Thursday, December 31, 2015

VALDEZ WINS LMP BAT TITLE; SOLANO LEADS HURLERS IN WINS, K's

Jalisco OF Jesus Valdez (pictured) has won the 2015-16 Mexican Pacific League batting title.  The former Cubs and Nationals farmhand, who hit .353 for Yucatan last summer in his first Mexican League season, hit .390 over his last ten games to finish the LMP regular season with a .347 average, five homers and 36 runs scored in 57 games.  Charros SS Amadeo Zazueta finished second at .335, Mexicali OF Welington Dotel was third with a .326 mark (including an LMP-best 84 hits and 8 triples) and Aguilas OF Chris Roberson, a longtime figure in Mexican ball, went 14-for-31 over his final ten contests to hold fourth with a .325 mark.

Charros 1B Japhet Amador missed the regular season's final two weeks after signing with Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles, still won the MexPac home run (14) and RBI's (48) title.  Ex-MLBer Yuniesky Betancourt, now playing 1B for Mexicali, was second to Amador with 12 homers while Navojoa OF Quincy Latimore was runner-up with 45 ribbies.  Mazatlan OF Jeremias Pineda swiped three bases in his final game against Jalisco Tuesday to finished with 31 for the winter, five ahead of Culiacan OF Rico Noel.

Mexicali P Javier Solano was 8-3 to lead the loop in wins while his 71 strikeouts in 81 innings also won the blue ribbon.  His 3.33 ERA was ninth on the table.  Culiacan's Hector Rodriguez (7-3) and the venerable Mazatlan hurler Walter Silva (7-4) were tied for second in wins and Hermosillo's Nate Reed (3-6) came in second to Solano in K's with 65.  Los Mochis closer Andres Avila tied a 25-year-old LMP record with 23 saves, but pitched only inning after matching Mark Zappelli's old mark on December 17.  Mazatlan's Steven Hensley secured five games in that timeframe to finished second to Avila with 22 for the season.  Venados P Alejandro Soto (4-4) had a 2.63 ERA, edging the 2.81 of Obregon's Rolando Valdez (6-4), and Soto's WHIP of 1.06 was also top-of-the-chart .

NOTE: A two-round draft among the six LMP playoff teams for reinforcement players from non-qualifiers Culiacan and Hermosillo was held Wednesday.  Players chosen were as follows:

MEXICALI - P Hector Rodriguez (CUL), P Edgar Gonzalez (HMO)
MAZATLAN - No players selected
OBREGON - P Hector Galvan (HMO), P Francisco Cruceta (CUL)
JALISCO - No players selected
NAVOJOA - 3B Jose Amador (HMO), 2B Carlos Gastelum (HMO)
LOS MOCHIS - OF Juan Carlos Linares (HMO), 3B Oscar Robles (CUL)