For the first time since 2002, the Pittsburgh Pirates will only have one international rookie league team. The Pirates have had two teams for over a decade, either having a team in the Venezuelan Summer League, or two teams in the Dominican Summer League. In 2012, the Pirates dropped their VSL team, and added a second team in the DSL. This year, they will only have one DSL team.
This change comes in the same year that the Pirates added a new rookie level affiliate in Bristol. That's no coincidence. The Pirates have basically moved their second DSL team up to Bristol. They still have four short-season teams, but three of those teams are now in the US, rather than two teams in the US and two in the Dominican Republic.
The Pirates promoted a lot of players from the Dominican this year, ...
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