Courtesy of AP/ESPN

Thanks to the marvel of the internet and the eagle-eye of one Tom Tango, I became away of Dominican beisbol stats today! Via the appropriately named site Beisbol Data, we can put the old “you can’t walk off the island” adage through its paces.

With high profile players like Yoenis Cespedes currently plying their trade in the Dominican League and more and more people seeking non-traditional remedies for their winter baseball fix, the focus on winter league action figures to grow from “none” to “some.” By looking at some of the numbers, we can gain a tiny bit of perspective before declaring players like Cespedes a bust.

The Dominican League features many big league players and familiar names including (but not limited to!): the aforementioned Cespedes, White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza, Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks, Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, Mariners infield prospect Carlos Triunfel, and excellent Angels infielder (coming off a 4 fWAR season) Erick Aybar. Oh! Getting Blanked favorite Wily Mo Pena, too.

The most stunning thing when looking at this tiny sample of early season numbers is, wow, runs are hard to come by. The four-team league is just 19 games into it schedule yet the league average OPS is .659. League-average FIP is a slight 3.43. It’s like the National League West in so many ways!

It turns out that you can, in fact, walk off the island. The league-wide walk rate is a robust 8.3% against a 17.9% K rate. In this tiny sample that means marginally more walks and fewer Ks than the big leagues in 2011.

We could comb through these numbers and point out tiny oddities (Ronny Paulinio with a .900 OPS and 3 home runs) but mostly it is a chance to focus on poor, poor Miguel Tejada. Whether he`s trying to play himself back into a big league job or he just loves playing baseball, he isn’t doing it very well this winter.

Through 60 plate appearances, poor Miggy owns a meagre .426 OPS. He has zero walks and one sacrifice fly. His batting average is higher than his on base! That ain’t good.

rays fans can take heart from some of the numbers on the pitching side. Fernando Rodney has nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched, allowing just three base runners in that time. Friedman, Inc have done it again!

On the other side of that coin: Edinson Volquez and Francisco Liriano. Two big league pitchers not enjoying their time on Hispaniola. Volquez owns a tidy 6.20 FIP powered by the eight walks allowed in 9 2/3 innings. Over five (early season and thus short) starts! That bodes well for his future!

Liriano, on the other hand, has just seven innings pitched in four starts, so he’s killing it just as hard. Nine runs allowed on four walks looks bad but he is at least keeping the ball in the park. His 2.81 FIP suggests all is not lost for the Twins starter.

Go ahead and poke around the site a bit, there is a good time waiting. It will be interesting to monitor these numbers are the winter rolls on and players get that much closer to game shape.

Comments (4)

  1. Hello, Drew.

    As I said through our twitter account, it’s a refreshing thing to finally see our tool being used by people outside our inner circles and we couldn’t feel more thrilled about it.

    I will just point out a couple of things really quick, just so that you can have a better picture of what our Winter League is all about, as well as our site.

    The Dominican Winter League is comprised of 6 teams and the paly a regular season of 50 games, from the middle of October to the end of December.

    The best 4 records move on to a Round Robin of 18 games, which is what the teams where playing while you wrote this article and ended yesterday. If you want to see the regular season stats, just change the filter value on the stats section from “Semifinal” to “Regular”.

    It will give you a better sample and it will also show you a more normalized line of stats.

    Tomorrow our league will se the start of the Finals with Aguilas and Escogido going at it. There are a few big league players, released players, prospects, independent league players, you name it.

    It’s not the same as 10 years ago, since the new Winter League Agreement came into place and changed the league’s dynamic. Back then, Tejada played with Aguilas while still an MVP in the MLB, as well as a lot of other big names, but the competitive level remains high, which is why you see that big league pitchers like Liriano and Carmona had a hard time getting batters out.

    If you have any questions regarding our site, please let me know.

    I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to share our website with you readers and I hope this is the beginning of a lasting internet friendship.

  2. And they say people can’t get along. Good for you guys building this beautiful internet relationship ;) No really, good for you guys.

  3. This is fantastic. I love it!

  4. Ya I was going to mention that the Dominican winter league is already into the final 2 teams, the 19 game stats threw me off a bit, but now it’s cleared up.

    It’s great to see a site where can see these stats. Also the Caribbean series is going to be held in Dominican this year, so the winning teams from Mexico, Venezuela, puerto Rico, and Dominican will face off. Lots of talent there as well.

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