Winter Leagues: A Couple Pirates’ Catchers Show Off Their Arms

In the Dominican on Saturday, Alen Hanson came on as a pinch-runner for DH Delmon Young in the sixth inning and stayed in the game. Hanson reached on a bunt single in the seventh inning, scoring a few batters later on a sacrifice fly. In the eighth inning, he reached on another bunt single. While two bunt singles isn’t exciting, Hanson has said in the past that he likes to drop down bunts early in a game to draw the infield in, giving him a better chance to put one through the infield next time up. On the occasions where it doesn’t draw them in, he can use the bunt as a weapon to get on base, then take advantage of his ability to steal bases.

Willy Garcia got a rare start this month and went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout before being removed for a pinch-hitter. He is 6-for-37 in 12 games, with a double, two walks and 12 strikeouts. Garcia has just ten at-bats since October 28th.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. He also struck out twice in the game, which has been a slight issue this winter. He has five homers and four doubles in 65 at-bats, but it also comes with a .231 average and 19 strikeouts.

Pedro Florimon went 0-for-2 with a walk. He is 3-for-29 through eight games.

Gustavo Nunez grounded out as a pinch-hitter. He’s hitting .200 through 17 games this year.

In Venezuela, three players from the Pirates were in the starting lineup for Bravos de Margarita. Elias Diaz went 0-for-4 after collecting four hits in his first two games. On defense, he picked a runner off second and also threw out a runner trying to steal second.

Jose Osuna went 1-for-4 with his eighth double and 13th RBI. His average has gone down a bit due to a 3-for-16 stretch over his last four games. Osuna still has a .345/.392/.473 slash line through 30 games.

Junior Sosa started in left field, while Osuna manned first base on Saturday. Sosa went 1-for-3 with a double.

Jhondaniel Medina made his sixth appearance of the winter and threw a shutout inning. He hasn’t seen much mound time due to some control issues. In six innings, he’s walked seven batters, though he’s only allowed one earned run.

Wilfredo Boscan made his second start and gave up one earned run over four innings. He allowed five hits, one walk and struck out two batters. Boscan threw three shutout innings in his debut.

Gorkys Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored. He has a .793 OPS through 31 games.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-4 with a single, HBP and an RBI. Felipe Gonzalez pitched the ninth inning of his team’s 9-3 win and he retired the side in order on just six pitches.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-4, making him 4-for-19 through six games. He has been splitting time between second base and third base. The Pirates mainly used him at first base this season.

The league in Colombia still hasn’t updated the stats/boxscores on the site, but there is a bit of good news/bad news for one player. Oderman Rocha picked up the win Leones on Saturday. In other news, the Pirates released Oderman Rocha after six seasons in the system. The last three years, he has been jumping around the system wherever they need a pitcher to fill in. Despite never pitching for West Virginia and spending most of his time this year in the GCL, Rocha has appeared with Bradenton each of the last three seasons.

In the Premier 12 tournament, Adam Frazier went 1-for-3 with his third double, a walk and a run scored. He started at second base and committed his first error, as Team USA lost 10-2 to Japan.

Jin-De Jhang had a day to remember on defense against Cuba, throwing out all three runners that attempted to steal(see video below). He also had two hits, including his first double of the tournament.

  • Thanks for the update John especially the video of Jin-De Jhang – not even a close play on any of the three runners thrown out. And Diaz also with the arm. The Pirates had a weakness that is now a strength at C.

    Alen Hanson with two bunt singles that all look like ropes in the box score. The kid obviously has a feel for the game, and I hope we find a way to take full advantage of the skills he does possess with a good eye at the plate, footspeed to bunt or steal, and a better than average glove and range at 2B. We have had to make due with rotating leadoff hitters for a few years, and Hanson has the skills.

    • That .313 OBP at AAA has me all giddy, too. 🙁

      • It cost the Pirates $3.8 mil for Harrison in 2015 ($1 mil Bonus, $2.8 mil salary) to get his .324 OBP at leadoff, and his 19/71 W/K Ratio. I think we need to do better. Polanco’s OBP at leadoff was also in the .320’s and his power plays better at #2 in front of our Silver Slugger. I do not expect Hanson will set the world on fire at the beginning, but I think it is time to move in the direction of he and Polanco as #1 and #2 in front of ‘Cutch. Just an opinion.

      • 1 name : Gerrit Cole.

        • I’d expect Lindor to regress a bit offensively, I think he’ll be well below average in the power department. He is a speedy contact hitter, but I’m not sure he is .350 BABIP guy, there is nothing in his minor league history to suggest this.

          As it relates to Hanson, I think the questions about his offensively ability are justified, I wouldn’t be penciling him into a top of the order spot.

          • Don’t forget Hanson was young for the level last year. I don’t think we can claim to have a good feel for his OBP abilities until he has another year.

        • Alen Hanson is NOT Lindor….

          • Gee, thanks for that. Because you seem to have a limited comprehension level, I will point out that is exactly the point of using Lindor’s numbers for a comparison. Now run along back to school.

            • Gee, you think of that all on your own? Or did you have to go to school to learn how to be a prick?