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Pirates Release 6 Minor Leaguers

As per the Baseball America Minor League Transactions page, the Pirates have released the following 6 minor leaguers:

RHP Brandon Holden, RHP Brent Klinger, C Joey Schoenfeld, 1B Billy Nowlin, OF Ping-Hung Chi, OF Daan Cornelissen

Brandon Holden was a 13th round draft pick out of high school in the 2006 draft.  He was plagued by injuries throughout his career, but the Pirates saw enough potential to keep him around this long.  He had not pitched anywhere yet in 2011.

Brent Klinger was a 21st round draft pick in 2008 and was also injury-plagued.  He has not pitched for a Pirates’ affiliate since 2009.

Billy Nowlin was a free agent signed a few weeks ago to fill in at State College.

Ping-Hung Chi was a free agent signed in 2009 from Taiwan.  There is no truth to the rumor that the Pirates actually tried to release him last week, but couldn’t find him because he’s so small.

Daan Cornelissen was a free agent signed in 2009 from the Netherlands.

Finally, Joey Schoenfeld was a 10th round pick signed in 2009 out of high school.  He was said to be very athletic and capable of switching positions at a later date if needed.  However, in an interview with Bucs Dugout in the spring, Kyle Stark had some interesting comments about Schoenfeld’s progress. 

Can you talk about Joey Schoenfeld and Elias Diaz and how you balanced playing time between them last year, and what you plan to do this year?

One of the core decisions you have to make in development is who’s going to get the opportunities. And obviously we decided that Elias Diaz deserves more time than Joey. I would fully expect that to continue.

Is that a defensive thing?

It’s both sides. I know that Elias struggled at the plate last year, but we feel that there’s potential there for him to hit. There’s potential there for him to be a good player on both sides of the ball … the guy with the higher upside typically gets the opportunity.

Coupled with the Pirates signing Ryan Hornback and Jonathan Schwind from the 2011 draft and assigning both of them to the GCL, this seemed to signal that Schoenfeld’s time was drawing to a near.

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