Winter Leagues Recap: Hernandez Finishes as DWL Hits Leader

In Australian League action from today, the Adelaide Bite and Perth Heat split a doubleheader. In game one, Adelaide won 5-3, with Stefan Welch being the only Pirates playing in action. He went 1-for-3, with his third home run and he scored two runs. In game two, Perth won big, downing the Bite by a 10-2 score. Sam Kennelly made the start at second base for Perth and went 2-for-5, with two singles, two runs scored and an RBI. His second hit was an RBI single off Pirates pitcher Wilson Lee, who had a rough outing.

Lee came on in the seventh inning with a man on second and two outs. He got the final out on a fly out, then came on for the eighth inning. Lee allowed a single to start the inning, followed by a walk, then a wild pitch. Sam Kennelly then plated the first run with a line drive single to center field that scored his brother Matt. Lee retired the next two batters, but was unable to finish the inning. He was taken out after allowing a single and a double, leaving him with four earned runs over one inning of work.

In game two, Stefan Welch went 0-for-3, with a strikeout. With Justin Howard undergoing elbow surgery and Dylan Child on the reserve roster for this series, Welch was the only Pirates batter available for Adelaide. Quincy Latimore joins the team next weekend.

The two hit game was the first for Kennelly, who is now 5-for-25, with two RBI’s in ten games played. He has now played three infield positions(2B/SS/3B). The sixteen-year-old handled all three chances in the field cleanly, including a second inning double play.

In Dominican League action from last night, the regular season wrapped up, but two teams finished in a tie for fourth place, so they will play a play-in game tonight. The top four teams in the DWL will play 18 games each in a round robin tournament to decide the final two teams, who will then play a nine game championship series. Tonight’s game will feature Leones del Escogido against Gigantes del Cibao. Escogido has Kris Johnson and Gregory Polanco on their roster, while Cibao has four Pirates players, though two haven’t appeared in a game(Eric Avila and Carlos Paulino), while the other two haven’t played in awhile. Oscar Tejeda last played on December 4th, while Porfirio Lopez made just one October appearance.

Felix Pie and Alex Valdez both had abbreviated nights last night, leaving after two plate appearances. Pie went 0-for-2, while Valdez went 0-for-1, with a walk. Their team has already clinched a playoff spot, so their off-season will continue on.

Anderson Hernandez went 1-for-4, with a double and run scored. His impressive DWL season came to an end, as his Licey team was the only team eliminated last night. Hernandez led the DWL in hits with 56, while driving in 22 runs and posting a .755 OPS. He played in all 50 of his team’s games.

Willy Garcia played in just his second game of the DWL season. He came on as a defensive replacement in right field in the top of the seventh. He had no plays in the field and his turn in the batting order never came up.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez continued his slump since being moved into a regular role. He went 0-for-3 last night, with two strikeouts. That leaves his average at .213, which includes an 0-for-12 string during his last four games.

In Venezuela, Luis Sanz threw 1.2 innings, allowing a run on one hit and two walks. It was just the second run allowed by Sanz, who has thrown 11.1 innings over his eight outings.

Ryan Reid threw a scoreless inning last night, getting two groundouts and a strikeout. It was a non-save situation for Reid, who has a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings, with 23 strikeouts and a 4.43 GO/AO ratio.

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John Dreker

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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