Some news from the winter leagues and beyond:
- Kendry Morales homered and doubled in Dominican Winter League play yesterday. "Morales is 9-for-23 and has homered in four of his six games in the Dominican Republic," reports Rotoworld. "He’s trying to force the Angels to open up either first base or DH for him next year." Of course, if the Angels can’t re-sign Mark Teixeira, Morales may not have to do much forcing (as the Angels have known all along).
- Seen as the future "Babe Ruth of Cuba" until he defected, Dayan Viciedo has been cleared by MLB to be a free agent. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times has the White Sox ready to snap up the third-base prospect, who is still just 19.
- First-baseman Justin Smoak, the Rangers’ first-round pick this year, is hitting .389 in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is quite a ways from MLB, but even so, I can’t help but think that the last thing the Rangers really need in their pipeline is more offense…
- Another first-base prospect, the Marlins’ Logan Morrison, is leading the AFL in batting average (.457), currently has a 12-game hit streak and has 5 homers through 17 games. Morrison was a 22nd-round pick in 2005, but has come a long way, writes ESPN.com’s Jason Grey, who sees in him the man to anchor Florida’s ’initial sack’ in the future.
- A little more on those two Indian pitching prospects, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel — 19 years old, they pitched in front of 30 scouts in Arizona on Thursday. Patel hit 90 mph on the radar gun during a 30-pitch session, Singh 84 mph. The two former javelin throwers managed a few breaking balls, as well, and agent Jeff Borris said he expected "multiple offers." No word on whether those offers have come in.