It’s been a little over two months since the Sugar Land Skeeters came up just short in their effort for back-to-back Atlantic League Championships.
As the Skeeters season ended, another was born for many of their players in winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico.
Here’s a look at how some of last year’s Skeeters are faring in their respective winter league campaigns:
Wynton Bernard, OF, Sultanes de Monterrey (Mexican Pacific Winter League)
Bernard came on strong in the second half for the Skeeters and has carried that success into winter ball, hitting .302/.318/.465 with two homers and three RBIs. The speedster from San Diego, Calif., has also swiped four bags and has played center field in all 10 of his appearances this winter.
Anthony Giansanti, OF, Venados de Mazatlán (Mexican Pacific Winter League)
Giansanti returned to Mazatlan for a second straight winter and has become a fixture in its lineup, hitting .311/.375/.475 with six homers and 26RBIs in 51 games, adding seven doubles and two triples as well. Giansanti, the Skeeters 2018 Most Valuable Player, has stolen four bases while manning center and left field for the Mazatlan outfield.
Rico Noel, OF, Tomateros de Culiacán (Mexican Pacific Winter League)
Noel burst onto the scene for the Skeeters in the second half, stealing an astounding 45 bases in 52 games, including a team-record six stolen bases in a single game. He’s up to his typical ways this winter, stealing 26 bases in 54 games and has been caught just four times. He’s also hit .301/.381/.413 with three home runs and 18 RBIs.
Denis Phipps, OF, Caribes de Anzoátegui (Venezuelan Winter League)
Phipps has yet to cool off since putting together a 2019 campaign that resulted in being named the Skeeters Most Valuable Player. He’s hit .314/.453/.578 with seven homers, six doubles and 24 RBIs in 32 games. Phipps has also stolen two bases while appearing at left field, right field and first base.
Juan Silverio, IF, Leones del Caracas (Venezuelan Winter League)
Silverio, a 2019 Atlantic League All-Star, provided consistency at the hot corner for the Skeeters in and has done more of the same for Caracas this winter, hitting .288/.366/.368 with a homer and 13 RBIs in 33 games. He’s also shown off his patience, drawing 15 walks.
Ricardo Gomez, RHP, Cardenales de Lara (Venezuelan Winter League)
Gomez is a veteran of the winter ball circuit and has returned to Lara for a second straight season, going 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 relief outings. The 41-year-old, who boasted a 2.72 ERA in 35 relief appearances with the Skeeters in ‘19, has struck out 15 batters in 15 innings while posting a 1.067 WHIP.
Mike Hauschild, RHP, Leones del Escogido (Dominican Winter League)
The former big leaguer is in his second stint with Escogido and has gone 1-1 with 4.24 ERA in four appearances (three starts). Hauschild was one of the Skeeters’ most dependable starters down the stretch in the second half, going 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA in nine starts.
Carlos Pimentel, RHP, Leones del Escogido (Dominican Winter League)
Pimentel, a formidable presence in the Skeeters bullpen and rotation in ‘19, has appeared with Escogido in each of the last eight seasons. It’s not hard to figure why they keep bringing him back, once again thriving with a 1-0 record and 2.89 ERA in five relief appearances (9.1 IP).
Matt West, RHP, Venados de Mazatlán (Mexican Pacific Winter League)
West, who led the Skeeters with 50 appearances in ‘19, is making his first stint in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, teaming up with Wade and Giansanti. The Houston native is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 17 relief appearances.