For much of 2020, COVID-19 brought baseball to a halt for players within the Marlins organization. Some of them are now making up for that lost time. Just like in previous years, Fish Stripes will be consistently updating the whereabouts of your favorite Fish during the offseason. At FishStripes.com/offseason, you can find weekly news, stats, highlights and (small sample size) analysis.
LIDOM (Dominican Republic)
2020-21 season stats
- Lewin Díaz (Estrellas Orientales)—.231/.333/.308, 4 K, 132 wRC+ in 15 PA
- Jesús Sánchez (Toros del Este)—.211/.250/.316, 6 K, 74 wRC+ in 20 PA
- Joe Dunand (Leones del Escogido)—.297/.400/.486, 1 HR, 13 K, 210 wRC+ in 45 PA
Lewin has been off the Estrellas roster for the better part of two weeks, and the circumstantial evidence suggests that is because he tested positive for COVID-19. Fish Stripes wishes him a full recovery. The team clearly misses him, having dropped to a LIDOM-worst 4-6 record.
Watching Sánchez on a daily basis, I have been mildly disappointed—he is struggling to hit offspeed pitches and breaking balls, and made a costly error in left field on a very routine play. But the 23-year-old delivered his best performance in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He had a go-ahead RBI triple and the game-sealing diving catch embedded above.
In a pitcher-friendly league where the average OPS is around .600, Dunand’s .886 mark puts him at the top of the leaderboard. It’s about time to consider him a darkhorse MVP candidate. The Leones third baseman is thriving off the field as well:
There has been a small setback, however: Dunand sat out on Wednesday with a hip flexor and hamstring issue.
Despite participating in preseason games, it is looking doubtful that we will see much of Jerar Encarnación (Gigantes del Cibao) in real contests. His outfield opportunities are limited with the presence of decorated major leaguers Odúbel Herrera and Steven Souza Jr. on the roster.
2020-21 season stats (thanks, Hans!)
- Harold Ramirez (Caimanes de Barranquilla)—.250/.500/.375, 4 K in 12 PA
Harold consistently bats third in their lineup and plays left field.
2020-21 season stats
- José Salas (Águilas del Zulia)—.167/.167/.167, 5 K in 12 PA
Salas has started four of the club’s five games at shortstop. I’m not focused on the results—he is 10 years younger than the average Venezuelan winter ball player!
Signed by the Marlins on July 2, 2019, Salas is experiencing his first official professional games. Ben Badler of Baseball America confirms that it is unusual—even in this wacky year—for a teenager to journey to LVBP at this stage of their development.
Salas joined the Marlins Hot Stove Show on Tuesday for a brief interview.
LBPRC (Puerto Rico)
The Puerto Rican Winter League kicks off next Tuesday. Left-hander Antonio Velez, signed by the Fish as an undrafted free agent, expects to be on the Indios de Mayagüez active roster.
Off the field
- Outfielder Víctor Mesa Jr. has launched a YouTube channel. The first video gives us a glimpse of his offseason workout. Fun fact: he shares a trainer with Miguel Rojas.