The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Sebastian Valle as a minor league free agent. The 24-year-old has spent the last eight seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies system, playing parts of two seasons at AAA. They also announced the signing of catcher Miguel Perez, though he was strictly a coach in 2014 and only played a total of nine games over the 2012-13 seasons, so don’t expect to see him on the field unless they need an emergency catcher at some level next year.
Valle split 2014 between AA and AAA, hitting .238/.262/.346 in 75 games. He was considered a legit prospect at one time. At age 19 in 2010, he hit 16 homers and put up a .728 OPS at Lakewood in the South Atlantic League. Two years later, he hit 17 homers and reached AAA shortly after his 22nd birthday. Over his minor league career, he has thrown out 30% of runners trying to steal. He is athletic behind the plate and has been praised for his pitch framing ability.
Valle is currently playing winter ball in Mexico, where he has a .534 OPS in 20 games.