Here are some updates on Leones de Ponce in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (offseason league) this past week and how the Nationals’ prospects are faring.
Third baseman Zach Walters has put together four multi-hit games in his last nine contests, with 10 hits since Dec. 6. He had three hits on Dec. 6 and Dec. 16, plus a pair of base knocks on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Over his last 10 games, he is hitting .270 and his overall average is .260 overall with eight doubles and 13 RBIs in 28 games.
Shortstop Jose Lozada is hitting .129 in 14 games. His last game with multiple at-bats was Dec. 13, when he went 0-for-3. He has appeared in four games since Dec. 6. Lozada hit .241 in 99 games last season for Double-A Harrisburg.
Right-hander Ryan Tatusko pitched on Dec. 15 and allowed three earned runs in five innings. He struck out three and walked four. Over his last 10 games, his ERA is 3.75 and he has a record of 0-4. Tatusko has allowed only one homer in 36 innings of winter ball.
Ponce is 10-19 in its division.
An interesting side note is that the first base coach for Ponce is legendary shortstop Dickie Thon (one of my favorite players of all-time). Thon, one of the most amazing power-hitting shortstops with the Houston Astros in the 1980s, was hit in the left eye by a Mike Torrez pitch on April 8, 1984. Because of issues with depth perception and his recovery from the injury, Thon never again had the same success he had at the plate prior to the beaning. MASN’s Ray Knight has told me Thon was one of the best he had ever seen at the position when he played with him for the Astros.
The 54-year old Thon also has played in three games for Ponce and has three hits on seven at-bats for a .286 average. His son, Dickie Joe Thon, is in the Toronto Blue Jays organization and is playing in the Clemente league with Gigantes de Carolina.