We have some news and notes today instead of covering just one topic. The Dominican Summer League named three Pittsburgh Pirates players to their All-Star squad on Tuesday. They will be represented by shortstop Melvin Jimenez, outfielder Felix Vinicio and relief pitcher Ramon Garcia. The game will be played this Sunday.
The 19-year-old Jimenez is in his rookie season and hitting well. Among this group, he is the best prospect. He is hitting .327/.407/.427 and he’s played in all but one game. Jimenez has seen most of his time at shortstop, but he’s also played second base and third base. He has 17 walks and 17 strikeouts, and he is 5-for-6 in stolen bases. On a team with 16 rookies, he has been the best one so far.
Vinicio(pictured above) is hitting .331/.388/.427 in 33 games. He’s a little 20-year-old lefty, who lacks tools, but he’s a solid second-year player. He makes good contact and doesn’t strike out much. His arm, speed, defense and power are all rated below average, so he’s really just all about putting the ball in play. So far this year, it has worked well for him.
Garcia is a 23-year-old righty in his second season, and while he is doing good, he has pitched just 14.1 innings so far. There shouldn’t be any issues with him being an older player, it’s not a prospects game, it’s for the best players regardless of age. Garcia has given up three runs on 14 hits and six walks, with a lot of that damage coming during his appearance on Tuesday. He has 15 strikeouts and an incredible 3.50 GO/AO ratio. He has really improved over last year when he had a 5.92 ERA in 24.1 innings. Garcia has an above-average curve, a solid change-up and his fastball touches 90 MPH. He has a closer mentality and doesn’t mind pressure situations.
On to the two players from the Pirates’ system playing elsewhere for a little while. Colombia has had a tough time in the Pan Am games, so it looks like Tito Polo and Harold Ramirez won’t hang around for the playoffs after the six-game round robin tournament ends on Friday. Colombia has gone 0-4 and they have been outscored 32-13 so far. Polo hit a solo home run in the second game. He is 2-for-13, with a single and four strikeouts. Ramirez is 4-for-15, with a walk and a double. He had two hits and scored two runs on Tuesday. Colombia plays Puerto Rico today at 3:35 pm and then on Friday, they play the Dominican Republic, also at 3:35 pm. As mentioned before the tournament, no other Pirates players are in the Pan Am games, though Gustavo Nunez was on an early roster submitted for the games.
One other note and this one involves an odd choice. Before the Eastern League All-Star game today, they will hold a home run derby and one Altoona player will be in it. Obviously Stetson Allie would be fun to watch and I got to see him lose to Joey Gallo in the South Atlantic League derby two years ago. Allie isn’t in the All-Star game, so they are going with Dan Gamache. That’s not exactly who you should think of first for a home run derby. He is in his fifth pro season and he has homered 22 times. It kind of makes you wonder if Josh Bell was even considered for the derby. He did homer in the Futures Game, but he has shown even less power than Gamache over the last year.
The Pirates trail by 2.5 games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a 5.5 game lead for the top wild card spot.
Indianapolis is 3-7 in their last ten games. They have a two game lead in their division.
Altoona is 5-5 in their last ten games and they are two games behind first place with Bowie.
Bradenton and West Virginia did not win their first half title. Their second half records are included below in the schedule.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates are now on their All-Star break until Friday night, when they start a three-game series in Milwaukee.
In the minors, the only starters that are announced so far are Billy Roth and Alex McRae and both were scheduled to start other days, but got pushed back due to rain. The West Virginia Power had their game rained out last night and they will play a doubleheader today. Indianapolis is now on their All-Star break. They will be represented by Elias Diaz, Alen Hanson and Blake Wood in the All-Star game tonight. Altoona is also on their All-Star break. They will be represented by Josh Bell, Max Moroff, Dan Gamache, Jason Creasy and Adam Frazier. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (53-35) @ Brewers (38-52) 8:10 PM 7/17
Probable starter: TBD
AAA: Indianapolis (52-39) @ Toledo (40-51) 7:00 PM 7/16 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
AA: Altoona (48-41) @ Richmond (45-43) 7:05 PM 7/16 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
High-A: Bradenton (43-46, 11-8 second half) @vs Lakeland (39-48) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
Low-A: West Virginia (50-37, 13-5 second half) vs Hagerstown (44-42) 5:05 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (4.00 ERA, 15:57 BB/SO, 81.0 IP) and TBD
Short-Season A: Morgantown (10-13) vs State College (11-12) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD
Rookie: Bristol (7-11) vs Bluefield (7-13) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Billy Roth (6.23 ERA, 6:15 BB/SO, 13.0 IP)
GCL: Pirates (13-7) vs Yankees2 (10-8) 12:00 PM (season preview)
DSL: Pirates (16-23) vs Mets2 (23-16) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is a video of Stetson Allie’s 13th homer of the season. That left fielder is long-time Pirate minor league player Quincy Latimore.
7/13: Wilfredo Boscan sent to Indianapolis.
7/13: Seth McGarry assigned to Morgantown.
7/13: Omar Basulto assigned to GCL. Mike Wallace transferred from GCL to Bristol.
7/12: Wilfredo Boscan recalled. Steve Lombardozzi optioned to Indianapolis.
7/10: Pirates sign Ike Schlabach and assign him to GCL.
7/10: Pirates sign Tate Scioneaux and assign him to Morgantown.
7/10: Jesus Paredes promoted to Morgantown. Oderman Rocha sent to GCL.
7/9: Pirates sign Sherton Apostel.
7/9: Mike Wallace sent from Bristol to GCL.
7/7: Clay Holmes added to Bradenton roster. Harold Ramirez placed on temporary inactive list.
7/7: Trace Tam Sing added to West Virginia roster. Tito Polo placed on temporary inactive list.
7/6: Josh Harrison placed on disabled list. Travis Ishikawa added to active roster.
7/6: Justin Seller assigned to GCL on rehab.
7/5: Pirates claim Travis Ishikawa on waivers.
7/4: Pirates sign five international players.
7/3: Pirates sign Kevin Sanchez and Samuel Inoa.
7/3: Pirates trade Clayton Richard to Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.
7/2: Chris Volstad sent outright to Indianapolis.
7/2: Pirates sign Larry Alcime Jr and Kyle Simmons.
7/1: Alen Hanson activated from disabled list. John Holdzkom and Hunter Morris placed on disabled list.
7/1: Paul Brands assigned to GCL Pirates from DSL.
This Date in Pirates History
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including Donn Clendenon, who played first base for the Pirates from 1961 until 1968. After seeing limited September time his first year, he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1962. Between the 1965-66 seasons, he drove in 194 runs. The Pirates lost him to the Montreal Expos in the 1968 expansion draft. In his time in Pittsburgh, he hit .280 with 106 homers. In 1969, he picked up a World Series ring with the New York Mets.
Other former players born on this date include Anthony Claggett, who pitched one game with the Pirates on October 3, 2009. Enrique Romo, who was a reliever for the Pirates from 1979 until 1982. During that 1979 season, he pitched 84 times and had a 2.99 ERA in 129.1 innings. The next year he made 74 appearances and threw a total of 123.2 innings.
We also have 1966 center fielder Don Bosch and 1925-26 pitcher Red Oldham, who pitched one of the more important innings in franchise history. After the Pirates took a 9-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth in game seven of the 1925 World Series, Oldham was called in to close out the game. The Pirates trailed 7-6 going into the eighth and scored three runs off Walter Johnson. Oldham picked up the final three outs, striking out two future Hall of Famers, Goose Goslin and Sam Rice.
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.
Well guess you were all wrong-Dan Gamache was the perfect choice for the home run derby!! He just won!!!!
Trade market appears to be limited for the pirates with the Reds and Brewers two teams you’d prefer to not deal with. Reports on MLB.com that Atlanta has soured on Christian Bethancourt and they’re looking for young catching. It seems the Pirates have that in spades… is there a potential deal there? What options?
You have Stewart, Sanchez, Diaz, and Valle who could be part of a deal. What about Johnny Gomes for Valle?
I’d love a Freeman deal, which could start with Diaz or Stewart and add on from there with Pedro moving south, along with a prospect or two… Harold Ramirez and Kuhl, Heredia or Dickson?? #FreddytoPIT
Bell has power in batting practice so this choice is odd
So does Francisco Liriano.
I should have said huge power.
Gamache is getting more love from the Eastern League than from the prospect site… He’s finding ways to get attention though.
What kind of athleticism does he bring – does he have Brock Holt type of potential?
Gamache is Holt with less plate patience, speed and defense. When Holt was the same age as Gamache is right now, he was playing September baseball with the Pirates and hitting .292, which is why he made our top 50(top 34 actually) three times and Gamache hasn’t yet. We called Holt a player that was at least an MLB bench player, with the upside of a strong utility player. While I don’t consider him All-Star caliber(though I was happy he made the team) he has exceeded those expectations. Part of it may have to do with having a better opportunity in Boston.
Gamache probably has the upside of a bench player, though I’d stop short of calling him a strong utility player. He plays multiple positions, but isn’t strong at any of them and unlike Holt, shortstop isn’t an option.
Not to change the topic but I want to wish Jason Grilli well in his recovery. Although the odds of making it back from a ruptured Achilles will be a test, with everything Grilli has been through I believe he can do it. Good Luck Jason.
Don Bosch could play some CF, but he had to be the worst hitter I’d ever seen up unto my young age.
I remember Don Bosch with the Mets. The NY media got excited when he went on a three-week tear in June/July 1968 raising his average from .095 to .181 with 2HR. He was finally showing his potential!
C’mon lee. Michael Martinez was one of the most inept hitters I have seen in a Pirates uniform. He made Pedro Florimon look productive.
I saw Gamache put one out to the opposite field, but yeah, strange choice.
Adam Frazier would be more fun. The baseball equivalent of Spud Webb in the dunk contest.
John…we joke around a lot and Tim’s Prospect Report is ALWAYS a good read, but your Morning Report is fast becoming my #1 P2 column!!!