The Venezuelan Winter League playoffs began on January 2nd and I’ll delve into those games in a bit. But first, how did the KC Royals players in the league fair in December?
Well, La Guaira finished the season in first place ahead of the four team pile up behind them with a 37-26 record. They were four games up on both Caribes and Magallanes and 4.5 games up on Zulia and Aragua.
Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar had a very good winter ball season for Lara. Since December 6th, he was 20-for-66 (.303) with five doubles, one homerun, and five RBIs. He also walked four times, scored 17 runs, and stole a base. Overall, he hit .313 in 27 games.
Since Lara did not make the playoffs, Escobar has switched teams and is now playing for Zulia (who is 0-2 so far in the round robin format). In Zulia’s 11-5 loss to La Guaira on January 3rd, he went 1-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. In their loss to Caribes on January 4th, he went 0-for-4 and was taken out on defense in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Mario Lisson has been playing both first and third base for Magallanes. In December, he was 14-for-48 (.292) with two doubles, four homeruns, and nine RBIs. He also walked five times, scored nine runs, and stole a base.
Magallanes is 1-2 in the playoffs so far, and Lisson has played in all three games. In their loss to Caribes on January 2nd, he went 1-for-4 while playing third base. In a loss the next day (also to Caribes), he went 0-for-3 with a walk while playing first base. In their lone win so far against Aragua, Lisson went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base while playing first base.
Newly signed Max Ramirez can both catch and play first base. Since joining the Royals, he was 1-for-9 with a walk for Margarita. Overall in the VWL, he was 34-of-156 (.218) with seven doubles, three homeruns, and 13 RBIs. He also walked 17 times and scored 13 runs, but struck out 41 times.
Lefty reliever Jose Mijares was pitching for Aragua. In his one appearance since signing with the Royals, he pitched a perfect inning of relief while striking out two. Overall in the VWL, he was 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 games (ten innings). He allowed 11 hits and three runs while striking out 12 (he did not walk a batter). Opponents hit .282 against him though. He has yet to make an appearance in the playoffs.