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AFL & Winter League Week 5 Update: Mesa turns things around

The Solar Sox won 5 out of 6 games last week

Drew Hallowell

Last week was a good week for Mesa and Dodger prospects alike. After winning 5 games all season long, the Solar Sox matched that win total in just 6 games to put a positive spin on an otherwise disappointing season. Pretty much every Dodger on the Mesa team contributed in some way or another, including Onelki Garcia who made his much anticipated AFL debut and tossed a pair of scoreless innings. That was actually the one game that Mesa lost, however, mostly due to a nightmarish outing from Andres Santiago who was the one AFL Dodger prospect exception this week.

The three Dodger relievers in the AFL combined to allowed 1 run over 6.2 innings last week, and that run was given up by Chris Reed. The good news is that Reed struck out 4 batters in his two frames, giving him 10 K's for the season in 8.1 innings. Eric Eadington and Red Patterson each threw 2.1 scoreless innings although they both have an ERA over 5 and a half.

At the plate for Mesa the big news of the week was a 3-run homer by Joc Pederson. It was his first extra base hit of the season and was "a relief" for the young 20 year old. Griff Erickson played in just 2 games but drove in 3 runs himself with a 2 for 4 game on Saturday. Overall he is batting .270. Finally Rafael Ynoa had another solid week as he had at least one hit in 4 of the 5 games he played in, driving in 4 runs in the process. His .333 batting average still leads the team, as does his 18 RBI's.

In other Winter League action there were a few new faces that showed up this week, mostly in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Jonathan Garcia is probably the biggest name to make an appearance, although 2012 1st round pick Jesmuel Valentin might be the more interesting prospect given his age and pedigree. Both saw limited action this week so we'll re-visit them in the next winter league recap. Jarrett Martin and Freddie Cabrera are also now pitching in Puerto Rico.

Dee Gordon had another solid week in the Dominican as he had at least one hit in 5 of the 6 games he played in. While only one of his base knocks went for extra bases, he did have 3 multi-hit contests and increased his batting average to .329. He only struck out twice this week, walked once, and stole 3 bases. Teammate Tim Federowicz did go 2 for 3 last Wednesday, but overall his OPS is .411 in the Dominican and he has 17 K's vs just one walk.

In Venezuela Alex Castellanos had monster week as he went 11 for 25 with a homer, 3 doubles, and a triple. His teammate Scott Van Slyke had a game in which he connected on 3 doubles, but besides that he was quiet for the week.