Winter Leagues Recap: Marte Shows Patience, Fuesser Dominates

In Winter League action yesterday, Starling Marte went 0-for-2 with two walks, pushing his off-season walk total to seven in just 11 games. He has a .333/.429/.571 line in 42 AB’s, with two homers and two stolen bases. He is playing for Leones del Escogido of the Dominican League.

In other Dominican League action, Anderson Hernandez went 1-for-5 with a run scored. He has a .288 average and .762 OPS in 66 AB’s. Andy Vasquez went 0-for-1 playing in just his fifth game, all off the bench. He is 0-for-3 on the season.

Darren Ford went 1-for-6 with two strikeouts in the leadoff spot for Leones del Caracas of the Venezuelan League. In 92 AB’s, he has a .261/.352/.326 line. Catcher Ramon Cabrera is also with that team, though he did not play yesterday.

Shortstop Benji Gonzalez made his Winter League debut yesterday playing for Leones de Ponce of the Puerto Rico Baseball League, which was renamed this off-season in honor of Pirates’ great, Roberto Clemente. Gonzalez walked in his only plate appearance.

In the Australian Baseball League, Dylan Child made his third start of the season yesterday, going 1-for-4 with a strikeout for the Adelaide Bite. In the Adelaide game played today, first baseman Justin Howard went 1-for-4 with a double, his first extra base hit in 19 AB’s. Third baseman Stefan Welch went 0-for-3, extending his hitless off-season to seven AB’s. The game was started by Zac Fuesser, who pitched brilliantly picking up his first win. He threw six shutout innings, allowing four singles and a walk, while striking out five batters. Zac threw 59 of his 84 pitches for strikes. It was a stark contrast to his only other start, when he allowed seven runs over three innings of work.

Ali Solis, playing in the Mexican League, went 1-for-2 with a walk. He is hitting .204 with a .512 OPS in 54 AB’s.

Top prospect Alen Hanson has appeared in only four games since October 14th, picking up just two plate appearances all season. Gregory Polanco has not played the last four days. He is hitting .211 with a .474 OPS in 19 AB’s. Kyle McPherson has not pitched since his October 16th debut in which he allowed six runs over three innings of work.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Hopefully Marte will continue to be patient and it will spill over into the regular season back in the US.

To temper expectations, even Clint Barmes walked seven times in a ten game stretch in 2012 – 9/5-17. And none of them were IBB.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

willie lopez

ian rothermund, you sound really racist….”toilet country” this guys are playing on their own countries is not like they are playing in a battlefield war…

by the way the best pirate of all time comes from one of those countries you refer to…its sad to hear people talking this way…

im a proud puertorican and a pirate fan and ive been to pnc park more than 10 times and you refer to us latinos like this?

its sad to hear ignorant people talking without knowing, in my country not a single athlete have ever had a kidnapped threat nor happened to him, i bet you are talking without even knowing or visited our countries…

this is the best possible scenario to young players, ask steve blass he will agree with me…

Ian Rothermund

Not racist at all…at no point is there a reference directly to the people. And who said anything about Puerto Rico? Mexico, Dominica, Venezuela…oh wait, no more teams there because….oh yeah, it’s too dangerous. Ask Wilson Ramos how safe he feels done there. The problem isn’t race, it’s economics. It isn’t racist to say Marcy projects in NYC, or Watts in L.A. just because it’s a predominantly black area; it’s especially dangerous to the people that live there. The simple fact is that there isn’t a spotless record in regards to how professional athletes or the families are treated in the third world. So, if my potentially multi-millionaire investment isn’t getting the work I’d expect him to down there, I’d have him back in the U.S. pronto.

willie lopez

well my friend in the article mentions benji gonzalez playing in puerto rico, for ponce leones, thats why i took ofense to your comment….

and in puerto rico this things doesnt happen, people go to games just like in the states, not criminals wanting to kidnapped pro players…

Ian Rothermund

*down there

**that Marcy and Watts are dangerous because…

Ian Rothermund

I would be irate if I was one of those players not seeing time. If they were just going to work out and practice, they could do it in Pirate city instead of some, arguably, Latin American toilet country, waiting to be kidnapped.


John: Thanks for the info. The limited amount of AB’s (167) that Marte got with the Pirates were great for him to mentally accept the challenge of playing MLB, and work at his weaknesses. He averaged an extra base hit every 12 AB’s, and even though his W/K left a lot to be desired (8/50), he still managed to have an OBP of .300. Through the minors he has shown the ability to adapt to the changing conditions at each level, and I look for him to be a big contributor at leadoff in 2013.

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