Winter Leagues: Gorkys Hernandez Homers, Perez Continues Dominant Playoff Run

On Sunday in the Dominican playoffs, Gustavo Nunez went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in his team’s 7-3 win.

Mel Rojas Jr. struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. He batted for Carlos Paulino, who spent the last four years in the Pirates’ system.

In Venezuela, Julio Vivas retired the only batter he faced, picking up the last out in the top of the ninth and stranding both runners he inherited.

In Colombia, Leones evened up the series at one game apiece with a 10-2 win. Andy Vasquez scored two runs. The best-of-seven series continues on Tuesday.

Monday’s Action

In the Dominican, Rafael Perez continued his terrific run in the playoffs. In 6.2 shutout innings on Monday night, he gave up two hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. His Gigantes team won 4-0, giving them a 1-2 record in the best-of-nine finals. In five starts and 26.2 innings in the playoffs, Perez has allowed just one earned run. He is still a free agent.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly RBI and a sacrifice bunt. It was the first start for Rojas in nearly two weeks.

Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .303 through 19 playoff games. He has started every game of the round robin tournament and the finals.

In Venezuela, Gorkys Hernandez hit his second homer of the playoffs, helping his team to a 5-2 victory. Hernandez had three hits and scored two runs, as his team moved to 10-4 in the round robin tournament. They are one game away from clinching a spot in the finals. Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, giving his club a 3-1 lead they would never surrender. He has now driven in nine runs in the playoffs, though he is hitting just .205 and has missed two games, so he is making his hits count.

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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dr dng

This may be another of my stupid questions.
If the Pirates (due to injury) have to move up an outfielder during the season, which of the following is most likely?
1) Lambo
2) Hernandez
3) Rojas
4) Tabata
5) Other
What do you think? How would you rank the above as most likely?


I would say it depends on whom gets hurt and for how long. Lambo is probably the weakest OF defender of the group, but probably has the best power. Hernandez probably has the best glove but with the weakest bat. Tabata appears to have issues of being mentally challenged at times.


If long term (>15 Day DL), has to be Tabby moving up, although I wouldn’t argue with giving Lambo another chance.


dng: Mel Rojas, Jr. Switchhitter, has hit for average and extra base gap power (doubles, triples), and has the speed & glove to play all 3 outfield positions. In his age 25 season, if he does well he could become a valuable trade chip going forward or a very valuable 4th OF making Snider, Tabata, Decker, etc. available as trade fodder.

Lee Foo Young

I wonder why we haven’t re-signed Perez?


Foo: He did well in the Pirates org in 2014 after years with the Indians, so I could see signing him as a AAA SP/RP, but other than that, I cannot see him challenging for a spot in the Rotation or Bullpen of the Pirates.

Lee Foo Young

emjay….good points.

R Edwards

it looks and sounds like someone will soon sign him and give him a shot in the Spring, if we don’t…..

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