Margot hot while nearing winter finish

Perez hitting .350 in Mexico

Margot hot while nearing winter finish

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Center fielder Manuel Margot is getting warmer as his winter league season in the Dominican Republic approaches a finish.

Margot, 22, is committed to playing with the Toros del Este for another couple weeks.

Over his last 10 games, Margot has gone 12-for-39 (.308) with five walks (.386 on-base percentage) and six steals. The run has raised Margot's winter batting average to .262 (32-for-122) in 30 games with six doubles, two home runs and a Dominican League-leading 11 steals.

Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (.241 batting average) already completed his winter ball season with Escogido in the Dominican Republic.

Fernando Perez continues his strong run in the Mexican Pacific League. Perez, 23, would be leading the league in hitting if he had enough at-bats. He has a .350 batting average (28-for-80) with five doubles, three homers, 16 runs scored and 12 RBIs. He also has a .411 on-base percentage with a .525 slugging percentage for a .936 OPS for 31 games.

In Venezuela, shortstop Jose Rondon is batting .261 (30-for-115) with a .323 on-base percentage in 38 games. He has five doubles, three triples and a home run for 19 runs scored.

Jose Pirela, who was recently dropped by the Padres from the 40-man roster, is hitting .358 (29-for-81) with Zulia in Venezuela. He has six doubles, two triples and two homers with a .435 on-base percentage. He has 19 runs scored and eight RBIs. The Padres have expressed interest in re-signing Pirela.

Four pitchers under Padres control continue to pitch well in relief roles in winter ball.

Right-hander Cesar Vargas, whose 2016 season as a Padres starter ended in May due to a flexor tendon strain, has a 2.70 earned run average with a 1.20 WHIP after seven outings as Perez's teammate with Hermosillo in Mexico. He has allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks with 13 strikeouts in 10 innings. 

Also in Mexico, right-hander Gerardo Reyes has a 1.08 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with Obregon. In 8 1/3 innings over 11 appearances, Reyes has allowed a run on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Left-hander Jose Castillo has a 0.00 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP with Magallanes in Venezuela. He has allowed six hits and four walks with seven strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings over nine appearances.

In the Dominican Republic, right-hander Rafael De Paula has not allowed an earned run in five appearances as Margot's teammate with the Toros del Este.