2010 DSL Pirates Preview

The Dominican Summer League Pirates didn’t get as much attention in 2009 as the Venezuelan Summer League Pirates, which is probably due to their 29-38 record, and the lack of big name prospects at the level.  A lot of the breakout players and big bonuses were in the VSL for the Pirates, which is probably why the DSL team saw a big overhaul this off-season.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the DSL, here is a quick rundown of the league rules and set-up:
-34 teams in the league in five divisions
-Four organizations field two different teams (Cubs, Mets, Orioles, Yankees)-Pirates play in the Boca Chica North with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, Mets 2, Rays, Red Sox, Royals, and Yankees 2.
-Each team has a roster limit of 35 players, with 30 active per game, and at least 10 have to be pitchers
-No player on the active roster may have more than four years of minor league service
-No more than eight players may be 20 years or older, and no more than two players may be 21 years or older
-The 2010 season will run from May 29th to August 21st, with 72 games for every team (66 in the San Pedro de Macoris Division)
-Six teams make the playoffs: the winner of each division, plus the best runner-up.  The two teams with the best winning percentages receive first round byes to the semi-finals.
Now, let’s take a look at the 2010 team, starting with the players who are new to the team…
Two players on this list were signed last July.  Those players were Alen Hanson and Robertson Valdez. Here are scouting reports from each, given by Rene Gayo through the PPG.

Alen Hanson – “Hanson is an athletic middle infielder with a very projectable body and an upbeat attitude. He projects to have a number of above-average major league tools. Alen is a line-drive hitter who sprays the ball around the field with some extra-base power. With development, he could hit over .300 in the big leagues. He has speed on the basepaths and will only improve with physical maturation. Hanson could also be a stolen-base threat. He shows all the tools to be a solid-average second baseman.”

Robertson Valdez – “Roberson has solid body control and is an instinctive hitter who has a natural stroke with projectable power.”

The Pirates also signed Pedro Lara on the same date, although Lara is not showing up on the roster yet.  Lara seemed like the best prospect of the trio.

A few of the players above received some big bonuses.  Ramses Pena, signed at the end of November, received $150,000.  Isaac Sanchez, signed on May 10th, received $180,000.  The Pirates also signed Miguel DeAza on the same date for $150,000, although DeAza isn’t showing up on the roster yet.  Yhonatan Herrand was signed on April 8th, and received a $185,000 bonus.

The biggest bonus was to Willy Garcia, who received $280,000, the third highest reported bonus in Pirates history for international prospects.  That’s $945,000 in reported bonuses for those five players.

Now for the players who are returning from the 2009 team…

Jesus Vasquez and Jodaneli Carvajal look like the most interesting hitting prospects to return.  Vasquez had a .799 OPS last year, which ranked second on the team among hitters with 100 or more at-bats in 2009.  Carvajal is the owner of the second largest reported bonus in Pirates’ history, signed for $300,000 in 2008, and making his debut in 2009.

Of the pitchers, Porfirio Lopez had a great K/9 ratio of 12.5 in 44 innings, but his walk rate of 5.5 K/BB was poor.  Lopez is 20 this year, so he’s probably nearing the point of not being a prospect.  There aren’t many strong pitchers returning, which probably explains why 12 of the 19 new players are pitchers.

Next are the players who have moved on to the United States…

Eric Avila tops this list, after hitting for a .315 average and a .852 OPS in 267 at-bats last year, and also leading the team in homers.  Andury Acevedo didn’t see much playing time, but looked good in his limited time, with a .381/.447/.476 line in 42 at-bats, and three stolen bases.

Fraylin Campos was the best looking pitcher, with a 2.27 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, an outstanding 11.6 K/9, and a 3.8 K/BB ratio in 71.1 innings.  Emmanuel De Leon had good ratios, with a 9.7 K/9 and a 1.6 K/BB.

Finally, a look at the players who were either released, or who retired…

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 5/30/10

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