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11/01/2004 Archived Entry: "Mexican Pacific League News"
By Carlos Fragoso
Culiacan Tomato Growers leading the League
It´s not a surprise that one of the favorites team to win this year championship ,Culiacan who put up a strong team together is leading the league after 5 series played.
Managed by all time winner Francisco "Paquin" Estrada, have a roster that includes, last Tampa Bay rookie sensation Jorge Cantu, Rockie´s Kit Pellow, Ruben Rivera, Luis Ayala (Expos), Oliver Perez ( Pittsburgh), Rodrigo Lopez and Matt Riley, both Orioles,combined with other good native players.
STANDINGS ( as of Oct 31st, 204)
TEAMS W L PCT. PTS
CULIACAN 10 6 .625 - -
GUASAVE 9 6 .600 0.5 -
LOS MOCHIS 10 7 .588 0.5 -
OBREGON 9 7 .563 1.0 -
HERMOSILLO 7 8 .466 2.5 -
MAZATLAN 6 8 .428 3.0 -
MEXICALI 6 10 .375 4.0 -
NAVOJOA 5 10 .333 4.5 -
Individual leaders are in batting, Obregon´s SS Javier Robles ( Puebla Tigers in summer), with a .458 avg, followed by Rontrez Johnson (Los Mochis) with .450 and Damon Minor ( Guasave) with .357.
In Homer Runs ,Mochis 3B Ramon Orantes have 7 four baggers, followed by Tampa Bay´s farmer catcher Iker Franco ( Birmingham).
In pitching, native Jorge Campillo (Culiacan) with a hot start is 4-0, and Cuban Ariel Prieto ( Obregon) is 3-0.
By the way and talking about Mochis success, long ball hitting is one of the reasons why they are having a good winter, since they´ve just broken a record by hitting HR´s in most consecutive games (16) in other words had hit in each and every game played, a total of 43 as of today..
This year a bunch of good prospects from Major league Teams has come up to play in winter, players of the tale of Joe Borchard (ChiSox), Jason Dubois (Cubs), Jared Sandberg (Tampa) are with Mazatlan, while Andy Tracy, Chris Gisell, Allan Simpson all Colorado farmhands are with Obregon who is also managed by Colorado Springs skipper Marv Foley.
Milwaukee has sent to Navojoa, Hunstville´s Manager Frank Kremblas, along with JJ Davis ( Nashville), Dave Krynzel ( Indianapolis), Justin Headley (Portland Sea Dogs) and Douglas Clark ( Clinton) ,who joined veteran and old time Navojoa Player Morgan Burkhart (Saltillo and Charlotte).
Hermosillo, orange growers, led by Tom Gamboa has hired, pitcher Chuck Smith ( Richmond Braves), Reliever Matt Whiteside also from Braves, slugger Dan Johnson who posted 29 HR´s and 111 RBI´s with Sacramento (A´s), and " mexican" Chad Meyers who played in summer with Mexico City Red Devils .
They also have a good native crop such as Dodgers prospect Luis Garcia ( Las Vegas), who posted a terrific HR numbers and did not get the september call up (32 HR´s), Arizona ´s Jesus Cota (El Paso), Elmer Dessens (Free Agent), and December "Call Ups", because they only play that time, Oakland DH and hometown boy, Erubiel Durazo joined by Rockie´s 3B Vinny Castilla, if he already signed a contract
by then.So Mr. Gamboa has a "can´t miss team" to play with.
Guasave Cotton Pickers, led by former major leagues SS Houston Jimenez, brought from aboard good prospects package, starting with Japanese pitcher and ChiSox farmhand ( Charlotte), Tetsu Yofu, followed by OF Damon Minor ( Fresno Grizzlies), Marshall McDougall a Rangers prospect, wh played with Frisco and Oklahoma showing some pop in his bat, and Matt Padget also a powerful hitter who got more then 20 round trippers in triple A with Alburquerque (Marlins).
Culiacan sent Obregon native ,and former bigleaguer who played in Japan last season (Kintetsu) Mario Valdez, in exchange for pitcher Alfredo Garcia.
Also, Arizona farmhand (El Paso), pitcher Sergio Lizarraga went to Culiacan from Mochis in exchange for former Dodger LHP Victor Alvarez.
Joe Borchard was released by Mazatlan, affter hitting below the "Mendoza line", Larry Sutton (Alburquerque) is coming in.
Veteran LHP, Fernando Valenzuela trying to come back, is making his debut this coming Nov 7th, with Mexicali, who by now is on the bottom of the standing, sharing with Navojoa