First Pitch: The International Signing Period Begins

The international signing period began at midnight, which means that all teams are eligible to start signing players. It was mostly by coincidence that I spent the entire night writing about the international players in the system the day before the new signing period.

First there was the Prospect Watch. Luis Heredia made another strong start, Alen Hanson hit his 13th home run, Gregory Polanco went 5-for-5, and Starling Marte continued his hot streak.

That success, plus the start of a new signing period, led me to review how the previous signings had gone. In this week’s Prospect Notebook I reviewed the international prospects who have made the jump to the US. The overall result is that the Pirates have been very successful in this department.

Tomorrow morning there will be a preview of the international signing period. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Pirates sign third baseman Julio de la Cruz at some point during the day. It should be a pretty busy day around baseball, although I’d be surprised if the Pirates are extremely active out of the gate, as the early signings are usually the big bonus players, and the Pirates tend to go for the talented, but cheaper options. And as I noted in the Prospect Notebook, that seems to be working well for them.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost 5-4 to the Cardinals.

**Pirates Notebook: McKenry’s Hot Bat Making the Case For More Playing Time.

**Prospect Watch: Heredia With 5 Shutout Innings; Homers From Marte, Hanson, 7 Others.

**Another Strong Start For Luis Heredia. A live game recap from new Pirates Prospects writer John Eshleman.

**Prospect Notebook: Pirates Successful in the International Market.

**McCutchen, Hanrahan Named to National League All-Star Team.