Over? It ain’t over ’til we say it is!
Six 2010 Memphis Redbirds join winter league teams
MEMPHIS, TN – Although the Memphis Redbirds have wrapped up their season, baseball is far from gone. The Arizona Fall League and Caribbean League began in mid-October are underway.
Away in Arizona
The Arizona Fall League was founded in 1992 as a way for top minor leaguers to improve their skills and have the chance to perform in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives. The AFL, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, begins in early October and concludes in mid-November. Instead of having a select affiliate for each AFL team, all Major League teams provide seven players who, combined, fill the 35-man roster of each team.
This year, both Adron Chambers and Tony Cruz were the sole Memphis Redbirds selected to participate in the AFL. While Chambers had the chance to make a bit of noise with the ‘Birds, Cruz only appeared in four regular season games at the Triple-A level. Although he was relied upon during the Pacific Coast League play-offs, it wasn’t until this past week when he caught some well deserved attention playing for the Surprise Rafters.
As of October 27th, Adron Chambers has gone 7-for-24 (.292 average) with four RBI, two walks and four strikeouts. Known for his speed, he has also collected a double and two stolen bases. Tony Cruz has compiled a .235 average (8Hx34AB) with three walks,eight strikeouts and five runs scored. Cruz’s career day came during the October 20th game against the Peoria Saguaros where he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI; it was the first time the Florida native had ever hit consecutive homers during a game. His 10 RBI rank second-highest amongst the Cardinals’ prospects playing winter ball.
Cruisin’ the Caribbean
The Caribbean League is made up of four nations, the Dominican Winter League, Mexican Pacific League, Puerto Rico Baseball League and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. It was the idea of Venezuelan Pablo Morales to create such a league that was established in 1949. Each league’s season runs from October to December with a playoff series in January to determine league champions who go on to play in the Caribbean Series each year.
Currently, the Memphis Redbirds have four players from the 2010 roster partaking in the Caribbean League. Amaury Cazana is playing for the Tomateros de Culiacan which is part of the Mexican Pacific League. He has flourished during winter ball, appearing in 12 games while hitting .333 (16Hx48AB) with seven extra-base hits, eight runs scored and 13 RBI. Ruben Gotay joined the Puerto Rico Baseball League last week, playing for the Gigantes de Carolina. Going 2-for-13 in his four games, he has collected four walks and four strikeouts for a .507 on-base percentage. Oneli Perez is a reliever in the Dominican Winter League, pitching only one inning thus far as part of the Tigres del Licey with one walk. Rich Rundles joined the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League to play for the Tigres de Aragua. He has successfully fanned eight batters, issuing only one walk and three hits in six games to pitch 5.2 scoreless innings collectively.
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