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DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates2 Take Wildcard Lead With Eleventh Straight Win

Pittsburgh_Pirates10For 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.

PIRATES1

Box Score

Result: Pirates 3, Angels 1

Starting Pitcher: Ramon Rodriguez, RHP (2.45) 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Johan De Jesus, SS (.197) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, DH (.201) – 0-for-3, BB

Gerardo Navarro, RHP (4-0, 2.68) – 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Rudy Guzman, LF (.282) – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Game Notes: The Pirates beat the Angels by a 3-1 score on Saturday to win their 37th game of the season. Ramon Rodriguez came within one out of qualifying for the win. He allowed just one unearned run over his 4.2 innings. Gerardo Navarro followed him with 2.1 scoreless innings, getting the win and improving his record to 4-0 to start his career. Marcus Beltrez threw two scoreless innings to collect his second save. Johan De Jesus drove in two runs with a second inning single, giving the Pirates a lead they would hold on to the rest of the game. Rudy Guzman stole his 18th base in his 24th game. Both Pirates affiliates are off today.

PIRATES2

Box Score

Result: Pirates 12, Braves 5

Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP (4-3, 2.25) – 5.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alexis Bastardo, RF (.273) – 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Michael de la Cruz, CF (.291) –  0-for-5

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.176) –  1-for-4, 2B

Richard Mitchell, RHP (5.14) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Jhoan Herrera, DH (.241) –  0-for-1, BB

Game Notes: The Pirates2 won for the eleventh time in a row, improving their record to 41-23, with a week left in the season. They took a one game lead in the wildcard standings and they are four games back of the Cubs in the division. The Pirates2 and Cubs meet for a two game series starting Monday. Omar Basulto got hit hard today, allowing four runs on eight hits, but the Pirates bats put up ten runs in the first five innings, giving him a comfortable lead.  Richard Mitchell followed Basulto and threw one-hit ball over three innings, allowing just one unearned run. Alexis Bastardo had four hits and three RBI’s, giving him ten RBI’s in his last three games. The Pirates had 13 hits, five for extra bases. Michael de la Cruz continued his slump that has dropped his average below .300 recently. He has gone 0-for-20 in his last five games.

Players Of The Day

Jose Batista is a 17-year-old pitcher in the DSL, who has been seeing a lot of time on the mound during his first season of pro ball. That isn’t always the case with pitchers as young as he is, but Batista is putting together a pretty special season.  The 6’2″ left-hander has made nine starts and six relief appearances, going 2-0, 2.10 in 51.1 innings. I was able to get a scouting report on him from someone who faced him during live batting practice prior to the season and has seen him pitch recently. Early in the year, he was wild and it showed in his stats, walking 13 batters in 15.2 innings in the month of June. Batista doesn’t throw hard, sitting 85-87 MPH, occasionally touching 89 MPH, so when you add in the control issues, there wasn’t a lot of room for early success.

What he has going for him though, is his age, plus the fact he is in great shape and should fill out even more as he gets older, allowing him to add some velocity. He has also shown tremendous improvements in his control recently, working the bottom half of the strike zone and the inside corner of the plate. Since June, he has issued 13 walks in 35.2 innings. That has allowed him to make nine starts without allowing more than one run in any of them. Batista is holding batters to a .237 BAA, while posting a 1.19 GO/AO ratio and allowing just one home run.

While he has the stats to look like he could move to the States after one season, I would say that they probably want him to fill out a little, gain more experience and see if he can add a little more velocity before he moves up in the system.

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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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