Winter Leagues: Harold Ramirez Returns to Lineup, Sebastian Valle Homers

In Colombia on Tuesday night, Harold Ramirez returned to the lineup and scored two runs in his team’s 16-2 win. Ramirez played one game during the first week of the season nearly a month ago and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. He missed time during the regular season with a hamstring injury and shin splints. One of the pitchers that got hit hard for the Leones team that gave up 16 runs in that game, was Oderman Rocha, who just recently joined his winter team. He has played winter ball in Colombia each of the last two seasons and spent this year pitching briefly for both Bradenton and Bristol. The 22-year-old righty was injured most of the regular season.

In the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-3 with a walk. He has been having a tough winter, batting just .243 and he doesn’t have an extra-base hit in his last nine games. Willy Garcia also went 2-for-3 with a walk. He also picked up an outfield assist.

Deibinson Romero played his first game since signing with the Pirates. He went 0-for-1 after coming into the game in the top of the eighth as a defensive replacement at first base. Romero is hitting .216 through 37 at-bats.

Gustavo Nunez singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and remained in the game at second base.

Wirfin Obispo pitched one perfect inning, striking out the side. He has a 2.20 ERA, with 20 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. He just signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, so that will end the winter coverage on him.

Carlos Paulino went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. He also threw out the only runner that attempted to steal. Paulino is still a free agent. He is hitting .326 through 19 games.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle homered for the second time in three games. He finished the game 2-for-4, driving in two runs. Valle has 11 hits and five walks in his last seven games.

  • Do you guys think Meadows projects more as a corner outfielder ? Even a more rounded sort of Jay Bruce ?
    Do we know if there is hope of Ramirez developing any sort of power in the future?

    • Meadows can stick in center field, he has the range and defense for it, but may not have the spot when he reaches the majors. Ramirez has a solid frame and projects to hit 10-15 homers a year. As long as his leg injuries haven’t cost him any speed, you’re talking about a player that should hit .300 and steal 30 bases each year. Of course, those were also the predictions for Jose Tabata and a lot can happen between Low-A ball and the Majors.

      • Those were also similar predictions for a guy named McCutchen when he was in AA. (.300/30)

        • Funny story about McCutchen in the minors, all the times I saw him, he had two hits. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he wasn’t a prospect. He showed good defense in center field and he ran like the wind, but I saw some of the worst at-bats from him and it was over multiple years. One of the hits was a Baltimore chop that the third baseman had no chance on and the other hit was a grounder up the middle. That was in 20+ at-bats. I knew better, so I never knocked his prospect status, but guys like Brent Lillibridge and Jason Delaney looked like much better hitters, especially Delaney, he was a line drive gap hitter that looked great at the plate.

  • John , Just being myopic , not projecting what level of depth Valle may offer or when… Has something changed since he switched organizations? Has someone potentially reached him with a suggested adjustment ? Or is he maybe simply re-energized by the fresh start?

    • Winter League stats are completely useless and have zero predictive value. Base your opinion on his minor league numbers.

      • I wouldn’t say that is true, they are a good measuring stick of a player’s progress, especially if they play a full season, which is 50+ games. You can see how a prospect has progressed by how much playing time he gets each year. No one is handed a job in winter ball unless you’re a MLB veteran. You have to earn time, there is no such thing as a minor leaguer getting playing time because he big league team wanted him to play. Valle wasn’t hitting a few weeks ago and he lost playing time. He is facing the equivalent of a weak AAA team over two months time and at his age, it’s totally possible that he made an adjustment, tried something new, or matured as a player. He is 24 and has been a top catching prospect in the recent past, so it isn’t out of the question that a player his age is turning a corner.

        As you said, you shouldn’t take winter stats over what he has done is his career, but up until 2012, you would have dismissed a slow winter from him and used the same excuse.

    • I doubt any changes have been made. It’s possible he was pressing to impress someone into signing him. It’s the first time he was a free agent since he was a teenager and he was coming off an average year, so that could have weighed heavy on his shoulders. Signing may have lifted that pressure and now he is just going out and being himself. I’ve heard of it happening before.

  • Ramirez is an extremely talented player that the Pirates have that no one talks about mostly because he can’t stay on the grass

    • I wouldn’t say no one talks about him, BP just ranked him as our 10th best prospect. He has a profile of a legit leadoff hitting CF.

      • I am pretty sure Ramirez still has a 20+ game hitting streak going that he had before he got hurt last year. I think they regard him as high as anyone who isn’t meadows or Polanco.

        • The Pirates probably do regard him highly, I was talking about media and fans, how often does any of the media mention him when they talk about Pirate top prospects or the fans, he gets ranked, but not talked about, Barnes is another one.

  • Sebastian Valle for mayor! Seriously, this could be a very useful under the radar signing. When you can get a 24 year old C who was highly regarded a few years ago for next to nothing you do it – catchers take a lot of patience and some organizations are short of that precious commodity.

    • A team’s gotta have some depth at catcher.

      Remember a couple years ago when we had to scramble for Jason Jaramillo and Robinzon Diaz just to make it through a couple months of the season? I don’t expect great things outta Valle, but at least he’s got some potential and he’s already in the organization. Having a viable plan C or D already on the team is infinitely better than having to go out and acquire one in a hurry.

      • 2011 – Jaramillo, McKenry, Doumit, Snyder, Fryer, Brown, Pagnozzi, and Toregas.

        Eight catchers started at least 1 game, crazy!!

      • 7 catchers that year right? I’d say our plan D right now (Valle) is about as good as we could hope for.

      • Well, at least Robinzon Diaz didn’t cost us much….. oh wait a minute……… ugghhh.

        That’s why this is a good signing. Same as Clayton Richard. These are guys you end up trading for midseason when you get a slew of unlucky injuries.

  • William Wallace
    December 4, 2014 9:35 am

    Goodbye Wirfin hope you don’t come back to haunt us.

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