The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have released nine minor league players, while also signing two international players. Here are the names of the players they released. We will add details shortly.
Matt Benedict was drafted in the 30th round in 2011 and made it as far as AAA. He is a sinkerball pitcher with good size, though he lacked velocity and the polish to be anything more than upper level depth. He turned 27 back in February.
Palmer Betts was drafted in the 36th round in 2014 and struggled during his two seasons with Bristol. While the results weren’t good, he is still 21(22 in April) and throws low-90’s.
Jesus Paredes is a 23-year-old lefty, who missed most of last year due to a shoulder injury. He’s never pitched above the GCL and had command issues, so he was far from a prospect at this point.
Jonathan Minier is already 26 years old, though he didn’t sign until he was 23. He has excellent velocity and has put up some strong results in the past, though he did it while battling control issues.
Jake Thompson was signed as a minor league free agent last July and never actually pitched in the Pirates’ system. He is a 26-year-old righty, who pitched part of the 2014 season in AAA.
Eric Dorsch is a huge(6’8″, 263 pounds) righty, who was drafted in the 15th round in 2014. He can hit 95 MPH, but was very inconsistent with his velocity, sitting high 80’s at times. The Pirates sent him to West Virginia last year and he struggled, ending up in Morgantown where the results were unspectacular.
Reggie Cerda is a strong defensive catcher with no bat, literally. He went the entire 2015 GCL season without a hit, serving as the third-string catcher. He’s just 21, but already had four seasons in the system and looked destined for a backup job with one of the lower level teams.
Bealyn Chourio turns 22 at the end of this month, yet he already had five seasons in the system, topping out at Bristol. He’s an athletic shortstop, though he didn’t have the bat to go much further
Carlos Ozuna was the high-priced player among this group, signing for $115,000 in 2011. He was signed as a shortstop, but he has seen limited time there the last two seasons. The 22-year-old struggled at the plate the last two years at Bristol.
There is almost no current information on the international players, so they will have to be updated later. Claudio Scotto is a 17-year-old RHP signed out of Italy. He’s 6’5″, 220 pounds and is currently representing his home country in the European Academies Spring Tournament, which ends today. He has played MLB sponsored international tournaments since 2012. The other player is Yair Babilonia, a catcher for Colombia, who has a strong amateur history. We will try to find out more info on these players.