Mel Rojas Jr.  is the best Pirates prospect still playing in Puerto Rico

Winter Leagues: Playoff Preview From Puerto Rico

From Australia on Thursday, Danny Arribas was the only Pirates player in action and he went 0-for-4 with a run scored in his team’s 5-4 win. Arribas was the designated hitter. He is batting .172 this season through 25 games and .129 in his last ten games. It’s a more advanced league than Arribas is used to seeing in his young career, but he has batted over .300 in each of his last two seasons. He hit .308 in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 and he hit .307 in the GCL this past year.

The boxscores from Monday night in Colombia took awhile to upload to their site, so all we knew yesterday was that Harold Ramirez had homered in game one of a doubleheader. He ended up going 2-for-2 that game with a single, homer, walk, stolen base and two RBIs. Tito Polo batted lead-off and played center field, going 0-for-4 at the plate. In game two, Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a single. Polo pinch-ran and scored the walk-off run in the bottom of the seventh.

Oderman Rocha and Yhonathan Barrios each pitched for their Leones team in a 7-1 loss. Rocha faced one batter, allowing a double, which came around to score after he left the game. Barrios pitched the last inning, retiring the side in order. He struck out one batter.

The Winter schedule gets going again today after a break for the New Year’s holiday. Playoffs in the Dominican resume tonight, while they get started in Venezuela. If you missed it from yesterday, we posted a playoff preview and season recap from the Venezuelan Winter League season.

Mel Rojas Jr.  is the best Pirates prospect still playing in Puerto Rico

Mel Rojas Jr. is the best Pirates prospect still playing in Puerto Rico

 Playoffs In Puerto Rico

The Winter season in Puerto Rico wrapped up this Monday and by the end of the year, there were three Pittsburgh Pirates players in the league. When the season started, we covered Ivan De Jesus Jr., Jerry Sands and Dan Cevette, but Sands was put on waivers and picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays, De Jesus signed with the Baltimore Orioles and Cevette is still a free agent, though he hasn’t played in over a month. There are still three players in the Pirates system that are going to the playoffs.

Benji Gonzalez started playing full-time halfway through the season. He finished with a .317 average and .787 OPS, while playing flawless defense at shortstop. Gonzalez is on Leones de Ponce.

Mel Rojas Jr. joined the Puerto Rican League in the last week of the season. He moved over from the Dominican League when that season ended and his team didn’t make the playoffs. Rojas went 2-for-13 with two doubles and two RBIs in Puerto Rico. In the Dominican League, he went 5-for-21 in nine games, with two RBIs.

Eliecer Navarro made two late season starts, allowing a total of two runs on seven hits and no walks in eight innings. He is on the Gigantes de Carolina team along with Rojas.

The playoffs start on Friday night and Carolina and Ponce will face each other on day one. They will play a 12 game round robin tournament. The two best teams from the round robin will then meet in a best-of-seven playoff series. The winner of that series will then go on to the Caribbean World Series against the best teams from the Venezuelan, Dominican and Mexican Winter Leagues.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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: Harold Ramirez Hits First Homer

Next Story »

Winter Leagues: Marte and Escogido Win Without Polanco

Latest Analysis

  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    6 hours ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    2 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    3 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    4 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    5 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles