Winter Leagues: Walk-Off Hit For Gustavo Nunez, Julio Vivas Shutdown…Possibly

On a slow Tuesday in winter ball, Sebastian Valle went 1-for-4 with a double in his team’s 6-2 loss. He has just three hits in 17 playoff at-bats, although those hits are two doubles and a homer.

In Venezuela, Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-4 with two walks and two strikeouts. He stole his first base of the playoffs.

In Panama, Edgar Munoz went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored. We had a write-up on Munoz in Tuesday’s Winter Leagues article.

The Pittsburgh Pirates shutdown Julio Vivas for the winter on Wednesday, though his team has asked for permission for him to stay for the playoffs. He has yet to pitch in any of his team’s four games so far during the playoffs. The Pirates want him to attend a mini-camp for prospects in Bradenton from January 11-24 according to this article(in Spanish). I talked to Vivas on Wednesday and he said that he would like to continue to play, though ultimately it is up to the team. Over the weekend, the Pirates gave Alen Hanson permission to continue his off-season as opposed to attending Rookie Orientation in Washington DC this week.

Vivas made 16 appearances in the Venezuelan league during the regular season, posting a 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .176 BAA in 15 innings. Those are impressive totals considering he spent the 2014 season in the GCL. That is a huge jump in competition for the 21-year-old, as players from the GCL rarely ever see action in Venezuela, where the level of competition is at least equivalent to AA early on and gets better as the year goes on.

Speaking of GCL pitchers in Venezuela, this little oversight of mine helps prove my point about the accomplishments of Vivas. Lefty pitcher Jesus Paredes got into the last regular season game for Caribes de Anzoategui. He spent the year with the GCL Pirates and just like Vivas, he is also 21 years old. Paredes gave up two runs on a walk and hit, while retiring just one batter in his only appearance. Paredes had a decent season in the GCL and as a lefty in a league that is full of managers that love to make pitching changes, he was only used in one meaningless game at the end of the year. He spent the rest of his time in the Parallel League, which is their version of the minors.

Wednesday’s Action

In the Dominican playoffs, Alen Hanson went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored. He is 7-for-27(.259) in the playoffs so far, with two walks and three runs scored. His team is just 3-6 in the round robin tournament, with nine games remaining. The top two teams in the tournament advance to the finals.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a single. He is hitting .222 in seven playoff games.

Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-4 with a walk. His one hit was big one, a tenth inning walk-off single to give his team a 2-1 victory. It was his third RBI of the playoffs.

In Australia on Thursday, Sam Kennelly flew out to right field as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and remained in the game on defense at first base. Though Kennelly didn’t get to face him, the opposing starting pitcher was Wilson Lee, who spent two season in the Pirates system.

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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Lee Foo Young

John…hopefully you are down in the WARM Dominican getting these reports first hand.

Foo Brrrrrrrrr

Lee Foo Young

that works, too.

Now that I am retired, I don’t have to go out unless I want to (or Wendy wants me, too….lol)

Lee Foo Rug Bug

I’ve been debating a ST trip this year for the first of March, but I am not sure I’d want to do it anymore. Maybe 20 years ago? I would love to meet up with some names from the blogs (a few asylum guys are going) but at this point in my life, the hassle outweighs the benefit. Plus, I hate driving, esp in new places.

If I could get a chauffeur??

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