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.+ posts
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.