For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, 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 5, Rockies 2
Starting Pitcher: Christian Henriquez, LHP (2-1, 1.69) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Rudy Guzman, RF (.269) – 3-for-4, RBI, BB, SB
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.205) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI, HBP
Brayan Almonte, RHP (6.60) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Johan De Jesus, SS (.171) – 1-for-4, SB
Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.188) – 2-for-5
Game Notes: After getting hit hard in his first start of the season, Christian Henriquez has been as good as any pitcher on either Pirates DSL team. He threw five shutout innings on Wednesday, giving him one earned run allowed in his last five starts combined, all of them five inning appearances. The Pirates had ten hits on the day, all singles. They also drew four walks and stole four bases in four attempts. Julio de la Cruz drove in two runs, giving him 32 RBI’s, the second highest total among both Pirates teams. Rudy Guzman had three hits, giving him an eight game hitting streak.
Result: Pirates 3, Orioles2 2
Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP (2.81) – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Jhoan Herrera, DH (.242) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.326) – DNP
Richard Mitchell, RHP (4-3, 4.35) – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.174) – 0-for-3, BB
Game Notes: The Pirates beat the Orioles2 on Wednesday by a 3-2 score, with Jhoan Herrera accounting for most of the offense with two RBI’s and two runs scored. The home run was his second of the season and he has 32 RBI’s this year. Starting pitcher Dario Agrazal went five innings, allowing one earned run. He got the no-decision and through 11 career starts, he still hasn’t picked up a loss. Richard Mitchell won his fourth game in relief with 2.1 scoreless innings. Luylli Miranda picked up his fourth save. Yoel Gonzalez had his eight game hitting streak snapped, though he did reach a base with a walk. Michael de la Cruz didn’t play. Since the All-Star break, Carlos Munoz is hitting .143 in 13 games.
Player Of The Day
Last year, the Pirates signed a 19-year-old lefty named Marcus Beltrez. He is an odd DSL player, in that he was actually born in the United States(Manhattan, NY), but wasn’t draft eligible and could be signed as an International free agent. Beltrez had some control issues as a rookie, though he was very hard to hit. In 12 relief appearances, he threw 19 innings. He had a 3.79 ERA, with 11 walks, 14 strikeouts and a .182 BAA. This season Beltrez has improved his command and overall numbers, walking ten batters in 32.2 innings. He has 26 strikeouts, a .190 BAA and a 1.00 GO/AO ratio, a slight improvement in that last area over the 2012 season. He has been very tough against left-handed batters this year, holding them to 2-for-21, with no walks and eight strikeouts. Beltrez has been even better lately than the numbers indicate. He has a 0.00 ERA in his last seven appearances, allowing four hits and three walks in 16 innings. He seems like a strong candidate to make the move to the United States, with a possibility that he returns to the DSL as a starter, so he can pick up more innings.
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.
Julio DLC making the most of his .205 avg!
Is Henriquez any kind of prospect? He wasn’t mentioned in your pre-season article.
Henriquez is probably too old to be considered a prospect now. He turned 21 during the DSL season this year. He has definitely shown some strong improvements, but he really needs to show it at a higher level before he becomes a player to watch. He has good control, keeps the ball on the ground and in the ballpark, but doesn’t strikeout enough batters. None the less, his current streak is impressive.