For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Rockies 10, Pirates 7
Starting Pitcher: Dan Urbina, RHP (0-0, 9.64) – 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR
Top Hitter: Rodney Polonia (.500) – 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, BB
Other Notable Performers:
Andres Mendoza, RHP (5.40) – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.000) – 0-for-3, BB, RBI
Pablo Reyes, SS (.286) – 0-for-3, RBI, BB
Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.000) – 0-for-3, BB
Game Notes: The Pirates split the two game series with the Rockies to move to 1-1 on the season. Dan Urbina got hit hard in his first start of the year. The 19-year-old, 6’3″ righty, started 12 games last season, going 2-2, 4.42 in 53 innings. Brayan Almonte gave up three runs in 1.2 innings to take the loss. The 6’7″ RHP is in his fourth and final season of eligibility in the DSL. Julio de la Cruz went hitless for the second day in a row, though he has drawn walks in both games. He and Michael de la Cruz(no relation) signed the highest International signing bonuses($700,000) for the Pirates last year. Sandy Santos made his pro debut, going 1-for-4, while playing right field. He is a 19-year-old righty/righty, with decent size. Luis Benitez stole two bases. In the opener, he had three hits.
Result: Orioles2 4, Pirates 1
Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP (0-0, 0.00) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, 1B (.429) – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.167) – 0-for-3, BB
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.143) – 0-for-4
Jhoan Herrera, PH (.200) – 0-for-1
Richard Mitchell, RHP (0.00) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Game Notes: The Pirates lost for the second straight game, but they had terrific pitching through the first seven innings today, as Dario Agrazal Jr and Richard Mitchell combined to allow four hits and no runs or walks. Just like in the other Pirates game, the Pirates2 were done in by the pitching of a fourth year player. Christopher De Leon gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in one inning. In the ninth, 19-year-old lefty Horelbin Ramos made his pro debut. He allowed two hits, no runs and struck out two batters. The three high-priced signings in the lineup, Jhoan Herrera, Yoel Gonzalez and Michael de la Cruz, combined to go 0-for-8 on the day. Alexis Bastardo went 1-for-4 in his pro debut. The Pirates signed the Venezuelan outfielder last June.
Player Of The Day
Last April, the Pirates signed Panamanian pitcher, Dario Agrazal Jr, who made his pro debut on Monday. He made a great first impression, throwing four shutout innings. Agrazal also kept the ball down all game, getting seven groundball out and three outs by strikeouts. He pitched Winter Ball in Panama this past off-season, but did not do well against the older competition, allowing 10 runs in 7.1 innings. Agrazal has good size at 6’3″ and this time last year he was topping out as 89 MPH as a 17-year-old. While he didn’t pitch for the DSL Pirates last year, he did spend time at the Dominican Facility training. His father was a star pitcher in Panama for years and now is a well-respected coach, so he has great bloodlines. For now, it looks like he will be one of the regular starters this season and a player to keep an eye on.
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.