The Pirates signed Emsley-Pai to a minor league deal.
One of the milder surprise players in the 2011 Pirates' minor league system is Kawika Emsley-Pai, the Catcher/Designated Hitter for the West Virginia Power. Emsley-Pai was originally a 10th round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, but was cut after just one short-season stint for them. He signed with the Pirates in December and to date it is like the Pirates got a "bonus" 10th round pick from last year's draft.
Although he has slumped in June, Emsley-Pai still has an AVG/OBP/SLG of .306/.447/.408 (855 OPS) for the year. He has an exceptional walk/strikeout rate of 23 walks and 15 strikeouts in 98 at-bats. Emsley-Pai was kind enough to answer some questions for Pirates Prospects via e-mail while on the road to Greensboro.
Kevin Creagh: What is your heritage and family background? Does Kawika translate into anything of note?
Kawika Emsley-Pai: I'm half Hawaiian from my dad's side. I have two sisters that l...