Roberto Espinoza

Born: May 7, 1991
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 198
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2008
How Acquired: Int. FA
Country: Mexico
Agent: N/A


The Pirates were high on Espinoza when they signed him out of Mexico, but he spent three years in the VSL and pitched well only in the first one.  When the Pirates signed him, he reportedly threw around 88-93 and his secondary stuff included a slider.  By spring training in 2012, though, he was throwing only in the upper-80s.

VSL:  4-1-0, 2.74 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 62.1 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

Espinoza had a good VSL debut at age 18, allowing only 41 hits in 62.1 IP, with good control and a decent K rate.

VSL:  1-1-0, 3.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 54.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 4.1 K/9 

In his second year Espinoza took a step backwards, allowing a lot more hits than innings pitched and fanning very few.

VSL:  4-3-1, 4.37 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 68.0 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9

Back for a third year, Espinoza posted a higher ERA but pitched better, allowing fewer hits and fanning a lot more batters.

R:  5-0-1, 3.65 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

Espinoza pitched out of the bullpen in the GCL.  He didn’t give up a lot of hits, but his walk and K rates weren’t very good.  He was a strong groundball pitcher.

R:  0-0-2, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 1.1 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 20.2 K/9
A-:  3-2-5, 2.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 9.5 K/9
A+:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 1.1 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9

The Pirates assigned Espinosa to the GCL in late June.  He pitched two games there and one as a fill-in at Bradenton before settling in with the Jamestown bullpen the rest of the year.  He shared closing duties there with Brett McKinney and pitched well, striking out over a batter an inning and holding opponents to a .181 average.  He did, however, have control problems.  He also had trouble with left-handed hitters, who had a .432 OBP against him.

Espinoza took a step forward in 2013.  He should open next season at West Virginia or possibly Bradenton.

Baseball Reference — Minors
2014: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2013
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
September 28, 2008: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.