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Sunday, November 27, 2022

New Information on July 2nd Players Signed This Year by the Pittsburgh Pirates

Back on July 2nd, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed a total of 20 international players. Teams don’t really announce international signings too often. They are usually announced by people like Ben Badler with Baseball America or Jesse Sanchez, who works for MLB. In fact, Sanchez announced all nine of the players the Pirates signed for at least $100,000 this year. The other way you find out players the Pirates sign is by me checking articles in Spanish daily.

I was able to get a six of the other names within a few days of the July 2nd announcement, but that still left five unknown names from that busy first day. The Pirates obviously signed at least three players shortly after July 2nd because we now know 23 names from the start of the signing period.

We announced the signings of Panamanian pitcher Jose Amaya (one of two pitchers the Pirates signed out of Panama), Colombian pitchers Yandy Vega and Andres Arrieta, center fielder Randy Romero, outfielder Cristian Navarro and left-handed pitcher Mario Garcia, all out of Mexico. We also announced the signing of Shendrik Apostel, the younger brother of prospect Sherten Apostel. He was signed well after the first group of 20 players. Navarro is currently at Pirate City for the Fall Instructional League, which is unusual for someone who was signed as an international free agent three months earlier.

Now we have seven more names to add to the list of players signed this July. Below you will find their name, age, position, height/weight and birthplace where available.

Eddy Vargas, 19-year-old (turns 20 on October 12th) left-handed pitcher from the Dominican. He’s 6’0″, 170 pounds.

Joseivin Medina, 17-year-old lefty throwing/hitting outfielder from the Dominican. He’s 6’4″, 190 pounds.

Juan Henriquez, 20-year-old (turns 21 on October 22nd) right-handed pitcher. He’s 6’3″, 185 pounds.

Bryan Mateo, 18-year-old (turns 19 on October 20th) lefty throwing/hitting outfielder from the Dominican. He’s 6’2″, 180 pounds.

Jose Maldonado, 18-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Dominican. He’s 6’2″, 169 pounds.

Robinson Ramos, 19-year-old catcher, right-handed hitter from the Dominican. He’s 5’11”, 185 pounds.

Wandi Encarnacion, 20-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Dominican. He’s 6’5″, 190 pounds.

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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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Once again the Pirates appear to be bottom feeders during the International signing period. If these kids were any good someone would have signed them one or two years ago. Do we spend anywhere near the limit each year? That Dominican academy has not produced much. I would have expected a ML ready catcher or middle infielder by now. Maybe teams such as Atlanta with shady dealings are hard to beat.


All of what you said above John is certainly true, but it is also true that the Pirates are still essentially bottom feeders – nothing has changed, which is remarkable when you consider the little they have to show for their current strategy.

When it comes to the top 50-100 International prospects each and every year, the Pirates are a complete non-factor. Needless to say, their lower levels of their system reflect that – precious few legitimate position player prospects.

Until the team changes and decides it actually wants to win and compete, expect more mediocrity….


Elias Diaz, Jose Osuna, Starling Marte, Gregoy Polanco, Edgar Santana. Yep, the Pirates get nothing out of their Latin signings. Not to mention Edwin Espinal or Yeudy Garcia.

You guys are sending mixed messages – you want more Latin prospects but you want the Pirates to up their average bonus money by 5x or more when they have a fixed budget. You can’t have it both ways.

joe s

Typical pirate haul in this last bunch of signings. Most if not all are over 16 years old. Maybe they matured late and became viable options to sign but more likely they are just fillers to round out the DSL team next year. I hope there is a true star or two in this mix but if all teams passed on them for years in most cases I doubt the Pirates have uncovered some true prospects here. I think it is time for the Pirates to get over the Heredia signing for big money, which at this point is a failure on Gayo/the Pirates part and take a chance on a few more high cost signings in the hope that one of them turns out to be a true star and I am not talking about a Polanco star, who I still have hopes for.


Why? They will just trade him (them) for salary relief

John W

Typical Pirate haul= minimal chance these guys turn into an actual prospect.


I assume it’s just coincidence but it’s a little weird the three you have known birthdays for are all within the next two weeks.


But you notice that there’s not a 16 year old mentioned. The Pirates idea of signing more players that are more financially viable hasn’t worked. If I recall the article I read correctly the Pirates only have a total of 17 Latin American kids in A and high A ball. That figure is dwarfed by the number that teams who are willing to pay have at the same levels. I feel sorry for Rene Gayo,


Wasn’t Marte an older signee?

Mike G

Oh, the stuff of dreams.


Some good names there….Encarnacion, Mateo, Maldonado….oh wait. 🙂

If we can hit on one or two of these guys each year, we’ll be fine.


Glad you’re back on this site. And yes, quantity has its merits. Just need a Polanco or Marte every 2-3 years.

Mike G

Don’t know if they’re family, Foo, but there’s some gold down there, you just have to keep panning.

Mike Dinger

This is the stuff I love about your site, Tim, and why I’m a subscriber whether the big club wins or loses.

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