Puerto Rican Winter League Can’t Contain Prospect Juan Centeno

By David Conde

December 23, 2013 2 Comments

Just a few weeks ago, Juan Lagares and Allan Dykstra were tearing the cover off the ball in their respective winter leagues, but both suffered injuries and had to cut their season short.

Lagares-Dykstra

Lagares left the Dominican Winter League with a minor knee injury and finished the season batting .342/.379/.412, (39 for 114), with 17 runs, five doubles, a home run, 16 RBI, seven walks and five stolen bases. He initially tweeted that he was on his way to New York to have his leg looked at, and then sent out a new tweet that everything was ok. Good news for the Mets and the fans.

Dykstra on the other hand,  left the Venezuelan Winter League after fracturing his fibular and finished the season batting, .395/.489/.526, (15 for 38), with five runs, two doubles, home run, and six walks. A sorry end to his hot hitting streak, but it may have saved him from being grabbed off the Rule 5 draft. The hope is that he is ready for spring training and the 2014 season.

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So while following the other prospects in winter ball, I noticed that catching prospect Juan Centeno has been on fire in the Puerto Rican Winter league. He started off slow, but in the last ten games he is batting .469/.500/.531, (15 for 42), with five runs, two doubles, and four RBI. Overall, in 24 games, he is batting .309/.351/.397, (21 for 68), with 11 runs, three doubles, a home run, and seven RBI. He did have short stint on the big club this past summer by making his major league debut and in four games batted .300/.300/.300, (3 for 30). More than likely he will start the season in AAA Las Vegas, with the Mets already having set their catching duties to Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker.

I really don’t see the Mets carrying three catchers, but doesn’t mean that Centeno won’t be back sometime during September call ups. But if he carries over his hot hitting now to the 2014 season, and the Mets catcher’s don’t fair well enough, who knows, Centeno may find himself back with the big club earlier than later in the summer.

Good to see the prospects playing well, even though injuries may have delayed their developments, 2014 still looks to be another great season within the Mets farm system.

Honorable Mention

If one catching prospect playing well in winter ball is great, what about another catcher doing the same.  Xorge Carrillo has basically been hitting since he landed in Mexico after the AA season ended and has not stopped since.  In the last ten games he is batting .350/.372/.550, (14 for 40), with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.  If d’Arnaud and Recker do not pan out this season, their are two prospects waiting for their shot, and they may just turn some heads in the process.

 

(Photo Credit – Brian Kersey/Getty Images and BaseballAmerica.com)

 

  • Brian Devine

    I’d like to see the Mets give Centeno a shot as the backup catcher. He’s a solid defensively, and he’s hit for average at virtually every stop in the minors.

  • Captain America

    Where does Plawecki fit in? He just might be the best of the bunch