Winter leagues roundup: Acuna, Garrett, Padlo growing Down Under

Winter leagues roundup: Acuna, Garrett, Padlo growing Down Under

It was announced this week that Ronald Acuna, Stone Garrett and Kevin Padlo will represent the World team in the 2017 Australian Baseball League All-Star Game, which is set to be played on Dec. 22 at Melbourne Ballpark.

Acuna's .359 average, the second-best mark in the ABL, through 17 games for the Melbourne Aces made him an obvious selection for the game -- this after the Braves' No. 17 prospect posted a .311/.387/.432 slash line over 40 games at Class A Rome last season in an injury-plagued campaign. In addition to his average, Acuna, 18, owns a share of the league lead in hits (23) and steals (12) and is tied for second in total bases (34).

Garrett, the Marlins' No. 7 prospect, was selected for the All-Star Game after hitting .306/.362/.419 with four extra-base hits through his first 17 contests for the Sydney Blue Sox. It's been an encouraging performance for the 21-year-old outfielder, who missed much of the 2016 regular season as the result of a practical joke gone wrong by then-teammate Josh Naylor resulted in right thumb laceration and subsequent surgery.

As for Padlo, the Rays' No. 20 prospect sits atop the ABL leaderboard in extra-base hits (11) and triples (three), ranks second in RBIs (tied-15) and doubles (seven), and seventh in total bases (32). During the regular season, the 20-year-old third baseman posted a .771 OPS thanks to a Midwest League-leading 79 walks and finished tied for third with 16 home runs at Class A Bowling Green.

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

Dominican Republic

Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals -- Reyes was assigned Friday to the DWL, where he will get in some extra work ahead of his first full season in the Major Leagues. The Cardinals' No. 1 prospect (No. 7 overall) was excellent in his first taste and a major reason St. Louis remained in the playoff hunt down the stretch. In 12 appearances (five starts), the 22-year-old righty posted a 1.57 ERA with 33 hits allowed and 52 strikeouts in 46 innings.

Manny Margot, OF, Padres -- The Padres' No. 2 prospect (No. 26 overall) has fared well this offseason, hitting .259/.303/.343 in 36 games for Torres del Este. Though he's cooled off of late, tallying just three hits in his last 18 at-bats, Margot, 22, has recorded six steals in his last 10 contests to increase his league-leading total to 14.

Ramon Torres, SS/2B, Royals -- The Royals' No. 30 prospect has swung the bat well for Gigantes del Cibao so far, hitting .293/.333/.449 with 14 extra-base hits and 25 runs scored in 37 games. Torres, 23, split his time between both middle-infield positions in 2016, when he hit .262/.311/.328 in 114 games between the Double- and Triple-A levels.


Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals -- After falling off the prospect radar from 2013-15, Goodwin resuscitated his career and ultimately reached the Major Leagues for the first time in '16, hitting .286 with five extra-base hits over parts of 22 games with the Nationals. The club's No. 29 prospect has continued to swing the bat well in Mexico, producing a .297 average and .763 OPS in his first 15 games as he prepares to compete for a bench spot on Washington's Opening Day roster.

Puerto Rico

Corey Black, RHP, Cubs -- Black, the Cubs' No. 27 prospect, has gotten back on track this offseason with a dominant campaign for Cangrejeros de Santurce. In 20 appearances, the hard-throwing right-hander owns a 0.43 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP with a league-leading 12 saves in 21 innings. On top of that, Black has permitted just 10 hits in that span and only three knocks across his last 10 appearances.

Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers -- After an encouraging finish to his otherwise disappointing 2016 season, Lopez finally is looking like his old self this winter in Puerto Rico. Through seven starts for Indios de Mayaguez, the Brewers' No. 14 prospect ranks second among qualified hurlers in both ERA (0.98) and WHIP (0.72), and he's limited opposing hitters to just 12 hits while posting a 25-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 27 2/3 innings. He's been particularly dominant as of late, too, posting nine straight scoreless frames across his last three starts.

Mario Feliciano, C, Brewers -- Selected by Milwaukee in Lottery Round B (No. 75 overall) in the 2016 Draft, Feliciano impressed club officials during his pro debut last summer, when he hit .265 over 29 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League. The Brewers' No. 28 prospect was assigned to Tiburones de Aguadilla on Wednesday and made his league debut the same day.


Raudel Lazo, LHP, Marlins -- Miami's No. 28 prospect recorded a 2.68 ERA in 42 appearances across three Minor League levels only to be designated for assignment when rosters expanded on Sept. 1. However, the 27-year-old lefty is opening eyes this offseason, as he has yet to allow an earned run while holding opposing hitters to a .177 average -- highlighted by a .109 mark against right-handed hitters -- across his 20 appearances for Tigres de Aragua,

Tomas Telis, C, Marlins -- Telis had another strong season at the plate in 2016 as he hit .310/.362/.429 over 91 games at Triple-A New Orleans. The Marlins' No. 12 prospect continued to hit in the big leagues following a September callup (.308 average in 13 at-bats), and he's built on that success this offseason by hitting .313/.361/.384 in 29 games for Caribes de Anzoategui.

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.