International Signing Updates

  Back in June we heard about the Pittsburgh Pirates signing two kids from Taiwan, catcher Chin-De Chang and LHP Wei-Chung Wang. We have learned that Chang signed for 250k and Wang signed for 350k but his contract was voided after he failed his physical.  He was diagnosed with a tear to his ulnar collateral ligament and needed Tommy John surgery. The Pirates reportedly were still interested in signing Wei-Chung, although his bonus was to be much smaller but he and his agent declined the offer.  

  Also, back in February we heard about the Pirates signing RHP Leandro Rodriguez out of the Dominican Prospect League for $80,000. We learned recently that his contract was not approved by Major League Baseball until after the DSL season was over despite the fact the DPL is an age-verified league and also performs their own background checks on players. His contract is now official and he will likely pitch in the DSL next year.

The Pirates are currently awaiting word on whether Yunior Montero will be allowed to pitch for them again. Montero was originally signed in 2009 for $45,000. He had his contract voided after he failed his background check and he was suspended for a year and forced to sit out the 2010 season. The Pirates ended up resigning him last July for $185,000 after he showed tremendous improvements in his velocity, reaching 94 with his fastball. He pitched one game for them in May in the DSL throwing five shutout innings but again MLB made him sit out when they weren’t happy with the results from his background check.

Pitcher Miguel Ferreras was added back to the DSL roster following the completion of the 2011 season. He pitched for the DSL Pirates in 2010 and went 1-2 15.07 in 11 games. The 6″5 RHP turns 20 on September 19.  Adolfo Flores, an 18 year old pitcher from Nicaragua was signed in May of this year but spent the entire VSL season on the restricted list.

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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Dennis Hurtarte. Haven’t heard any recent news on him. He was to sign in late June, MLB would then have to approve his contract and they were very slow doing that this year so it is possible he is in Bradenton right now with the team but we won’t see him play until the next GCL season.


Just to update. Even though we broke the story here on June 27th   the contract was not officially signed until July 18th. It was still for 6 years but it also included an added bonus that the Pirates will pay for his college education if his career does not work out. That clause is added to contracts with draft picks from time to time as well

Brian Bernard

john, What ever happened to the kid they signed from Guatamala? He was a switch hitter with some size and looked like power. There were video’s of him on the web I recall, but haven’t heard where he was assigned or if he played? Do you recall this player?


Lee, with Dominican kids they want to make sure they are really who they say they are, especially if they are going to eventually get a visa to the US. These kids will sometimes assume another identity if it makes them seem better in scouts eyes, especially if they can get a hold of a name that knocks 2-3 year off their age. Pirates have a kid named Diomedes Mateo in the GCL this year. He was signed as Yoldi Sierra, a 16 year old kid with a live arm but he was really 2 1/2 years older so he was much less impressive to them but they kept him anyway

Lee Young

Gotta root for a guy named Chin De Chang. Has a nice lilt to it.

John……what kind of background check is Montero failing?

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