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DSL Prospect Watch: Dennis Hurtarte Heating Up

For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here.  For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day. Pittsburgh_Pirates10


Box Score

Result: Yankees2 12, Pirates 6

Starting Pitcher: Jandy Vasquez, RHP (2-4, 5.00) – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.189) – 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.205) – 1-for-4, BB, SB

Rudy Guzman, LF (.227) – 3-for-6, 2 SB

Gerardo Navarro, RHP (3.30) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Johan De Jesus, SS (.156) – 0-for-4, BB

Game Notes: The Pirates pitchers struggled today, with four of them combining to allow 12 runs on 14 hits and five walks. They were also hurt by four errors behind them. The offense put together 11 hits and six walks, but they were bad with runners in scoring position. In a combined 23 AB’s with men either on second and/or third base, they had just four hits. First baseman Dennis Hurtarte had two doubles for the second straight game. He missed time early in the year with a wrist injury, then missed two weeks after getting spiked on his ankle, an injury that required stitches. In his last seven games, Hurtarte is 9-for-23 with five walks. Catcher Deybi Garcia had two hits, an RBI and a walk. According to the scouting reports, Garcia has the best arm among Pirates catchers in the DSL. He has thrown out 42% of the 38 attempted base stealers this season.


Box Score

Result: Blue Jays  4, Pirates 1

Starting Pitcher: Eduardo Vera, RHP (1.99) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Steven De La Mota, DH (.315) – 1-for-4, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Michael de la Cruz, CF (.311) – 0-for-4, BB, SB

Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.244) – 1-for-3

Remy De Aza, RHP (0.00) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.168) – 1-for-4

Game Notes: The Pirates held the Blue Jays to four runs in each of their two games this week with vastly different results. On Friday, the Pirates bats exploded for nine runs. On Saturday, they managed only one run on six hits. The lack of offense spoiled an impressive start from Eduardo Vera, who got the no-decision and lowered his ERA to 1.99 with five shutout innings. He allowed three singles and didn’t issue a walk. Reliever Hector Garcia allowed all four runs in an usually poor outing for him. In his previous nine appearances, he gave up two runs over 20.1 innings.

Player Of The Day

The Pirates have been hit by the injury bug in the DSL this season. Home run hitter Yunelky Adames has been out for over a month with an ankle injury and won’t return this season. Numerous other players have had season-ending injuries this year, some before their season got started. The full list of other players out are below:

Pitcher Leandro Rodriguez has been out all season with an arm injury. The Pirates signed him out of the Dominican Prospect League for $80,000 as an 18-year-old. He had a strong rookie season last year, going 2-2, 3.65 in ten starts and three relief appearances. Rodriguez has not pitched this season.

Carlos Esqueda got hurt last week in an injury that will likely end his career. He has played the maximum four seasons in the VSL/DSL and will need to either be moved to the States next year or be released. He was hitting just .170 in 34 games at the time of his injury.

Infielder Edgardo Munoz has played just four games this year, all at the beginning of the season. He hit .360 as a rookie in the VSL in 2011, then struggled in his second season after moving to the DSL.

Pitcher Oscar Calderin is another fourth year player that has likely played his last pro game. He made four appearances this year and also missed time earlier in the season. He never got a lot of mound time in during his career, throwing a total of 70.1 innings in two seasons in the VSL and two is the DSL. Calderin showed improvements each year, so this was a big season for him.

Pitcher Jorge Mendoza was one of the youngest pitchers in the VSL in 2011, though he played just one game that season. In 2012, he moved to the DSL and looked decent in an extended relief role. Mendoza just turned 19 at the end of June, so he is still young enough to bounce back. He never took the mound this season.

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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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