The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 19-year-old outfielder Fernando Villegas as an international amateur free agent out of Mexico on Friday afternoon. He recently completed a tryout in front of two scouts and Junior Vizcaino, who took over as the Director of International Scouting after Rene Gayo was let go by the Pirates in November.

Villegas has belonged to Saraperos de Saltillo, a summer league team in Mexico, since he was 14 years old. His father had a long pro career in baseball playing outfield in the Mexican league for 16 seasons, 12 of them with Saltillo. The younger Villegas had not played for Saltillo yet because the level of player is about equal to weak Triple-A, but the team said that he would have had a shot to make the club this year if he wasn't signed.

The Pirates gave him...

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John Dreker
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.