Analysis

Pirates Sign International Free Agent Dennis Hurtarte

Pirates Sign International Free Agent Dennis Hurtarte

The Pirates have signed their first player from Guatemala, first baseman Dennis Hurtarte. He was watched by numerous teams in the last three months during tryouts in both the Dominican and in Florida.  His agent had close ties with the Mariners, Braves and Mets but the Pirates were able to sign him. He played five years in a baseball academy called Galvez Sobral in Guatemala and has been watched by scouts for years. The Pirates agreed to a contract with him on June 10 and just recently finalized the deal. According to one article he is just the 3rd player from the country to sign a pro contract and none have made the majors.

He has also been used as a pitcher but it sounds like he was signed solely as a  firstbaseman and he is skilled at the position. He is also a switch hitter. The following article in Spanish contain quotes from him about achieving his lifelong goal of signing with a major league team and his hopes of going directly to the states to play baseball and to work hard and make the most of his ability. Another article announces the deal.  According to a third article, he was signed by Rene Gayo for 6 years with the agreement he will go right to the states to play, and he is 18years old as of June 10th. We have also included several videos of him.

More videos can be found on this YouTube account.

Analysis

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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