Winter Leagues: Big Game From Edwin Espinal, Bryan Sousa Makes His Debut
Dec19

Winter Leagues: Big Game From Edwin Espinal, Bryan Sousa Makes His Debut

In the Dominican on Thursday night, Edwin Espinal made his first start of the season count. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and he drove in two runs. Espinal spent this season in Low-A ball, so the lack of playing time isn’t surprising considering the difference in play between Low-A and winter ball in the Dominican. He has been playing in their version of the minor leagues(called the Parallel League), so he has...

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Winter Leagues: Willy Garcia Homers, Shows Improvements at the Plate
Dec18

Winter Leagues: Willy Garcia Homers, Shows Improvements at the Plate

In the Dominican on Wednesday night, three Pirates players saw action for Aguilas Cibaenas. Willy Garcia went 1-for-4, with his fourth home run of the season. He is second in homers to Sebastian Valle(five) among Pirates in winter ball. He is having a winter season very similar to his regular season for Altoona, hitting .269/.314/.462 in winter VS .271/.311/.478 for Altoona. His BB/SO numbers aren’t good in winter, though they...

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Winter Leagues: Two Doubles From Pedro Florimon, Nunez Homers
Dec17

Winter Leagues: Two Doubles From Pedro Florimon, Nunez Homers

Monday was a very slow day in winter ball, but there were a couple players in action and a note about another to mention. The Panama winter league started play on Monday night. Edgar Munoz batted lead-off and played third base. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. Munoz hit .259/.304/.343 in 31 games for Bristol this year. Due to power problems, only two of the four Panama league teams played on Opening Day. In Venezuela, Deolis Guerra...

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Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Makes a Brief Return to the Lineup, Valle Leaves With Hand Injury
Dec15

Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Makes a Brief Return to the Lineup, Valle Leaves With Hand Injury

On Sunday night in the Dominican, Alen Hanson returned after missing seven weeks due to a right hand injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch. His return to the lineup didn’t last long though. After playing second base in the first inning(handling one grounder) and then grounding out to third base in the bottom of the inning, Hanson was replaced on defense to start the second. I was told during the game that he was under the...

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Winter Leagues: Sebastian Valle Collects Three Hits, Harold Ramirez Named to All-Star Team
Dec14

Winter Leagues: Sebastian Valle Collects Three Hits, Harold Ramirez Named to All-Star Team

In Mexico on Saturday, Sebastian Valle went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. When the Pirates signed him three weeks ago, he had a .534 OPS through his first 20 games. Valle has now played 18 games since signing and he has raised his season OPS 330 points during that time. While his plate appearances fall short of qualifying for league leaders, his OPS would rank him eighth best in the league. Valle actually played well in winter...

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Winter Leagues: High-Priced International Signing Among Pirates Playing in Panama
Dec13

Winter Leagues: High-Priced International Signing Among Pirates Playing in Panama

The final winter league to start play this year(and every year) is the Panama League. The rosters have been released and three Pittsburgh Pirates players are on the active rosters, while another is listed as a reserve. There is one very interesting name among this group, 17-year-old right-handed pitcher Brian Sousa. He signed for $160,000 on July 2nd, as soon as the international signing period began. That total might not seem very...

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