Winter Leagues: Street Hits a Bump in the Road

Three days worth of action today, starting in Australia, where they already wrapped up Sunday’s action. On Friday, Sam Kennelly went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored. The double was his eighth extra-base hit of the season.

Sam Street had a disastrous outing, giving up six runs on six hits and a hit batter in 1.1 innings. He had two strikeouts and threw 22 of his 32 pitches for strikes. Coming into the game, he had allowed just two runs over his first 7.1 innings this off-season. During the regular season with West Virginia, Street made 34 appearances totaling 85.2 innings and his highest total of earned runs allowed was three, which happened once in early August. After being drafted in 2014, he gave up a total of three earned runs in 27.2 innings with Jamestown, so this type of outing is something we have never witnessed during his time with the Pirates. More on him below.

In the Dominican playoffs, Mel Rojas Jr. collected his first hit of the playoffs, going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. That left him 1-for-12 in the first eight games.

Wilkin Castillo went 0-for-3 before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. The opposing team tried to run on him this game, but he threw out five runners(one was Mel Rojas Jr) while allowing just two successful steals.

Saturday’s Action

On Saturday in Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 2-for-5 with a run scored, as his team lost 12-6 to even the seven-game series at three games apiece. Sunday is a must win game or they will be eliminated. Osuna is hitting .310 in the playoffs.

Wilfredo Boscan made his second playoff start and did better than last time when he allowed three runs over 3.1 innings earlier this week. On Saturday, he picked up the win by allowing two runs over 5.1 innings. Boscan gave up five hits, one walk and struck out four batters. He threw 87 pitches, 55 for strikes.

In the Dominican playoffs, Wilkin Castillo went 0-for-3, dropping his average to .263 through 11 team games.

Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt and a run scored.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-4 with a single, run scored, stolen base and a sacrifice bunt. He is hitting .222 in the playoffs.

In Australia on Saturday, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. On Sunday, he went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, capping off a tough 1-for-13 week in which he also committed two errors. Kennelly turned 20 years old on Saturday. He is hitting .196/.256/.286 in 32 games.

Sam Street pitched on Sunday and bounced back with a terrific outing. He threw three shutout innings, allowing two runners on a single and a hit batter. He had one strikeout. Street threw 43 pitches, with 28 going for strikes. When he was drafted, some scouting reports gave him a chance to make it as a middle reliever in the majors. So far, Street has shown that he looks like he can reach that ceiling. As mentioned above, his poor outing this weekend is something we haven’t seen with him in two seasons and could be due to the advanced competition he is facing in Australia, which is about the same as AA ball in the minors. He should begin this year as a long man for Bradenton, but could move up to Altoona with a strong first half.

  • I still remember when we signed Kennelly. He is supposedly the best baseball player in his family, and that is saying a lot since he has, I think, 3 brothers that were all playing baseball in America.
    I still have hope for him, but I also thought he would have progressed a bit faster than he has.

  • Saw some Aussie games on TV early Saturday. Kennelly can actually bunt. Although he doesn’t appear fleet afoot.

    • He is surprisingly slow. He is starting to really make better contact this year and using the whole field, which is the approach the Pirates try to teach

  • Would love to see Osuna slotted into a full time first base role at Altoona – then moved to Indy when Bell gets promoted. I know you guys have him sharing time with Epinal at first – but this just doesn’t make sense – Espinal seems to be a LONG way from being even considered as a AAA first baseman.

    I am admittedly and Osuna fan boy – but he HITS – and getting him 400+ at bats at first next year would be an interesting challenge for him – more power might develop in that sort of role.

    • We have Osuna in the same role he saw this year at Bradenton. Some 1B, some DH and some OF, meaning that he will play everyday, it just won’t be at one spot. Espinal has a lot of potential in his bat as well, but his only position is 1B, while Osuna has shown that he can handle a corner outfield spot. I think the versatility will help Osuna reach the majors sooner.

      • Excellent points John, and the only problem that could occur is delay of moving Josh Bell to the majors. I think both Bell and Osuna have proven their ability to hit at the upper levels of the minors. And, depending upon what happens in the discussions with Gregory Polanco, both could see time at 1B and OF in the future.