The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 17-year-old right-handed pitcher Eumir Sepúlveda and 18-year-old right-hander Carlos Bustamante, both out of Mexico. They will report to the Pirates facility in the Dominican and begin their pro career in the Dominican Summer League next year. Sepulveda took a leap forward in the last year, adding eight MPH to his fastball. He is a highly accomplished amateur pitch, who was also scouted by the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates have been following Bustamante for several months and they believe he has considerable potential.
Both players were signed by Pirates scout Jesus Valdez and they are the fourth and fifth players the Pirates have signed from Leones de Yucatan of the Mexican League. In 2012, the Pirates signed pitchers Omar Basulto and Eduardo Vera, plus first baseman Julio Perez. Basulto was invited to the Fall Instructional League this year.
A third player was signed on Thursday, an 18-year-old catcher named Mikell Granberry, who is also from the Leones de Yucatan club. He is a catcher, who is said to be an athletic receiver, that is strong defensively, with a plus arm and strong hands. He has above average speed on the basepaths for a catcher and he makes good contact at the plate, though his hitting needs work to reach his potential. Like Sepulveda and Bustamante, Granberry will begin his career in the Dominican Summer League next year. You can view two videos of Granberry below, one catching and one hitting.
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.
Granberry sorta reminds me of Mike Lieberthal when he was first drafted.
Granberry looks like a big catcher with tools.
Out of this group, he was the highest rated, though the other two have some potential. He doesn’t have that typical catcher body, but his defense is strong and he doesn’t hit enough just yet to move from behind the plate. He has excellent speed, though like with most catchers, wear and tear will knock that down. His swing looked good in the video, not a lot of movement, quick hands, but he needs work