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AFL & Winter League Week 6 Update: Yasiel Puig sees first winter league action

The TBLA community's #1 prospect is healed from his staph infection and is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico

Puig homered in his first winter league game
Puig homered in his first winter league game
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The AFL season is over (and the final player stats were recapped here), but the Caribbean Leagues are in full swing and the big news of the week was that top prospect Yasiel Puig debuted with the Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The Cuban native went 2 for 5 with a homer and a stolen base in his first game on Saturday, then went hitless in Sunday's contest. He played in left field in one game and DH'ed in the other.

As I mentioned last week Jesmuel Valentin is also now playing in Puerto Rico, and in 11 plate appearances the youngster has 2 doubles and has shown great patience by walking 5 times. Jonathan Garcia, on the other hand, is having trouble with the Puerto Rican pitching as he's hitting just .136 with 9 strikeouts in 7 games.

Moving on to the Dominican Republic, Dee Gordon only got 12 at bats this week but fared pretty well as he had 3 hits including a pair of triples. He did strikeout 4 times, however, and didn't record a walk. Teammate Tim Federowicz didn't play at all this week, while Brian Cavazos-Galvez made the most of his limited playing time by going 3 for 5. One other Dominican related note is that Elian Herrera is now playing down there as well, although he's on a different team from everyone else. He went 2 for 3 with a pair of walks in his debut.

Down in Venezuela Alex Castellanos crushed another homer this week and his hitting .306 through 85 at bats with 4 bombs. Looks like he's still playing strictly in the outfield, mostly in center and right. Teammate Scott Van Slyke only played a few times last week and had a single in 6 at bats.

As I mention every week the Dodger pitching talent in the off-season leagues outside the AFL is very limited, but one player I want to highlight is Blake Johnson who has been great so far in Venezuela. In 13 innings Johnson has allowed just 8 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run to give him a 0.69 ERA. He was recently re-signed as a minor league free agent so we'll see him back in Albuquerque in 2013.