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November 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Fitzgerald debuts for Licey; Santos continues to impress


This week's roundup features a familiar face in Ryan Fitzgerald (pictured) spreading his wings in the Dominican Republic and a newcomer to the organization in Jorge Benitez pitching well down in Puerto Rico. Speaking of encouraging performances on the mound, Victor Santos remains a steady presence for the Leones del Escogido.

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Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
Victor Santos was solid yet again in his third start of the winter for Escogido last Wednesday. Going up against Estrellas on the road, the 23-year-old righty picked up the winning decision while allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk to go along with a season-high of seven strikeouts over five strong innings of work. In five appearances for the Leones this season, Santos is now 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP across 18 2/3 total frames.

On the position player side, neither Enmanuel Valdez nor Pablo Reyes have seen much action for Toros as of late. Valdez last appeared in a game on November 11 while Reyes left last Wednesday's game against Aguilas in the seventh inning due to apparent discomfort, per the team's X/Twitter account.

Ryan Fitzgerald, meanwhile, signed with Licey a week ago Monday and has appeared in four games for the Tigres thus far. In those four contests, the left-handed hitting 29-year-old has gone 4 for 13 (.308) with one home run, two RBIs, two runs scored, one walk, and four strikeouts while seeing playing time at shortstop and third base.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
Jorge Benitez officially joined the Red Sox organization on a minor-league contract last Wednesday. A former 2017 ninth-round draft selection of the Mariners out of Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico, Benitez has been pitching for the Criollos de Caguas this winter. The 24-year-old lefty notched his fourth hold on Saturday and has yet to allow a run through his first seven relief appearances (9 2/3 innings) of the season. Additionally, he has struck out 11 and walked only three of the 37 batters he has faced.

Photo Credit: Ryan Fitzgerald by Kelly O'Connor