First Look at a Top International Target for the Pirates

The July 2nd signing period begins in three days and Ben Badler had a couple names attached to the Pirates. We will expand more on that in tomorrow’s Morning Report. For now though, the ultimate teaser article. One of the players connected to the Pirates can’t sign until his 16th birthday on August 22nd. So we have a name and a great connection to the Pirates, you just won’t hear about him signing for a couple months.

The Pirates have been well connected to Dominican trainer Raul Valera, better know in the international circles as “Banana”. The Pirates have signed numerous players from him and it sounds like this year’s target is Dominican outfielder Jean Robert Eusebio. For your viewing pleasure and for future reference, here are some videos on the soon-to-be 16-year-old, who appears to be headed to the Pirates. He is listed at 6’0″, 160 pounds, though it’s obviously important to point out that his height/weight was from October and he’s young enough to continue to grow.

More video

video #3

I’m just writing stuff to break up the videos at this point

DPL stands for Dominican Prospect League, which is exactly what the name makes it sound like.

You must really like these videos to keep going this far.

Last one, with a very wild pitcher

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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Bill W

I see where a person noted as “BANANA” is referenced in some of the comments. Is this person a buscone?


John … Very minor question but the last two videos seem to show him taking four balls – but no walk. Is this a game? Or some type of training set up?

Bill W

Correct me if I’m wrong (which could last a longtime) the International signings include any players from countries except Canada?


And Puerto Rico

Bill W

thanks- I heard Luis Clemente talk about a resurgence with PR players allowing them to spend more time in college before eligibility and setting up more “camps”. Be nice if this pipeline could be re-established.


The ball seems to leap off this kid’s bat despite a swing that honestly looks kind of casual. There’s something there, I think.

joe s

John, after these kids sign, if they are younger than 16 they are not permitted to play until next year. Do they go home and wait or do they go to the academy and do what exactly?

joe s

John, let’s agree to disagree. I always root for these kids, even though I think the bonuses the high end prospects get is much to high for the risk reward these players present at the age they sign for.


Sano certainly worked out just fine

joe s

Bigger bonus pool next year because they are doing so poorly this year in the standings.

joe s

As I said about 10 or more times this year which Banana prospect are the pirates going to sign this year? Hate to say but it is true that the only trainer in the DR that the pirates can deal with is Banana. Since Gay o blew the Sano signing I do not think other DR trainers trust or want to deal with the pirates. I hope this signing turns out to be as good as Polanco.


Lol. I thought you were making up some derogatory label for Dominican prospects. I was thinking – “Wow! That’s uncalled for!” And then I read on and realized that Banana was a person

Steve Zielinski

I can’t imagine a reason for the DR trainers to boycott the Pirates and Gayo because of the Sano situation. Gayo deals with businesses and businessmen. If Gayo has the money to pay for a top prospect, then the Pirates will authentically compete for that prospect. Trainers and agents will take Pirates’ money when it is in their interest to do so.


Still incredibly shitty we didn’t get Sano.

Steve Zielinski

Yep. It still bothers me.


August 22nd is my sister’s birthday, so rest assured that prospect is gonna be good.


Any updates on the Mexican pitcher and outfielder you had mentioned about a month or two ago?

Frank Koch

Any news on the Eusibio player who just had a birthday this week. Are the Bucs still interested in him ?


I assumed when you wrote about them earlier they woild be during the next July 2nd signing period anyway. Look forward to reading the update tomorrow. Thanks.

Wilbur Miller

It says a lot that nearly all of Badler’s entry on the Pirates is about Marte, Polanco, Ramirez and Heredia, rather than about players they’re going after this year. They’re just not a player in Latin America right now.

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