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.
Result: Pirates 8, Yankees2 5 in 10 innings
Starting Pitcher: Miguel Ferreras, RHP (4.80) – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Luis Benitez, CF (.225) – 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, SB
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, DH (.200) – 1-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, SB
Tito Polo, CF (.300) – 1-for-4, RBI
Adderly Ceballo, RHP (3-0, 1.26) – 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Pablo Reyes, SS (.330) – 1-for-5, RBI
Game Notes: Starter Miguel Ferreras lasted just two innings, but the Pirates bats and bullpen picked him up in the 8-5 extra inning win over the Yankees2, allowing the Pirates to sweep the three game series. Julio de la Cruz hit his third homer of the season. He has hit all of them in his last ten games. De la Cruz has 25 RBI’s this season on 23 hits. Outfielder Rudy Guzman collected the first two hits of his young career. He has four stolen bases in four games. Luis Benitez hit a bases loaded double in the tenth inning to plate three runs. He also stole his 22nd base, the third highest total in the DSL. Jonathan Minier threw a perfect bottom of the tenth for his third save.
Result: Pirates 3, Cubs 2 in 14 innings
Starting Pitcher: Eduardo Vera, RHP (2.51) – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Gustavo Barrios, 2B (.210) – 2-for-4, RBI, BB
Other Notable Performers:
Carlos Munoz, DH (.390) – 1-for-1, 2B, BB
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.333) – 2-for-6, BB, 3B
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.242) – 1-for-4, RBI, BB
Hector Garcia, LHP (2.37) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.139) – 0-for-4
Game Notes: The Pirates2 lost two to the Cubs on Tuesday, but they were able to pull out a win to salvage the series on Wednesday, needing 14 innings to finally breakthrough with the winning run. Starter Eduardo Vera pitched well, allowing one run in five innings. He was followed by Hector Garcia, who kept the Cubs scoreless for three innings, before giving way to Edgar Martinez trying for the save. Martinez gave up the tying run in the ninth, then stuck around for two more innings. Luis Brun threw three shutout innings following Martinez, picking up the win in the process. In a strange stat line coincidence, all three relievers went three innings, allowing one hit and two walks. Michael de la Cruz reached base three times, including his third triple of the season. Carlos Munoz, the league’s leading hitter, pinch hit in the ninth inning, drawing a walk. He hit an 11th inning double, then left for a pinch runner. Pirates hitters struck out 19 times. The winning run scored on a Gustavo Barrios single, followed by a sacrifice bunt and two wild pitches.
Player Of The Day
Today’s player of the day is Luis Benitez, who had a strong series against the Yankees2 team these last two days. Benitez went 3-for-7, with three walks, five RBI’s, five steals and five runs scored. He is a second year player that has flashed plenty of speed, but hasn’t been able to get on base enough to properly utilize it. Last season in 30 games, he hit .200, with just one extra base hit. He showed some good signs though, drawing 24 walks, scoring 22 runs and he stole 19 bases in 23 attempts.
This year has been much of the same for the 19-year-old switch-hitter, only he is getting more AB’s this season, already playing 35 games. He is hitting .225, with 22 steals in 27 attempts. Last year, he had one extra base hit, a double. This season he has four doubles and four triples, so while those aren’t big numbers, it is progress. Benitez is just 5’9″ and lanky, so power will likely never be a big part of his game. His main problem seems to be extreme splits. In 22 AB’s against lefty pitchers, he has a .910 OPS. That number drops down to .616 when he hits lefty. He is still relatively young and showing some progress, plus has excellent speed and he is getting plenty of playing time, which are all good signs.
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.