In the Dominican on Saturday night, Eric Wood went 2-for-4 with two singles, two walks, a run scored and an RBI in his team’s 7-4 win in 12 innings. His average dropped down to .204 prior to this game, so this could help get him on track this winter. Wood played first base and committed his fifth error this winter, giving him miscues at all three positions he has played (LF/1B/3B).

Pablo Reyes pinch-ran in the eighth inning and scored the tying run in his team’s 5-3 win. He didn’t get to bat in this game. Reyes was running for former Pirate catcher Ronny Paulino.

Willy Garcia struck out as a pinch-hitter while facing former Pirate prospect Joely Rodriguez. Garcia now has a .209 average through 19 games.

In Venezuela, Julio Vivas gave up a lead-off single, which was followed by two outs and two errors. That allowed two unearned runs to score. Vivas has a 4.35 ERA over 10.1 innings in 12 appearances.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 0-for-4. He had a nice four-game stretch going before Saturday, in which he hit his first triple and his first homer of the season, while also scoring runs in all four games. That came after not crossing the plate in his first 33 games.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. He played second base for the second time this season. All of his other starts have come at third base. He is hitting .140/.260/.140 through 15 games.

In Colombia, Henrry Rosario played in the All-Star game on Saturday night. A boxscore wasn’t posted, but I had to mention it because of league size, and not to take anything away from Rosario making the team. Colombia plays in a league with four teams and the All-Star game had a total of 52 players on the roster. That means that an average of 13 players per team participated in the game. Both Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco were in attendance during the HR Derby and softball game on Saturday night. I’m not sure about Marte, but I know that Polanco stepped into the batter’s box and took some swings.

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    • I believe Moroff is better. He has the obvious advantage of being younger and making the majors already. As far as tool, Moroff is the more versatile defensive player. He looked good at third base this season, he can play shortstop and he’s a solid second baseman. He also has the advantage with speed.

      Moroff showed last year that he can be a strong hitter if he’s a little more aggressive at the plate. In the past (pre-2015) and this season, he hasn’t been aggressive, which leads to a lot of walks and strikeouts.

      The 2015 version of Moroff is what you want to see and it’s just a matter of plate approach. He can drive the ball to the gaps and occasionally put the ball over the fence. But he needs to stop taking so many good pitches. This year, pitchers would get him into 0-2 holes all of the time with pitches that he should be driving. Then he would be in protect the plate mode and often it led to strikeouts.

      Wood has more power as his advantage, but it’s not like Moroff has no power.

      Dean Treanor, who had no problem saying what was on his mind this year, thought Moroff was MLB ready when asked late in the season

        • John, can you in short compare Hanson to Moroff?
          Is it close? Are they comparable?
          Is it great potential vs hard work?

          • Hanson has the advantages at speed and range on defense. He’s a better second baseman, and might be better at shortstop, but they don’t use him there. What they did do this year in use a ridiculous shift for right-handed batters, where Hanson was on the third base side of the second base bag by a few steps. Basically, he played a lot of shortstop this year, even if he was still technically the second baseman. He had zero issues with it, which is why I think he could play shortstop. Hanson also looked decent at third base.

            In the outfield, he took a lot of bad routes, and the arm isn’t great, but he also showed a ton of range. If ever gets good at reading balls off the bat, you’re talking about a plus outfielder due to his speed.

            So if you compare defense, I’d probably give an edge to Hanson, but not by much because I know Moroff could start at three spots, while I know Hanson would be a strong defensive second baseman, a decent third baseman, and you could occasionally use him at the other two spots, with shortstop being a possibility more than outfield at this point.

            As a hitter, they both have about the same power, but they are totally different at the plate. Hanson can get anxious at times, while Moroff has none of that. Moroff will draw walks, while Hanson is aggressive with pitches in the zone and doesn’t draw many walks. He will sometimes overswing, while he is better off just trying to get on and use his speed. Someone in the middle of those two would be a perfect hitter and you occasionally see it from both of them.

            If you’re just looking for who has the ability to be better, it’s Hanson, because when he’s at his best, he would be a starting second baseman with plus defense and the ability to steal 40+ bases.

            They both have fixable issues and have displayed that they can fix them. It’s tough to turn on a switch for Moroff that makes him more aggressive and one for Hanson that makes his try not to hit homers, even though you can point to stretches where they were successful with those approaches. They both know what they do wrong though, so that’s part of the battle (just not the toughest part).

            • John, thank you for the outstanding reviews and comparisons.
              It seems 2016 will be huge years for Hanson and Moroff.
              Hanson, out of options, will likely be first to get his chance
              to show what he has in Pittsburgh and Moroff will be waiting
              in the wings in Indy. A great year for one or both will
              really help the Pirates.

  1. Glad to hear Ronny Paulino is still playing somewhere. He should be a cautionary tale to anyone who ever says A Chris Stewart should be cast off because —-insert AA catcher—– is a lights out defensive player. Tony Sanchez was drafted as a defensive whiz. The game is different as you go up the ladder. Paulino looked great… until he didn’t. C is the hardest position to judge who will succeed.

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