According to MLB Trade Rumors, via Twitter, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed the following five international free agents:
RHP Adolfo Flores
RHP Juan Mendoza
SS/2B/OF Edgard Munoz
OF Anthony Claudi
OF Keybel Escobar
We’ve already seen a few of these guys in action this year, so the announcement is on a bit of a delay. Munoz has played in six games, and is currently 5-for-17 with four stolen bases in seven attempts. He’s a small outfielder, at 5′ 8″, 150 pounds.
The Pirates have two right handed pitchers named Mendoza on the VSL team, but neither is named “Juan”. They have a Jorge Mendoza, who hasn’t played yet, and an Andres Mendoza, who has allowed one run on four hits in 4.1 innings so far this year. Of course, Juan Mendoza could be a completely different player.
The Dominican Summer League team begins their season on Saturday, so it’s possible that a few of these players will be playing for the DSL squad.
UPDATE 1:44 PM: I just received the following from the Pirates about the signings:
Adolfo Flores RHP 5-11 170 18 VSL Pirates (born in Nicaragua)
Rene Gayo: “Adolfo is a lean strong body young man with well above average arm action. His fastball is 87-91 with
an above average ability to spin his curveball. He is a strong competitor from a rural area of an underdeveloped
country (Nicaragua) that we feel has a strong opportunity to develop into a solid Major League starting pitcher.”
Juan Mendoza RHP 6-0 220 25 DSL Pirates (born in Dom. Rep.)
Rene Gayo: “Juan is a little older player than is often signed in the Dominican Republic but with his natural
competitive feel for the mound and his combination of pitches we felt it necessary to sign him. He has a power arm
at 91-94 miles per hour and believe this is a solid acquisition.”
Edgar Munoz SS/2B/OF 5-9 147 19 VSL Pirates (born in Panama)
Rene Gayo: “Edgar is a very high energy switch hitter with above average speed and the defensive versatility to play
middle infield and the outfield. He is a highly competitive and confident player that we are happy to add.”
Anthony Claudio OF 6-0 180 18 VSL Pirates (born in Venezuela)
Rene Gayo: “Anthony is a player that physically resembles a young Magglio Ordonez. He has a short strong swing
and uses the outfield gaps well. He also has solid average arm strength and speed. This is a young man with solid
character and future bat potential.”
Keybel Escobar OF 5-11 180 17 VSL Pirates (born in Venezuela)
Rene Gayo: “Keybel is a young but physically developed athlete with above average speed. He has a short contact
swing and solid arm strength. He is the son of a former cricket player from the island of Trinidad who immigrated
to Venezuela. This is a solid character athlete that has great upside to his ability.”
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.