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Pirates Sign Catcher Mitch Slauter

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Mitch Slauter to a minor league contract as a non-drafted free agent. He was a senior this past season at Mississippi State, where he was teammates with Adam Frazier, who was drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round. In 2013, Slauter hit .242 in 37 games, with a .731 OPS. As a junior, he played 64 games and hit .232 with a .681 OPS.

Prior to 2012, he played Junior College ball at Barton Community College, where he was the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year in the Jayhawk Community College Conference. Slauter threw out 12 of 29 attempted base stealers in 2013 and he was 15-for-43 the previous season, while also adding in four pick-offs.

With the extra affiliate this year in Bristol of the Appalachian League, the Pirates will need to sign some extra players to fill in the lower level rosters and Slauter seems like a candidate for either Bristol or Jamestown this upcoming season.

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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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  • freddylang

    John, What level of development is Bristol? I don’t how I didn’t know that the Bucs have another minor league team. Spent the last 6 weeks getting ready and moving to St. Petersburg and missed this news somehow.

    • John Dreker

      It’s classified as rookie league, but it’s not much different from the NYPL. Most teams don’t have two teams between the GCL/Arizona League and Low-A ball, so they will use the teams the same way. It will allow pitchers to get in more innings, catchers to get more time behind the plate, shortstops and center fielders will spend more time playing the more skilled positions, so it’s great for development in that regard. More playing time for more players means a better chance at finding/developing solid players

      • freddylang

        Cool. Thanks John. So it will start in June just like the other short season leagues…for some reason I was thinking there was a 6 team limit set up years ago because Branch Rickey had so many affiliates.

        • John Dreker

          There are actually numerous teams that have seven affiliates in the states. Pirates will have nine teams going this year with the two Dominican League teams

      • Kevin_Young

        So as far as promotions go, you would likely go from Bristol to WV in the same way you would from Jamestown?

        • John Dreker

          Bristol will be the lower level, less college players, more second year HS guys and young International players. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t go right to WV though. I don’t think you will see many in season promotions from Bristol to Jamestown unless it’s based on need.
          If you have two good young shortstops, both will be able to move up from the GCL and play everyday. The lesser of the two would go to Bristol

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    Nice to know that we have enough good players that we added an extra farm team.

  • piraddict

    Investing money enhancing the development system is a far better use of funds than spending it on a high value free agent. Great move if it adds value to the chain of prospects, even if only to develop valuable trade pieces.

  • capirate

    John, do you think this additional farm system will allow/cause the Pirates to move players from the Dominican academy to the U.S. a little sooner?

    • John Dreker

      I think you will see a handful of extra players from the DSL. The players will come from there, from the draft, non-drafted free agents like Slauter, and they will keep some guys around longer

  • CalipariFan506

    I was thinking Bristol would be a perfect fit for 2nd year HS guys like Arbet, Taylor, Kozikowski, that RF/LF we gave a above slot bonus to in a double digit round. I’m blanking on his name sorry.

    • John Dreker

      Nick Buckner and yes, those are the types that would probably head over there. You’ll probably see less college guys go to the GCL too.

  • The Masked robshelb

    .

    But in terms of minor league clubs, we still have a ways to go before matching the post WW2 hey-day. (Between 1946 and 1957, we had anywhere from 11 to 19 MiL affiliates.) Imagine trying to keep track of that number of players. Yikes !!

    But now we’ve added Bristol. Looks like it’s time for The Empire to (start to) Strike Back !!

    1946 must have been a fun experience. That year our AAA affiliate wasn’t Indianapolis, it was in Hollywood, California. Play some baseball, and then, after the game, go hang out with some Hollywood stars.

    However, shuffling players back and forth between Triple-A and The Big Club must have been a lot more problematic. Need a call-up ?? Poor guy would have been totally exhausted by the time he got from SoCal to The Burgh. No wonder why we went 63 – 91 that year and ended up in 7th place.

    otoh, that was Back in The Day when Real Ball-players ate their Wheaties and chewed nails instead of sunflower seeds. So maybe it wasn’t the reason, or that much of a burden after all . . .

    .

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