Astros prospect Jeremy Pena will play in the Dominican Winter League in 2021-22.
The Houston Astros shortstop job is up for grabs this offseason, as prospect Jeremy Pena could be eyed as Carlos Correa’s possible successor. The infielder was on the Astros’ taxi squad for the ’21 postseason.
Pena announced on his Instagram story that he will be returning to the Dominican Republic (LIDOM) for another season with the Estrellas Orientales. The 24-year-old looks to join the Estrellas for the second time, after his rookie LIDOM season in 2020-21.
Last season, Pena won a Gold Glove for his work in the middle infield, while he moved to third base for the LIDOM playoffs. This was in part to Robinson Cano and Fernando Tatis Jr. joining the ball club for the postseason and manning the middle-infield.
Pena slashed .306/.349/.430 in 129 plate appearances (30 games) from the right side. With only seven extra-base hits, Pena’s power has come around since his wrist injury early in the ’21 minor-league season. These numbers at the plate and his versatility in the field granted him Rookie of the Year.
The right-hander played in 30 games with the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters this season, slashing .287/.346/.598 with 16 extra-base hits in almost the same sample size (133 plate appearances). Pena also drove in 10 more runs in Triple-A than in LIDOM, as well.
Pena has found more power since last season, and while missing out on most of the Arizona Fall League due to being on the taxi squad, the infielder will look to gain more at-bats in LIDOM. His wrist injury kept him out a large chunk of the Triple-A season, as many prospects turn to the AFL and LIDOM to gain more reps.