I was doing research today to finish the international prospects section of the 2011 Pirates Prospects handbook, and came across this bit of information about 18 year old Dominican left hander Cristopher Richardson:
Pittsburgh is also pursuing Cristopher Richardson, 17, a Dominican lefty and winner of that nation’s reality show El Rookie. Pirates G.M. Neal Huntington downplays the connection. “We are not interested in signing winners of reality shows,” he says. “Rather, we are interested in signing talented baseball players.”
The Pirates did end up signing Richardson, a 6′ 0″, 184 pound left handed pitcher, spending $80 K to get the reality show winner. The talented baseball player description may be accurate, as Richardson put up an 11.1 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9 in 38 innings in his pro debut, with a .275 BAA. He also throws 91 MPH, which is good for a left hander of his age. He attended the Florida Instructional Leagues this off-season, and could make the jump to the US in 2011, similar to the path that Joely Rodriguez took this year.
In doing research on Richardson, I stumbled across this short video from the “El Rookie” show:
Richardson could be an interesting story to watch in 2011.