The Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Toronto Blue Jays in the Fall Instructional League on Thursday and we have some great video courtesy of the FIL Fan page. The main highlight was Austin Meadows slugging a long home run, which is shown below. We also have first time footage of two of the top prospects from the Dominican Summer League. Both Raul Siri and Adrian Valerio are making their first appearances in the U.S. during the FIL and they will be players to watch next year.
This at-bat was the highlight of the day for Austin Meadows, who struck out in his other two times up, before walking in his last plate appearance. It was a long home run to right field early in the game. Earlier in the FIL, we had video of Meadows hitting an opposite field triple. Meadows hit three homers this season, seeing limited time due to two hamstring injuries. He has been healthy since the end of June and he has carried his hot hitting from the season(.881 OPS) into the FIL.
While his glove is what everyone is talking about, Adrian Valerio needs to show he can hit before he becomes a legit shortstop prospect. At age 17, he is already one of the top fielders in the system, with no doubts that he will stick at shortstop. We have seen with Gift Ngoepe, that a great glove can only take you so far and hitting is also critical for future success. Valerio had a decent rookie season(.608 OPS, 17 extra-base hits), especially when you factor in his age. In this at-bat below, which is the first footage we have received on him, he almost gets beaned with the first pitch, then ends up with a solid base hit. He’s a switch-hitter that has been called a line drive hitter, so he probably will never hit many homers. As you see from him running down to first base, his speed is average, which is consistent with the reports we got.
We have two at-bats from Raul Siri, who we ranked as the third best DSL prospect to watch, one spot behind Valerio. Siri is a terrific hitter, with some pop in his bat, despite being on the small side. He plays second base well and he has good speed on the bases. He seems like the type of player that could jump over the GCL next year and play at Bristol. He compares well to Pablo Reyes, who made the same jump this year. They are both small second baseman, pure hitters with a little pop and good speed on the bases. Siri is better defensively according to the reports and he will probably hit for a little more power than Reyes. His first at-bat of the game is shown here, followed by the second one below.
His second at-bat
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.