Winter Leagues: Update on Alen Hanson, More Hitting From Mel Rojas Jr.

We got an update on Alen Hanson’s injured right hand, which isn’t much, but that can be considered good news. Hanson will return to the United States to be reevaluated this week. I was told that there were no setbacks in his progress. Last we heard on October 30th was that Hanson would miss at least three weeks after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch.

In the Dominican on Saturday night, Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a double and hit-by-pitch. Rojas has hit a double in five straight games and he has eight on the season. Winter ball can be used as an indicator of how players are progressing. An example is last year with Gregory Polanco, going from a guy who really struggled in limited time in 2012, to the league MVP in 2013. Rojas hit .206 in 13 games last year, posting a .544 OPS and some of his time was spent playing in Puerto Rico, where the competition is a step below the Dominican. He is now seeing regular time in the Dominican, playing center field, collecting extra-base hits and batting lead-off.

Willy Garcia went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He is hitting .211 in his last ten games, with one walk and ten strikeouts.

In Venezuela, Ramon Cabrera went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. The double was the first extra-base hit for Cabrera, who is hitting .238 through 21 games.

Matt Nevarez allowed one run on one hit and two walks in one inning. He struck out two batters. Nevarez has a 3.94 ERA in 15 appearances, with 15 strikeouts in 16 innings.

In Puerto Rico, Yhonathan Barrios made his season debut and threw a scoreless inning of relief. He retired all three batters he faced, getting two ground outs and a strikeout.

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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I would definitely use snider as trade bait, i just don’t think he’ll duplicate that year. sell high.


We can allow Lambo and Tabata to fight for the 4th outfielder or Rojas for that matter


I wouldn’t surprise me if Rojas sees more MLB action next year than Tabata sees.


that would surprise me, remember we are paying tabata


I like Rojas, if Snider gets traded he’d be my 4th outfielder in 2015. Even if he starts the year in Indy, I think he’ll see time in Pittsburgh before year’s end and could really contribute.

Monsoon Harvard

Rojas could be a good call-up as an injury replacement in 2015. I’d keep him around in triple A for that reason alone. Given some time to adjust to the big leagues, he can grow into a good inexpensive reserve.


Rojas, Snider and Tabata have very little trade value but could be decent as part time players.


All Snider would need to net is a decent mid level reliever or as part of a package to get something better


I believe Rojas will turn into a very good prospect, I remember in spring training this year he hit a homerun and I liked his swing. It looked like a nice swing and it covered the zone. Snider has about a good 4-5 starting pitcher value if he hits like he did this year. Tabata has some value, the only reason why he isn’t considered “good” is because he doesn’t have a lot of power. He has decent average numbers and some might say they are actually good average numbers. Rojas and Tabata packaged would probably get a average number 3 starter. Snider and Tabata (or Rojas) could probably bring a number 2 starter if Snider hits like he did this year.

Jeff Rhodes

The point is, none of these guys can be traded one-for-one for a quality starter. But they have value in a package deal.

Lee Foo Young

Perhaps Rojas can be used in a trade for a starter?

Monsoon Harvard

If they don’t resign Martin, they’ll be able to get a decent free agent starter. They won’t need to trade for one.


Need is irrelevant. We will need to trade some players, roster only allows 25 on it. 3 first baseman who have zero position flexibility is the first problem to solve (assuming pedro’s days at 3rd are over) and right fielders whom have no positions flexibility are the second


If you can play right field, you can play left field.

Jeff Rhodes

If not, maybe Travis Snider has some trade value after his bounce-back season and Rojas can take his place in Pittsburgh. Either way, one or the other is superfluous and could be used to fill a gaping hole in he rotation.

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