Fabricio Macias Headed to West Virginia; Blake Cederlind Promoted to Bradenton

Pirates Prospects has learned that outfielder Fabricio Macias, who was signed out of Mexico in February, will join the West Virginia Power (updated below) today. To make room on their roster, pitcher Blake Cederlind was promoted to Bradenton last night.

The Pirates signed Macias (pictured above), along with his teammate in Mexico, fellow outfielder Fernando Villegas, both in February. Villegas reported to the Dominican once he got his visa, while Macias reported to Pirate City in Bradenton.

Macias was supposed to join the Power to start the season, but there were issues with details in his contract and he spent all of Extended Spring Training playing at Pirate City while he waited for the final approval. After Extended Spring Training ended last week, he received permission from the Pirates to play for his team in Mexico while he waited.

It turned out that Villegas was also waiting for the same contract details to be worked out by Major League Baseball. He was in Spring Training with the DSL Pirates clubs, but wasn’t allowed to play when the season started earlier this month, though he never left the Dominican Academy. He has now been placed on the Morgantown roster and we confirmed that he left the Dominican this morning.

We also found out that 19-year-old pitcher Denny Roman, who is also from Mexico, had the contract that he signed on April 11th approved this week. He was added to the DSL Pirates2 roster yesterday.

In case you forgot because it’s been a few months, Macias already had experience playing at the top level in Mexico during the summer last year. That level of play is about the same as a weak Triple-A/strong Double-A competition, with many veteran players of the league who were much older than Macias. He hit hit .318/.351/.382 in 73 games, with 18 stolen bases in 25 attempts. Those are outstanding numbers for his age (19 at the time), though it is a high offense league, so they are slightly below average for the level. He was also named the top player in the country who was 23 years old or younger.

Villegas didn’t play in the top league in Mexico, but before he signed, he was competing for a spot in that league and had excelled in 2017 at the level below (their version of Triple-A). He turns 20 years old next week.

So it appears that MLB has taken care of whatever issues they had with the contracts of the three players signed out of Mexico since February. The Pirates signed three other players in July out of Mexico, but as far as we know, there were no issues with their contracts. There may have been a delay, but since they signed 2018 contracts last year and weren’t on any rosters officially until late May, any approval delays for a few months wouldn’t have caused any issues.

If there’s an update on who Cederlind is replacing in Bradenton, we will post it here. Could be an injury or a promotion (or a release), we don’t know yet, but we have inquired.

UPDATE: Macias showed up in Morgantown instead. My guess is that it was a mix-up with two teams having the same name, which is why we always call one Morgantown, but it could have been a late change of plans as well. Still haven’t heard yet where Villegas will show up, though as of right now, he remains on the updated Morgantown roster.

UPDATE #2: Villegas is going to the GCL Pirates.

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.

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