The Dominican Summer League named their End of Season All-Stars on Thursday morning and the list is filled with players from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The big award went to outfielder Randy Romero, who not only made the All-Star team as the center fielder, he was also named as the league’s Player of the Year.
Romero helped the Pirates2 to a 56-16 record by winning the league batting title with a .376 average and he led the league in stolen bases, going 36-for-37 in steal attempts. He scored 52 runs, which led all Pirates and ranked tenth in the league. Romero was third with 82 hits, and perhaps most impressive this season, he struck out just 15 times in 245 plate appearances. All of that and Romero might actually be a better defender than hitter, with the ability to play all three spots, tremendous range and a strong arm that helped him pick up eight assists.
I talked to Romero this morning about winning the Player of the Year and he was obviously honored to receive the recognition.
“Being a Player of the Year feels wonderful,” Romero said. “I have no words to describe exactly my feelings, but the truth is that you compete against many young talents who have the same capabilities as you and know that they stand out [as players], the truth is it’s incredible.”
As I said up top, the Pirates were well represented on this list. Third baseman Alexander Mojica, second baseman Juan Jerez, right-handed pitcher Sergio Umana and left-hander Francisco Hodge, all made the All-Star team as well. Manager Shawn Bowman was named as the Manager of the Year in his first year with the Pirates.
Mojica drew most of the attention because he put up big numbers, while playing more than half of the season as a 16-year-old. Only Luis Tejeda was younger on the team. Mojica led the league with a 1.048 OPS. He finished second in slugging and fourth in OBP. His 46 RBIs ranked ninth in the league, and his eight home runs placed him three behind the league leader.
Juan Jerez batted .272/.324/.469 in 60 games. His seven home runs trailed just Mojica among all Pirates, and he led the two affiliates with 49 RBIs. Jerez made the All-Star squad as the second baseman, but also played 16 games as shortstop. He was the only player in this group to play on the Pirates1 affiliate this year.
Umana posted a 2.39 ERA in 64 innings over 13 starts. He was the starting pitcher for the All-Star game, and then pitched just as well after the break. Umana had a 59:8 SO/BB ratio and a 1.11 WHIP. He ranked tenth in the league in ERA and tenth in innings pitched.
Hodge pitched mostly in long relief, posting a 1.64 ERA in 49.1 innings, with a .232 BAA and 44 strikeouts. This was the second year in the league for the 19-year-old lefty, who had a 2.76 ERA last year in ten starts.
The playoffs begin tomorrow for the DSL Pirates2, as they await the winner of the first round series of the Dbacks2 and the Reds.