Now that the dust has settled and the celebrations have more than likely ended following Mexico's victory in the 2005 Caribbean Series, it's time to look at which players made a name for themselves during the six-day tournament.
These are not established Major Leaguers. Those guys have have already accomplished what so many others are hoping to do, and that's get a regular gig in the big leagues. Rather, this is a look at minor leaguers and those players not in affiliated baseball. From prospects to career Mexican Leaguers, several players stood out during the Series.
With the help of some scouts who watched the Caribbean Series closely, here are some names to watch as a result of their performances in Mazatlan. Most of the impressive performances came from the mound, with a couple of bats thrown in.
Jonathan Albaladejo, RHP, Puerto Rico: Much like Denny Medina (below), Albaladejo doesn't seem to have a clear-cut "out" pitch. He was terrific for six innings in his Series start, but then the floodgates opened because he didn't have that pitch when hitters started to figure him out.
Francisco Campos, RHP, Mexico: Campos didn't just pitch well in the Series -- he was downright dominant over his two starts. For the second straight year, he shut down a Dominican club that sent a Major League lineup, give or take a few hitters. Campos, 32, is ready to pitch in the big leagues. He can expand the zone sideways and up. He has an average fastball and a usable slider, but an above-average split finger. He's one of these guys who pitches better than his stuff. He's pitched a lot, so he gets fatigued, but that shouldn't keep someone from giving him a chance.
Luis Figueroa, SS, Puerto Rico: Figueroa spent 2004 as the second baseman for Indianapolis, then the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate. He's gotten a total of eight games of big league experience, but time is running out for the soon-to-be-31-year-old. He can be a little erratic, but he picked it well at shortstop during the Series, hit .296 and showed an ability to run. He profiles as a Rafael Belliard type.
Jonny Gomes, OF, Mexico: Gomes, who has a chance to break with the Devil Rays this spring, has some serious power. He hit two light-tower shots during the Series, but also swung and missed a little too much. He doesn't have a good two-strike approach, but he's a decent outfielder with a good arm and runs pretty well for a guy his size.
Ivan Maldanado, RHP, Puerto Rico: Maldonado hasn't moved very far in the Mets' chain, but during the Series he displayed a fastball in the 90- to 93-mph range, a slider that ran up to 85 and a pretty decent changeup. The 24-year-old profiles to be a middle relief guy if he can ever move up the ladder.
Denny Medina, RHP, Venezuela: On the surface this Twins prospect, who has yet to pitch above the rookie-level Appalachian League, was very impressive in the Series. In 5 2/3 IP, the 22-year-old reliever struck out 12 and walked only two. Scouts thought he had good life on his fastball, but didn't see an above-average pitch that would get guys out in the big leagues.
Jackson Paz, LHP, Venezuela: Paz didn't overwhelm anyone with a good feel for pitching, but he has a live arm, and he's only 22. Oh, and he happens to be left-handed, so the Cardinals -- who took him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft in December 2003 -- will likely give him every chance to succeed and refine his pitches.
Bill Pulsipher, LHP, Puerto Rico: Throw this one in for nostalgia, but Pulsipher looked as if he could still get lefties out. Just ask Erubiel Durazo, whom Pulsipher made look simply silly in one at-bat. As long as you keep him "left on left," the 31-year-old can still get guys out. Whether someone gives him that shot is another story.
Luis Rodriguez, 2B, Venezuela: -- Rodriguez stood out more with his bat than with his glove, though he makes all the routine plays at second. But he looked like a big league hitter during the Series, hitting .308, tied for eighth-best in the tournament. He's on the Twins' 40-man roster and, at age 24, could be ready to help Minnesota in the middle infield soon.
Walter Silva, RHP, Mexico: Silva may have only gotten into two games for Mexico, but he opened some eyes. Silva has never played affiliated baseball, sticking with the Mexican Summer League, but he has average to above-average velocity. Because he's pitched almost entirely in relief, he's not logged a lot of innings. Pegged as a middle relief-type guy, he has some upside because of the inexperience, but he needs to work on secondary pitches to move forward.
Robinson Tejeda, RHP, Dominican Republic: Tejeda, who will turn 23 in March, is on the Phillies' 40-man roster. Scouts liked his arm and the stuff he showed in his four innings of relief work for the Dominican team. Primarily a starter in the minors, Tejeda struck out five in his two outings, allowing just one earned run.
Jose Vargas, RHP, Dominican Republic: The Dominican closer is without a job this spring, something hard to understand considering that he's picked up 40 saves over the past two years. He runs his fastball up to 94 mph and complements it with an above-average slider and split-finger. All he needs is a chance.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.