Pirates Sign 17-Year-Old Pitcher From South Africa

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 17-year-old right-handed pitcher Vince Deyzel out of South Africa. He is listed at 6’2″, 180 pounds and just celebrated his birthday on Monday. In December, Deyzel took part in the Major League Baseball African Elite Camp, where fellow South African Gift Ngoepe was one of the instructors. Also there representing the Pirates was Dave Turgeon, who is the Assistant Field Coordinator. The camp is for the best young talent from around Africa, giving them a chance to train with Major League baseball instructors.

Update 8:30 AM: Deyzel hasn’t played baseball long and has spent even less time on the mound. He started playing four years ago as a third baseman and outfielder, occasionally pitching. Just recently, he began to pitch full-time. He throws a fastball, curve and change-up right now. Back in December, he was hitting 88 MPH with his fastball. The plans now are for Deyzel to come to Bradenton in the summer for about five weeks and then next year he will report to minor league camp in February, so don’t expect to see him pitch in the system until 2016. Right now, he is currently in the middle of his baseball season, playing for a local club.

You can view the rest of the Pirates International signings here for the current 2014-15 signing period.

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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any pictures of this kid? curiousity is killing me.

Joe Mynaugh

When will pirates city be open to the public?

Joe Mynaugh

Ok great I didn’t know if it would be before the official report date thanks!

Gunner Prince

NH is getting creative again, it’s definitely worth a shot!

R Edwards

what a gift – to be able to throw a baseball that hard. You don’t really appreciate how unique that is until you try throwing a ball as hard as you can and see the results…..


In high school, I was an outfielder with a terrible arm, whose “fastball” sat at 55. I actually throw harder now, and I feel like I’m throwing 90, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually closer to 60. My mechanics are technically flawless, and I’m a big guy, so when I watch Jesse Chavez (for example) hit 95, it always perplexes me.

Perfect mechanics and strong arms don’t lead to big velocity (though you can improve with those things), and so whatever it is that lets people throw so hard so effortlessly is just such a rare and unexplainable gift to me. (And one I really wish I had.)


Oh man isn’t that the truth. I sit in the mid sixties with no command and no breaking porches!


I’m 61 and feel like my elbow would explode if i even tried to throw 60 mph, lol!

Gunner Prince

Makes sense to me, John. How much of a bonus did this kid get?

Gunner Prince

Thanks, John.

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