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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Possible July 2nd Targets For Pittsburgh Pirates

The July 2nd international signing period starts on Wednesday and so far, the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t been mentioned as possible landing spots for any of the top names. Today on Baseball America, Ben Badler has his July 2nd preview up and while none of his top 30 are linked to the Pirates, he adds in some other names at each position that are players to watch.

In that second section, Badler has the Pirates connected to Yondry Contreras, a center fielder with good speed and an above average arm. Contreras is 6’1″, 175 pounds and hits from the right side. He has a quick swing, but lacks plate discipline, which holds him back from being one of the top players in this class. Contreras comes from a family with an athletic background. He is the only player Badler mentions for the Pirates

The Pirates have also been linked to two right-handed pitchers, one being relatively unknown, though he is expected to command a decent-sized bonus. Bryan Sosa is a lanky 6’4″ right-hander from Panama, who is among the top prospects from his country in this signing class. He has drawn interest recently from the Pirates.

The other pitcher is Alonso Garcia from Mexico. He is 6’0″, 157 pounds and can hit 91 MPH. Garcia, who was born on May 30, 1998, pitched in the Mexican League earlier this season, making him the youngest player ever in the league. The Pirates have been linked to him since early this season and they even had him at their Dominican Academy working out back in February.

While no birthdays are mentioned for Sosa or Contreras, it sounds like all three of these players will be eligible to sign with the Pirates on Wednesday. If not, they will be eligible to sign on their 16th birthday, which would have to fall sometime before September 1st for them to be in this signing class.

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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.


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“The other pitcher is Alonso Garcia from Mexico. He is 6’0″, 157 pounds and can hit 91 MPH.”

A good stiff breeze would knock this kid over. That’s lighter than Billy Hamilton.
If he can hit 91mph with that frame, I wonder what an extra 30 lbs would allow him to hit.


I hate the international slotting system. There are guys out there who will be getting bonuses by themselves that are bigger than the Pirates can give out in total without facing major penalties.

All this does is hurt the Pirates and other small market teams who can’t afford to be excluded from top amateur talent. The lack of a salary cap already means they’re excluded from the top professional talent.


The problem with baseball and a salary cap compared to Basketball and Football is the organizational application of it. You would have to find a way to apply it to the whole organization across all their affiliates. Where that problem doesn’t lie in NFL and the NBA. I agree there is financial prejudiced in baseball and I think a salary structure needs to be in place. But just a salary cap as is the formula in Football or in Basketball won’t work. There are too many moving parts in baseball: first is player organizational depth, second the organizational control of player once they enter the majors and arbitration, and lastly the multiple ways teams can acquire players into the system as amateurs.
The last hurdle is ownership being a group as a whole instead of small pockets of ‘haves and haves nots.’ They are a divided group and the current leadership in the sport isn’t strong enough to bring them together. Most owners see themselves in a free market or Perfect Competition, which isn’t the case. Baseball is really a version of an Oligopoly. Where their existence depends on the existence and success of the rest of the teams/firms in the market. If the haves only existed, said the top 10 teams: Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Giants, Phillies, Rangers, Cardinals, Mets and Angels. The overall value of Baseball would be so diminished, they would be in the same value as possibility Major League Soccer or a WNBA franchises over a period of time.
And I’m not sure that the future leadership will be able to either. Since they will most likely come from the have group. The best chance at a balanced financial competitive league is to have an outside leader to over for Bud Selig.


Agreed John. The Pirates are in a good place but what happens if you do win for 7-8 years and you miss on a few guys while you are picking low n the first round…then you find yourself at 70-92 and a system that is 23rd in the league or something like that. It can happen quick. Look at the Rays. 5-6 real good years then they miss on 3-4 picks and a few trades and it all falls apart. I know you guys were talking about the international side but slot limits handcuffing poorer teams are a concern also.

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