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: Pirates 11, Angels 4
Starting Pitcher: Jandy Vasquez, RHP (7.13) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, SS (.333) – 4-for-4, 2B, 3B, BB, RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.180) – 1-for-4, BB, RBI
Tito Polo, LF (.321) – 1-for-5, 2B
Arquimedes Lorenzo, RHP (6.91) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Johan De Jesus, SS (.173) – DNP
Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.139) – 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Game Notes: The Pirates bats were on fire with 11 runs on 15 hits and six walks. They also got some help from the Angels defense, which made six errors. Starter Jandy Vasquez and reliever Arquimedes Lorenzo each gave up two runs over four innings, with Lorenzo picking up his first win of the season. The Pirates went over the .500 mark(12-11) with the win today. Pablo Reyes reached base all five times, with four hits and a walk. Reyes, Carlos Esqueda and Luis Benitez each scored two runs. Dennis Hurtarte drove in two runs on two hits, the first time this year he had more than one hit in a game. He missed almost two weeks with a wrist injury.
Result: Pirates 6, Yankees1 5
Starting Pitcher: Eduardo Vera, RHP (4.15) – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Michael de la Cruz, CF (.301) – 2-for-2, 2 BB
Other Notable Performers:
Carlos Munoz, 1B (.397) – 0-for-3, RBI
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.244) – 0-for-4, RBI
Luylli Miranda, LHP (1.08) – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.109) – 0-for-4
Game Notes: The Pirates moved to 12-10 on the season with a come-from-behind win over the Yankees. Reliever Hector Garcia picked up his second win of the season and Christopher De Leon threw a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year. Michael de la Cruz continues to get on base at an amazing pace. In 21 games, he has 22 hits and 24 walks. He stole his sixth base of the season and score twice, giving him 19 runs scored on the year. Right fielder Alexis Bastardo had two hits, scored one run and also drove in a run. Steven De La Mota had a hit and a walk, giving him a .385 average and .979 OPS in his last ten games. Carlos Munoz saw his average drop below .400 with a hitless game. He is now fourth in the DSL in batting and third with his 1.043 OPS.
Player Of The Day
Last July, the Pirates signed third baseman Julio de la Cruz to a contract with a $700,000 bonus. He was called by the Pirates scouts that saw him, the best pure hitter in the July 2nd signing class last year. Basically, the Pirates were very high on him. They also signed Michael de la Cruz shortly after for the same bonus and right now, he looks to be the much better of the two prospects. Obviously it is still early on in their careers, but while Michael gets on base at a torrid pace, Julio has had some troubles this season at the plate.
Julio missed time recently after being hit by a pitch. The 17-year-old third baseman can’t blame his .180 average on the HBP, he wasn’t hitting before he missed time and since coming back, he is 2-for-12, though he has come through in big spots. Despite having just 11 hits in 18 games, he has driven in 12 runs. His .517 OPS needs a lot of work and other aspects of his game are lacking, such as speed and drawing walks. His defense has been okay and he is projected to be able to stick at third base. For now, fans shouldn’t worry too much about him, but it does look bad when you compare him to Michael de la Cruz, who is also nine months younger.