The Pittsburgh Pirates have released eight minor league players and utility player Michael Martinez has elected free agency, according to Baseball America’s latest minor league transactions. The released players are Matt Curry, Nathan Sopena, Christian Henriquez, Carlos Marquez, Francisco Aponte, Adam Landecker, Candon Myles and Nathan Tomaszewski.
First baseman Matt Curry is the biggest player among the group and the only one that has played above A-ball. He had a breakout season in 2011, going from Low-A to Double-A mid-year. Curry showed some power potential at first base, but a series of injuries in the last two seasons really knocked his prospect status down and at age 26 this year, he put up sub par numbers at Altoona.
Carlos Marquez is a catcher that spent four seasons in the DSL, then barely played in the GCL this year. Nathan Sopena and Nathan Tomaszewski were both undrafted players that signed during the off-season, though Tomaszewski had some experience in independent ball. Both played modest roles with the short-season teams and Sopena missed some time due to injury.
Adam Landecker was drafted in 2013 and played a utility role for West Virginia this year, often as the extra man who was shifted on and off the roster due to injuries to other players. He had a .595 OPS in 37 games this year.
Francisco Aponte has been in the organization since 2008, though he is still only 23 years old. He has played parts of the last three years with West Virginia, but he played just 281 games total over seven seasons.
Christian Henriquez spent three seasons in the DSL before jumping to Bristol this year. The 22-year-old lefty struggled out of the bullpen with a 6.11 ERA and 1.98 WHIP.
Candon Myles was a 12th round draft pick in 2011, who signed a six-figure bonus. He never hit much in the minors and in 668 plate appearances. His one tool was his speed, leading to 45 stolen bases in 61 attempts.