Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Comes Up Big in Season Debut

On Saturday night in winter ball, eleven Pittsburgh Pirates players saw action between play in Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican.

In the Dominican, Alen Hanson made his season debut and it was a great one. He went 2-for-3, collecting two singles, two walks and he scored four runs. Hanson was at second base, where he expects to play all winter.

Willy Garcia also made his debut, coming into the game as a pinch-runner in the sixth inning and he stayed on to play center field. He later walked and scored a run in his only plate appearance.

Wirfin Obispo pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his team’s 4-1 win. He picked up the save, allowing one hit, while striking out one.

Mel Rojas Jr. batted lead-off and played center field, going 1-for-4 with a single.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 0-for-2 before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He is just 1-for-17 so far this year. The good part is that he is seeing more playing time in the VWL. Last year, Osuna played eight games in winter ball and had just nine plate appearances, spending the rest of his time in the minors(Parallel League).

Julio Vivas made his second appearance, retiring the only batter he faced. Any playing time that Vivas sees in the VWL is impressive because he spent most of this season in the GCL and the play in Venezuela this time of year is equivalent to AA. As the season goes along, better players join the league and the level of play bumps up to AAA equivalent, so he probably won’t see time during the second half of the season.

Jhondaniel Medina pitched one inning tonight, plus faced two batters in the follow inning without recording an out. All told, he gave up one run on one hit and three walks.

Ramon Cabrera went 0-for-1, coming in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and he stayed in the game behind the plate.

In Mexico, Stetson Allie extended his hit streak to seven games, a streak that began on Opening Day. He went 1-for-5 with a run scored. This was the first game in which Allie didn’t strike out. He is hitting .333 in 27 at-bats.

Felipe Gonzalez went one inning, allowing one run on one hit, one walk and he struck out one batter. The run came on a homer. Gonzalez just re-signed with the Pirates  as a minor league free agent.

Dean Anna also extended his hit streak to seven games, going 1-for-3 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI.


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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Dom DiDominic

Great to see Allie off to a good start. If he can play well at Indy, he may be the RH option at 1B sooner rather than later. Should Gabby be re-signed, he’d have to have a better year than last or the Texan could step in.


Allie is from Ohio.


its all about fielding improvements re: Hanson’s call up to the 25 man roster?


I’d also like to see him take some reps in the outfield and third as well – he can become quite the utility player


Agreed…and you don’t want Hanson’s erratic arm at 3B. A few reps here and there in the OF wouldn’t be a bad idea though. Just in case.


The fact that Willy Garcia walked is a shocking development itself !


Slap his fingers !

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