Winter Leagues: Slow Start to the Winter League Season for the Pirates

I was expecting to do an article this week before today about the winter leagues because the action in the Dominican kicked off four days ago. Then the rosters were released and the only player on the Pirates currently in action is Christian Bethancourt, who might not be with the Pirates much longer if he decides to become a free agent after spending 2021 in Indianapolis. That news was on top of one player (Carlos Campos) being on the Venezuelan league rosters. So this weekend recap is basically to tell you that not much is going on yet. We know the Dominican will get more interesting, and Puerto Rico will have some Pirates there playing, but we also know that Australia isn’t playing this year, so that will cut down on the overall information. Here’s you weekend update of the few players of interest.

In Mexico, Randy Romero cooled off a bit from his outstanding start. In 22 games, he’s hitting .306/.394/.353 with six steals. The leagues usually get tougher as the season goes along, but just the fact that he’s hitting .306 this far into the season is impressive, especially since his three best tools are his speed, arm and defense, and he has no minor league experience above short-season ball.

Fabricio Macias is hitting .190/.190/.190 in 13 games. It’s a small sample size, but this is the year that he’s finally around the same level of play in the minors as the league in Mexico, so he should be able to handle it this year. Mexico is about the same as a strong Double-A league, while Macias (pictured above) split this year between High-A Greensboro and Triple-A Indianapolis.

Bethancourt has started off 3-for-15 with a homer, along with an 0:7 BB/SO ratio. I’ll mention him here until he signs elsewhere, but it will be a brief mention each week unless he returns to the Pirates, in which case we will continue to track his winter.

Carlos Campos hasn’t pitched in Venezuela yet. That’s not a surprise, as the league is at least equal to Double-A and he has limited Low-A experience this year after beginning the season in the FCL.

Hopefully next week will be more, or we have an article before next Sunday because the action picked up.

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