Winter Leagues: Willy Garcia Homers, Takes Hit Away From Alen Hanson

In the Dominican League playoffs on Wednesday, Alen Hanson went 2-for-5 with a run scored, but his team was still eliminated from the finals. Hanson reached base seven times during a three-game stretch.

Willy Garcia went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. There are better results for him below, as he broke his playoff slump on Thursday.

Gustavo Nunez went 2-for-3 with two singles and a sacrifice bunt.

Rafael Perez gave up one run over five innings, allowing four hits, two walks and he failed to pick up a strikeout. Perez has made four starts in the playoffs and has allowed one earned run in 20 innings. He is still a free agent.

In Venezuela, Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-2 with two walks. His team had just two hits in a 6-2 loss.

In Colombia, the first round of the playoffs ended and Leones won behind Andy Vasquez. After homering in three straight games, he drove in one run and scored another in Wednesday’s 11-1 win. Vasquez brought home 11 runs total in the four games, eliminating the Tigres team of Tito Polo and Harold Ramirez. Leones will now take on first place Caimanes in a best-of-seven series to decide the league championship.

Thursday’s Action

In the Dominican on Thursday night, Willy Garcia’s team got eliminated from the finals, but that definitely wasn’t his fault. He went 3-for-3 with a double, homer, scored two runs and drove in two runs. He also picked up an outfield assist. He had just two hits in the playoffs prior to this game.

Alen Hanson went 1-for-4 with a single. He lost a hit when Garcia picked up his outfield assist. A runner on first thought Garcia was going to catch a fly ball by Hanson, but it dropped in and the runner was heading back to first, so he was thrown out easily at second and Hanson lost his single. On the bases, Hanson had a tough game, getting thrown out stealing once and getting picked off another time.

Mel Rojas Jr. walked and scored a run as a pinch-hitter.

Gustavo Nunez had a crazy game on Thursday, making the boxscore everywhere, both positive and negative. He went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored, but he also made an error, struck out and had a caught stealing.

In Venezuela, Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch. He is hitting just .154 in the playoffs, but his team won and moved to 8-3 in the round robin tournament.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly lined out to third base as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. On Friday, Kennelly came in to play third base in the seventh inning and got one at-bat, which was a significant one. In the ninth inning, he doubled and scored a run. For Kennelly, the double was his first extra-base hit in the Australian Baseball League. He has 130 at-bats in the league, so it took awhile, but he also got a majority of those at-bats in a league that is AA equivalent before his 18th birthday.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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How can Mel Rojas Jr walk and be a pinch runner in the same game? If I’m missing something obvious I apologize for the brain cramp.


Ah, when you put it that way, I can see how dumb I am.
It’s been a long week, the brain cells function only sporadically on Friday.
By the way, is the Kennelly kid’s glove so good that he can play everywhere in the infield, or is it so bad that they’re trying to figure out where he can do the least damage? Thanks.


What does Kennelly’s bat look like?


Thanks John! Did you watch him in in Florida? His stats show good contact skills, not much power. But he is 6’2 190 at age 19 so hopefully he generates the bat speed to add extra base power as he ages? Or is his bat slow?


Thanks John! The video is really helpful!

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