Rays Winter Ball Recap: Leslie Anderson Keeps Hitting

By David Hill

March 12, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez (1) and first baseman Leslie Anderson (86) high five against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It is difficult to know what to think when it comes to Leslie Anderson. On one hand, he never really developed the power or the consistent plate approach that the Rays were hoping for when they signed him as a free agent out of Cuba. However, he did improve his walk rate last season, and has proven to be capable of putting the bat on the ball. Anderson is now in the midst of a six game hitting streak for Anzoategui, and if he continues to produce, he may well earn himself another opportunity with a different team.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 7, Mesa Solar Sox 3

The two Rays pitchers that made appearances had strikingly different results last night. Garvin Grayson made the start and pitched well, earning the victory as he allowed four hits and a walk over 4.2 innings, striking out four. Meanwhile, Merrill Kelly struggled last night, giving up three runs, two earned, while recording only two outs. Kelly has been hit around lately, giving up six earned runs in his last four innings. At least fellow Rays prospect Matt Ramsey struck out the only batter he faced to escape the jam. Richie Shaffer was the only Rays player to appear in the Rafters’ lineup, going 1-3 with a walk in the victory.

Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 3, Aguilas de Mexicali 2 (15 innings)

Each former Rays player that made an appearance during this marathon had plenty of chances at the plate to produce, but only Wes Bankston was able to take advantage of the opportunity. Bankston went 2-7 with two strikeouts for Navojoa last night, with both hits falling in for singles. Jon Weber, making only his second appearance of the season, had an off night, going 0-6 with a walk. Mike Jacobs fared slightly better for Mexicali, as he was 0-5, but walked twice. Jacobs also struck out with one out in the bottom of the fifteenth, as Mexicali was unable to extend the game further.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoategui 7, Tigres de Aragua 1

Leslie Anderson continues to plug along for Anzoategui, as he went 2-5 last night in the 7-1 victory. His six game hitting streak, during which Anderson has gone 8-26, has brought his batting average up to .348 on the season. His time in the Rays system likely over, a strong performance for Anderson during the VWL may get him an invitation to Spring Training with a club in need of a backup first baseman/corner outfielder.

Navegantes del Magallanes 5, Leones del Caracas 2

The three former Rays players were unable to make much of a difference for Caracas in their game against Magallanes last night. Daniel Mayora, who has been on fire for much of the season, had a rare hitless night, going 0-3 with a walk. considering his previous hitless games had been followed by a mulit hit outing, chances are he’ll be back to his usual levels soon. Bobby Abreu was 0-3, but managed to draw two walks. Danny Dorn had the only hit of the former Rays players in the game, going 1-4, but struck out twice.