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December 4, 2023 at 12:30 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Three minor leaguers play in U23 World Cup Qualifier; Benitez continues hot start in Puerto Rico

The calendar has flipped to December and for the remaining winter leagues, the regular season is now in its final month as teams jockey for playoff position. Aside from the usual goings-on in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a trio of Dominican farm hands participated in the WBSC U23 World Cup Qualifier that took place in Nicaragua.

WBSC U23 World Cup Qualifier
Eleven nations spent the final week of November in Masaya, Nicaragua competing for one of four places in the U23 World Cup, which will take place in 2024 in China. The Red Sox organization had three representatives, all of which competed for the Dominican Republic, which finished in eighth place with a 1-3 record.

Albertson Asigen appeared in three of the games and went 1 for 8 with a triple. He added a run and an RBI, playing both center and right field. He was joined in the field by Claudio Simon, who played three games at third base and spent one contest as a designated hitter. He was 0 for 11 with six strikeouts, but did score a pair of runs and stole two bases.
Railin Perez was the only pitcher that made the journey and he was able to get into two games. Argentina touched him for two runs in just 2/3 of an inning on a hit and three walks. However, both outs were strikeouts. He pitched better against Nicaragua, with 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball, even if he did allow four hits and another free pass.

Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM)
It's been a strong winter for Victor Santos, who last pitched on Tuesday against Licey and had his worst outing of the season, but it certainly wasn't poor. Santos contributed 5 1/3 innings and surrendered three runs on seven hits. He walked one hitter and struck out four. It was his longest outing of the year and the first in which he allowed multiple runs.

Neither Pablo Reyes or Enmanuel Valdez appeared this week. Reyes last played on November 22, while Valdez hasn't gotten into a game since November 11. However, Ryan Fitzgerald was a late addition to Licey and has gotten into two games this week. He was 0 for 7 with a run. He walked once and struck out four times.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC)
The Red Sox signed Jorge Benitez to a minor league deal November 22 and he's been pitching in Puerto Rico for Caguas. His scoreless streak has continued to 10 1/3 innings and added a strikeout across his 2/3 innings of work this week.

Photo Credit: Albertson Asigen by Kelly O'Connor