As Major League Baseball’s hot stove is heating up including the blockbuster trade involving former Brewer farmhand Prince Fielder to Texas, many players are still suiting up in off season leagues.
Infielders Juan Francisco and Sean Halton are demonstrating staying power in the Dominican Winter League as the Brewers still have lingering questions regarding its first base position.
Francisco, 26, was acquired in a midseason trade with Atlanta to help fill the void at first base following a lost season by free agent Corey Hart and has heated up for Tigres de Licey.
The third baseman by trade is batting .284 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 28 games for the Dominican League team. Francisco has also collected nine doubles and scored ten runs.
However, the right-hander has cooled down in the last ten games posting a .154 batting average with no extra base hits.
Francisco will need to establish long-term consistency in the Majors to be considered a fixture for the team and is eligible for salary arbitration.
Strikeouts were a significant concern for fans and team officials through the duration of Francisco’s season – and his 32 strikeouts in 109 at bats for the off season league is not helping his case.
Halton, Francisco’s teammate with the Tigres is showing remarkable consistency with a .327 batting average and a .410 On Base Percentage.
In 15 games for the Dominican League team, Halton has accumulated eight doubles and 11 RBI.
In other developments, Eugenio Velez is continuing his scorching stretch dating back to July 26 when the Brewers claimed him off waivers from the Toronto organization.
The speedy utility player produced a phenomenal 22-game hitting streak to cap off the season with Triple A Nashville and continues to produce with Toros del Este of the Dominican League.
Velez, 31, is batting .302 with nine runs scored and eight stolen bases for the Toros. He also has a .371 On Base Percentage.
Milwaukee’s 14th ranked prospect Ariel Pena made two appearances with the Tigres and allowed three earned runs in
1.2 innings pitched.
Pena allowed a two-run blast in his last appearance November 9 and was unable to make it out of the inning accruing 0.2 innings pitched.