Winter Leagues

Winter Leagues: Three Hits For Rojas, Garcia Makes Debut

Winter Leagues: Three Hits For Rojas, Garcia Makes Debut

On Friday night in the Dominican, Alen Hanson went 1-for-5 with a single and two strikeouts. He was also thrown out stealing. The big news of the game was where he was in the field. Hanson started at second base for the first time. He handled all four chances in the field cleanly.

Garcia made his Winter debut on Friday

Garcia made his Winter debut on Friday

Gregory Polanco went 1-for-4 with a single. He is 6-for-15 in four games since returning from a stomach virus that caused him to miss all of last week. In the two games prior to getting sick, he was 5-for-7 at the plate.

Mel Rojas Jr. got an appearance as a pinch-runner on Thursday night. On Friday, he got his first start since October 30th. Rojas went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and two stolen bases.

Friday night also saw the Winter debut of Willy Garcia. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Garcia is on the Aguilas Cibaenas club. In 118 games this season, he hit .256 with 16 homers and 13 stolen bases for Bradenton.

Carlos Paulino went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The RBI was just the third of the season for Paulino, who is hitting .220 in 21 games.

Andy Vasquez struck out as a pinch-hitter in his third appearance of the season. He also pinch-hit on Thursday, flying out in his only at-bat. Vasquez made his debut as a pinch-runner on October 30th and had not played since.

Atahualpa Severino threw a shutout inning, picking up one strikeout. In his last 12 games combined, he has thrown ten shutout innings, allowing just two hits and four walks. He is still a free agent.

On Friday, the Pirates signed utility player Michael Martinez. He is playing in the Dominican for Estrellas de Oriente, where he is hitting .190 in 12 games, with a .561 OPS.

In Venezuela, Andrew Lambo went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored. After starting slow, he has a six game hitting streak and base hits in nine of his last ten games. He was back in right field

Elias Diaz went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. He came in on defense in the seventh inning. Diaz is batting .294 through 15 games.

Jhonathan Ramos faced three batters, getting two ground outs and he issued one walk. He has thrown ten straight scoreless appearances, throwing a total of 7.1 innings. During that stretch, he has allowed one hit, two walks and his last 19 outs have been either by strikeout(five) or ground balls.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt. He was pinch hit for in the eighth inning. Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 0-for-2 with a walk. His batting average is down to .283, well below his league leading .364 average last Winter.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-2 with a walk during the first game of a doubleheader. He did not play in the other game.

Danny Arribas went 0-for-4 in his team’s 5-3 loss. He was back behind the plate for the game. Arribas is hitting .190 through 17 games, with a .506 OPS.

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  • John Dreker

    Before people look too far into Hanson at second base, it should be pointed out that his team’s shortstop is Hector Gomez, who is one of the better defensive shortstops out there and he has a cannon for an arm. Hanson has played second base as recently as 2011 and it was his primary position in 2010. It could be just that the team wanted both Hanson and Gomez in the lineup and Gomez is the obvious choice at shortstop. It will be interesting to see if he continues to play the position though…

    • Jared

      Again, I’m as concerned about his bat as I am whether he sticks at shortstop or not. He hit well at WV but didn’t really hit as well last year and while he hit ok in the Fall League…his true value comes from his hit-value which it would be nice to see again.

      • John Dreker

        I don’t think there should be concerns with his bat due to his age. He was young for the FSL, which is a pitcher’s league and obviously he was very young for AA. Due to his glove, Hanson needs time in the minors, so he will get his at-bats in at AA this year and AAA next year. His ETA in Pittsburgh is sometime in mid-to-late 2015, so we are talking about another 1000 or so plate appearances. He is hitting well early in the Dominican, batting .308

  • IC Bob

    Whats Lambos average. Is he still slogging around 200?

    • John Dreker

      He is hitting .242, which includes .351 over his last ten games. Considering he has played just 19 games, he has actually been hitting well more than half the season

      • IC Bob

        Thanks for the update. I am not a Lambo guy but I am willing to give him a chance however I would expect him to succeed in Winter ball before I give him a shot in Pitt. So far 242 with no power will not cut it. Still it is a long way to go and two big games would make his stats look pretty good in such a small sample size.

  • LloydBeFree

    John (and Tim if you see this),

    Approximately how many games have you guys seen Polanco play, no matter where or what level?

    And just for fun can you guys give a guess as to his MLB stats for 2014 if he gets called up at the Super 2 deadline. And then again for a full 2015. LLOYD is looking more for traditional stats but advanced are also welcome. This is just to excite all us crazy fans that sometimes get overly excited about these prospects.

    Thank You Men,


    • John Dreker

      Live I have seen him play ten games, but I’ve watched just about as much online this Winter. Tim probably saw him play 30-40 games live this season and he saw him during Spring. If I had to put a number on stats for him for 90 games(an approx number based on the Super Two deadline) I’d say you’ll get a .280 average from him, 20 stolen bases, a decent amount of walks, giving him a .340 OBP, 5-6 homers and maybe 20 doubles. Over his first full season, I think you’ll see him hit .290/.350/.420 with 40 steals, eventually the slugging will go up as he adds power and gets to 20-25 homers. The big part is that he adds defense and a strong arm besides those numbers.

      I think he is close to ready for the majors now, so adding a full Spring Training and 70 AAA games, he should come up fairly polished and hit right away. His plate patience and strike zone judgement are plus tools

  • LloydBeFree

    Thanks John,

    That’s exactly what LLOYD was hoping to hear. And watching online or on TV is good enough as well. The plate patience and strike zone judgement are some of the best indicators of offensive success at the next level IMO so it’s great that you and Tim rave about that. And the OF defense is a huge plus even with a GB staff because there still are a lot of balls put into the air that if they aren’t out’s can easily be extra bases.

    From what you have seen of Cutch, Marte and Polanco…..what would be your OF lineup in late 2014? What about in 2016?


    • John Dreker

      They all have good enough defense to play center field, but I think for at least 2 1/2 years, you will see Marte in LF, McCutchen in CF and Polanco in right. McCutchen owns CF in Pittsburgh, but defensively, he is probably the third best and his arm lags behind the other two. In 2017 is when you will probably see someone vie for a spot with Meadows and Ramirez coming along. I think Bell will go to 1B before he hits the majors

Winter Leagues

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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