In 2008, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a few minor splashes in the international market, spending $1 M between Exicardo Cayonez, Jodaneli Carvajal, and Yhonathan Barrios. Barrios, signed for $250 K out of Colombia, didn't get off to the best start in 2009 with the VSL Pirates. He hit for a .241/.309/.346 line. Yet his talent was enough for the Pirates to promote him to the US for the 2010 season. Unfortunately, Barrios suffered a hamate injury, and missed the entire season.
Barrios was signed as a shortstop, although he has a stocky build, at 5' 11", 179 pounds. That, plus the emergence of Alen Hanson, has led Barrios to play second and third base this year in the Gulf Coast League. Yhonathan has good bat speed, which could give him the ability to hit for power down the line. His ultimate position will be second or third base, and where he ends up will probably depend on him hitting for power.
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.