On Sunday the Dominican Summer League held its All-Star game pitting the best of the AL based affiliates against the best of the NL based affiliates. After five innings the game was locked in a 1-1 tie before runs in the 6th and 7th pushed the AL squad to victory. On the winning side of the 3-1 score, two Minnesota Twins prospects SS Joel Ramirez and RHP Eduardo Del Rosario participated in the game.
Both Ramirez (19) and Del Rosario (18) signed with the Twins as international free agents out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 (on September 10th and December 21st respectively). Given that both signed after the 2012 season was completed, they had to wait until this year to make their professional debuts and while they are older than the majority of players in the league, both have performed well. You probably already figured that out since they were a part of the DSL All-Star game.
Ramirez started Sunday’s game at 2B for the American Leaguers and went 0-1 with a strikeout before he was lifted in the top of the 4th. Defensively he cleanly fielded both balls that came his way. Even though he played 2B in Sunday’s game, he has been the DSL Twins SS in 31 of their 41 games this season. At 19 years old, he’s well beyond the average age of his peers and as a result we have to take his 0.310/.431/.368 slash line and put it into that context. Ramirez has shown good plate discipline, which you’d expect with his age, drawing 15 walks (13.3 BB%) to offset 18 strikeouts (15.9 K%) in 113 PA. He’s also stolen 13 bases in 17 attempts giving him a passable 76.5% success rate.
Del Rosario pitched the bottom of the fifth inning and gave up a leadoff double. The baserunner was quickly erased when he was thrown out trying to steal third. After that the Twins righty struck out the next two batters he faced to wind up with a clean inning. Not that it means much in the grand scheme of things but he also wound up as the game’s winning pitcher. With the DSL Twins Del Rosario has been used in a number of roles thus far. In nine games he’s picked up three starts and has also closed out a game and picked up a save. All told he’s thrown 21.1 innings pitched with a 2.95 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 17 SO. He’s done a good job limiting hits (5.9 H/9) but he’s walked 14, hit three and uncorked six wild pitches.
It’s far too early in their careers to get excited on way or the other, and stats in the complex leagues don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Still, it’s better to have success than to struggle and fail right off the bat and the fact that both participated in their league’s all-star game is noteworthy. Here’s hoping their appearance in Sunday’s game helps propel them to finish the 2013 season on a high note.