DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Lose Two Again, De La Cruz Continues Hot Start

DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Lose Two Again, De La Cruz Continues Hot Start

For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day. Pirates Logo


Box Score 

Result: Rockies 5, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Ramon Rodriguez, RHP (0-3, 4.15) – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Reggie Cerda, C (.067) – 1-for-3, BB, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.191) – 0-for-4

Christian Henriquez, LHP (1.93) – 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Tito Polo, LF (.365) – 1-for-3, BB

Johan De Jesus, SS (.190) – 0-for-3, 2 K

Game Notes: Starter Ramon Rodriguez pitched well today, but still picked up his third straight loss to start the season. Rodriguez pitched five innings without allowing a walk, the third straight starter for Pirates1 to accomplish that feat. Catcher Reggie Cerda collected his first hit of the season and had the only RBI for the Pirates, but he also made three throwing errors, allowing six steals on seven attempts. Luis Benitez was the only Pirates player to have a multi-hit game, hitting two singles. Both he and Tito Polo, stole their seventh base of the season. Shortstop prospect Johan De Jesus has had a very rough three game stretch recently. He struck out twice today in three AB’s, giving him eight strikeouts in his last nine plate appearances. He also committed two errors today, giving him nine on the year.



Box Score

Result:   Orioles2 3, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP (0-1, 2.25) – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Michael de la Cruz, CF (.311) – 1-for-3, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jhoan Herrera, DH (.275) – 0-for-4, BB

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.103) – DNP

Carlos Munoz, 1B (.386) – 2-for-5

Richard Mitchell, RHP (0.90) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Starter Omar Basulto gave up three runs to pick up the loss, as the Orioles2 won the first of a two game series against the Pirates. Basulto started the season with seven shutout innings over two starts. He was followed by top pitching prospect Richard Mitchell, who threw two scoreless innings. He has allowed one run in ten innings this year, covering four relief outings. Mitchell has given up just four hits. Jesus Paredes finished up the game for the Pirates, throwing a scoreless eighth. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in seven innings this year.  The three pitchers combined for eight strikeouts and no walks. Michael de la Cruz reached base three times today, making it 27 times on base this year in 13 games. Third baseman Jesus Ronco had the only extra base hit(double) and the only RBI for the Pirates. The double was his first hit of the season.

Player Of The Day

This past July 2nd signing period, the Pirates signed two players with the last name de la Cruz, though they are not related. They each got $700,000 bonuses to sign. I picked Julio de la Cruz as the top player to watch this year because we were told that he was the Pirates main target during this signing period. It is still entirely possible he is the better of the two, but Michael de la Cruz is sure making a good argument for himself to be the better prospect.

Michael was called a possible five tool center fielder, who still needs to add power to his game. As mentioned above, the bat is sure playing well early, with a .311 average and 13 walks in 13 games, reaching base in all but one game. He has been batting lead-off and playing center field, which is a good sign at his age. The 6’1″ lefty/lefty is still just 16-years-old, now three weeks shy of his next birthday. The power hasn’t surfaced at all yet, as all 14 hits he has have been singles. There is also the baserunning that needs work. He has been successful on one of three steal attempts, not the numbers you’d expect from someone who has speed as a tool, though just the fact he’s playing everyday at his age is impressive.

There was word over the Winter that he, along with Julio, could open the season in the Gulf Coast League. I wouldn’t count him playing in the DSL instead as a setback because very few players make that jump as his age. For now, I’m considering him the top prospect among Pirates players in the DSL.

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  • Lee Young

    John…when and where do we expect to see that Aussie SS we signed? I completely fooget his name and am too lazy this morn to go back thru the P2 articles.


  • John Dreker

    Sam Kennelly spent two weeks in Extended Spring Training. He is still in school, so he had to go back to finish. He should be at Fall Instructs this year and then begin in the Gulf Coast League next year

  • buc em all

    Does Tito polo have prospect potential ?


  • buc em all



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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