If you haven’t been following winter league baseball in Venezuela and Mexico — and who hasn’t, really — you may have missed the numbers that Marco Scutaro and Erubiel Durazo are putting up.
Scutaro not only led the entire nation of Venezuela (and its visiting major league ballplayers) in average and on-base percentage in the regular season, but he’s gone 20-for-60 in the oddly long 16 game playoffs. Oh, what I would have given for a playoff that long during the 2001-2004 MLB postseasons. Five games just wasn’t enough… But I digress.
Durazo, fondly known as ol’ alligator arms, has been trashing the Mexican league hurlers. After smashing 18 homers in 63 regular season games with a .344 average, Durazo has stayed hot in the playoffs. In 52 playoff at-bats for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Billy Beane’s Holy Grail has hit .308 with two homers. I may be drinking the green-and-gold Kool-Aid (or would that be horchata?), but I’m more and more convinced that Durazo can return to his excellent 2004 form. He’s going to present a big challenge to Dan Johnson in Spring Training.
Competition is always good, though, and if it serves to improve the A’s unsteady offense, I’m all for it.
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