The World Series is over and play in the Arizona Fall League is winding down, but baseball is still in the air. A handful of former San Jose Giants are currently involved with their winter league seasons as players look to finish 2013 on a high note and build momentum heading into spring training. Notable early winter ball performances include Adam Duvall's power surge in Venezuela, Mark Minicozzi's high batting average, Mitch Lively off to a perfect 5-0 start and Edwin Escobar working in relief.
Duvall has already played in 25 games for the Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League and boasts a .313 batting average with five home runs and 22 RBI's. The former San Jose MVP homered in back-to-back games during the opening week of the season and has maintained impressive overall numbers over the last month. Duvall's five home runs are tied for sixth in the league while he's also tied for fifth in RBI's. Entering play Tuesday, Duvall is riding a seven-game hitting streak (.333 AVG).
The veteran Minicozzi has also enjoyed success in Venezuela with a .351 batting average in 15 games. Playing exclusively first base, Minicozzi has produced three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI's. Minicozzi was a San Jose Giant way back in 2006 and 2007 before returning to the organization in 2012 after three years of playing independent ball. Minicozzi spent all of this season with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels (.309 AVG, 10 HR, 66 RBI).
Ryan Lollis is still looking to get on track in Venezuela as the former San Jose outfielder is just 4-for-29 (.138 AVG) through his first 10 games. Lollis, who spent the entire 2013 campaign with Richmond, has one double and one triple thus far.
Meanwhile, Ehire Adrianza has returned to his home country and joined a Venezuelan winter team last week. The former San Jose shortstop, who earned a September call-up to San Francisco this season, is 3-for-10 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in his first three games.
On the pitching side in Venezuela, Lively has been the standout among the former San Jose Giants. After six years of working exclusively as a reliever, Lively transitioned to the starting rotation in 2013 while pitching for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. His 124 innings pitched this season with Fresno led the team (7-5, 4.72 ERA). Now in winter ball, Lively is continuing to see time as a starter and the results have been spectacular. In six starts for the Navegantes del Magallanes, Lively is a perfect 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA. The right-hander has allowed just six runs in 36 1/3 innings to go with 18 walks, 23 strikeouts and a .197 opponents batting average. Lively had back-to-back starts on October 29 and November 3 with no runs surrendered (11 2/3 IP). He's currently first in the league in wins (tied), ERA and innings pitched.
Escobar had a spectacular 2013 season pitching for both San Jose, where he earned California League All-Star honors, and then with Richmond. The top prospect logged significant innings between the two teams (128 1/3), so it's no surprise to see him work out of the bullpen during winter ball action. Through 10 relief appearances for Cardenales de Lara, Escobar owns a 5.59 ERA with 11 strikeouts and three walks in 9 2/3 innings.
Former San Jose pitchers Daryl Maday and Edwin Quirarte are also pitching in Venezuela this offseason as relievers. Maday is 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA in 15 games. He's struck out 15 batters in 15 1/3 innings. Quirarte has tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings over five relief appearances. Maday and Quirarte finished this season pitching for Fresno and Richmond respectively.
Over in the Dominican Winter League, Juan Perez has seen action in 13 games and possesses a .278 batting average. Perez, who had two stints with San Francisco this year, has knocked out three doubles and has collected five RBI's while playing for Aguilas Cibaenas.
Finally, former San Jose catcher Johnny Monell, a September call-up this year, has joined a team in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Through five games played, Monell is 5-for-22 (.227 AVG) with a double, a home run and two RBI's.
Regular season play in each winter league concludes in late-December, although some players do not continue with their team for the entire schedule and instead return to the United States.