Winter League Recap: Polanco Goes Deep in Season Opener

Yesterday, Jake Oswalt posted an article about the tools displayed by Gregory Polanco. Hours later, on Opening Night in the Dominican Winter League, Polanco put on a show with those tools. In his team’s 4-1 victory, he hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, added a single and a walk, plus threw out two runners at home plate. The home run had a couple Pirates from this season involved. It was given up by Atahualpa Severino, who spent most of this season with Indianapolis. The runners that were on base already, were put on by Jose Contreras, who spent half of his season playing at four different levels in the Pirates organization.

Gregory Polanco

Polanco was the star on Opening Day in the Dominican

On Friday, we listed the Pirates players on the early rosters released for the Dominican. Two other names were added besides Atahualpa Severino. The Gigantes del Cibao also have catcher Carlos Paulino and outfielder Oscar Tejeda.

Tejeda went 1-for-4, with a double and two RBI’s.

Matt Hague also had a big night at the plate in his season opener. He went 2-for-3 with a single, walk and home run, providing both RBI’s in his team’s 3-2 loss. The Toros del Este site posted the entire game online here. If you watch from the 1 hour and 10 minute mark, you can see Hague getting a second life after the first baseman misplayed a foul pop up. On the next pitch, he drives one well over the left field fence.

Usually, the lead story from Winter ball would have been the performance in the Venezuelan League from David Bromberg on Friday night. He threw six shutout innings, giving up only a single and he hit a batter. Bromberg picked up two strikeouts. In his first start, he ran into a little trouble, getting knocked out in the fifth with three runs allowed on six hits and two walks.

Jose Osuna got his first start of the season and did well. He went 1-for-3, hitting a double and drawing two walks. He came into the contest tonight with three games played, though he batted just once before today.

Jhonathan Ramos pitched to one batter in his appearance on Friday, striking out Danny Dorn. The lefty hitting Dorn belted 25 homers in AAA this year, but the southpaw made quick work of him to end a 5th inning rally.

Jhondaniel Medina ran into some trouble in his outing tonight, though he still hasn’t allowed a run in four outings. He faced three batters tonight, allowing a hit, a walk and he threw a wild pitch. He struck out the other batter, giving him four strikeouts in two innings of work.

In Mexico, Ali Solis hit a solo homer and nearly caught a no-hitter. Three Culiacan pitchers recorded 22 outs before giving up a single with one out in the eighth. The homer from Solis was just his second hit of the season. He is 2-for-14 at the plate.

John Dreker

Author: 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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