The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Paul Brands out of the Netherlands. He played for Holland during the 2015 MLB Spring Academies Tournament and had three hits in a win over France last month, followed by two hits in each of the last two games. That helped him get named the best hitter during the entire tournament. He also played in the Fall Academy Tournament last year and hit .200 over six games, so he really improved in the six months between tournaments.

Brands was one of 49 players invited to the 2014 European Elite Camp last July and back then he was listed as an outfielder. His player page lists him as an infielder, so it is possible he plays multiple positions. The Pirates have Danny Arribas, who they signed out of the Dutch Academy in 2011 and he was signed as a catcher, but has also played numerous games at first base, third base and even a few at second base.

Brands turned 18 yesterday. He is leaving for Bradenton tomorrow and will likely begin his career in the Gulf Coast League.

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