Pirates Sign Two Position Players From the Dominican Republic

The Pittsburgh Pirates added two players from the Dominican Republic to the GCL roster this week who were part of their 2016-17 July 2nd signing class. Outfielder Rayvi Rodriguez and catcher Ruben Gonzalez have been added to the GCL roster despite not playing a game in the DSL. Both players were signed on July 2nd.

Rodriguez is an outfielder with a strong arm and plus speed. He hits and throws lefty. He is 6’0″, 165 pounds, with a small frame, so he likely won’t fill out too much. He is 18 years old.

Gonzalez is a 19-year-old catcher (turned 19 last month), with a solid 5’11, 195 pound frame. He has a strong arm behind the plate. He bats and throws right-handed.

I wouldn’t commit to both of these players starting their career in the GCL at this point. Usually players who sign on the international side and don’t play the same year they are signed, are added to the roster right before Opening Day the following season. Even if they are one of the rare players who skip the DSL, they still don’t show up on the roster of the GCL until Opening Day. This is an odd case, but we got information on them just in case they do begin in the GCL next season. Both players are currently taking part in the Dominican Instructional League, which begins playing games on Tuesday.

You can check out our international signing tracker with the six signings who were previously announced. The Pirates have signed at least 15 players this signing period. The other seven unannounced players could have some interesting names among them, but we have no information on them other than their names and positions. We may not mention them until the DSL season preview next year because not every signed players in July automatically makes the roster the following year. Gonzalez and Rodriguez were announced due to their roster status.

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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The rich get richer…the top prospect, or at least one of the very best, is Eloy Jimenez, the OFer for the Cubs. Just 19 years old. Wasn’t he a big dollar International signing a couple of years ago?


Funny thing is Top prospects don’t always pan out. I think the Pirates have had a few like that.

William R. Maloni Sr

What’s the latest on “trading the PBC’s owner?”

Any Nutting nibbles from franchises with cash sucking community newspapers and/or ski resorts nearby?


Would be really, really nice to see the Bucs tap into this SS-Boom/Revolution that is going on. Draft or international it would be great to have a stout SS prospect coming through…and, no, Newman doesn’t count.


Sure, you know best boss. Meanwhile lots of people who actually know this stuff think highly of Newman.


Newman will be a second baseman in the majors….his arm is suspect for SS….


Mercer ended up at SS…so I would be so certain lol


Mercer has a lot stronger arm than Newman.


You’re right “boss”…you know a LOT. Tell me, genius, which of these great industry sources, you know, the ones that you claim “actually know this stuff” think that Newman is Andrelton Simmons, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Xander Bogaerts, Aledmys Diaz, Manny Machado, or even Jonathan Villar. DEFENSIVELY he has the chance to be as good as NONE of the above. None. And not one person has said he does. HE will hit…I did not say he was a POS. I said it would be nice if we could have one of these stud SS prospects. AND Newman ISN’T one of those. HAPPY to see you argue otherwise but I doubt you can or will.


Newman in 2016
MLB Pipeline Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 30 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Seager in 2014
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 45 | Overall: 65
If Newman hit’s like you say and if he’s as good defensively as Seager than it seems like he’ll be the stud prospect you’re talking about.


We can only hope and wish that Newman is 3/4 the player that Seager is. Seager is a stud, in just about every measurable category – bat, glove, arm, power – his only average aspect to his game is speed. He is similar to Tulowitski in a lot of ways.

Newman is a completely different animal. He has very good speed and is an on base machine. But, he doesn’t have much power, at least not HR power, his arm is lacking and he doesn’t have the size, length, or range of a guy like Seager. I think Newman can be an all-star second baseman – a Pedroia type. I don’t think he will ever be an all-star SS, given his arm and range. And yes, I’ve seen him play. I like Newman a lot – but its unfair to compare him to Saeger.


Have you ever seen either play? Are you seriously comparing them defensively? I don’t care about what mlbpipeline puts on them defensively, Seager was ALWAYS going to stick at SS without question and is much the superior defensive (and offensive) talent.


Not every team can have a top 10 SS and simply basing your comparison on one aspect of the game, regardless of how valuable that part of the game may be, is pretty useless. Comparing Simmons’ bat to Newman’s offensive potential makes them, as a complete player, basically a wash.


PS: Andrelton Simmons may have put up the best defensive year by any player ever as a Brave. Newman would have to hit really, really well.


PS: Trevor Story hit a bunch of home runs but struck out in a third of his at bats, and will be moved to second when Brendan Rogers gets to the majors just like Javier Baez already plays at second and will presumably be the eventual defensive position for Newman. I just used Simmons as one example of the names you dropped to show that you’re whole argument is basically “why isn’t Newman the best SS in the majors?”, which is unrealistic.




You asked for an industry source and I showed you MLB Pipeline. They think he’s fast, has an average arm, and average glove for the position.
Now I’m going to ask you what you just asked rburgh
“”boss”…you know a LOT. Tell me, genius, which of these great industry sources, you know, the ones that you claim “actually know this stuff””
Also Keith Law loves him


By using rburgh’s idiotic words you nly make yourself look similar.

Enough of that for now. TO answer your question: how about THIS site? Tim has often said, and as early as a week ago, that Newman SHOULD be able to provide average defense. Lastly, you do realize your fighting a losing battle when you compare a 55 grade prospect to a 65 grade prospect. The prospect who made an mlb all star team by 22 and another who is still in AA at 23. Just stop.


I had a well thought out response to you but then I realized you’re just going to change your argument and lob immature insults at me like a baby so I gave up and deleted it.


And I didn’t change my argument. Maybe you just have reading comprehension issues. I stated that no one in their right mind would say Newman is as good as players listed. I then mentioned defense as one of the determining factors. YOU cite evidence only to ONE point and think it backs your argument despite the fact that the evidence cited clearly supports MY contention that Newman is not as good as Seager (et al)…which is clearly shown by grade differences.


Woah Woah woah…pot, meet kettle. Try reading. Pretty sure you were defending and quoting rburgh who started the insults. Try again.

Frank Koch

John. Nothing further on the young player you wrote about around early July who was leaning to sign with the a Bucs but his birthday was in mid August. Sorry I cannot think of his name.

joe s

Why not put them both on the GCL roster they are both over 18 old at this point and might be 19 when the next season starts. Once again the Pirates are signing the leftovers from two years ago. Perhaps they have great potential and I am sounding like a disillusioned fan but most international signings occur when the player is 16 years of age. Why sign these two players? Did they develop so much from age 16 that they are now prospects that other teams missed or just roster fill for the upcoming season in the DSL or GCL?

Bruce Humbert

We need a flag as stupid option…

Tim Williams

Starling Marte signed at age 18. Gregory Polanco signed at 17 and a half. To dismiss guys because they aren’t 16 years old when they sign isn’t the best practice. Not every player is going to show all of his future tools at age 16. That’s why every year, every single team signs guys who are older than 16.

joe s

I guess then we will be seeing these two in the burg in 3/4 years. Did they go to college or just finish high school so that is why they signed late? Was Matte a failed pitcher and therefore signed at a latter age. Not sure what Polancos reason for signing at that age was. Perhaps you can fill in that blank.


There you go using those pesky facts again.

Bruce Humbert

I love it when commenters are so dismissive of the BMTIB

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