The DSL Pirates clubs were ranked sixth and 19th in the 35 team league in OPS. As a group, they have a decent amount of six figure bonus players. Some lived up to those numbers, while others did not. Some players, that were signed rather quietly (aka low bonus) ended up having big years. The Pirates chose to move players like Edwin Espinal and Dilson Herrera to the GCL with minimal experience and high-priced signings from the 2011 July 2nd class, Elvis Escobar and Harold Ramirez, both jumped right over the DSL into the GCL. It left the two team DSL with a slightly lesser group of hitters than expected at this time last year. As you will see below, some of the players that went from the VSL last season, to the DSL this season, had trouble with the jump in talent between the two leagues.
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.