The Pirates Have a New International Player at Pirate City
I was over at Pirate City yesterday watching batting practice, when I noticed a left-handed hitter I had never seen before. The hitter was making strong contact, and crushing a few pitches. I had no way of identifying him, since he was wearing a red shirt, meaning he was injured. I also didn’t recognize him.
During his last round, I heard someone call him “Chourio”. Adenson Chourio? He hasn’t been in the system since 2010, and would be 26 now. Plus he was 5′ 9″, and this guy was bigger than that. I figured it was a new player brought over from the DSL that wasn’t on the Spring Training roster, since I didn’t have a player named “Chourio” on my list.
After practice I checked on the name: Bealyn Chourio. You’ll find him on page 127 of the 2013 Prospect Guide. You just won’t find any information on him outside of his numbers. That’s because there was never much information available. Chourio signed in April 2011, which isn’t when interesting prospects usually sign. He had 90 at-bats in 2011 in the Venezuelan Summer League. He appeared in two games in the DSL in 2012, but didn’t have an at-bat. That was all that was available.
After watching him hit today, I wanted to get more information. I don’t usually make a lot out of a few batting practice swings, but I talked to Wilbur and got another positive report. Wilbur has been at Pirate City the last few days, and had this to say on Chourio:
I’ve seen Chourio take batting practice several times in the past few days. He’s been hitting the ball hard more consistently than any other player I’ve seen, squaring up on nearly every swing. He’s a switch hitter and has also shown good power from the left side. During drills he’s been taking grounders at short, but doesn’t seem to be throwing, so the injury may be an arm problem of some sort.
I checked around and got the back story on him. The Pirates signed him for $30,000. He was 5′ 10″, 140 pounds when signed. He shot up in the last year. The media guide has him at 6′ 0″, 167 pounds, although I got reports that he’s closer to 6′ 3″, 200. After seeing him, he probably falls somewhere in the middle of the media guide and those reports. The growth isn’t a surprise, since I’m told that Chourio’s entire family is tall. The reason he missed the 2012 season, and the reason he is a red shirt now, is because he had Tommy John surgery last year. He hurt himself playing winter ball in Venezuela in the 2011-12 off-season, and had the operation in 2012.
Chourio turns 19 in March, and only has 90 professional at-bats. The Pirates only have him in Bradenton to work on his rehab. After Spring Training, the plans are to send him back to the Dominican Republic, continue his rehab there, and get ready for the DSL season. Obviously it’s hard to say what his upside could be. He’s a tall, skinny, athletic switch hitter who plays shortstop and makes strong contact with the bat. Those are all good things, which makes him nothing more than another interesting international hitting prospect to follow in 2013.