Winter Leagues: Adam Frazier Helps Lead Team USA to Finals

On Friday in Japan during the Premier12 tournament, Adam Frazier helped Team USA to a 6-1 win over Mexico, which put them in the finals on Saturday. Frazier went 3-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. That win led to USA against South Korea in the finals today. Frazier started at second  base on Saturday and went 0-for-3 with a walk, as Korea won by an 8-0 score. He finished the tournament with a .355 average, going 11-for-31 in eight games.

Jin-De Jhang went 3-for-8 with two doubles in three games for Chinese Taipei. He was the only other player from the Pirates’ organization in the Premier12 tournament.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk in his team’s 10-0 win. For the third straight game, he started in left field. Osuna also had a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. He is hitting .339/.391/.476 in 124 at-bats.

Junior Sosa grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and finished the game in right field on defense. He’s hitting .173 in 52 at-bats.

Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-3 with two sacrifice bunts. He has a .720 OPS in 36 games.

Only one game in the Dominican on Friday and Pedro Florimon was the only Pirates’ player to see action. He went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. He is hitting .186 in 11 games and has 19 strikeouts in 43 at-bats.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He is hitting .320 through 33 games.

In Australia, Sam Kennelly started both games of a doubleheader at shortstop and went 0-for-4 with his first error in the opener. In game two, he went 0-for-3, leaving him 5-for-30 through nine games.

The Pirates purchased Patrick Johnson on Friday from an independent team in the American Association. He has been pitching winter ball for Caribes de Anzoategui in Venezuela, where he has been dominating the competition. Johnson has made seven starts, posting an 0.96 ERA in 37.1 innings, with a .228 BAA and 33 strikeouts. He is second in ERA in the league, second in strikeouts and fourth with a 1.02 WHIP. He last pitched on Tuesday, throwing six shutout innings.

  • DAMN!!!!!!
    Been a long time since LLOYD was ready to spew Bucco opines and no one is near awake in the room. Maybe another time men. So so so busy but such a fan of this site and our squad. Sorry to not contribute to the discussions at this time but plans are for that to change.
    Good Night!!!

    LLOYD

  • This is my theory on why Tony Sanchez was kept on the roster. The Pirates will keep him through spring training in case Cervelli or Stewart get hurt. Then they have a few options. If one of the catchers get hurt then they can bring Sanchez up and give Diaz more time in the minors. And in spring training another club might have a catcher injured and Sanchez would have a higher value in a trade.

    • They didn’t have to take Sanchez off, they still have two open spots. If they wanted to protect Holmes or Barnes or anyone else, they could have. They chose not to.

      • John, how does the minor league phase work? Who’s eligible to be taken?

        • After the MLB portion of the draft, the teams then protect players on their AAA and AA rosters. Depending on how many players are rule 5 eligible, that could leave almost nobody available in the AA section, which means if you find someone in that part that eventually helps you, it’s a minor miracle(pun intended). The AAA picks cost $12,000, while AA costs $4,000. You’re going to protect your best prospects so they can’t be taken in the AAA round. The minor league part has produced very little over the years for any team.

  • My prediction…
    Rule 5 Losses…
    Rojas – worth a shot as third/fourth outfielder for someone like the Phillies
    Osuna – Ditto – and can play 1st base – has hit at every level
    Barnes – Ditto
    Frazier – versatile and has hit well
    And maybe Holmes – he can sit on a roster like Milwaukee and get some garbage time work late in the year.
    Not excuse for any of them
    And they already lost Lambo

    Rondon and Knudson Decker, Floriman are AAAA at best – why they get priority over any of the above is beyond me.
    And there is absolutely no need for Sanchez at this point

    Hoping I am wrong – but this makes NO sense –

    • Frazier isn’t eligible till next year.

    • 72% of rule 5 picks are pitchers. That’s just picks, that doesn’t mean they stick. Only about 15-20% stick for an entire year. There is very little chance the Pirates lose two position players and they both stick. There is very little chance they even lose one and he sticks.

      • This makes sense too. Once one of yours is selected, you get to pull some back, right?

        What year was it they got raided? Or at least that was the joke. Chris Shelton was one of them. Had like a monster April for the O’s I think and was never heard from again. None of those guys they lost panned out I remember.

        • It was the Tigers, excuse me.

        • No, guys are eligible until the end. I think what you’re thinking of is the expansion draft because that’s what they were able to do, pull guys back

          • Ah, yes. Sorry.

            • I’m not sure why others are ignoring the comments, but they didn’t protect Sanchez, Florimon, Knudson, Rondon or Holdzkom over anyone. They chose not to protect Holmes, Barnes, etc and that should be fairly obvious by the fact they left two roster spots open.

              It’s been said many times that you can’t protect everyone, you can’t go into a new season with 10+ players on your 40-man roster who aren’t ready for the majors. That doesn’t work, you have injuries. The Pirates have to figure there is very little chance they lose anyone who sticks, so there was no need to fill their 40-man roster with minor leaguers and leave yourself no room for in-season moves.

              Just because those five players I mentioned above are still on the 40-man DOES NOT mean they will make it through the winter. There is a great chance the Pirates add more than two free agents to the 40-man this off-season, or it could be multiple players in return for Melancon or Alvarez. Whatever it is, those five players were not chosen over Holmes, Barnes, etc.

    • Every year, without fail, people get mad about not protecting this marginal prospect or that marginal prospect, then predict that multiple players could be lost. A belief that built upon anecdotes, that ignores the realities of the rule five draft, like corner OF are usually never selected, and over exuberant optimism for one’s own prospects.

      Every freaking year.

      • I’d rather protect a marginal prospect who “could” be good than guys like Florimon or Sanchez who have pretty much proven they will never be everyday MLBers. And even Tim had questions about who they were and weren’t gonna protect.

        • Hurdle showed last September that he likes Florimon plenty. Sanchez looks like he can hit on the MLB which isn’t the case for half of the leagues catchers. That means both players have a good chance at a MLB career… Way better chance than Rojas or Barnes. Just say in’…

  • Why would we protect Florimon and not Holmes?

    • Why would we protect Florimon and not almost anyone else?

    • They didn’t protect Florimon over anyone, still two open spots on the 40-man. My best guess on the reason is that they didn’t want to take too many 40-man roster spots for players who aren’t MLB options at the beginning of the year. Kingham, Taillon, Glasnow, Garcia, Hanson, two extra catchers, Moroff, Bell, Ramirez. Ngoepe and Broxton might be Opening Day options, but you don’t want either starting. If they protected Barnes and Holmes, plus had Kang on the DL, you have no room for moves if you need early season changes.

      Guys like Florimon, Sanchez, Knudson, Rondon, Holdzkom can be DFA’d during the off-season when you sign someone, but you’re not going to sneak prospects though.

      The strange thing with Florimon specifically is that he is better than Gift Ngoepe any day, yet no one seems to mind him on the roster because he’s never failed in the majors yet. Florimon is just as good on defense, has more speed and has a lot of MLB experience. Ngoepe has played a few AAA games with a .625 OPS and he’s about to turn 26.

      • Not toention you’re starting the clock. Not as big a deal for Barnes, but Holmes needs the extra year of development.

      • Agree on both sides of it. If a team chooses Holmes after only pitching 36 innings with the highest level being Hi A, after missing a full year to TJ, then that team has committed to playing with 24 in 2016, and hope that he develops more for 2017.

        Florimon is a true professional defensively. It also speaks to how important it was to get Kang as a starter or backup for Mercer at SS.

        • Why not protect him, take Sanchez off of the 40 man and then send Holmes back for more seasoning?

          • NH will never ever be in the position he was a few years back when he was in the crap heap looking for anyone who could catch.

      • John…I am obviously not understanding your point. Why would we have to ‘sneak’ Holmes through anything? Doesn’t he have options left?

        I know Sanchez is out of options, but who cares?

        Doesn’t Barnes have options?

        • to open a 40-man roster spot

          • You can open up a 40 man by taking Tony S or Geedo or one of the other bums currently residing there.

            If someone takes Holmes, like the Phils, sure they’re risking a spot, but it’s worth a shot (not unlike Evan Meek).

            Who would you rather lose, Geedo or Holmes?

            If someone takes Geedo or Tony S in the Rule V, no big loss.

            Protect Holmes and then option him out, right?

            • They didn’t protect anyone over Holmes, you’re missing the point. They have said in the past and other teams have said it as well. You can’t use 10+ roster spots on players who aren’t Major League ready because it limits what you can do if injuries come up and I listed all of the players who won’t be ready on Opening Day as it is, Holmes and Barnes would just take more spots.

              You can DFA any of those guys like Florimon, Sanchez, Knudson, Rondon, any time you want to open up a spot for a free agent signing so there is no reason to get rid of them now.

              To repeat. They didn’t protect anyone over anyone. They chose to have open spots and my best guess is because they don’t want to take too many spots up for players who aren’t Major League ready

              • Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but when you have a guy with Holmes’ upside, you make an exception.

                Your best guess is noted, but, as an armchair GM, I would’ve made an exception.

                Thanks for your patience, 🙂

                • Their thinking is probably that Holmes is so far away and so few players actually stick, that they aren’t taking a huge risk. Even if he is selected, there is a great chance he won’t stick

                  • Could a team take Holmes and put him on 60 day DL like Milwaukee did to the left hander pitcher they took in rule5 draft?

                    • Gotta spend time on the roster before you can do that. You cannot take him and immediately place him on the DL.

                    • He has to spend at least 90 days on the active roster. If he doesn’t, then he has to make the majors in 2017 and remain on the active roster until he does. You can place a guy on the DL the entire year, but the rules don’t change, they just get delayed. If you did place someone on the DL, they could only spend a short time in the minors on rehab, so it would be a totally lost season, plus you would be paying them Major League minimum for the entire time so he better be worth an extra $550K and a year of service time.

        • I understand protecting one of Florimon and Gift, but not BOTH. And im with Bill on Sanchez.

          • There’s two spots right there. And, if you need a good field/no hit SS Or backup C because of injuries, there are lots of them floating around on AAA rosters.

            Arms like Holmes aren’t. He has Philadelphia Phillie written all over him.

          • The only way Sanchez and Florimon make it through the winter on the 40-man roster is if the Pirates have an extremely quiet off-season. Otherwise, both players will be among the first off the 40 when they need a spot for a free agent signing. I think Knudson and Rondon are probably gone first, but eventually others will have to move.

        • Lee, their options haven’t started yet. Once you place them on the 40 man roster, they have 3 options from that point. Holmes would be out of options by the time he reached the majors, likely by 2019.

    • Let’s do some roster math.

      The Pirates currently have 9 players on the 40 man roster never to appear in a game. They are the four additions, Taillon, Kingham, Garcia, Hanson and Ngoepe.

      There are also three players who only have a September call up worth of experience in Broxton, Diaz and Holdzkom.

      Now it’s not out of the question a couple of these guys could make the Opening Day roster but its rare for the Pirates to bring someone north with so little experience.

      If we assume none of them make the Opening Day roster we need to add 25 to the 12 as that will represent the players on the team. So that puts us at 37 players leaving 3 open spots.

      If one assumes Kang won’t be ready which looks like a possibility that number drops to 2 open spots. The Pirates also are going to need some sort of Rob Scahill type pitcher on the 40 man that they can call up when the bullpen needs a fresh arm for a few days. You my not like it but its a necessary evil.

      So now we are left with only 1 available spot. It could go to Holmes of course but it makes more sense to go to a more fungible player so the Pirates wouldn’t have to worry about losing him if they need to remove to add a sixth starter or someone to the roster.

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