First Pitch

First Pitch: The Importance of the International Rookie Leagues to the Pirates

First Pitch: The Importance of the International Rookie Leagues to the Pirates

Earlier today, John Dreker released his 2014 DSL Pirates preview, complete with a ranking of the top players to follow in the international rookie leagues.

The DSL is for hardcore prospect followers. A majority of those players won't make it to the US, and out of the guys who do make it stateside, only a handful will make it to an upper level. The odds are small for success, but when there is a success story, it can be huge. If you need me to tell you this, then you haven't been paying attention to all of the hype surrounding Gregory Polanco, who played in the DSL in 2009 at the age of 17.

Polanco looks like a future star, which isn't a fair expectation you should have for any young prospect. He's not the only prospect the Pirates have developed recently from the international rookie leagues. Starling Marte, Alen Hanson, and Joely Rodriguez are all currently on the 40-man roster, and they are all either currently in the majors, or have the upside to play key roles in the majors.
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First Pitch
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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