Prospect Highlights: First Look at Some GCL Pirates Pitchers

On Sunday, we took a look at some video from the GCL Pirates, including a first look at 21st round draft pick Eric Thomas Jr and more footage of Andrew Lambo on rehab and first round pick Cole Tucker. Today we have more video from the GCL courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page, this time getting a look at three pitchers for the first time.

Left-handed pitcher Gerardo Navarro started for the GCL Pirates on Tuesday. He has made four starts this year, posting a 5.63 ERA in 16 innings. Navarro is a 20-year-old lefty, who stands 6’2″, 194 pounds. Last year as a rookie in the DSL, he had a 31/21 BB/SO ratio in 42 innings, yet still pitched well due to a low BAA and decent ground ball ratio. This year, Navarro has given up six walks, showing better control, yet he has recorded just three strikeouts so far. The Pirates obviously thought highly enough of him to make him a regular starter this year, so there is likely some potential. Below are three videos of Navarro.

Gerardo Navarro warming up between innings

Navarro facing a left-handed batter

Navarro facing a right-handed batter

It seems like anytime the name of Pirates GCL pitcher Jose Batista comes up, there is the inevitable mention of Jose Bautista the outfielder that used to be with the Pirates, despite the spelling difference in their last names. In 2008, the Pirates actually signed a catcher named Jose Bautista, but he was cut before ever playing a game. Getting that out of the way so we can concentrate on the 18-year-old left-handed pitcher in the system, he is actually a decent sleeper prospect to watch.

Batista was a rookie in the DSL and one of the younger pitchers in the league. He signed for $120,000 last year and showed great improvements over a short period of time. He took to the Pirates style quickly, throwing a lot of strikes, pounding the inside corner and keeping the ball low in the strike zone. He sat 87-89 MPH, but he still has room to fill out his 6’2″ frame and youth is on his side. Batista has started twice and pitched twice in relief this season. He has thrown 11.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks, with six strikeouts. Below is a two-part video of him warming up for his appearance on Tuesday.

Jose Batista throwing in the bullpen, part one

Jose Batista in the bullpen, part two

Reliever Remy de Aza pitched two seasons in the DSL and saw limited time due to control issues. He is 19 years old and has good size at 6’3″, 207 pounds, throwing from the right side. Right now, he is considered a project and seeing limited time. In four appearances, De Aza has throwing five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks, while picking up four strikeouts.

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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