Mets' Becerra among those making waves in Winter Leagues

Mets' Becerra among those making waves in Winter Leagues

Back in 2012, Wuilmer Becerra was viewed as a "throw-in" as part of the R.A. Dickey trade that netted the Mets both Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud.

At the time, Becerra was an 18-year-old coming off his first season in professional baseball -- an 11-game stint in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League -- and was considered a high-risk prospect given his age and lack of experience. But after three years in the Mets' system, the Venezuelan now ranks as the organization's No. 12 prospect, and it might not be long until he's ready to join Syndergaard and d'Arnaud in the Major Leagues.

In his full-season debut last season, Becerra, who turned 21 in October, hit .290/.342/.423 with nine home runs, 27 doubles and 16 stolen bases in 118 games for Class A Savannah of the South Atlantic League. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound outfielder has continued to swing the bat well this offseason in the Venezuelan Winter League, with a .462 average (6-for-13) through his first four games for Tigres de Aragua.

Here's a look at some of the other top prospects currently making waves in the offseason Winter Leagues.


Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies -- A fifth-round Draft pick in 2014, Hoskins opened eyes during his full-season debut by hitting .319/.395/.518 in 135 games between Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater. On top of that, the 22-year-old first baseman also paced the organization with 17 home runs, 36 doubles and 258 total bases. Hoskins' bat has been on display this offseason in the Australian Baseball League, where he has a .949 OPS, five home runs and 13 doubles in 27 games for the Sydney Blue Sox.

Dominican Republic

Patrick Kivlehan, OF/1B/3B, Rangers -- Kivlehan hit a career-high 22 home runs last season at Triple-A Tacoma, although it came at the cost of a career-worst .256 average and .313 on-base percentage. During the offseason, the 25-year-old was sent to Texas as the PTBNL to complete the November trade between the two teams. Now ranked as the Rangers' No. 18 prospect, Kivlehan is off to a strong start playing for Leones del Escogido, batting .311 with four extra-base hits in his first 10 games.

Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Giants -- Mejia, the Giants' No. 12 prospect began the season on the restricted list after testing positive for a performing-enhancing substance, but pitched well upon his return in early June, registering a 2.45 ERA in 51 1/3 innings at Double-A Richmond. The 22-year-old southpaw was added to the 40-man roster following a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League, and he's now tacking on more innings in the Dominican Republic. In his latest start for Gigantes del Cibao, Mejia fired three perfect innings against Aguilas Cibaenas.

Tyler White, 3B/1B, Astros -- The Astros' No. 29 prospect mashed his way up the ladder this year, batting .325/.442/.496 with 40 extra-base hits and 99 RBIs in 116 games between Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. The 25-year-old hasn't skipped a beat this offseason, evidenced by his .965 OPS, 15 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs in 35 games for Estrellas de Oriente. Meanwhile, White has collected 15 hits over his last 10 games, giving him a .417 average during that span.


Peter O'Brien, OF/C, Diamondbacks -- O'Brien, Arizona's No. 9 prospect, received his first taste of the Major Leagues in September after hitting 26 home runs and 35 doubles for Triple-A Reno in the Pacific Coast League. The 25-year-old played mostly outfield last season after developing a throwing issue while catching during Spring Training, but the D-backs don't appear ready to give up on him at the position quite yet. Therefore, O'Brien is getting in some extra work this offseason in Mexico, where he has two home runs in his last four contests for Naranjereos de Hermosillo.

Puerto Rico

Pat Light, RHP, Red Sox -- Selected by Boston with the No. 37 overall Draft pick in 2012, Light made strides last season after moving to the bullpen from the starting rotation, posting a 3.88 ERA with five saves and 67 strikeouts (against 37 walks) in 62 2/3 innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox' No. 19 prospect -- who recently was added to the club's 40-man roster -- is working to refine his command this offseason in Puerto Rico, were he owns a 1.74 ERA with nine strikeouts through his first 11 appearances for Criollos de Caguas.


Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers -- The Brewers' No. 1 prospect (No. 12 overall) excelled last offseason playing for Caribes de Anzoategui, setting the stage for a breakthrough 2015 campaign in which he batted .307/.347/.453 with eight home runs, 37 doubles, eight triples and 25 stolen bases for Double-A Biloxi. It's been more of the same this offseason for the 21-year-old shortstop, who's hitting .350 with an .864 OPS and 21 hits through 17 games for Caribes.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.