Continuing to look at Pirates’ minor leaguers as we move further into spring training…. Today we’ll look at three outfielders all acquired in the 2010 amateur draft.
Mel Rojas Jr. — Bats both/ throws right, 6′ 3″, 200 lb
Rojas was the first position player the Pirates took in the 2010 draft, going in the third round. The 20-year-old, who came out of junior college in Illinois, is thought to have all the tools, plus a major league pedigree. He had enough speed to play center field in State College, and combined with base running smarts, he stole 61 bases in his college season. The steals dried up at State College, but Rojas also did not get on base nearly as much, hitting only .207 for the Spikes. He did better in July (.265) than in August (.175), but almost identically against righties vs. lefties (.207 vs. .209). Strikeouts were a big problem. Still, the Pirates seemed encouraged by Rojas’ pro debut, and also seemed to take into account the fact that he was playing with older players, who had had more college experience. They hope that he develops some power over the next few years. He will probably be assigned to West Virginia to begin the 2011 season.
Dan Grovatt — L/L, 6′ 1″, 195 lb
Grovatt was chosen in the 11th round of the draft, coming out of his junior year at University of Virginia. He’d had two strong seasons at UV, hitting .324 and .356 in those years. Grovatt slumped in his junior year, hitting .291, though his 9 homers and 60 RBI were both more than in either of his previous seasons. He attributed the slump in part to a ligament injury in his left elbow. That was also part of the reason that he signed with the Pirates at the last moment, instead of returning to UV for his senior year. Because he signed late, Grovatt got in only 3 games in his pro debut with the GCL Pirates. He went 2-for-22, and both hits were doubles, for 2 RBI. He had good strike zone judgement in college, though not a lot of power, with an unusual swing, which the Pirates may end up tinkering with. Grovatt might spend a little time at State College, but seems slated to move to West Virginia to begin 2011.