Elias Diaz is looking like a future solid MLB backup catcher, with the chance to be a sleeper as a starter.

Winter Leagues: Four Hits For Diaz, Ramirez Stays Hot

In Venezuela from Saturday, Andrew Lambo was back at first base for the second game in a row. It was the first time he played there on back-to-back days. Lambo was there for six innings on Saturday before moving on defense to right field, which also happened on Friday night. He handled all eight chances he had without an error, including one ground ball, plus he fielded a sacrifice bunt successfully. On Friday, he had ten total chances without a miscue. At the plate, Lambo went 1-for-4 with an RBI, run scored and two strikeouts.

Diaz had four hits on Saturday

Diaz had four hits on Saturday

Elias Diaz had himself quite a day, going 4-for-4 to raise his average to .323 through 13 games. He has an .824 OPS. Diaz hit well in his limited time behind the plate this year with Bradenton and his defense was praised around the league. During his first three seasons in the U.S., he topped out at a .221 average and didn’t show much plate patience. He will be 23 years old next season, so he could finally be coming into his own now.

Jhonathan Ramos faced two batters on Saturday, walking the first, then getting a double play from the next hitter. In his last nine outings combined, he has given up no runs, one hit and one walk over 6.2 innings. In his last seven appearances, every out he has recorded has been from either a strikeout or a ground ball.

Andy Oliver got his second start. While his performance was a huge improvement over his debut, Oliver still got roughed up and showed wildness. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in 2.1 innings. Oliver picked up five strikeouts. In his first start, he gave up three runs and recorded just one out before being chased from the game.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a single. He is 5-for-13 through six games played.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 0-for-4 on Saturday, dropping his average to .302 through 25 games. He has been linked to the Baltimore Orioles, but has not yet signed a contract.

From Australia on Sunday, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-1 with a walk before being replaced on defense in the eighth inning with the game out of hand. Kennelly is hitting .167 through 14 games. He had been splitting his time between second and first base early in the year, but this weekend series, he only played second base.

From Friday night in Colombia, Harold Ramirez was the only Pirates player in action. He went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and a walk. He is hitting .365 through 17 games, with two doubles, two triples, ten walks and five stolen bases.

The Dominican League was off Saturday. They will hold their All-Star game today.

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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.

Winter Leagues: Lambo and Sands Take Turns at First Base

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Winter Leagues: Polanco and Ramirez Lead Pirates Winter Class

  • freddylang

    Hi John. What is the competition like in Columbia?

    • John Dreker

      I’d estimate the level of competition to be equal to High-A ball. There are a handful of guys with major league experience, while also having kids from the Dominican League involved as well. A decent comparison for Ramirez that I planned to use this season, is Dilson Herrera last year in the Colombian League. He hit .204 in 113 ABs in the league last year, though he did also hit six doubles and five homers. Herrera is in the league this season too, hitting .271 with six extra base hits in 59 ABs. Ramirez is fourth in the league in average and one of the guys ahead of him is Jolbert Cabrera, who played eight seasons in the majors.

  • avatarrr

    Why are the Pirates so incredibly uninterested in DeJesus? With his offensive skills, it’s hard to understand.

  • ncap

    breaking news: lambo struck out

  • Jared

    The fact that Lambo continues to struggle with the bat against AA/AAA (at best) pitching in the Venezuelan league is not a great sign.

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