Winter Leagues: Gorkys Hernandez Homers, Shows Off Great Defense (With Video)

In the Dominican on Saturday night, Estrellas won 2-1 to stay alive in the best-of-nine finals. The Gigantes took a 4-3 advantage in the series. Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, while Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-3 after sitting out his first game of the entire playoffs on Friday. Rafael Perez started the game and had his worst outing, allowing two runs on three hits and...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Valle Returns to Action, Kennelly Helps Perth Clinch Playoff Spot

On Wednesday night in Mexico, catcher Sebastian Valle returned to action with his new team. He was drafted by Jalisco for the finals on Tuesday. In his first game back, he went 1-for-4 with a single and run scored, as his team lost by an 11-8 score. In the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a run scored in his team’s 5-1 win. The Gigantes took a 3-2 lead in the best-of...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Pirates Prospects is Looking For Writers For the 2015 Season

The 2015 season is around the corner, and Spring Training starts in less than a month. Over the next few weeks I will be adding writers to the site for the upcoming season. If you’re interested in writing for the site, and you’ve got a media background or strong writing skills, then check out the positions below, along with qualifications for each position. Major League Coverage...
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8 days ago  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Mel Rojas Jr. Homers, Sebastian Valle Gets Drafted For Finals in Mexico

In the championship series in the Dominican on Tuesday night, Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the third inning that gave his team a lead they would never relinquish. Rojas scored two runs and stole his first base of the playoffs in the 5-3 victory that evened up the best-of-nine series at two games apiece. The homer was the first of the winter for Rojas, who hasn’t...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Gorkys Hernandez Homers, Perez Continues Dominant Playoff Run

On Sunday in the Dominican playoffs, Gustavo Nunez went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in his team’s 7-3 win. Mel Rojas Jr. struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. He batted for Carlos Paulino, who spent the last four years in the Pirates’ system. In Venezuela, Julio Vivas retired the only batter he faced, picking up the last out in the top of the ninth and stranding...
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10 days ago  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Two Big Games From Andy Vasquez, Rojas and Garcia Return to Action

It was a slow Monday night in winter ball, although we do have some late news from Sunday night that didn’t get into Monday’s article. In Colombia, Andy Vasquez homered and drove in five runs in his team’s win. In the first two games, he is 4-for-9 with two homers and eight RBIs. His team took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. In Venezuela on Monday, Wilfredo Boscan pitched...
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16 days ago  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Returns Again, Sebastian Valle Continues to Hit

In the Dominican on Sunday night, Alen Hanson went 2-for-4 with two singles and a strikeout. He didn’t play in the playoff opener. Hanson played second base on Sunday and made a throwing error. He played just seven regular season games, missing significant time with a hand injury, and just recently he missed a week with a stomach virus. Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-2 with a single...
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December 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Playoffs Start in the Dominican, Gorkys Hernandez Returns to Action

The Dominican League playoffs began on Saturday night and three Pittsburgh Pirates players saw action. Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and an outfield assist. His team didn’t make the playoffs, but Rojas was one of a handful of players that were drafted by the teams that did make it into the round robin tournament. Willy Garcia struck out as a pinch-hitter in his...
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December 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Mel Rojas Jr. Gets Drafted For Playoffs, Treanor Picks Up Award

The Dominican League wrapped up play on Sunday, so action in winter ball was very light on Monday, but there was some news related to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dean Treanor was named the Manager of the Year for guiding Estrellas de Oriente to a 32-18 record and first place in the league. It is his third time winning the award. Treanor has managed the Pirates AAA club in Indianapolis...
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December 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Four Hits From Edwin Espinal, Rojas and Diaz Reach Base Three Times

On Saturday night in the Dominican, Edwin Espinal had a huge game. Two days earlier, the 20-year-old first baseman started for the first time this winter and collected three hits. He did himself one better in his second start, collecting four hits, scoring twice and he drove in a run. Espinal is 7-for-14 in five games. What he has done the last two starts is fairly impressive considering...
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December 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Big Game From Edwin Espinal, Bryan Sousa Makes His Debut

In the Dominican on Thursday night, Edwin Espinal made his first start of the season count. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and he drove in two runs. Espinal spent this season in Low-A ball, so the lack of playing time isn’t surprising considering the difference in play between Low-A and winter ball in the Dominican. He has been playing in their version of the minor...
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December 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Rule 5 Draft Live Blog

The Rule 5 draft is today at noon EST, and is usually the last big event of the Winter Meetings. I’m not sure that will be the case this year, since this has been a very active week, and there have been a lot of transactions this morning. Either way, the Dodgers will have to briefly abandon their plan of trading with every single MLB club at noon as all of the teams get together...
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December 11, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: The Upper Level Roster Crunch that Might Give Way This Week

I’ve been finishing up the profiles in the 2015 Prospect Guide over the last week, getting ready to send the book to the publisher on Friday. In the process, I’ve noticed a bit of a roster crunch in the upper levels when it comes to first base. The Pirates currently have more first base and outfield options than they have positions in Altoona and Indianapolis. A few of the prospects...
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December 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Joely Rodriguez Loses Shutout Streak in Third Start

In the Dominican on Sunday afternoon, Joely Rodriguez made his third start and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out three batters. He did a good job keeping the ball on the ground, getting nine ground outs, two of them double plays. Four of the hits he allowed were also ground balls. Prior to Sunday, Rodriguez had thrown eight shutout innings...
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December 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Could Return Soon

On Friday night in the Dominican, Tony Sanchez went 0-for-3 and allowed two stolen bases in two attempts. He is hitting .107 through 28 at-bats and he is 2-for-10 in throwing out base runners in nine games. Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. His average dropped down to .237 in 114 at-bats. Willy Garcia went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He is hitting .250/.290...
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December 06, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Prospects Who Are Eligible For the 2014 Rule 5 Draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates set their 40-man roster today, adding four players and protecting those players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft on December 11th. The players on the lists below are eligible for the Rule 5 draft. When a player is eligible for the Rule 5 draft, that means any team can select him in the draft, paying $50,000 to the former team. The drafting team has to protect...
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November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Keeping Track of Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates 40-Man Roster Additions

Today is the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the 2014 Rule 5 draft. Yesterday I wrote about the protection process, along with who should be protected this year. The Pirates have until 11:59 PM EST tonight to set their rosters. In previous years, the official announcements have come anywhere from 1 PM to after 9 PM. Usually by this point...
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November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates Need to Protect Players Tomorrow From the Rule 5 Draft; Who Should Be Protected?

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to protect players from the 2014 Rule 5 draft. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, the basic rundown is that players are eligible to be selected by another team in their fourth or fifth Rule 5 draft (depending on when they signed), unless they are added to the 40-man roster. If a player was 18 or younger in his signing year, he is eligible...
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November 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Update on Alen Hanson, More Hitting From Mel Rojas Jr.

We got an update on Alen Hanson’s injured right hand, which isn’t much, but that can be considered good news. Hanson will return to the United States to be reevaluated this week. I was told that there were no setbacks in his progress. Last we heard on October 30th was that Hanson would miss at least three weeks after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch. In the Dominican on...
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November 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Stolmy Pimentel Struggles Again, Mel Rojas Jr. Doubles Again

On Friday night in the Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel made his fourth start and continued to struggle. In two innings of work, he gave up just one run, but allowed three hits and three walks. In 9.1 innings, he has given up ten runs on 16 hits and seven walks, while striking out four batters. Pimentel has now made three starts in which he failed to go longer than two innings. Wirfin...
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November 15, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Mel Rojas Jr. Collecting Extra-Base Hits, Tito Polo Begins Season In Colombia

On Wednesday night in the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. More on him below. Carlos Paulino played his sixth game, coming in as a defensive replacement behind the plate in the ninth inning. He didn’t get a chance to bat. Willy Garcia had his second straight 0-for-4 game, though he didn’t strikeout, which is a small victory. Garcia is...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter League: Willy Garcia Homers, Continues Hot Streak

In the Dominican on Sunday night, Willy Garcia went 3-for-5 with a double, run scored and his first stolen base. The double was his fifth of the season. Garcia is hitting .341 in 44 at-bats. Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-5 with an RBI. He has a .258 average in 17 games and has driven in seven runs. Carlos Paulino went 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored. He has started three times in the...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 11, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Stolmy Pimentel Gets Hit Around in the Dominican

Stolmy Pimentel is looking to make up for some lost innings this year by pitching in the Dominican, but he didn’t get much time in on Saturday night. Pimentel gave up five earned runs on six hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He threw a wild pitch and failed to pick up a strikeout. This was the third winter start for him and his ERA now sits at 11.05 through 7.1 innings. Pimentel...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: A.J. Morris Has His Best Winter Outing, Rojas Picks Up Two Hits

From Thursday’s action in Dominican winter ball, Willy Garcia walked as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, then finished the game in center field during his team’s 12-1 win. The walk was his fourth of the season and his only plate appearance of the game. Rafael Perez was on the other side of the 12-1 loss. He managed to pitch two shutout innings, allowing one walk and no hits...
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November 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Winter Leagues: Stetson Allie Moved to Reserve List

Three days worth of winter league recaps in this article. Monday was a slow day in winter ball, with one game in the Dominican and one in Venezuela. No Pittsburgh Pirates players were active in the Dominican, but three saw action in Venezuela. A.J. Morris pitched for the first time since October 14th and did not do well in his only inning. He gave up one run on three hits and struck...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 06, 2014  |  Discuss
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