2009 Cardinals VSL Starting Position Players

Roberto Perez

Josh Jones' detailed report on the starting position players from the 2009 Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals.

Players listed in order of number of at-bats received.

 

Infielder Hector Garcia played in 63 games batting .314 (72-for-229) with a .378 OBP, .450 SLG, and .872 OPS. He had 16 doubles, five home runs, 36 RBIs, 103 total bases, 27 runs, 17 walks, and two stolen bases. Garcia was hit by a pitch seven times, caught stealing once, struck out 32 times (14% of the time), grounded into six double plays, committed 12 errors, and assisted in eight double plays. He played 58 games at third base, three as designated hitter, one at first base, and one between both first and third.

 

The Cardinals' June 29, 2007 signing started the 2009 season off very slowly and went on a hitting spree to end the year. Garcia had 20 multi-hit games, including four with three hits, four consecutive multi-hit games from June 22 through June 24, and a pair of three straight multi-hit games coming between July 11 and 13 and again from July 20 through 26. The 19-year old right-handed hitter had six multi-RBI games, driving in three twice. He had an 11-game hit streak running from June 14 through June 26 when he went 18-for-42 (.429) and also had an on-base streak that ran for 17 games from June 28 through July 17. One of his best games was on June 23 when he went 3-for-6 with one home run, two RBIs, and scored two runs.

 

Garcia could be looking at getting some time in at extended spring training in 2010. He had a slow rookie season in 2007 but has hit extremely well the last two seasons. Garcia has improved hitting-wise and also in the field and will be a monster if he's returned to VSL in 2010.

 

First baseman Roberto Perez played in 63 games batting .262 (55-for-210) with a .378 OBP, .438 SLG, and .816 OPS. He had 13 doubles, eight home runs, 30 RBIs, 92 total bases, 28 runs, 35 walks, and one stolen base. Perez was hit by a pitch six times, caught stealing once, struck out 42 times (20%), grounded into four double plays, committed four errors, and assisted in 38 double plays. He played 56 games at first base and seven as designated hitter.

 

The Cardinals' February 15, 2007 signing was the opposite of Garcia, starting the season out very hot but going into the tank by the time the end of the 2009 season rolled around. Perez had 15 multi-hit games with two being for three hits. He had six multi-RBI games including three games with three. The 21-year old right-handed hitter had two separate five-game hitting streaks, one from May 24 through May 29 (8-for-15, .533) and the other from July 4 through July 8 (10-for-19, .526). His best game was on June 2 when he went 3-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs, two runs, and one strikeout.

 

Perez did a great job of improving this season compared to the last two years at the plate, but his chances of being promoted seem to be slim. If he had kept a somewhat steady pace throughout the season as he did in the first month he might have a better chance of an invite to extended spring training.

 

First baseman/outfielder Jem Argenal played in 59 games batting .276 (51-for-185) with a .325 OBP, .341 SLG, and .666 OPS. He had four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 19 RBIs, 63 total bases, 20 runs, 13 walks, and one stolen base. Argenal was hit by a pitch twice, caught stealing twice, struck out 44 times (24%), grounded into four double plays, committed four errors, assisted in two double plays, and had one outfield assist. He played 22 games as designated hitter, 19 games in left field, 12 at first base, two as a pinch hitter, three split between left field and first, and one in both left and right field.

 

The Cardinals' November 25, 2008 signing began the season out very hot, even hitting the team's first home run (May 22), only to slump in June and gradually climb back before the season ended. Argenal had 11 multi-hit games including two with three hits. The 17-year old left-handed hitter had two separate four-game hitting streaks, one between May 22 and 25 (4-for-10, .400) and the other between June 16 and June 20 (6-for-15, .400). He had a nine-game on base streak from May 27 to June 9. His best game was on July 31 when he went 3-for-5 with one double, two RBIs, one run, and one strikeout.

 

Argenal is currently playing in the Nicaraguan Prospect League and most likely will stick around in the country for the off-season, like Johnny Polanco. He could be the main factor in whether a guy like Roberto Perez sticks around with the club or not, since Argenal is projected more as a first baseman with left field being his secondary position.

 

Outfielder Anthony Fonseca played in 57 games batting .288 (53-for-184) with a .371 OBP, .375 SLG, and .746 OPS. He had four doubles, four home runs, 22 RBIs, 69 total bases, 33 runs, 12 walks, and eight stolen bases. Fonseca was hit by a pitch 14 times, caught stealing five times, struck out 35 times (19%), grounded into three double plays, committed four errors, and had six outfield assists. He played 31 games in centerfield, 14 in right field, ten in left field, and two as a pinch runner.

 

The Cardinals' February 11, 2007 signing began the season out as the team's right fielder and was moved over to center as the year progressed. Fonseca had 11 multi-hit games and two multi-RBI games. The 20-year old right-handed hitter had a 15-game hitting streak from May 30 through June 17 going 18-for-54 (.333). He also had a 17-game on base streak from July 17 through August 8. His best game was on June 2 when he went 2-for-3 with one home run, three RBIs, one run, and one sac fly.

 

Fonseca again had another improved season at the plate in VSL play. He's shown he can man all three outfield positions and could possibly get a look during extended spring training, but more likely seems headed for another season in Venezuela.

 

Outfielder Jose Cortez played in 53 games batting .273 (48-for-176) with a .340 OBP, .358 SLG, and .698 OPS. He had ten doubles, one triple, one home run, 21 RBIs, 63 total bases, and 23 runs. Cortez was hit by a pitch four times, caught stealing four times, struck out 26 times (15%), grounded into one double play, and had one outfield assist. He played 38 games in centerfield, nine in left field, and six in right field.

 

The Cardinals' February 17, 2007 signing was hitting steadily through the first two months and slumped causing him to lose playing time in centerfield. Cortez had 14 multi-hit games including four with three hits. He had seven multi-RBI games with two being for three runs. The 20-year old right-handed hitter had a five-game hitting streak coming between June 19 and June 24 as he went 9-for-22 (.409). He had a nine-game on-base streak that ran from June 19 through June 29. His best game was on June 23 where he went 1-for-5 with one home run, three RBIs, two runs, and one walk.

 

Cortez, like Fonseca, had an improved season compared to the last two. Like Fonseca, he could get a look during extended spring training, but I see him landing back with the VSL club if not cut loose.

 

Middle infielder Ildemaro Vargas played in 52 games batting .264 (43-for-163) with a .368 OBP, .374 SLG, and a .743 OPS. He had seven doubles, four triples, one home run, 13 RBIs, 61 total bases, 22 runs, 20 walks, and nine stolen bases. Vargas was hit by a pitch seven times, caught stealing eight times, struck out 29 times (18%), grounded into three double plays, committed nine errors, and assisted in 26 double plays. He played 42 games at second base and ten at shortstop.

 

The Cardinals' 2008 winter signing received plenty of time to show off his talents due to Wilfred Vivas suspension and even began the season as the team's leadoff hitter. Vargas had ten multi-hit games, including one with three hits, and two multi-RBI games. The 18-year old right-handed hitter had four separate four-game hitting streaks and a nine-game on base streak that ran between June 22 and July 1. His best game was on June 23 when he went 3-for-4 with one double, two RBIs, one run, one walk, and one strikeout.

 

Vargas will most likely be playing during the Parallel League and make a return to the Venezuelan Summer League in 2010. Be on the lookout for this kid as he has shown he is able to hold down the second base position and could force the organization to move Vivas up or out in the next year.

 

Outfielder Kaizer Inojoza played in 51 games batting .233 (35-for-150) with a .359 OBP, .427 SLG, and .786 OPS. He had eight doubles, three triples, five home runs, 25 RBIs, 64 total bases, 30 runs, 22 walks, and four stolen bases. Inojoza was hit by a pitch eight times, caught stealing three times, struck out 49 times (33%), grounded into two double plays, committed seven errors, assisted in two double plays, and had five outfield assists. He played 41 games in right field, seven in left, two as pinch hitter, and one as designated hitter.

 

The Cardinals' July 3, 2007 signing wasn't on constantly at the plate during the season but did show he could drive in runs and handle the right field position. Inojoza had eight multi-hit games with two going for three hits. He had seven multi-RBI games including one with three runs batted in. The 18-year old right-handed hitter had a five-game hitting streak between June 13 and June 17 when he went 9-for-22 (.409). He had a 19-game on base streak from June 26 through July 20. His best game was on July 7 when he went 2-for-3 with one home run, three RBIs, two runs, and two walks.

 

Inojoza is scheduled to try out for the Tigres de Aragua this winter and if he doesn't make it, look for him to land on the Aragua or Cardinals Parallel League teams. He's most likely going to end up back with the VSL club in 2010 but will be another player to watch as he can swing the bat with power and drive in the runs but also could force the organization to move one of the many outfielders currently on the VSL roster.

 

Shortstop Osmir Medina played in 45 games batting .207 (31-for-150) with a .302 OBP, .267 SLG, and .569 OPS. He had five doubles, two triples, nine RBIs, 40 total bases, 19 runs, 17 walks, and nine stolen bases. Medina was hit by a pitch four times, caught stealing, twice, struck out 39 times (26%), grounded into two double plays, committed 22 errors, and assisted in 29 double plays. He played 44 games at shortstop and one as pinch runner.

 

The Cardinals' February 27, 2008 signing had a very disappointing season that was a lot worse than his previous. Medina had seven multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games. The 18-year old right-handed hitter had a six-game hitting streak between June 2 and June 8 when he went 8-for-23 (.347). He had an 18-game on base streak that ran from May 25 to June 27. His best game was on August 8 as he went 2-for-3 with one triple, two RBIs, and one strikeout.

 

I was very surprised to see Medina's 2009 season turn out as badly as it did especially after he showed a lot of promise in 2008. He will again probably be taking grounders in the Parallel League and make a return to the Venezuelan Summer League in 2010 to bounce back or he may even lose his starting role with the team.

 

Catcher/first baseman Limbert Rivas played in 40 games batting .319 (37-for-116) with a .433 OBP, .440 SLG, and .872 OPS. He had six doubles, one triple, two home runs, 13 RBIs, 51 total bases, 13 runs, 20 walks, and four stolen bases. Rivas was hit by a pitch four times, caught stealing three times, struck out 24 times (21%), grounded into two double plays, assisted in 12 double plays, had seven passed balls, and threw out 7-for-19 base runners. He played 17 games at catcher, 14 as designated hitter, eight at first base, one between first and catcher, and one as a pinch hitter.

 

The Cardinals' February 15, 2008 signing was very hot during June but when July came, he struggled and missed out on some playing time. Rivas had nine multi-hit games including two with three hits. He also had two multi-RBI games. The 19-year old right-handed hitter had a nine-game hitting streak from June 22 through July 1, when he went 14-for-34 (.412). His best game was on July 7 when he went 4-for-5 with one home run, two RBIs, and one run.

 

Rivas is probably going to see another season with the VSL Cardinals in 2010, but I'm wondering if he'll stick at the catcher position. The team has what looks to be their guy in Gerwuins Velazco, but he was lost to injury and the organization was forced to move Jesus Montero from DSL back to Venezuela. As the 2010 season gets going, I won't be too surprised to see him get a little more time at either first base or designated hitter and less behind the plate.

 

 

Link to previous articles:

2009 VSL Cardinals Starting Pitchers

2009 VSL Cardinals Relief Pitchers

 

 

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