Winterball Roundup - 12/27
Cruz came through with a clutch grand slam
Cruz came through with a clutch grand slam
LoneStarDugout.com
Posted Dec 28, 2008


Cibao slugger Nelson Cruz hit a game-winning grand slam in the ninth inning of Saturday's Dominican Winter League playoff game. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's winterball action.

Arizona Fall League: Surprise – Season Over


Julio Borbon spent much of the Arizona Fall League season batting leadoff and playing centerfield for the Surprise Rafters. The 21-year-old showed excellent results to go with his impressive skills, as he batted .287 with three doubles, three triples, one home run, and a .404 on-base percentage in 24 games. Borbon, who drew just 29 walks in 126 regular season games, tied for fourth in the Fall League with 17 free passes. He also swiped seven bases in eight attempts.

First baseman Chad Tracy had a disappointing showing in the Fall League, as he was just 9-for-57 in 15 games with the Rafters. With three doubles and three home runs, the Pepperdine product did have six of his nine hits go for extra bases.

John Whittleman also scuffled for much of the fall, going 8-for-59 [.136] at the plate with two doubles and two home runs. Whittleman did heat in up the last few games, finishing 4-for-12 with two doubles, one home run, and six walks, but it wasn’t near enough to save his overall numbers.

Justin Smoak split 51 at-bats between the Surprise Rafters and the Peoria Javelinas. The Rangers’ first round pick in the 2008 Draft, Smoak looked outstanding against more experienced competition, as he batted .353 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 10 walks in those 51 at-bats.

Reliever John Bannister, who was added to the Rangers’ 40-man roster in late-November, showed impressive stuff in the Fall League. The right-hander appeared in 18 innings, posting a 5.00 ERA with eight walks and 19 strikeouts.

Also added to the 40-man was Willie Eyre, who used the 2008 Fall League season to help him rehab from last season’s Tommy John surgery. The 30-year-old made eight starts, going 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA. In 26.1 innings, he surrendered 33 hits, walked eight, and struck out 33.

Promising left-handed reliever Beau Jones saw his ERA shoot up after a couple of rough outings in November. The Louisiana native ended up finishing his AFL campaign with a 2-0 record and an 8.44 ERA in 13 appearances. He totaled 16 innings, in which he allowed 21 hits while walking nine and fanning 16.

Another reliever whose ERA suffered at the hands of a couple of late-season outings was Andrew Laughter. The big righty, who is one of the Rangers’ top relief prospects, had a 6.14 ERA in 14.2 innings. Six of his 10 earned runs allowed came in a November 15 outing in which he went just two-thirds of an inning. Laughter walked six and struck out 12 overall.

Mexican Pacific League


No Rangers appeared on Saturday.

Venezuelan Winter League


Max Ramirez (.298/.392/.622) singled twice and walked once in six plate appearances.

Left-hander Joseph Ortiz earned a hold despite surrendering two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning.

Kendy Batista came on in relief of Ortiz and allowed the tying run to score after giving up a hit and a walk. He tossed one-third of an inning without allowing any damage of his own.

Caracas hurler Guillermo Moscoso got the start and pitched three scoreless frames. Moscoso yielded two hits while walking two and fanning four.

Dominican Winter League


Engel Beltre appeared as a pinch runner for Este and scored the game-winning run.

Nelson Cruz hit his second home run in as many playoff games. With his team down three runs, Cruz belted a two-out grand slam in the top of the ninth. It doesn’t get much more clutch than that.

Left fielder Julio Borbon had one single in five at-bats.

Puerto Rican Winter League


No Rangers appeared on Saturday.

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