DSL Prospect Watch: Dominican League All-Stars Named

For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day. Pittsburgh_Pirates10


Box Score Game One

Result: Pirates 5, Yankees2 0

Starting Pitcher: Jandy Vasquez, RHP (2-1, 4.41) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Luis Benitez, CF (.216) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, DH (.198) – 1-for-3, RBI

Tito Polo, CF (.307) – 0-for-2

Brayan Almonte, RHP (9.35) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Johan De Jesus, SS (.148) – 0-for-3, RBI


Box Score Game Two

Result: Pirates 4, Yankees2 1

Starting Pitcher: Jherson Esqueda, RHP (1.69) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Luis Benitez,  (.216) – 0-for-0, 2 BB, HBP, 2 Run, 4 SB

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, DH (.198) – DNP

Tito Polo, DH (.302) – 0-for-3

Johan De Jesus, SS (.143) – 0-for-3

Game Notes: Starter Jandy Vasquez threw five shutout innings during game one of the doubleheader sweep over the Yankees2 on Tuesday. It is the second time that he has thrown five shutout innings this year, last time doing it without allowing a hit. Luis Benitez drove in two runs to lead the way on offense. Top prospect Julio de la Cruz drove in his 24th run of the season. He has done it on just 22 hits.

In game two, Jherson Esqueda got his first career start and threw four shutout innings. His previous long outing was three innings and he has thrown a total 21.1 innings this year. He has not allowed more than one earned run in any appearance. Gerardo Navarro picked up the win by throwing a scoreless fifth inning and Arquimedes Lorenzo finished the seven inning game off, allowing one unearned run in his two frames. The Pirates stole seven bases in eight attempts, with four of those coming from Luis Benitez. He now has 21 steals on the year. Benitez also scored two runs. Pablo Reyes drove in two runs, giving him 20 RBI’s on the year.



Box Score Game One

Result: Cubs 7, Pirates 6

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP (2.48) – 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, DH (.391) – 2-for-2, HR, 4 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Edgar Figueroa, LF (.284) – 2-for-5

Michael de la Cruz, CF (.333) – 0-for-4, BB

Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.242) – 1-for-4, 2 RBI, SB

Christopher De Leon, RHP (2-2, 3.38) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.151) – DNP


Box Score Game Two

Result: Cubs 3, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Francis Rodriguez, RHP (5.34) – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edgar Figueroa, CF (.287) – 1-for-2, BB, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Julio de la Cruz, DH (.198) – DNP

Yoel Gonzalez, C (.147) – 0-for-2, BB

Carlos Munoz, 1B (.385) – 0-for-2, RBI

Game Notes: The Pirates2 also had a doubleheader today and they ended up losing both games to the Cubs, dropping their record(18-19) below the .500 mark. Dario Agrazal had his worst outing of the season, but after giving up four runs in 2.1 innings, he still has a 2.48 ERA through eight starts. Agrazal was also let off the hook by the Pirates offense, helping him maintain his 4-0 record to begin his career. Carlos Munoz hit a fourth inning grand slam, his third homer of the year. Jhoan Herrera drove in two runs on the year, giving him 20 RBI’s. He also stole the first base of his career. Edgar Figueroa scored two runs and is now hitting .300 in his last ten games.

In game two, the Pirates were held to just one hit, a third inning single that drove home the Pirates first run of the game. The second Pirates run scored in the sixth inning on a walk, followed by a passed ball, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly from Carlos Munoz that scored Edgar Figueroa. Richard Mitchell picked up the loss, giving up three runs over 2.1 innings. The last two runs credited to Mitchell were scored off reliever Luylli Miranda, who came in during the top of the seventh inning with one out and two men on.

Player Of The Day

Going with the Player(s) of the Day today, as in the All-Star representatives for the Pirates in Sunday’s DSL All-Star game. Between the two teams, they have three players in the game, pitcher Dario Agrazal Jr, first baseman Carlos Munoz and outfielder Tito Polo.

Agrazal is a rookie this season and except for Tuesday’s game, he has been terrific this year. He is 4-0, 2.48 in eight starts, throwing a total of 36.1 innings. The 18-year-old right-hander has not allowed a homer this season. He has a 10/18 BB/K ratio and a .275 BAA.

Munoz has been leading the DSL in hitting for most of this year, recently running into a rough streak that dropped his average below the .400 mark. He is hitting .385 this season and leading the league with a 1.057 OPS.

Tito Polo has been outstanding all this season, hitting .302 in 32 games, with 25 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. Polo is 18-years-old and he hit .280 with 17 stolen bases as a rookie last year.

Scouting Report

I recently saw a scouting report of an appearance by 17-year-old pitcher Richard Mitchell that was very favorable. When he signed, the reports were that he had a good fastball with secondary pitches that needed work. Well the report from his recent appearance noted that he was throwing a “tremendous” change-up to go along with his fastball, which was hitting 91 MPH.

According to Mitchell, he confirmed that the DSL pitchers work just like the pitchers are taught to do all throughout the system. It is drilled into their head to pound the strike zone down, throw inside to keep the hitters uncomfortable and pitch to contact. He tries for quick outs instead of trying to strike batters out all the time. He is on a limited pitch count still due to his age, going either three innings or 48 pitches. Mitchell complements his fastball with a curveball that is 77-79 MPH and the change-up sits 79-80 MPH.

The results have been mixed so far this year in his ten outings. He has made it through three full innings just twice, throwing a total of 21.1 innings. Mitchell has looked real good at times, occasionally having control issues. He has been hard to hit though and his groundball rate is excellent. Both are big improvements over his rookie season last year, plus he is getting more time on the mound, so as of right now, Mitchell is progressing nicely, especially for his age.

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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Do DSL players ever get promoted to the GCL (or higher) in mid season?


no MDLC? seems odd that our best player didn’t get picked

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