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DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Drop Doubleheader, De La Cruz Extends Hitting Streak

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

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Box Score

Result: Pirates 5, Angels 4

Starting Pitcher: Ramon Rodriguez, RHP (2.00) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Rodney Polonia, 3B (.254) – 3-for-3, RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, DH (.208) – 1-for-4

Tito Polo, LF (.295) – 1-for-3, SB, BB

Arquimedes Lorenzo, RHP (4-0, 3.77) – 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Johan De Jesus, SS (.164) – 1-for-4

Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.160) – 1-for-4, RBI

Game Notes: Starter Ramon Rodriguez gave up just two runs over five innings, but it ended up being his worst start in his last eight appearances. He had gone seven straight starts without allowing more than one run. He did manage to hold the Angels to three hits, something he has now accomplished(three hits or less) in six of his last seven starts. Arquimedes Lorenzo threw the last 2.2 innings to get his fourth win of the season. The Pirates scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Rodney Polonia walk, followed by a Sandy Santos triple. Polonia reached base in all four plate appearances. Tito Polo stole his 20th base of the season.

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Box Score Game One

Result:  Yankees1 6, Pirates 4

Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP (1.64) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Steven De La Mota, DH (.250) – 2-for-3, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.247) – DNP

Alexis Bastardo, RF (.258) – 2-for-4, BB, RBI

Michael de la Cruz, CF (.303) – 1-for-4, BB

Francis Rodriguez, RHP (0-1, 4.15) – 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.091) – 0-for-2

Game Notes: This game was the completion of a game started back in early June, that was suspended due to rain in the fourth inning. Omar Basulto started the original game and also made his regular start today(see game two) so he is listed as the starter for both games. Francis Rodriguez took over on the hill once play resumed and he picked up his first loss, due in part to two unearned runs. The Pirates had nine hits and eight walks in this game, but they went just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The stats listed above(ERA/avg) are reflective of the player’s stats up until the date this game originally started.

Box Score Game Two

Result:  Yankees1 4, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP (1-3, 2.20) – 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Yoel Gonzalez, C (.163) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.242) – 0-for-3

Yomifer Polanco, RF (.295) – 2-for-3

Michael de la Cruz, CF (.327) – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Horelbin Ramos, LHP (2.73) – 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: This game was the regularly scheduled game from today and they played seven innings due to the doubleheader. Catcher Yoel Gonzalez, who turns 17 on Thursday, has finally started hitting. He has a five game hitting streak in which he has four RBI’s and his first career triple and homer. The Pirates were hurt in this game by three errors. Omar Basulto took the loss, though all the runs he allowed were unearned. Horelbin Ramos finished the game, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings. Michael de la Cruz picked up a hit and walk, extending his hitting streak to ten games. In each of his last eight games he has collected just one hit.

Player Of The Day

In July of 2010, the Pirates signed outfielder Yunior Aquiles to a six figure bonus. He was called raw, but very projectable. At 6’3″, 185 pounds, they said he had a good frame that should allow him to add power to his game. His other selling points were his speed and great arm, making him a possible future center fielder. It’s now been three years since he signed and he has shown very little progress in all facets of his game.

As a rookie, he saw very little playing time, getting 40 AB’s in 27 games. That wasn’t totally unexpected due to how raw he was called. Last season, Aquiles got a ton of playing time, batting 142 times over 57 games played. He hit .211 and didn’t show any power or plate patience. It was a step up from the previous season, but that progress hasn’t continued into this season. He is now batting .186 this year and his playing time has been limited. There is still one very strong point to his game. He may have the best arm among all DSL Pirates players, including any pitchers.

The Pirates have changed a few position players into pitchers recently after they showed very little chance of progressing with the bat. This season they have done it with Jared Lakind, Yhonathan Barrios and Kirk Singer. In 2011, they tried it with Jesus Brito. With Aquiles having a great arm and showing very little progress through three years, the Pirates might want to try him as a pitcher while he is still just twenty years old.

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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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