Pirates Prospects » Winter Leagues http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:26:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Allie and Heredia Headline Mexican Winter League Roster Loaded With Pirates http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/allie-and-heredia-headline-mexican-winter-league-roster-loaded-with-pirates.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/allie-and-heredia-headline-mexican-winter-league-roster-loaded-with-pirates.html#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 16:48:58 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=87781 The Mazatlan Deer(Venados de Mazatlan) of the Mexican Pacific League released their 2014-15 winter league roster and it is loaded with Pittsburgh Pirates players, including two big prospects. First baseman Stetson Allie and RHP Luis Heredia headline the roster that has eight Pirates players and many players that were once in the Pirates system.

Allie could share first base duties with another Pirates player, Carlos Munoz, who was named to the GCL Postseason All-Star roster this week. Allie hit .246/.362/.440 in 117 games this year for Altoona, connecting on 21 homers for the second straight season. He also led all Pirates minor league players in walks for the second straight year. Munoz had a .798 OPS and a 30:16 BB/K ratio in 197 at-bats this season.

Heredia missed some time earlier in the year with shoulder soreness, so he is looking to make up for lost time and carry his late-season success into the winter. He finished his second season with West Virginia with a 4.15 ERA in 18 starts, posting a 1.35 WHIP and 43:33 K/BB ratio in 89 innings.

The rest of the Pirates players include GCL reliever Eduardo Vera and Gerardo Navarro, who made ten starts and three relief appearances this year. Also listed is pitcher Collin Balester, who played for three different affiliates in the second half of the season while returning from elbow surgery . The last two Pirates on the roster are ones that most people wouldn’t know were still with the organization. Infielder Carlos Esqueda and reliever Jovany Lopez were on loan all season to Veracruz of the Mexican League, so they have been absent from the boxscores all year.

The Mazatlan roster has many former Pirates players as well, including Rogelio Noris, Remberto Romo, Roberto Espinosa, Jesus Barraza and Jose Contreras.

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Winter Leagues: Recap of the Remaining Pirates Players http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/winter-leagues-recap-of-the-remaining-pirates-players.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/winter-leagues-recap-of-the-remaining-pirates-players.html#comments Sat, 01 Feb 2014 14:24:44 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=72040 Recapping the action this week for the Pittsburgh Pirates players still in Winter ball.

In the Latin American Series, Tito Polo saw his first action on Wednesday, coming in as a pinch-runner in the sixth inning and getting hit in each of his two plate appearances. He scored a run, drove in a run and stole a base in his team’s 9-1 win.

Tito Polo and Colombia look for Latin American Series title tonight

Tito Polo and Colombia won the Latin American Series title Saturday night

Edgardo Munoz wasn’t on the winning team in the Panama League, but he joined the Indios roster in the Latin American series and saw action off the bench on Wednesday and Thursday. He finished Wednesday’s game on defense at shortstop and didn’t get an at-bat. He replaced former Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand, Jorge Bishop. On Thursday, Munoz pinch-hit in the eighth inning and stayed in the game at third base. He went 0-for-1 at the plate.

Munoz got the start on Friday afternoon in left field, his third different position in three games. His team won 10-5, thanks in part to his three hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Munoz finished a home run short of the cycle. This game was the first of two games for Panama, who finished in a three-way tie for second place in the tournament. They went on to play Colombia on Friday night and lost 6-1. Munoz singled in the only run of the game for Panama. He also stole a base.

Tito Polo and the Tigres from Colombia played the Veracruz League champs for the Latin American Series title Saturday night. It was a one game playoff, all or nothing for the championship. Colombia ended up winning with an eight run eighth inning, en route to a 9-1 win. Polo came in as a pinch-runner during the eighth inning and scored a run. He made an out in his only at-bat. Harold Ramirez wasn’t with the team during the Latin American Series, but he was a big part of the Tigres getting to where they finished this year.

The Caribbean World Series started Saturday. I failed to mention that Cuba is also playing in this series this year, along with the champions from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and Dominican Republic. There are no Pittsburgh Pirates players in the series, so it won’t be covered here, but if you’re interested in the series, it can be followed here.

In Australia this weekend, Danny Arribas went 1-for-6 on Friday in  his team’s 18-11 win. The game had a total of 40 hits. Arribas scored a run and drove in a run. He actually didn’t start the game, coming in during the second inning as a defensive replacement behind the plate.

On Saturday, Arribas caught again and went 1-for-4 in his team’s 4-3 loss. He didn’t play on Sunday and his team took the loss, ending their season and sending Canberra to the finals.

The only remaining Pirates player in Winter ball now is Sam Kennelly. His Perth Heat team will take on Canberra in the Australian League finals, starting Friday in a best-of-three series.


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Winter Leagues: Season Ends For Gregory Polanco http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-season-ends-for-gregory-polanco.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-season-ends-for-gregory-polanco.html#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71958 On Tuesday night in the Dominican League finals, Escogido lost 3-2 to Licey, ending their season. Gregory Polanco went 1-for-4 with a walk in his season finale, ending a spectacular Winter League season that saw him with the MVP and Rookie of the Year award. He hit .240 in the playoffs, finishing his season strong by getting on base 13 times in the last four games.

The Latin American Series started on Tuesday night. The rosters for the four teams had just one Pittsburgh Pirates player, Tito Polo. It appears that the season is over for Harold Ramirez.

With no Pirates players in the Caribbean World Series and just one in the Latin American Series, the Winter updates are basically over. We will recap anything from the Australian League playoffs, as well as any possible news on Tito Polo.

This weekend in Australia, Danny Arribas and the Sydney Blue Sox will take on Canberra in a three game series. The winner of that series will then take on Sam Kennelly and the Perth Heat next weekend in the Australian League finals.

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Winter Leagues: Polanco and Escogido on Verge of Elimination http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-and-escogido-on-verge-of-elimination.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-and-escogido-on-verge-of-elimination.html#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:00:40 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71911 On Monday night in the Dominican Winter League finals, Gregory Polanco and Escogido lost 3-1, putting them on the brink of elimination. Polanco went 1-for-3 with a walk and sacrifice bunt. In his previous two games combined, he went 4-for-6 with five walks. Game eight of the best-of-nine series is tonight at 6:30 PM EST (start time was changed from 4:05 PM) and can be viewed online at Escogido.com.

Nothing else was going on in Winter ball on Monday. Harold Ramirez, Tito Polo and their Tigres teammates start the Latin American Series tonight. The best teams from Colombia, the Veracruz League, Nicaragua and Panama are all in the tournament. In Panama, the Indios team won the league title. Ulises Montilla is on the Indios roster, though he hasn’t played in over a week, so he might not be playing in the Latin American Series either.

The Australian League returns to play on Friday. Sydney with Danny Arribas, will take on Canberra in a three game series. The winner will go on to play Sam Kennelly and the Perth Heat.

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Winter Leagues: Polanco Reaches Base Five Times In Victory http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-reaches-base-five-times-in-victory.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-reaches-base-five-times-in-victory.html#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71857 After Gregory Polanco’s last game in the playoffs, we used the title “Polanco Reaches Base Four Times In Victory“. Just one game later, he one-upped himself, reaching base five times in Escogido’s 9-6 win. Polanco went 1-for-2, walking four times and hitting a ninth inning RBI single. He was a big part of his team’s offense, coming around to score on three of those walks. Escogido has now won three straight, tying the best-of-nine series at three games apiece. Game seven will take place tonight at 6:35 PM EST and can be viewed online at Escogido.com.

Yesterday, we recapped the Winter League performances of six of the top 15 Pirates prospects. Polanco obviously improved greatly on his slow playoff start.

From Australia on Sunday, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-2 with sacrifice bunt and he was hit by a pitch. Kennelly made his first start of the ABL season at shortstop. He played the position nine times during the U18 National Youth Tournament earlier this month. Kennelly has now started at all four infield positions. He finished the regular season in a big slump, going 0-for-25 in his last 11 games. Kennelly’s Perth Heat team finished in first place and they have a first round bye in the playoffs.

Danny Arribas went 0-for-2 with a walk in his team’s 2-0 win. Sydney made the playoffs and they will play a three game series next weekend against Canberra.

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Winter Leagues: Mixed Results For Top Pirates Prospects In Winter Ball http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-mixed-results-for-top-pirates-prospects-in-winter-ball.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-mixed-results-for-top-pirates-prospects-in-winter-ball.html#comments Sun, 26 Jan 2014 16:13:46 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71850 For the last three weeks, we have been releasing the reports for the top twenty Pittsburgh Pirates prospects in our 2014 Prospect Guide. Starting tomorrow and running through Friday, we will post the reports for the top five spots and there should be no surprise over who is number one on that list. This year in  Winter ball, six of the top twenty prospects got into action and two of them are still playing. Below is a brief summary of their performances and as you will see, there are a wide range of results.

Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco

Polanco and Hanson were the top two Pirates prospects in Winter ball this year

The top Pirates prospect in Winter ball was obviously Gregory Polanco and he did not disappoint at all. Polanco won the Dominican Winter League MVP award and was also named the Rookie of the Year. He was the only player with an OPS over .900 in the league and led the DWL with 28 runs scored and 55 hits. Polanco is currently in the playoffs, trying to help his team come back from a 3-2 deficit in the best-of-nine series. Game six can be seen online today at 4:05 PM EST at Escogido.com. Polanco has struggled a little in the playoffs, though he reached base four times on Friday.

Next up among prospects is Alen Hanson, who joined the Dominican League late because he was playing in the Arizona Fall League. Hanson was also held back by the Extreme Fatigue rule, which limits the amount of time a player can see in Winter ball if he played too much during the regular season. Hanson was one of the handful of Pirates players that fell under that rule, so he saw action in just six late-season games and his team missed the playoffs. He went 4-for-17 at the plate with one walk and got two starts at second base. During the AFL season, Hanson was named to the Fall Stars game.

The tenth overall prospect is Harold Ramirez and he has had an outstanding Winter so far. He helped his team win the Colombian League title and now they will go on to the Latin American Series. During the regular season in Colombia, Ramirez had a .323/.426/.425 slash line in 162 plate appearances. In the playoffs, he went 5-for-17 with a homer and four RBIs in five games. It should be noted that when comparing him to the others on this list, the Colombian League is a couple steps below the Dominican and Venezuelan Leagues, though it is also better than what Ramirez saw in the NYPL this season.

Stolmy Pimentel ranked #13 on our prospect list and he figures to be a part of the Pirates bullpen in 2014, possibly seeing spot starts if necessary. He fell under the Extreme Fatigue rule due to his 178.2 innings during the regular season. Pimentel pitched just once in the Dominican League and he gave up one unearned run in 1.2 innings of relief work.

Andrew Lambo is one spot behind Pimentel in the prospect rankings. He had a rough start in the Venezuelan League, so the overall numbers were low, but there were some good signs. He was able to get into game action at first base and even when he didn’t play there during the game, he was taking ground balls. Lambo also hit well with runners in scoring position, batting .409 with 17 RBIs in 22 at-bats. The bad part was his .176 average with the bases empty and the fact he didn’t hit a single homer in 27 games.

Joely Rodriguez didn’t see much time during Winter ball, at least not in the Dominican League. The teams down there have their versions of farm teams that play in a league they call the Parallel League. A player like Rodriguez puts his time in there before he is ready for the better competition in the DWL. Very few pitchers that haven’t reached AA yet, actually see time with the big club. Rodriguez pitched one inning of relief on October 18th and gave up one run. Just for reference, Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson spent most of their time last Winter in the Parallel League.

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Winter Leagues: Polanco Reaches Base Four Times In Playoff Win http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-reaches-base-four-times-in-playoff-win.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-reaches-base-four-times-in-playoff-win.html#comments Sat, 25 Jan 2014 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71819 In the Dominican League finals on Friday night, Gregory Polanco had a big game in his team’s 8-0 win. Polanco went 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. He was moved up to second in the batting order from his usual third spot. His average is at just .220 in the playoffs(including round robin) so he hasn’t been hitting well since winning the Dominican Winter League MVP and Rookie of the Year award. His Escogido team is now down 3-2 in the best-of-nine series. Game six will take place on Sunday.

In Australia on Friday, Sam Kennelly was the only Pirates player to see action. He played third base and went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for in his team’s 5-4 victory. Kennelly has really struggled lately, going 0-for-23 in his last ten games.

On Thursday night in Colombia, Harold Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a walk in his team’s 10-5 win. With the victory, his team won the Colombian League finals and will now move on to the Latin American series, where they will take on the best teams from the Winter Leagues in Nicaragua, Panama and Veracruz. In five playoff games, Ramirez went 5-for-17 with a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored.

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Winter Leagues: Harold Ramirez Collects Two Hits In Playoff Win http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-harold-ramirez-collects-two-hits-in-playoff-win.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-harold-ramirez-collects-two-hits-in-playoff-win.html#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71732 On Wednesday night in the Dominican League Finals, Gregory Polanco had a tough game and the rest of his team didn’t do any better. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and his team lost 1-0, dropping them to 0-3 in the best-of-nine series. Polanco has struggled for the most part in the playoffs, hitting .176 in nine games. Game four of the series will take place tonight at 6:35 EST and it can be viewed here online.

Earlier on Wednesday, MLB.com named Polanco the third best outfield prospect.

From the Colombian League finals on Tuesday night, Harold Ramirez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base in his team’s 8-5 win. With the victory, the Tigres moved to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Tito Polo made his first appearance of the series, pinch-running and scoring a run in the eighth inning.

From Panama on Tuesday, Edgardo Munoz went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored in his team’s 8-4 loss. In 14 games, he is hitting .231 with a .594 OPS and six stolen bases, which ties him for the league lead.

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Winter Leagues: Polanco Goes Yard In Defeat http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-goes-yard-in-defeat.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polanco-goes-yard-in-defeat.html#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71676 In the Dominican League finals on Tuesday night, Gregory Polanco hit a long home run, accounting for his team’s only run in a 5-1 loss to Licey. You can see a gif of the home run here, which was posted on Twitter by imokemp. It came one day after he put on an impressive display with his speed, beating out a routine grounder to second base for an infield hit. Polanco finished the game going 1-for-3 with a walk. He flew out to center field in the fourth inning and flew out to left field in the sixth. The home run came off Yunesky Maya, who pitched briefly for the Washington Nationals this season, as well as getting in time with the Nationals during the 2010-11 seasons. Polanco is now hitting .200 with one homer and four RBIs in eight playoff games.

Polanco’s team trails 0-2 in the best-of-nine series. Game three is tonight at 6:35 PM EST and can be watched online at Escogido.com

In Panama from Monday, Edgardo Munoz went 2-for-3 with an RBI in his team’s 7-6 loss. He is the only Pirates player seeing action in Panama now. Ulises Montilla has missed three straight games and he batted just once in the three prior games. He is the best Pirates prospect in Panama, ranking 45th overall in the 2014 Pirates Prospect Guide. The only other Pirates player on a roster, pitcher Dario Agrazal Jr., has yet to make his first appearance and the season is beginning to wind down. The Panama League plays the shortest schedule of any of the eight major Winter Leagues in the Caribbean/Latin American Leagues.

In Colombia, game three of the best-of-seven finals went to the Tigres with an 8-5 win. They scored six runs in the first inning and never looked backed. Harold Ramirez and the Tigres took a 2-1 lead in the series. We will have stats for Pirates players from this game tomorrow.

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Winter Leagues: Polanco’s Hustle Not Enough in Escogido Loss http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polancos-hustle-not-enough-in-escogido-loss.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-polancos-hustle-not-enough-in-escogido-loss.html#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=71641 From the Dominican League finals on Monday night, Gregory Polanco went 1-for-4 in his team’s 2-1 loss. It was the opening game of the best-of-nine series. Polanco’s only hit was a single and he didn’t hit it hard, but it impressed Baseball America’s Ben Badler, who was in attendance. Badler tweeted shortly after the play that Polanco showed off his impressive speed by beating out a routine grounder to second base for an infield hit. He is hitting .185 in seven playoffs games.

If you missed it from yesterday, Starling Marte is done with Winter ball this season.

From the Colombian League finals on Sunday, Harold Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a single, hit-by-pitch and two runs scored. His team lost 11-9 to Leones, tying the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. Ramirez was the only Pittsburgh Pirates player to get into Sunday’s game.

From Panama on Sunday, Edgardo Munoz went 1-for-4 with a run scored in his team’s 6-4 loss. Munoz has a .227 average and .570 OPS in 11 games. Ulises Montilla did not play on Sunday. He missed two of the last four games and left the other two games early.

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