Winter Leagues: Gorkys Hernandez Helps Team to Win in Playoff Opener

In playoff action in the Dominican on Saturday night, Alen Hanson went 0-for-4 in his team’s 1-0 win. He played second base and had just two plays in the field, both of which he handled cleanly. Hanson is 4-for-16 in four playoff games. On the other side of the field, Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.

In the other playoff game in the Dominican, Josh Wall faced two batters and struck them both out. He is still a minor league free agent.

The playoffs began in Venezuela on Saturday night. Just like the Dominican, they have a round robin tournament, but unlike the four team set-up the Dominican league uses, in Venezuela they have five teams in the playoffs, with two games each day. On day one, Gorkys Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and he drove in two runs in his team’s 8-7 win. He had three hits in the last game of the regular season.

With most of the Pittsburgh Pirates players on the last place Bravos de Margarita roster in Venezuela, the playoffs won’t offer much to follow. Besides Hernandez, the only other player is Julio Vivas, the 21-year-old righty, who had a 1.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .176 BAA in 16 appearances during the season. With team’s getting reinforcements for the playoffs, and with so much on the line, he probably won’t see much time despite the strong season.

In Panama, Ashley Ponce went 2-for-3 with a double. The regular season in Panama runs through January 19th.

The regular season in Colombia ends on Wednesday and the playoffs begin on Saturday. The Tigres team with Harold Ramirez and Tito Polo looks like they will finish in second place, so they will play the third place team in a five-game series, with the winner taking on the first place team in a seven-game series. The winner of that series will then play the best teams from Panama, Nicaragua and the Veracruz League in the Latin American Series, which begins on January 27th in Panama.

In Australia on Sunday, Sam Kennelly started at third base and went 0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a strikeout. In ten games, the 18-year-old Kennelly has a .240/.321/.240 slash line.

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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John: He can still play, but it is hard to see the name and not remember the Pirates players associated with him through the years by trades. Once a “can’t miss” 5 Tool guy, he missed. I think he started with Detroit and was traded to Atlanta. The Pirates got him from Atlanta in probably the best trade made by the new management team in June 2009 when they traded Nate McLouth and got Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez in return. It was a very unpopular trade, but the Pirates had very few young pitchers, and Morton and Locke have both developed and returned value to the Pirates. Then, I think Gorkys was a part of the trade to the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez, who helped us for a few years at 1B. I wonder who Gorkys will bring this time around.

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