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Venezuelan Summer League Pirates Season Preview

The Venezuelan Summer League roster has been released today and their season kicks off Monday, May 16th.The roster can be viewed here.  There are just 28 roster spots full as of right now, the team can have up to 35 players, so expect more added as the season goes on, especially the position players where only 11 players are listed. They play 72 games in the 6 team league which runs through August 6th. They have had the best record in each of the last five seasons and finished last year at 48-20 in the regular season then beat the Mariners team in the playoffs to win the league title. The wrap-ups from last year’s team can be found here for hitters and here for pitchers. 

Offseason Roster Moves:

Players who are gone from last year: Pitchers Remberto Romo, Jose Acosta, Ericdavis Marquez, Deivis Goatache, Rafael Rodriguez, Luis Figuera were all released and reported about here. Pitcher Raul Ruiz was also released as noted here.  Outfielder Luis Cardona was released. Pitcher Orlando Castro along with catcher Jose Ortiz, infielders Francisco Aponte, David Pino and outfielder Jose Ozuna all were in spring training camp. The situations of Javier Avila, Jefferson Gimenez and Norman Elenes are unknown at this time but are assumed to be released.

New Players: Shortstop Dilson Herrera who signed in August of last year for $220k. Pitchers Alexander Gutierrez, Dan Urbina, Julio Vivas, Andy Otamendi, Jesus Paredes, Andres Mendoza, catcher Eduardo Rangel and infielder Jose Salazar were all signed as amateur free agents.

Returning Players

(opening day age-prior years in the VSL)

Pitchers

Jesus Barraza 20- 2 yrs

Oscar Calderin 20- 1 yr

Luis Campos 20- 1 yr

Roberto Espinoza 19- 2 yrs

Jovany Lopez 20- 2 yrs

Jose Marrujo 18- 1 yr

Richard Montilla 20- 1 yr

Luis Ortiz 19- 1 yr

Oderman Rocha 18- 1 yr

Carlos Ruiz 20- 1 yr

Francisco Vilchez 20- 3 yrs

Catchers

Carlos Marquez 18- 1 yr

Infielders

Kelly Aponte 19- 3 yrs

Carlos Esqueda 19- 1 yr

Jordan Galvez 19- 1 yr

Ashley Ponce 20- 2 yrs

Jose Roman 20- 1 yr

Outfielders

Ulises Montilla 19- 1 yr

Manuel Moreno 19- 1 yr

Luis Sucre 18- 1 yr

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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