The Pittsburgh Pirates released ten players from minor league camp yesterday, Pirates Prospects has learned. The players released, and some brief information on each:
Calvin Anderson – The 6′ 7″, 240 pound first baseman had the build of a defensive lineman, which is fitting because his dad was a defensive lineman for the Steelers. Anderson struggled with his hitting in high-A, and didn’t have a defensive position, with the Pirates experimenting with him in the outfield. He hit 13 homers in 225 at-bats in Bradenton last year, but struck out 37% of the time.
Jesus Brito – The Pirates acquired Brito in exchange for Brian Bixler. They converted the third baseman to a relief pitcher last year, due to his strong arm. Brito pitched mostly in the mid-80s, although he topped out at 91-92 at times. He was hit hard this Spring, and was in the mid-80s again.
Fraylin Campos – He had good numbers in the DSL and GCL, which can be chalked up to a good breaking ball. Campos has an average fastball, and didn’t fare well in his limited time in State College in 2011.
Kevin Decker – Decker probably had the best results out of everyone released, with a career 3.62 ERA in 117 innings the last two years. Part of that is probably due to Decker’s change-up, which is advanced for the lower levels. He pitched out of the bullpen in West Virginia last year.
Jairo Marquez – The catching situation in full season A-ball is crowded, and the release of Marquez makes that situation a little less crowded. He wasn’t used much last year, serving as the third catcher in Bradenton and West Virginia, and only totaling 82 at-bats between the two levels.
Miguel Mendez – Like Brito, the Pirates converted Mendez to pitching, from his previous position as a catcher. Mendez had good results with his fastball command, but only touched the low-90s and spent most of his time in the GCL. He turned 24 in January.
Rogelios Noris – Noris has a lot of power, but struggles with plate patience. He is tied for the West Virginia franchise record in home runs with 36 in his career. He didn’t do much else at the plate, with a .212 average last year and a 28.8% strikeout ratio.
David Rubenstein – Rubenstein got off to a great start in 2011, with a .304/.372/.422 line in 161 at-bats before the high-A All-Star break. After the break he had a .180/.272/.245 line in 139 at-bats.
Yeyber Sanchez – The Pirates signed Sanchez out of the independent leagues last year to fill out the Altoona roster when Jeremy Farrell went down. He had a good average with Altoona, but was ultimately a depth player in the upper levels.
Bryce Weidman – Weidman started the 2011 season in State College and was hit hard, eventually being demoted to the GCL. The results in his second run through the GCL were better than State College. The 6′ 4″, 210 pound pitcher touched the low-90s last year, and was working on improving his breaking ball. He was mostly throwing in the mid-to-upper 80s in camp this year, and struggled with his fastball command.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Yunesky Sanchez not Yeyber Sanchez
Little surprised with Decker and Rubenstein, but nothing earth shattering here.
Decker is a bit surprising and I thought Anderson would at least be given another year before they moved on with him. No real losses among the rest. Noris has great power, can field, run and throw at least average but his approach at the plate hasn’t worked the last two years and he never showed a glimpse of changing it in all the games I saw. Getting back to Decker, I wouldn’t consider him a prospect by any means but he had good results in his first full season and as I heard from a few of the players, his changeup is a nasty pitch, high profile players raved about it. He was also throwing low 90’s the last time I saw him late last season.
$10 says some yinzer will start going crazy about this on Smizik’s blog.