After we heard about the two high profile signings from yesterday, shortstop Adrian Valerio and outfielder Edinson Lantigua, the Pirates also announced the signings of seven more players today. These players are all slightly older players, eligible to sign prior to this July 2nd signing period. They are shortstop Luis Perez, second baseman Raul Siri, lefty pitcher Christian Mota and right-handers Ramon Garcia, Junior Lopez, Julian Villamar and Yunior Montero.
The last player on that list, Yunior Montero, might be a name familiar to Pirates fans. He was originally signed in 2009 for $45,000, but failed the MLB background check and had his contract voided. He had to sit out the season and then the next year he showed improvements, forcing the Pirates into a bidding war. That time they paid $185,000 to sign him. Montero made one start in the Dominican Summer League in 2011 and threw five shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out four batters.
After that one start, MLB then contacted the Pirates after more problems came up with his second background check. He has been in limbo ever since. Montero has been with the team in their Dominican facility, but ineligible to play until now. The scouting report from 2010 had him hitting 94 MPH, with a decent slider.
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.
Nice start by Reese in his first GCL action! 4 for 5 and 3 RBI’s. Can’t wait to see Meadows, McGuire and Arbet in the same lineup. Hopefully Trey gets it going. I see Frazier and Jones are in the lineup for the Jammers tonight. This all coincides with the promotion and releasing of a lot of players. Go Bucs!