After just one player from the Pittsburgh Pirates saw winter league action on Wednesday, Thursday saw two starting pitching prospects take the mound and five other players got into games.
We start in Puerto Rico, where Gage Hinsz made his third start of the winter after missing the entire 2018 season. Hinsz came into the day with nine shutout innings in his first two starts. He lost his scoreless streak in the third inning, then faced four batters in the fifth without picking up an out. All four of those runners scored, though two ended up being unearned runs. Hinsz finished with three earned runs on six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts, in four innings. He served up a grand slam to the final batter he faced.
Jerrick Suiter was the only Pirate to play on Wednesday. He went 0-for-3 in that game, then went 1-for-4 with a single on Thursday. Suiter is hitting .194/.265/.226 in nine games.
Jordan Jess followed Hinsz on Thursday and allowed two runs in his 1.1 innings of work. He gave up one hit, a walk and struck out three batters. In five innings over six appearances, Jess has allowed five runs on six hits and four walks.
In Venezuela, Luis Escobar made his second start of the winter. In his debut last week, he gave up one unearned run on two hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. On Thursday, he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Escobar was facing a lineup with six players with MLB experience, another one who has spent the last three years in Triple-A, and two other players who spent the majority of 2018 in Double-A, with one of them getting a promotion to Triple-A at the end. That means it’s a lot better than any lineup he will face in Altoona in 2019, so it’s a great experience for the 22-year-old from Colombia.
In the Dominican, Erik Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He has played shortstop every game since being traded to the Pirates earlier this month. Gonzalez is hitting .245/.265/.316 in 24 games.
Pablo Reyes started in left field, then moved to third base late in the game. He went 1-for-4 with a single. He is hitting .240/.342/.308 in 31 games.
Alfredo Reyes went 1-for-3 with a run scored. He started at second base and moved to third base late in the game. Reyes is hitting .324/.381/.351 in 26 games.
Our 2019 Prospect Guide is currently available for pre-sales. The top 50 prospects section of the book will be available before Christmas. It comes with free updates when the entire book is finished around the beginning of Spring Training, as well as any possible updates to the top 50 due to trades, signings, etc.
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.