Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Braves minor leaguer Jairo Asencio Most Valuable Player in Caribbean Series, Jugador Mas Valioso de la Serie Caribe

Atlanta braves minor league player and Dominican Republic native Jairo Ascencio was named the most valuable player of the 2012 version of the Caribbean Series, or Serie del Caribe for the Dominican Baseball Guy's Spanish speaking friends.  He actually played in six games with the big league club last season, but spent most of the year Gwinnet Braves, the AAA affiliate of the Braves.  See the recap from ESPN Deportes or from Diario Libre a Dominican daily.

He has been a closer for the last three years in the minors and served that role for the Dominican team in the Caribbean Series.  In a twist only seen in winter baseball, Asencio actually played for the Toros in the regular season this year in the Dominican Winter Baseball League.  He was called in as a "reinforcement" for the Dominican team represented by LIDOM champion Escogido.  

The teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela all do the same thing: stck their domestic league champion with "reinforcements" of the top players from the losing teams.

So, Jairo Asencio was picked up as a "reinforcement" and stepped right into the closer's role for Escogido and the Dominican Republic team.  He was 3-3 in save chances and didn't allow a hit in three innings.  For that he was the Jugador mas Valioso de la Serie Caribe 2012, or MVP of the Caribbean Series.  The Dominican Baseball Guy knows it is not much of a sample, but hey it's the Caribbean Series they only play six games.

It is a touching story for the young pitcher.  Asencio's mother died last year, so he was happy, but disappointed that she could not see it.  Said the closer:
“Estoy feliz por la distinciĆ³n, pero hay un espacio que estuviera lleno si mi madre estuviera viva”, expuso el joven jugador.
And for the Dominican Baseball Guy's English speaking friends that is, "I am happy for the distinction, but the is always an empty space in my heart where my mother was."

Jairo Ascencio is from Sabana Grande de Palenque, Dominican Republic.  From his statistics and this performance it looks like he could be pushing for a spot on the big league roster next year.

But the Dominican Baseball Guy knows little to nothing about the Braves farm system.  Any Atlanta Braves fans out there to comment?
Jairo Ascencio receives the Caribbean Series MVP trophy, photo by Victor Perez 


  1. They have three guys on the major league team who can all be great closers, plus a well-stocked farm system, FWIW

  2. Ascencio was GREAT last year at AAA, but he never got much of a shot. I think that he just unfortunately has a bad combination of an age that's a little older and stuff that's not quite as good (read: lower upside) than some young stud prospects who the Braves hope can get some experience in the 'pen as they hopefully transition to starting long-term (Delgado, Teheran, Vizcaiano.) They'll be competing for a rotation spot, but there are only so many of those to go around. Also, the Braves have a couple guys in Cristhian Martinez and Kris Medlen with a little more flexibility to go long if needed out of the back of the 'pen.


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