Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates are making a couple rare in-season promotions from the Dominican Summer League to the Gulf Coast League. Both Jeremias Portorreal and Gabriel Brito have been promoted to the GCL and they should join the team tomorrow.
Portorreal has been on a hot streak recently, posting a 19-game on base streak through the entire month of July. Then the day after his streak was snapped, he went on a hitting tear, posting a 1.046 OPS in August. In his last 30 games, he has a .324/.445/.448 slash line, with 22 walks and 15 strikeouts. He has nearly cut his strikeout rate in half from last year. Portorreal received a $375,000 signing bonus on his 16th birthday, and he turned 19 earlier this month. He’s a right fielder with a strong arm.
Brito was signed for $200,000 in July of 2014. He’s a catcher with a strong arm, who is still learning behind the plate. Brito is small at 5’9″, 170 pounds, but the Pirates like his arm, the defensive potential, and the advanced approach at the plate. That has shown up with a 13:12 BB/SO ratio in 95 plate appearances, along with a .716 OPS, which is above league average. He has also thrown out 33% of base stealers, slightly up from 29% last year.
Brito was out early in the season with an injury that occurred late in Spring Training, which also happened last year. He suffered a minor hand injury during the 2015 season as well, so he has been limited to 58 games in his two seasons and only 42 behind the plate. He turns 19 in November.
I mentioned yesterday in the Prospect Watch that 1B/C Mikell Granberry suffered a broken left hand on a hit-by-pitch and he would be out 8-10 weeks. Outfielder Felix Vinicio has also been out with an ankle injury recently, leaving the GCL team with only 11 healthy position players. That number is actually ten available for games, as one of the catchers is in the bullpen during the game.
Bringing up Brito and Portorreal means that both of them will be invited to the Fall Instructional League next month. It also gives them some extra games this season, with the DSL ending a week earlier than the GCL does. The GCL Pirates are 2.5 games out of the playoffs, so there is a chance for even more games for them.
** Josh Outman has been released, six weeks after signing with the Pirates. He was signed when Indianapolis had a shortage of pitching due to some injuries and Pirates calling up a few pitchers. Outman made one start and nine relief appearances, with the start coming the day after he signed. He had a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings, with 15 strikeouts, a .308 BAA and a 1.35 WHIP.