Phillies Playing in Winter Ball: Roberto Clemente League Update


Four members of the Phillies organization are currently playing in Puerto Rico

The Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico is one of many Winter Ball leagues where minor league players can continue their development against similar talents. The Phillies have seen several of their young prospects head to Puerto Rico, some playing against each other.

Not only are there four current Phillies prospects playing in Puerto Rico this winter, but several former Phillies are staying active as well.

The most notable former Phillie would be J.C. Romero, who at the age of 40 is looking to continue his professional baseball career.

Here’s the list of players with connections to the Phillies playing in Puerto Rico, and how they’ve fared thus far.

Players signed with the Phillies organization

Emmanuel Marrero, INF: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 7th round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft from Alabama State University

Marrero played 113 games for Single-A Lakewood last year, hitting .248 with 15 doubles, four home runs, and six stolen bases. The switch-hitting infielder has played just three games for Cangrejeros de Santurce this winter, and is still looking for his first hit. In eight at-bats he’s struck out three times, walked once, and scored one run.

Jan Hernandez, INF: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 3rd round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Florida, PR)

The 21-year-old hit .255 with 10 home runs last year for Single-A Lakewood, and has spent his entire professional career playing in the Phillies organization. Hernandez has hit .257 in 11 games for his winter ball squad, but has just one hit in his last four games.

Yacksel Rios, RP: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft from Doctora Conchita Cuevas HS (Gurabo, PR)

Yacksel Rios made his way up to Double-A Reading this year, appearing in 13 games for the Fightin’ Phils team. In 17.2 innings for Reading Rios struck out 21 batters, but allowed nine runs and 20 hits. With Indios de Mayaguez in Puerto Rico this winter, Rios has a 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances, but has struggled with walks. Through 12 innings he’s walked 10 batters, while striking out 13.

Jesemuel Valentin, INF: Acquired in the 2014 Roberto Hernandez trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drafted him in the 51st overall pick in 2012

Valentin is one of two second basemen who could make their way through the Phillies organization and make an impact. Splitting time between Reading and Lehigh Valley, Valentin hit .269 with 120 hits in 125 games last season. Playing behind Yacksel Rios on Indios de Mayaguez, Valentin is hitting .261 with 31 hits in as many games. Valentin has also walked 15 times versus just 20 strikeouts.

Players no longer within the Phillies organization

More from Phillies News

Kelly Dugan, OF: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Dugan became a career minor league star in the Phillies organization, but was not retained following the 2015 season. The outfielder never made it past Lehigh Valley, and spent the majority of his career in Reading. Now with the Cubs organization, Dugan has hit three home runs with 19 strikeouts playing in Puerto Rico this summer.

J.C. Romero, RP: Signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies prior to 2007, and was a key member of the World Series champions in 2008

Despite not playing for a major league team since 2012, the one of the Phillies star bullpen arms from the 2008 World Series team is still looking to make a comeback. The 40-year-old is pitching in his native Puerto Rico, and has 12 strikeouts through 14.2 innings for Cangrejeros de Santurce. He’s spent the past couple of seasons bouncing between the Mexican and Independent leagues.

Next, we will take a look at Phillies prospects playing in Mexico this winter