Winter ball proving a fiesta for Hopper
As AFL season winds down, other leagues play on
By Ryan McConnell / Special to MLB.com
Wherever Norris Hopper goes, he hits.
The 27-year-old outfielder proved his prowess at the plate last year in Triple-A Louisville, where he led the International League in hitting by batting .347, the highest mark in the team's history. From there, he took on Major League pitching in September and proceeded to collect 14 hits in 39 at-bats, a .359 batting average.
Now he's playing in the Mexican Winter League and is continuing to hit 'em where they aren't. Through his first nine games, Hopper is batting .405 and has displayed heretofore unseen power, collecting a home run, two triples and two doubles to go with his 12 singles in 42 at-bats. The production could give him the inside track on the Reds' fourth outfielder spot in 2007.
Here's how other Reds prospects fared in the various fall and winter leagues from Nov. 9-15:
Arizona Fall League
2B Drew Anderson -- Anderson went 6-for-26 in six games as his batting average dipped to .266. He does not have a home run and has driven in three runs in 64 at-bats.
OF Javon Moran -- Moran enjoyed the best week of his AFL season, going 5-for-13 with three RBIs and two stolen bases in five games. He's hitting .224 and has driven in 10 runs in 58 at-bats.
OF Cody Strait -- Strait went 3-for-17 with five strikeouts without a home run or RBI in four games. After a hot start, Strait is hitting .264 with one home run and 12 RBIs in 106 at-bats. He has been a terror on the basepaths, stealing 12 bases en route to scoring 19 runs.
P Jonathan Coutlangus -- Coutlangus appeared in three games, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. He's 1-0 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 innings.
P Phil Dumatrait -- Dumatrait was so-so in his lone start this week, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out two in four innings. He's 1-0 with a 5.89 ERA in 18 1/3 innings and has struggled with his control, walking 11.
P Calvin Medlock -- The 24-year-old tossed a scoreless inning in his lone appearance, surrendering one hit without issuing a walk and fanning one. Medlock is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 10 2/3 frames, but has struck out 11 and walked only one.
P Tyler Pelland -- Pelland started two games and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and five walks while striking out five in nine innings. The 23-year-old is 0-1 with a 4.95 ERA over 20 innings.
Venezuelan Winter League
2B William Bergolla -- Despite dropping below .400, Bergolla stayed hot, going 7-for-21 with a home run and two RBIs in five games. He's hitting .388 through 103 at-bats.
SS Javier Colina -- The 27-year-old went 4-for-16 in four games to raise his batting average to .237. Colina blasted his second home run of the season Nov. 12.
IF Anderson Machado -- Machado walked once and scored a run without registering an official at-bat in two games. He's 2-for-8 with an RBI in eight games.
SS Ray Olmedo -- After going hitless in his first nine at-bats of the week, Olmedo went 5-for-9 with two triples and five RBIs. The 25-year-old shortstop is hitting .313 with two home runs and 13 RBIs through 80 at-bats.
RHP Carlos Bohorquez -- Bohorquez appeared in two games and allowed one walk without giving up a hit and fanning three in three innings. He has a 0.73 ERA through 12 1/3 frames and is holding opposing batters to a .132 batting average.
LHP Jan Granado -- The 24-year-old went five innings and gave up four runs on three walks and nine hits while striking out two in his lone start. Granado is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 21 1/3 innings.
RHP Ruben Medina -- Medina appeared in two games and tossed 3 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing three hits while walking two and fanning two. He's 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA through 6 1/3 innings.
Mexican Winter League
RHP Tom Shearn -- The 29-year-old yielded two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings in his only start. Shearn is 3-1 with 3.13 ERA in 37 1/3 frames and has fanned 34 while walking 13.
Dominican Winter League
OF Chris Denorfia -- Denorfia is hitting .237 with 10 RBIs in 76 at-bats.
SS Jerry Gil -- Gil has one hit and one RBI in 14 at-bats.
1B Joey Votto -- Votto is hitting .275 with one home run and nine RBIs in 51 at-bats.
RHP Edward Valdez -- Valdez is 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings.
Ryan McConnell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.