November is the start of hot-stove season for MLB, but also means winter leagues in the Caribbean are in season. While it is unusual for athletes with spots on big-league rosters to play winter ball, minor-league prospects will often participate as a means to continue their development.
A handful of Cubs prospects are currently assigned to winter league teams, with two in particular getting a chance to play where they first learned the game. Switch-hitting slugger Robel García, who had a brief stint with the big club in 2019, is Águilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican Winter League and No. 22-ranked prospect Oscar De La Cruz is with DWL’s Estrellas Orientales .
These two Cubs farmhands are unfortunately off to less than stellar starts in their homeland after nearly a month of action. García is slashing .203/.346/.328 with two home runs and nine RBI in 19 games.
De La Cruz is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA and two strikeouts in 1.2 IP for the defending Dominican champion Estrellas. On the bright side, that means he has posted a 10.8 K9 over this limited sample size.
The Dominican Winter League regular season runs until mid-December, at which point the playoffs determine who will represent the nation in the annual Caribbean Series this coming February. There is still time for García and De La Cruz to turn the corner and have successful campaigns, and also for you to book a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the tournament.