During his first playoff game in the Dominican, Jason Rogers heard it from the hometown fans. He batted four times, coming to the plate with a total of seven runners on base and came up empty each time, once hitting into a double play. He was hearing a much better response on Thursday night. Rogers drove in a run with a double in the fourth, then came around to score. In the fifth inning, he hit a sacrifice fly. He then topped off his night with a two-run homer in the seventh inning (shown just below). Rogers’ fate with the Pirates is still undecided.
— LIDOM (@LIDOMRD) December 30, 2016
Eury Perez went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in his second playoff game. He had two hits and two walks in the opener.
In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 1-for-2, with a single and two walks. In what was the last game of the regular season, Osuna attempted his first stolen base of the winter and was thrown out. He finished with a .279/.361/.387 slash line in 60 games. During his breakout winter last year, he hit .330/.395/.519 over 59 games. He slugged nine homers last winter, compared to just three this off-season.
Elvis Escobar went 1-for-5, with a single, run scored and an RBI. He finished the regular season with a .265/.280/.388 slash line in 48 games. I mentioned yesterday that Escobar showed a lot of progress compared to last winter when he was most used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement. The playoffs in Venezuela begin on Monday night.
In Mexico, Luis Heredia allowed a run on two hits and a walk, while recording the final two outs of the ninth. This game was 1-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth, and ended up as an 11-4 game. Heredia allowed two inherited runners to score. He now has a 5.45 ERA in 34.2 innings over 19 appearances.
Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI. He is hitting .221/.303/.310 in 52 games.
In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-4, dropping him to a .343 average. With one game left in the season, he is tied with his teammate for the batting title. He trails that same teammate by 14 points for the league lead in OPS.
From Wednesday night in Colombia, 16-year-old Francisco Acuna went 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch. He is hitting .250/.400/.300 through nine games. Acuna was back at shortstop in this game after playing second base on Tuesday.
Sandy Santos struck out as a pinch-hitter. He is batting .273/.333/.273 through eight games.+ posts
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.