On Saturday afternoon, Eric Wood batted third for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League championship game. Just over 48 hours later, he was batting third and playing third base for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican. Wood went 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk in his team’s 6-5 win. On defense, he committed a fourth inning throwing error that resulted in an unearned run.

On Monday, Wood was named one of the top players available in the Rule 5 draft. MLB Pipeline also named him as a breakout prospect in the AFL, though we beat them to the punch by naming him our breakout position player for the Pirates back in September.

Willy Garcia played for the first time in 17 days. He had just 14 plate appearances prior to Monday night. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI single and three strikeouts in his first game back.

Miguel Rosario threw two shutout innings, retiring all six batters he faced. He came into the game with bases loaded in the ninth, no outs and a 5-4 lead. Rosario allowed one run to score on a wild pitch, but stranded the other two runners, keeping the scored tied. He then retired the side in order in the tenth. Rosario has a 2.19 ERA through 12.1 innings and 11 appearances. While he has issued eight walks, it’s never been more than one in an outing, and he has shown strong command during his career. He has also only given up five hits this winter, holding batters to a .119 average.

Pablo Reyes appeared in the game as a pinch-runner, representing the tying run in the bottom of the 11th. He made it to second on a passed ball, then got thrown out at home plate trying to score on an infield single off the first baseman’s glove. If you missed it from yesterday, the Pirates signed his younger brother.

In Nicaragua, Anderson Feliz is hitting .321/.427/.444 through 18 games.

In Colombia, Henrry Rosario is hitting .235/.297/.324 through 38 plate appearances.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-4, dropping him to a .350 average through 15 games.

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  1. From KlawChat:

    Lou (Reno): Why do teams send rule 5 eligible players to the AFL? ( thinking of Eric Wood). Aren’t they just giving other teams an extra look at these players?

    Klaw: They’re also giving themselves an extra look at their own players to determine whether to keep those guys or expose them, and giving other teams looks to perhaps try to trade for them before the protection deadline.

  2. Who else would be okay if we only picked up one starter this year, as long as they’re semi-decent, and used Kuhl and Hutchison at the back end?

  3. I guess Wood is determined to get drafted! I believe he will stay based on all I’ve read, but if he goes he earn it and I wish him well.

  4. Are these winter leagues generally accessible and safe for American tourists? As a fan of visiting ballparks (29 major, 40 minor so far), would love to catch a winter league game in the future.

    • You would have to look into specific parks. I wouldn’t recommend Venezuela, and there are obviously certain areas in other countries you don’t want to go. Might be better off catching an Australian Lg game, though I’d point out that it’s summer down there. The same language down there helps, just call everyone mate and say “no worries” a lot. You’ll fit right in.

      • Yes come on down to Australia, the baseball is of a good standard but not many Pirates prospects to watch. The games are played on Friday. Saturday and Sunday so you have the rest of the week to do tourist things. The ABL website will give you the schedule but remember it is summer and very hot. Bring sunblock and swimmers.

  5. Still can’t understand why he wasn’t protected over Bostwick or Fryer, but time will tell if it was a good move.

    I still think Barnes could go?

    • I never say they decided to keep one player over another, because those players people usually point out, end up being DFA’d over the off-season. Pirates have a full 40-man roster and they will definitely make moves. That means they will need to get rid of guys on the 40 to make those moves. They likely have a great idea of what they would like to add and how many spots they can free up.

      As for Wood, there isn’t a great need at third base for at least the next few years. You mentioned Chris Bostick, who put up an .830 OPS in the EL this year compared to .782 for Wood. Bostick is four months younger and has played six positions in his career, plus he has a half season of AAA experience. He also put up an .883 OPS last year in the AFL, compared to .876 for Wood this year. I don’t see how Wood could be considered clearly better than someone who is extremely similar to him as far as career path goes, but has a slight edge due to age, experience, versatility.

      Barnes likely lost out to Osuna. I don’t see it as a big loss if he goes. He did great this year for two months, but he’s still 25 and has some flaws to his game, including a below average arm that limits him to left field, and he isn’t as fast as he used to be. He’s the type of player you can replace fairly easy through minor league deals by going for a veteran with tools. If a team doesn’t take him, then great for the Pirates, because they get to see what he can do in AAA and if he can stay healthy again for a full year.

      I said a few times last week that Holmes was the only player that was a no brainer to add and they agreed.

      • Great defense of Bostick, who coincidentally is probably a Pirate because he was protected on Washingtons 40-man and when they needed the spot … boom… they had to waive him. Just why they don’t want to stick Woods there. Thanks John!

    • Lee : Probably because third basemen, especially one who hasn’t played above AA, would be considered a poor risk to carry on an MLB roster for an entire season.

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