The Pittsburgh Pirates added to their 2021-22 international signing class this week, adding right-handed pitcher Fares Sanchez, who just turned 18 years old. He made his debut in the Dominican Summer League today, throwing two shutout innings. I was able to get a quick scouting report on him. He stands 6’1″, 170, with a large frame that still needs to fill out. His fastball sits in the 89-91 MPH range. He also throws a slider and changeup, and he gets praise for mixing his pitches well.
I was also able to get a report on recently signed Adolfo Oviedo, who debuted last week after his contract became official. He has a report very similar to Sanchez, both are the same height/frame, nearly the same weight (165 for Oviedo). Oviedo turns 18 in November, so he’s slightly younger. The two players have the same three-pitch mix, except Oviedo throws 1-2 MPH harder and he has good sink on his fastball
Here’s our international signing tracker. The Pirates have signed 25 players since the signing period opened on January 15th.
In addition to those players, two players from the previous signing period had to wait for their contracts to become official. Their signings still count towards the previous period because they signed in September. Victor Cabreja is a 20-year-old (19 when he signed) lefty, who has added a lot to his 6’3″ frame since signing. He was originally listed at 180, but he’s up to 215 in the nine months since he first signed. He throws in the 88-93 MPH range and repeats his delivery well and moves well for his size. He has a good baseball IQ on the mound aka pitchability.
Brandison Polanco is a 19-year-old right-hander from the Dominican, who is more of a project. He has a lot of filling out/adding muscle to do to his 6’2″ frame. He has good athleticism and throws 86-88 MPH now. He throws a 12-to-6 curve and a changeup. There is good projection here to add velocity and stamina as he gets stronger, but he’s going to take some time to develop.
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.
It seems the signing bonus money never seems to run out.
You can always sign players, even if you don’t have pool money. Their bonus just needs to be under $10,000. Any signing under that amount doesn’t count against the pool. If some team only signed guys for $9999 and added 30 players, they would have spent zero of their pool money.