Dominican Summer League Results: Pirates vs the NL Central

Last week we looked at the players from the Pittsburgh Pirates who began their career in the Dominican Summer League and made it to the majors. We used the 2006 team as a starting point because that was the first year that had year-by-year stats on Baseball-Reference.

What we found in that article is that Starling Marte was far and away the best DSL Pirates player during that time.

Twelve Pirates made it to the majors so far from those teams and half of them put up negative WAR numbers in their career (not all of them are finished playing). Then you have five players led by Gregory Polanco, who combined for 6.5 WAR, and Marte with 34.8 WAR. So combined we are under 40 WAR, or 38.5 WAR to be exact.

What I wanted to do this week is compare those results to the current four NL Central teams. I left the Houston Astros off because they’ve been gone from the division for too long for this comparison. I won’t go into detail for each player because that would take forever and wouldn’t change the main idea for this article, which is to see what value came from the players who came up through the DSL for each team.

Below is a team-by-team breakdown of the players and total WAR for the St Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds during that same time-frame. The Brewers presented a little problem in that they didn’t have a Dominican team until 2009. They didn’t even have a Venezuelan Summer League team either, so their stats start with 2009. However, I looked through their players signed during that 2005-07 time who could have played in the DSL in 2006-08 and it added two players, Wily Peralta and Joel De La Cruz. They combined for 3.0 WAR, which doesn’t help the Brewers much as you will see below, but I threw them on the list anyway, even though we don’t know if they would have been in the DSL or the U.S. at the time.

St Louis Cardinals (12 Players, 18.9 WAR)

Carlos Martinez 13.3

Sandy Alcantara 7.8

Edmundo Sosa 3.2

Angel Rondon 0.1

Audry Perez 0.0

Jesus Cruz -0.1

Allen Cordoba -0.6

Junior Fernandez -0.6

Magneuris Sierra -0.8

Johan Oviedo -1.0

Oscar Taveras -1.2

Luis Perdomo -1.2

Chicago Cubs  (13 Players, 54.8 WAR)

Starlin Castro 18.2

Willson Contreras 16.9

Marwin Gonzalez 13.5

Jeimer Candelario 6.8

Felix Pena 1.8

Erick Castillo 0.1

Jhon Romero 0.0

Marco Hernandez -0.1

Brailyn Marquez -0.2

Alberto Cabrera -0.3

Pedro Araujo -0.5

Arismendy Alcantara -0.6

Junior Lake -0.8

Cincinnati Reds (10 Players, 10.4 WAR)

Miguel Rojas 10.4

Wandy Peralta 0.8

Aristides Aquino 0.7

Jose Siri 0.3

Dauri Moreta 0.1

Daniel Corcino 0.1

Henry Rodriguez -0.2

Pedro Viola -0.2

Carlos Contreras -0.5

Enerio Del Rosario -1.1

Milwaukee Brewers  (6 Players, 2.8 WAR)

Wily Peralta 3.4

Orlando Arcia 2.1

Miguel Sanchez 0.0

Joel De La Cruz -0.4

Miguel Diaz -0.8

Jorge Lopez -1.5


The Cubs are the clear winner here, but I’m willing to bet that these results are surprising to many. I know they were to me.

I didn’t expect the Pirates to be the second best by a wide margin. I expected the best team to be better and I expected the Pirates to be average at best.

I knew the Brewers were going to be last because they have been notoriously frugal on the international side and they have even used co-op teams to help fill out their roster. Their results over that time are pathetic though. The Reds and Cardinals getting so little production is definitely a shock to me, but what this really tells you is that expectations for the league should be lowered. Not every international signing goes to the DSL, so the numbers don’t represent the entire international side of things. However, based on these numbers, it seems like getting anything from one specific team is a win.

The Cubs put up the best numbers, but they also had two affiliates in the league for most of those years, using more players than any of the other four NL Central clubs. The average here looks like teams are developing one DSL player per year and some of them are negative value MLB players. Those players tend to have trade value coming up through the minors, so they aren’t a wash in that sense.


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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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