The Dominican Winter League held their annual draft on Wednesday night. For players to be eligible they must be Dominican (though not necessarily born there) and they must have played in at least A-ball.
There are six teams in the league and there are 16 rounds. The rosters in the league are very large and not all players selected will play – either by their own choice or because they are not going to be asked to play immediately. The drafting team simply keeps their rights for if and when the player is ready to participate in the winter league. Cincinnati had 14 players eligible to be selected this year (many others are already on rosters within the league). Only three players were selected.
Elly De La Cruz went off of the board first among the Cincinnati Reds prospects. The shortstop/third baseman went in the 3rd round to Licey. Three rounds later it was once again Licey grabbing a Reds prospect, this time selecting outfielder Allan Cerda. In the 10th round Escogido selected infielder Francisco Urbaez.
Elly De La Cruz has been the breakout prospect for the Reds and one of the bigger ones in all of minor league baseball this year. After beginning the year with the Arizona Complex League Reds out in Goodyear he was promoted to Low-A Daytona where he’s now played in 42 games. Between his two stops this season he’s hitting .292/.330/.562 with 34 extra-base hits and 9 stolen bases.
Allan Cerda had spent most of the season in Daytona where he played 66 games, but he was recently promoted to Dayton. The 21-year-old center fielder has hit .240/.349/.506 with 39 extra-base hits – including 14 home runs – in 77 total games this year.
The oldest of the three players selected from the organization, Francisco Urbaez is also the further along among the players. The 23-year-old began the year in Dayton where he played 67 games before being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga a few weeks ago. Between the two stops the infielder has hit .313/.410/.431 with 23 extra-base hits, 38 walks, and just 49 strikeouts on the season.
Hopefully all three decide to play. It will be fun to follow!
Any idea of how much of Urbaez’s struggles in AA are small sample batted ball bad luck, how much is just a hot player slumping, and how much is a legitimate cause for concern due to approach or talent level?
48 PA, 40 ABs, and a line of .200/ .333/ .300/ .633 isn’t a great look.