Winter Leagues Recap: Johnson Throws Six Shutout Innings

In Dominican League action from last night, Kris Johnson threw six shutout innings, allowing just one base hit, a third inning single with two outs. He also walked two  and struck out three batters. Johnson has pitched brilliantly this DWL season, giving up just one earned run over 19.2 innings pitched. He has allowed only eight base hits, giving him a .127 BAA.

Alex Valdez went 0-for-4, dropping his average down to .289 through 128 AB’s. Valdez leads all Pittsburgh players with five homers during Winter/Fall League action.

Anderson Hernandez went 1-for-3, with a double, a runs scored, a walk and stolen base. He also struck out and made his eighth error of the season. Hernandez is hitting .297 on the DWL season, with 54 hits in 48 games. No other Pirates farmhand has played more than 40 games this off-season.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-3, with a strikeout. He has .612 OPS over 17 games, going 10-for-38 at the plate with no extra-base hits.

In Venezuela, Luis Sanz pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, no walks and he struck out one batter. Sanz threw 26 pitches total, 17 were for strikes. He has now pitched a total of 9.2 innings over his seven appearances, giving up just one run. Sanz has a 4.50 GO/AO ratio and a .176 BAA.

One note on the Adelaide Bite series this weekend in the Australian Baseball League. Sam Kennelly, the 16-year-old shortstop signed by the Pirates during this past July 2nd signing period, will make the trip with the Perth Heat, as they visit the Bite for the four-game series. Talking to Kennelly last night, he said he is looking forward to the upcoming series against other Pirates players, as well as seeing Tony Harris, who not only was the scout who signed him, but who also manages the Adelaide Bite. I will have more with Kennelly, who did an interview with us two weeks ago, after the series.

  • Who needs Kyle Kominska when we got Kris?

    • Not sure I’d put him back on the prospect map just yet, but what he is doing so far is very impressive. You figure in 2009, he was a 24 year old lefty, drafted 40th overall three years earlier, that spent(and struggled) the whole season at AAA. Three years later, he still hasn’t made the majors, but he is coming off a strong season at AA, with some AAA success mixed in. They say the peak seasons for players are the 28-32 range and he just turned 28, so maybe he found something.
      The K rate is still low and he isn’t getting a ton of groundballs, but it is hard to argue with the success he has had so far. I guess we will see how much the improvements pay off by his placement next year. If he is a spot starter/reliever bouncing between Altoona and Indy, the stats mean very little.
      If he makes the Indy roster out of Spring and stays there, he may not be just another organizational arm.The Pirates resigned him quickly, so at least that is another good sign. We will see. For now, it is worth watching(mostly because not much else is going on)

      • One other thing about Johnson, his last regular season start at AAA in late August was 5.1 shutout innings. All he allowed was two singles. He next start was back in Altoona, where he allowed no earned runs in five innings. He did pitch for Indy in the playoffs and did not fare well, but that was on nine days rest and against a team that just lit up Gerrit Cole for nine runs in two innings.
        So he basically pitched well despite the constant movement between teams and roles.