Winter Leagues: Rojas Saves Game With Defense, Rondon Makes Debut

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna appealed his six game suspension and was able to play on Wednesday night. He went 1-for-4 with his 13th double. It sounds like he is the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year with just a short time left in the regular season. He is hitting .328/.390/.503 in 54 games.

Elias Diaz went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He is hitting .247 through 22 games, with a .737 OPS.

Jorge Rondon made his winter debut a few days ago and has now pitched twice, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings without any hits, walks or strikeouts. The Pirates picked up the 27-year-old off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles in late October.

Elvis Escobar took over in center field in the eighth inning, as his team won 12-1 on Wednesday night. He flew out to left field in his only at-bat. Escobar is 5-for-17 in 23 games.

In the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He showed off some tools, stealing his fifth base and picking up a huge outfield assist. With his team up 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Rojas threw out a runner at home for the second out, helping his team to a win they got one batter later. You can see the throw in this link.

Pedro Florimon went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. He is hitting .209 through 25 games.

Gustavo Nunez has been hitting better lately, raising his batting average nearly 40 points with a 9-for-26 stretch in his last seven games. He went 2-for-4 on Wednesday with a walk, double and two runs scored.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He had one big game last week, but it hasn’t lead to anything since. He is 11-for-67 in the last four weeks, collecting two extra-base hits, both of the same game. Munoz is hitting .255/.355/.416 in 51 games. When the slump started, he was fifth in the league in OPS. He now ranks tied for 20th out of 34 hitters with enough plate appearances to qualify for league leaders.

Sebastian Valle went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He has had a tough winter, hitting .204  in 28 games, with 30 strikeouts.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-3 with a double. He’s hitting .202 on the season in 33 games, though he has gone 9-for-29(.310) in his last eight games.

In Australia, they held the All-Star game on Wednesday and Sam Kennelly started at second base. He played all nine innings on defense before giving way to a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth. Kennelly went 1-for-2 with a single and a walk.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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I am hoping that this is the breakout season for Osuna. Unlike some, I have high expectations for him!

Then again, I had high expectations at Halloween, and all I got was a rock 🙁


Thanks John, loved the video. Think the Pirates will move Osuna to AAA as soon as Bell is promoted? He can hit and can play 1B and OF.


Thanks. We have been waiting awhile for a 1B to separate from the crowd, and now we have two in Josh Bell and Jose Osuna. I doubt that either will win a Gold Glove, but both seem to be able to stroke and I hope that carries over to ST 2016 and beyond.

mitch t

Well Danny Ortiz-mania appears to have cooled. Remember after he was signed he bragged up how management basically was giving him a wink-wink that he would probably make he big league club? Wish him the best but dude: you have to hit somewhere, anywhere before your getting a shot at the show. Step it up Danny!

Rojas is gonna be saying the same smoke next year as a AAAA signee somewhere else if he doesn’t decide this is the year he puts it all out there. Tools are there to join the Broxton/Decker back bench deathmatch.


It is a shame because Broxton, Decker, and Rojas all will have opportunities, but it will probably be with another team. Reminds me of Rajai Davis who was just signed by Cleveland. He arrived sandwiched between CF’s Nate McLouth and that McCutchen kid, and no openings in LF or RF where Jason Bay and Xavier Nady were locked in. Fortunately for Davis he was traded to the Giants, and here it is 7 years later and he is still playing on a pretty regular basis. I think after the Giants he played with Detroit.


Who cares about the winter leagues today… The Force Awakens.

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