Winter Leagues: Home Runs From Alen Hanson and Elias Diaz

In the Dominican on Thursday night, Alen Hanson connected on his first home run of the winter, a solo shot off former Major League pitcher Warner Madrigal. Hanson is hitting .246 through 16 games and he has just two extra-base hits. I included a video at the bottom of him turning a double play at second base.

Two batters before Hanson homered, Andy Vasquez hit a two-run homer off Madrigal. Vasquez was playing his first game of the winter. He became a minor league free agent on Saturday, but he was one of the handful of players to re-sign with the Pirates last off-season(as well as the prior off-season). He was originally signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 2006, so it’s possible he could return to the organization again. Vasquez went 2-for-4 and also added an RBI double in his team’s 5-0 win.

Mel Rojas Jr. was on the opposing side of the Hanson/Vasquez game and he went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s showing power this winter with five homers, but he also now has a .232 average.

Pedro Florimon went 0-for-3 and he’s now 3-for-27 through seven games.

Josh Wall has been pitching great this winter, though Thursday night was a different story. He recorded two outs, but not before giving up three runs on a hit batter and two hits, both homers. Wall ended up with his first loss of the winter.

In Venezuela, Elias Diaz played his second game of the winter and hit his first home run. He scored two runs, drove in one and finished 2-for-4 for the second straight game.

Jose Osuna went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He has a .363/.411/.490 slash line in 28 games.

Julio Vivas pitched a scoreless ninth, working around a double by getting two ground outs and a strikeout. He has a 6.10 ERA in 11 appearances.

Gorkys Hernandez went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored, while also picking up an outfield assist. He’s hitting .306/.390/.352 in 28 games.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout. He’s one of the top hitters in the league still, yet he is doing something very unusual for him. Munoz has 165 walks and 91 strikeouts during his minor league career. He strikes out once every 10.9 plate appearances. He has now gone nine games without a walk, striking out six times over that span. That gives him a 13:16 BB/SO ratio in 76 at-bats, which is one of the few times you’ll see him with more strikeouts than walks.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly started at second base and went 1-for-3 with a single. He is 4-for-13 in four games.

Frazier Helps Lead Team USA to Victory

Adam Frazier continued his hot hitting in the Premier12 tournament, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI on Thursday in a 10-0 win over Mexico. We covered his first six games of the tournament here.

Catcher Jin-De Jhang is also in the tournament for Chinese Taipei, though he is seeing very little playing time. On Thursday, he was used as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.

  • Any chance Frazier starts the year at Indy and gets to play regularly?

    • It will depend on what the Pirates do with Gift Ngoepe, Dan Gamache, Alen Hanson and Max Moroff. If they are all in the infield, taking some DH at-bats as well, that doesn’t leave room for Frazier. The Pirates also like to have a veteran infielder around, so you may see Frazier return to Altoona until a spot opens up. I wouldn’t rule out him going to Indy, I’m just saying there are a lot more options than spots.