Action from the few Pittsburgh Pirates left in winter ball over the weekend, plus a note on third baseman Eric Wood.
In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz continued to play on after his team was eliminated in the first round. He was taken in the draft by Cangrejeros de Santurce. Ortiz went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the first game of the finals. He was not in Sunday’s lineup.
In the Dominican, Eury Perez singled in his first at-bat, then got hurt while playing defense in the bottom of the first inning. He was removed from the game with an ankle injury. There is no update on the severity of the injury. Perez has a .367 average through 15 playoff games and hit his first home run of the winter earlier last week.
In Australia, Sam Street pitched an inning and allowed one run on three hits. He came into the inning with the bases loaded and no outs, taking over for former Pirate Virgil Vasquez. All three inherited runs scored. Despite allowing three hits and picking up a strikeout, Street threw just 14 pitches, with 12 going for strikes.
In Nicaragua, Anderson Feliz went 1-for-3 with a walk, as his team lost game two of the finals to even the series.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar came in as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning and he singled in his only at-bat. In nine playoff games, he is 2-for-6 at the plate and has scored four runs as a pinch-runner.
In the Dominican, Miguel Rosario pitched 1.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits, with no walks or strikeouts. He inherited three runners and all of them scored on a grand slam.
Jason Rogers is still with him team in the Dominican, but he hasn’t played the last two games. His team went with better defense in left field and put in Mel Rojas Jr., despite the fact that Rogers had a .333 average, with six walks, two doubles and a home run in the playoffs. Rojas ended up homering last night.
In Nicaragua, Anderson Feliz hit a solo homer in his team’s 6-5 win. He finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored. He hit four homers during the regular season this winter. Including playoffs, Feliz has played all 55 of his team’s games.
WOOD NAMED TO TEAM CANADA
Third baseman Eric Wood was named to Team Canada over the weekend and will represent his county in the World Baseball Classic according to his agent. Wood wrapped up a long season just before Christmas, finishing the regular season in the Dominican, before returning home for the holidays and rest.
Wood hit .249/.339/.443 in 118 regular season games with Altoona. That was followed by the Eastern League playoffs, then a trip down to the Fall Instructional League where he got in some time in the outfield. He then played in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .330/.388/.489 in 23 games and helped his team to the finals. Just two days after his AFL season ended, Wood was in the Dominican for winter ball. There he batted .202/.337/.357 in 25 games. While the .694 OPS doesn’t sound good, it was still well over the .619 league average, as the Dominican was dominated by pitching this season. He mainly played left field and first base in winter ball.
Other Pirates in the WBC so far are Andrew McCutchen, Francisco Cervelli, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. The latter two haven’t been made official yet by the Dominican Republic, but people with the team confirmed they would play. Altoona reliever Jared Lakind played for Team Israel in the qualifiers in September and will likely represent them in the WBC. He received a non-roster invitation to Spring Training this year. More players could be added as the rest of the rosters are released.
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.
A bit disappointed that none of the national outlets so far have dug up anything on Eric Wood. Lot of great coverage here, of course, but it would stand to reason that the industry is still skeptical if the national guys aren’t hearing much about him from their contacts.
Who is Eury Perez? I don’t see his player page.
Signed as a minor league free agent this off-season with an invite to Spring Training: http://126.96.36.199/2016/12/pirates-sign-josh-lindblom-and-eury-perez-to-minor-league-contracts.html
Was once a top rated prospects with the Nationals.
Player Page: http://188.8.131.52/eury-perez
Thank you. I missed that one. I hope he puts something together, because a guy who rates 80 in any tool isn’t a bad guy to have on your bench, as long as he’s not otherwise terrible.
His upside appears to be an extra outfielder due to his speed and defense, with the ability to play all three spots. The great playoffs aside, he really hasn’t hit enough to show he can be more than that. He has the feel of a guy you might see in September as a pinch-runner for Hurdle.
They signed him to a minors deal earlier in the offseason