On Wednesday morning, outfielder Elvis Escobar joined the West Virginia Power roster and is in the starting lineup for game one of today’s doubleheader. Escobar played last season for Jamestown, where he hit .268/.293/.350 with nine stolen bases in 56 games. He can play center field, spent most of last season in right field and started today in left field. The 19-year-old was a high profile international signing of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, inking a deal for $570,000 and starting his career in the GCL last year, jumping right over the Dominican Summer League.
In this last off-season, Escobar played ten games in the Venezuelan Winter League, an impressive feat for someone of his age/experience, considering the league is mostly AAA and Major League players. Very few players without AA experience get in any time there, instead they play in the VWL version of the minor leagues.
Two other minor moves in the last couple days. Catcher Ralph Henriquez was added to the Altoona roster and Cody Eppley was transferred from Indianapolis to the Jamestown roster.
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.