While the list is still tentative and somewhat incomplete, a good number of players have already committed to Winter League’s beginning next month.
One of the names atop that list is Felix Pie. The 21-year-old batted .283 in 141 games in his first Triple-A season in 2006, and is once again scheduled to play for Licey in the Dominican Winter League, Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita said last week.
Pie returned from a season-ending ankle injury at Double-A West Tenn in 2005 and hit .322 over the final two-plus months of this season. He finished second in the Pacific Coast League in hits (158) and had career-high’s in home runs (15), RBIs (57) and doubles (33) in 2006.
The Cubs’ consensus top prospect played for the Licey team a year ago, and the Cubs expect to have several other faces from the organization scattered across Latin America in the upcoming winter months.
“The Maracay club in Venezuela is one that probably Jonathan Mota from Daytona belongs to,” Fleita said. “Ronny Cedeno belongs to that club as well.”
Also scheduled to play in Venezuela are three players who spent the past year at Double-A: center fielder Chris Walker, left-hander Isaac Pavlik, and right-hander Thomas Atlee. Daytona pitching coach Tom Pratt is scheduled to serve as a pitching coach with the Caribes club in Venezuela, Fleita said.
And in Mexico, two names scheduled for Winter League play include Casey McGehee and Les Walrond. Both spent most of 2006 at Triple-A.
McGehee batted .280 in 135 games with the I-Cubs primarily at third base, and Walrond won 10 games at Iowa before being brought up to Chicago late last month.
Additional names are sure to pop up on Winter League rosters, but Fleita noted the often unpredictable nature of names being added at later dates.
“There’s a bunch of stuff kind of on the burners right now. The landscape of it changes almost daily,” Fleita said.