The Pirates have signed their first player from Guatemala, first baseman Dennis Hurtarte. He was watched by numerous teams in the last three months during tryouts in both the Dominican and in Florida. His agent had close ties with the Mariners, Braves and Mets but the Pirates were able to sign him. He played five years in a baseball academy called Galvez Sobral in Guatemala and has been watched by scouts for years. The Pirates agreed to a contract with him on June 10 and just recently finalized the deal. According to one article he is just the 3rd player from the country to sign a pro contract and none have made the majors.
He has also been used as a pitcher but it sounds like he was signed solely as a firstbaseman and he is skilled at the position. He is also a switch hitter. The following article in Spanish contain quotes from him about achieving his lifelong goal of signing with a major league team and his hopes of going directly to the states to play baseball and to work hard and make the most of his ability. Another article announces the deal. According to a third article, he was signed by Rene Gayo for 6 years with the agreement he will go right to the states to play, and he is 18years old as of June 10th. We have also included several videos of him.
More videos can be found on this YouTube account.
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.