Low-A and High-A, Hernandez slashed .242/.350/.333 with two homers in 180 plate appearances. His K% was a little bit on the high side, but he’s an intriguing prospect to monitor next season.

Rafael Lantigua:

Like Hernandez, Lantigua really didn’t get an opportunity with the round-robin-bound Gigantes del Cibao. He only had two plate appearances… but he managed to score two runs as a pinch runner, so there’s that.
Between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo, Lantigua slashed .274/.346/.393 with seven homers in 547 plate appearances. He only had a 19.2 K% while owning a 9.7 BB%, pretty solid numbers overall.
Lantigua plays all over the place, as he played second base, third base, centre field, left field, and shortstop. He is one of many high minor utility players to keep an eye on in 2023.

Luis De Los Santos:

Pretty fitting to jump from one high-minor utility player to another, as we have Luis De Los Santos. Unfortunately, he’s in this subsection, so you know it means he didn’t get an opportunity, which not a lot of non-highly touted prospects do in LIDOM. The 24-year-old had just eight plate appearances with a hit and a single walk.
Like Lantigua, De Los Santos spent time between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo, slashing .257/.314/.385 with ten homers. His K% of 22% wasn’t bad in the slightest, but he’s less versatile, playing just third base, shortstop, and second base in 2022.
De Los Santos is a slick defender and has the ability to stick at shortstop. He’ll start 2023 with the Buffalo Bisons.

Steward Berroa:

The last player in this section thankfully, the 23-year-old centre fielder actually saw more plate appearances than his fellow Jays prospects. He slashed .222/.462/.333 with no homers in 13 plate appearances with Escogido.
Berroa and Chavez Young are the two players I’d assign a fun grade of 80 to in the Jays organization. Not just that, but Berroa does a lot of things right on the field. 
He slashed .211/.315/.382 with seven homers in 315 plate appearances. He also stole 47 bases in 54 attempts, which was the most in the Jays organization.
Fun player, and I can’t wait to watch him in New Hampshire next season.

From rookies that didn’t get to play, to the potential Rookie of the Year:

If you’ve been following these articles, you know I’ve discussed Rainer Núñez ad nauseam. Why? Well, because he had a very, very good rookie season, just look at this tweet!
Yes, here he’s being compared to MLB Pipeline’s 14th-ranked prospect Elly De La Cruz, as well as Jerar Encarnación, who has major league experience.
Obviously, Núñez may not be of the same quality as those two, but my word did he ever raise his stock. He slashed .263/.303/.445 with seven homers (which led the league, not just those three players), and an 18.6 K%.
Not too shabby for a guy who was selected in the fourth round of the LIDOM draft. Expect him to rise up the Jays’ prospect rankings. And who knows, it’s possible his stock continues to rise as his team, Estrellas, has made the round-robin. Hell, he may even have a case for the most valuable player award, but his on base percentage may hold him from it.

Vinny Capra:

It’s a bit surprising to me that Capra has struggled in the limited time he’s gotten with Estrellas. He’s slashing just .167/.231/.167 with no homers in 26 plate appearances. He also has a 30.8 K%, which is on the high side for him (he had a 13.1 K% and BB% in Triple-A in 2022).
It could be a multitude of things, but most importantly, it’s an incredibly small sample size that we shouldn’t look into too much. He’s a legit hitter and could find his way on the 40-man roster once again with a successful start to the 2023 season.
What about the other winter leagues?:
I’ve decided to split the articles in half, this one features the Dominican Winter League, which has the bulk of the Jays prospects. The other one, which will come out later on Monday, will feature the other eight prospects currently playing, so stay tuned!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.

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