Winter Leagues: Three Run Homer For Sands, Polanco Drives In Two

In the Dominican, Gregory Polanco had just one hit in five at-bats, but the hit was a big one at the time. With the bases loaded and his team down 7-2 in the ninth inning, Polanco singled home two runs. The comeback fell short, as Escogido lost 7-5 to the Aguilas. Polanco reached base earlier in the game on an error and came around to score his 16th run. In 20 games, he is hitting .333 with 19 RBIs. Only former Pirates infielder Yamaico Navarro has more RBIs in the Dominican this year.

The Pirates resigned Ramos, who has pitched ten times in Venezuela this year

The Pirates resigned Ramos, who has pitched ten times in Venezuela this year

Matt Hague went 1-for-3 with a single, walk and RBI. He is hitting .298 in 57 at-bats with eight RBIs.

Oscar Tejeda went 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout before being pinch-run for in the seventh inning.

In Puerto Rico, Jerry Sands hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give his team a 5-2 victory. It was the second homer for Sands, who is now hitting.292 with five RBIs. Sands finished the game 1-for-4.

In Australia, Danny Arribas went 1-for-4 with a run scored and his first RBI. Arribas was back behind the plate and had some trouble with the running game from his opponents. The Brisbane Bandits were 5-for-6 in stolen base attempts.

In Mexico, Ali Solis hit his fourth homer of the Winter league season. It was a solo shot, giving him ten RBIs on the season. Solis finished the day 1-for-4 and he’s hitting .333 through 75 ABs.

In Colombia, Oderman Rocha threw 2/3 of an inning, allowing a double and a walk, but no runs during his team’s 11-10 win in ten innings.

Harold Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and Tito Polo struck out as a pinch-hitter. Ramirez is hitting .300 in 20 at-bats, while Polo has not picked up a hit since collecting two on Opening Day.

The Pirates resigned two minor league free agents that are on Winter league rosters in Venezuela. Jhonathan Ramos is playing for the Bravos de Margarita, where he has pitched ten times, allowing four runs on six hits and no walks in six innings. Francisco Diaz is also on the Bravos roster, though he hasn’t appeared in a game yet.

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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  • JollyRogerFan

    I know it is very early in winter leagues for Sands, but is there any word that he might have had other injuries during the regular season – particularly the beginning of 2013 when he started so poorly. this guy has not had enough time in the majors to draw any conclusions and has hit very well in every minor league season except for last season. Last year’s stats just don’t make sense. Could there have been some personal issues going on in his life?

    • John Dreker

      I never heard anything during the season, he got injured during the year, but was slumping before and after that. It may have been a couple things, one was being an early cut during Spring Training, which was a little surprising for someone who was thought of as a legit bench option. That might signal that he didn’t come into camp in the best shape, or it might be the reason he struggled. It could have just snowballed from that point and he was pressing all season.
      It’s a good sign that he is playing Winter ball, trying to get back on the map. He’s showing some early pop, but there is still the matter of ten strikeouts in 24 at-bats to worry about.

      • JollyRogerFan

        I have repeatedly heard others state that his power stats are skewed due to the his AAA play in the California league, but his best power stats came before he ever got to the Califrnia league. I hope he can turn things around because he has shown good plate discipline, power, and a good average consistently until last year and could be a good future 1B if they don’t obtain anyone new. I don’ t understand why Dickerson isn’t getting time at 1B. Do you?

        • John Dreker

          No one has ever answered that question about Dickerson, but a lot of people question it when there is obviously a clear path to the majors at 1B. Dickerson has said he will play 1B or LF/RF, whatever gets him to the majors, BUT he feels more comfortable in the outfield. It could be that the Pirates want to get his bat to the majors and let him play the position he is more comfortable with, knowing he can go back to 1B at any time and he has experience there.