Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: John Lindsey Homers Twice

By Robbie Knopf

There were only two games in the Winter Leagues last night, so let’s go beyond the Tampa Bay Rays-related players so we still have something interesting to talk about. In any event, it is quite interesting that John Lindsey and Jon Weber are teammates for Navojoa given how closely aligned their careers have been–with one major difference.

Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 9, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 6

Jon Weber did go 1 for 5, but it was a quartet of home runs that led the Mayos to victory. Two of them came from John Lindsey, who went 3 for 4 with his two blasts, a hit-by-pitch, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Lindsey, who will turn 38 in January, just continues to hit, managing a .279/.347/.647 line for Navojoa in 75 plate appearances. He has drilled 5 home runs in his last 8 games, and his total of 8 homers places him fourth in the MPL even though he has the fewest at-bats of anyone in the circuit’s top 30.

Lindsey’s story is essentially Jon Weber’s with one major difference. While Weber never did play in a regular season game for the New York Yankees despite his strong spring training in 2010, John Lindsey did make it to the big leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a 33 year old rookie that same year. It didn’t go well as he went just 1 for 12, but it was nevertheless an experience he couldn’t forget. Just days before his call-up, Lindsey talked to ESPN Los Angeles about how much being called up for even one day would mean to him.

"“Ah man, that’d be so awesome,” he says. “That’d be perfect. I mean, I could tell my kids, ‘Your daddy played in the major leagues.’ I’ve been playing 16 years. This [the minor-league life] is all I’ve ever known. But that’s the goal I’ve always had. It wasn’t the plan to take this long, but I did get there.”"

Unfortunately, Weber never got the chance. Lindsey may understand Weber’s frustration better than anyone else because that was his story for 16 years and their positions easily could have been reversed.

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Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 6, Aguilas del Zulia 0

Sergio Perez struggled for Zulia, going 3.2 innings allowing 5 runs on 7 hits. Homers by Franklin Gutierrez and Ramon Cabrera were the big blows against him, and both Henry Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu also contributed. They both went 1 for 4, with Rodriguez driving in a run while Abreu doubled and scored. Jason Pridie also appeared in the game for Zulia, going 0 for 2 with a walk.