Winter Leagues Recap: Welch Drives In Three

In Australian Baseball League action from today, Adelaide won 9-4 behind three RBI’s each from both Stefan Welch and former Pirates outfielder, Quincy Latimore. Welch went 1-for-3, with his seventh double and a run scored. He drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and walked in his other AB. He now has 22 RBI’s on the season. Latimore has eight RBI’s in eight games since joining Adelaide right before the new year started.

With the Dominican League playoffs taking an off-day yesterday, it was a light day for Winter League news. In the Venezuelan League playoffs, Darren Ford has been benched since going hitless in his first three starts. Yesterday, he came into the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh inning and stole a base. He remained in the game defensively in left field without getting a plate appearance.

In Mexican League playoff action, catcher Ali Solis made his first appearance of the postseason. He came into the game defensively in the ninth inning with his team up one. The game ended up tied and went into extra innings, where he batted once before being pinch hit for in the 12th inning. He lined out to left in his only plate appearance. The Pirates recently signed Lucas May, who will compete with Solis for the backup catching spot to Tony Sanchez in Indianapolis.

Kennelly Strong In Amateur Play

As mentioned here last week, Sam Kennelly left the Perth Heat of the ABL to play in the U18 National Youth Championships in Australia. The nine day tournament started yesterday with a doubleheader and continued today with one game. Kennelly, who just celebrated his seventeenth birthday on Wednesday, went 3-for-4 today, with a double and a run scored. Yesterday, he went 1-for-3 in the opener, with a walk, run scored and an RBI. In the second game, he went 1-for-4, with a two-run triple.

Kennelly’s team has won all three games to open the tournament. He has batted third in the order and played all three games at shortstop. In the ABL with Perth, Kennelly was seeing limited playing time and moving between 2B, 3B and SS. Talking to him after today’s game, Kennelly said “It’s good to get some more games at shortstop” where he was busy in two of tournament games, while having no plays in the other start. He continued on by saying he’s “hitting real well and my defense is good too so I’m feeling really positive.”

The tournament continues on tomorrow with two games for Kennelly’s team.

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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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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    Impressed by the Kennelly update. I esp liked this part:

    “He has batted third in the order and played all three games at shortstop.”

    • John Dreker

      Kennelly is definitely near or at the top of all players in this tournament, so it isn’t a surprise that he bats third and plays shortstop. Would be great if he could stick at the position.
      His two-run triple mentioned above was off Nick Hutchings, who we just reported today as signing with the Pirates. I wanted to mention it above, but we were waiting on more info about Hutchings before posting about his signing.

  • IC Bob

    Sounds like this tournament is the equivalent of a AA class high school tourney in the states with a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds. Not sure I am going to get to excited over the results here.

    • John Dreker

      It is probably on that same level and it is not as impressive as the fact he was playing in the ABL as a 16-year-old, as very few of these kids are in the ABL. I think that (plus his high bonus) speaks for itself. Like I said above, he is one of, or possibly the best player in this tournament, so it isn’t a surprise that he is doing good while batting third/playing SS.

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