The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 17-year-old first baseman Shendrik Apostel, who is the younger brother of prospect Sherten Apostel. The younger Apostel is a big kid, who has had some success in international competition, including the 2012 Little League World Series. At the time of the LLWS, when he was 12 years old, he already stood 6’2″, 189 pounds and showed off easy power. He has grown to 6’5″ and filled out (225 lb range), with a strong frame for a player his age and raw power as his main tool. Shendrik bats and throws right-handed.
I talked to one of the DSL Pirate players who recently saw him play and he backed up the scouting reports, saying “He is very strong. Easy power.”
Shendrik has been at the Dominican academy this summer and will take part in the Dominican Fall Instructional League there next month, which has approximately the same start/end time as the Arizona Fall League. Then he should open up next season in the DSL, where he will compete for time at first base with Ronaldo Paulino and Matthew Mercedes, two players who can also play third base. Sherten Apostel played third base in the DSL this season and put up big numbers, including a .917 OPS, finishing second in the league with nine homers and 56 walks. He is currently in Bradenton for the Fall Instructional League and will begin 2018 in the U.S., opening up third base for the DSL Pirates next year.
Until this signing, the Pirates had just one player in the system recently from Curacao (Sherten Apostel obviously). It’s a country that has produced 15 Major League players, including Yurendell de Caster, who came up through the farm system for the Pirates and played in Pittsburgh during the 2006 season. With the recent breakout performance of Sherten Apostel, it’s not a bad gamble to sign his younger brother, who has a nice track record of success and some huge power potential in his bat.
The Pirates have turned into a family friendly organization in the last year, signing the younger brother of Pablo Reyes, then drafting the younger brother of West Virginia pitcher Mike Wallace. Samuel Reyes pitched well for the GCL Pirates, while Gavin Wallace had a nice season pitching for Morgantown. They already had Gift Ngoepe and his brother Victor, a shortstop in the GCL who has some defensive potential and speed.
None of these signings seem to be based solely on the success of their brother rather than their own merits, but it is a lot of sibling combos. At least on the international side, it may have helped the Pirates get the younger brothers by already having the older ones signed.