One of the longest tenured Pittsburgh Pirates players has returned to the organization as a minor league free agent. Andy Vasquez, who signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, will return for his ninth season in the farm system. He spent the 2014 season with Altoona, where he hit .268/.304/.463 in 96 games, seeing time at six different positions. Vasquez has done everything except catch during his time with the Pirates, including eight appearances on the mound. He is versatile enough to fill in at both shortstop and center field if needed.
The 27-year-old will likely play a utility role with Altoona this year. He played winter ball in the Dominican this off-season before moving to the league in Colombia, where he is getting regular playing time recently.
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.