(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
By Conor Liguori
December 6, 2023
The Liga de Profesional Roberto Clemente All-Star team recently lost to the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana All-Stars 5-4 at the 2023 Dia de Leyendas. The event featured an All-Star Game and Home Run Derby at Estadio Cibao in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Despite the loss, the LBPRC All-Star team put forth a valiant effort.
The LBPRC All-Star team used 11 pitchers in the game, and the offense had nine hits but struck out 13 times against the LIDOM All-Stars pitching staff. Outfielder Nelson Velazquez of the Kansas City Royals and Criollos de Caguas hit a two-run triple in the top of the first for the LBPRC All-Stars, but the LIDOM All-Stars bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the second en route to the 5-4 win.
Back in Puerto Rico, the Liga de Profesional Roberto Clemente season is kicking into high gear. The Cangrejeros de Santurce and the Gigantes de Carolina are within two games of the Criollos de Caguas for first place in the standings. Let’s look at the top performers and the latest news from LBPRC.
Onix Vega, C- Criollos de Caguas –Vega went two for three with three RBI and a walk in the Criollos de Caguas 8-2 win on Friday, December 1 against the Indios de Mayaguez. Vega’s OPS is just .625 on the season, but he has provided 12 RBI and has struck out just eight times in 56 plate appearances.
His RBI single at the top of the second inning gave the Criollos de Caguas a 1-0 lead, one they would never relinquish en route to victory.
Bryan Torres, RF- Gigantes de Carolina –Torres hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning on December 1 against RA 12 to give the Gigantes de Carolina a massive 7-6 win. Torres went two for six at the plate but had the biggest hit of the night when it mattered most.
Torres had an excellent season with Double-A Milwaukee during the minor-league baseball season, hitting .371 with 11 home runs and a 1.004 OPS in 91 games. The St. Louis Cardinals prospect from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is hitting .293 with nine RBI in 21 games this Liga de Profesional Roberto Clemente season.
Zac Veen, OF- Leones de Ponce– Veen went four for four in the 3-0 win against the Cangrejeros de Santurce on December 1. He did not record an RBI but did score a run in the contest. According to MLB Pipeline, Veen is the Colorado Rockies No. 5 ranked prospect.
Veen struggled in 46 games this past minor league baseball season for Double-A Hartford, hitting .209 with 43 strikeouts in 201 plate appearances. He is hitting .471 with three stolen bases in five games this winter for Leones de Ponce, a small sample size.
Off the Field
Mario Feliciano Named Player of the Week- Indios de Mayaguez catcher Mario Feliciano was named the Brava Lubricants Cup player of the week from November 28 to December 4 for his outstanding play. He hit .357 with one home run and eight RBI in four games. He received 95 percent of the vote from the Association of Sports Journalists of Puerto Rico.
Feliciano plays in the Detroit Tigers organization and had a .551 OPS with 12 RBI in 39 games for Double-A Erie this past minor league baseball season.
Yadier Molina Joins St. Louis Cardinals Front Office- Puerto Rican baseball legend Yadier Molina has joined the St. Louis Cardinals front office as a special assistant to their president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak.
Molina, 41, retired from MLB after the 2022 season and was Puerto Rico’s manager in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and for the Navegantes del Magallanes during the 2022 Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional season. Currently, he is the manager of the Criollos de Caguas.
Current Standings as of December 6
1. Criollos de Caguas– 15-7
2. Cangrejeros de Santurce– 14-8
3. Gigantes de Carolina– 13-9
4. Leones de Ponce– 10-12
5. RA 12– 7-15
6. Indios de Mayagüez– 7-15
Game Schedule for the Following Three Days
Thursday, December 7
6:10 p.m. ET- Criollos de Caguas vs. Gigantes de Carolina
6:10 p.m. ET- Indios de Mayagüez vs. Cangrejeros de Santurce
6:10 p.m. ET- RA 12 vs. Leones de Ponce
Friday, December 8
6:45 p.m. ET- Criollos de Caguas vs. Leones de Ponce
6:45 p.m. ET- Indios de Mayaguez vs. Gigantes de Carolina
Saturday, December 9
6:45 p.m. ET- Cangrejeros de Santurce vs. Criollos de Caguas
6:45 p.m. ET- Leones de Ponce vs. Indios de Mayaguez