Winter Leagues: Tito Polo Leads Team to Playoffs, Leads League in Triples

In the Dominican from Thursday night, Alen Hanson went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. His average is down to .226 through eight games played. His team is 4-6 in the playoffs with eight games left in the round robin tournament. The Gigantes are 8-2, while the other three teams all have 4-6 records. Only the top two teams advance to the finals.

Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-2 with a walk and sacrifice bunt. He is the only Pirates player to start all ten games of the playoffs. He is hitting .265 and on Wednesday night, he collected the walk-off winner in the tenth inning for his team.

Josh Wall gave up a run on two hits in his team’s 8-6 loss. He recorded just one out before being removed. Wall is still a minor league free agent.

In Venezuela, Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He is hitting .158 in the playoffs.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout. He threw out both runners that attempted to steal. Valle’s team lost 6-1 in the game and they dropped the best-of-seven first round playoff series in six games.

The regular season wrapped up in Colombia on Wednesday. Tito Polo went 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base and run scored in the finale. He finished the season with a league best five triples. He helped his team to a second place finish(by just one game), giving them home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Along with teammate Harold Ramirez, Polo and his Tigres team will take on third place Leones in a five game series that starts on Saturday. Both Andy Vasquez and Oderman Rocha are on the Leones club. The winner will then go on to play first place Caimanes in the finals. The winner from the finals then goes on to play in the Latin American series, taking on the best teams from Nicaragua, Panama and the Veracruz League(Mexico).

Finally, an update from yesterday, when we mentioned that the Pirates had asked pitcher Julio Vivas to stop playing winter ball. After his team talked to the Pirates, the two sides decided to allow him to continue pitching. His team hasn’t used him in the playoffs yet, but that could change now that he is allowed to stay and not waiting to hear if he could remain in Venezuela.

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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