Winter League Recap: Two More Hits For DeJesus

In Winter League action from down in Puerto Rico last night, Ivan DeJesus went 2-for-4, with his 24th RBI. He raised his batting average to .358, giving him a six point lead in the batting race with two games left on the regular season schedule. DeJesus has 49 hits, four more than anyone else in the league and his .910 OPS ranks him third overall. His RBI total ranks him first on his team and fourth in the league. It’s an impressive total from him due to the fact that he bats lead-off. DeJesus has hit .463 in 54 AB’s with runners on base. If he can finish as the league leader in hits, he will be the second middle infielder in the Pirates system to accomplish that feat this Winter. Anderson Hernandez led the Dominican Winter League in hits as well.

In other action from Puerto Rico,¬†Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-2, with a walk and a stolen base. He reached base in the eighth inning via hit by pitch and ended up scoring his team’s only run in a 2-1 loss.

In Venezuela, Nate Baker threw a scoreless inning of relief. He came in during the bottom of the sixth inning with his team down 9-3 and retired the side in order on two groundouts and a strike out. Baker’s team ended up staging a comeback, winning 10-9 by scoring runs in each of the last three innings.

Darren Ford went 1-for-5 yesterday. He has gone 3-for-14 at the plate since returning to Winter ball, collecting a single in all three games.

In the Dominican League playoffs, Alex Valdez went 2-for-4, with a two-run home run and two runs scored. The home run came in the seventh inning off former Pirates pitcher Nelson Figueroa. Felix Pie went 0-for-5, with a strikeout, leaving him 1-for-9 in the first two games of the playoffs.

In Australian League action from today, Stefan Welch went 0-for-4, with a strikeout, in Adelaide’s 2-1 loss. He was the only Pirates player to take the field in the ABL today. Quincy Latimore is scheduled to join the team tomorrow. Since playing in the All-Star game earlier this month, Welch has gone 4-for-26 at the plate, dropping his average down to it’s current .207 mark.

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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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Why do we continue to keep AAA infielders on the 40-man for years and years? It would seem better, I think, to bail on those guys after a couple of years to keep the younger guys. After all, is anybody going to shed a tear if they outright d’Arnaud and he goes on to hit .260 and steal a pile of bases in 400 AB for the Twins or someone? And the same for Mercer (minus the SB)? I’d be very concerned if they’re both on the 40-man by the end of the season unless they’ve produced at the ML level.

Bob Smith

Thanks that is great info and shows me we have some options for utility guys at least in future as I expect that to be Harrison and mercer this year


And remember that the other guys have either 2 options (D’Arnaud, Mercer) or 3 (Harrison) remaining. Time for those boys to step up or be sent down.


I’m in the minority that thinks that DeJesus has an outside shot at making the team out of ST.

Seems like he can play all three positions, which might buy the Bucs a little roster flexibility. I honestly don’t think they got him from the Sox for AAA depth – they have enough Quad-A middle infielders already.

Remember, GM’s gonna lean towards making the Hanny trade look good, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see IDeJ sneak in there with a good ST.

Bob Smith

Do either of these seasons, DeJesus or Hernandez change their prospect status at all, or is the competition not good enough to really change that?


Keep in mind that Jose Castillo once dominated winter ball getting everyone excited only to immediately return to being terrible. These stats are as meaningless as spring training.


Come on John, this isn’t close to even Spring Training level competition. They are facing guys that haven’t even played stateside in some cases. In others its wash outs and has beens. The starting pitching is terrible in winter ball. This is as meaningless as can be, its not small sample size against MLB competition like your examples.

I appreciate your effort, but there is nothing useful here.


Your top 10 hitters in the DWL

Hector Luna Phillies 32 3B
Mauro Gomez Red Sox 27 1B
Nelson Perez Cubs 24 OF
Jordany Valdespin Mets 24 2B
Ricardo Nanita Blue Jays 31 OF
Donell Linares MEX 28 3B
Oscar Taveras Cardinals 20 OF
Miguel Tejada Orioles 38 SS
Todd Linden Giants 32 OF
Moises Sierra Blue Jays 23 OF

Top 10 SP
Kyler Newby Orioles 27
Samuel Deduno Twins 28
Jose De Paula Padres 22
Fabio Castro Athletics 27
Danny Salazar Indians 22
Esmil Rogers Indians 26
Josh Outman Rockies 27
Aneury Rodriguez Astros 24
Randall Delgado Braves 22
Stolmy Pimentel Red Sox 22

Not even close to MLB ST talent, let alone regular season MLB. Its not even AAA quality.


John – where would you rank Venezuela in terms of league strength (versus PR and DR)? Yurendell DeCaster was MVP of the Venezuelan league IIRC five or six years ago.

Wilfredo Lopez

i dont agree with you, the caribbean series who the champs play each other, dr, pr, mexico and venezuela all beat each other in competition, and in the 2 baseball classics puerto rico have finished better than dominican republic. also this year players like yadier molina, mike aviles, yasiel puig, jonathan sanchez, jc romero, is a AA league???? are u kidding. dont underrate ivan de jesus numbers, this kid is a 2nd round pick, and if it wasnt for his brutal injury he should have been a regular mlb player. imo he is better than mercer and i would like to have him and harrison as utilities. the kid is hitting .363 dont undervalue him

Wilfredo Lopez

i respect your opinion im just defending the great season de jesus is having, but the example of benji gonzalez is also wrong, benji is a bench player for the leones de ponce, the last place team, he has been playing lately beacuse their regular ss leaved the team and was an import and as they already are eliminated they are using bench and non regular players, but benji is not a regular in the league and he will never be a mlb player. but de jesus is playing for a playoff contender team, bats first in the lineup and its the league leader in avg. secong in doubles, top 5 in sb and a great glove. this guy is a pro level player, and was a second round pick of the dodgers, he hits .298 asa triple aaa player for his carrer. i dont like mercer over him in the majors, he has no bat is not the fastest player, he is a good fielder and even you think puertorrican baseball is AA de jesus is a better player than mercer. jody had the chance to overtake barmes when he was hitting .200 and he failed and i dont see him hitting mlb pitching. de jesus can earn a utility role with the pirates.

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