Puerto Rican Winter League Announces Agreement with Pittsburgh Pirates

The winter league in Puerto Rico, which goes by the name Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, announced last night that the Pittsburgh Pirates will supply players to the league next winter for the 2019-2020 season. The players will be available for the teams through a draft, which will take place around this time next year.

The league in Puerto Rico usually begins play in mid-November. They are playing a 36-game regular season schedule this year, followed by the playoffs. The league champion then plays in the Caribbean World Series, which usually takes place during the first week of February.

The Pirates haven’t had much representation in the league recently. When Daniel Ortiz was with the Pirates in 2016-17, he was their lone representative in the league. He is from Puerto Rico. Right now there aren’t any players from Puerto Rico in the farm system, but the country is on a downslide in baseball at this point compared to the strong years recently.

Puerto Rico is part of the MLB draft, but in recent years very few players have been chosen from there and most are late round picks. The last pick for the Pirates was Nelson Jorge, who was drafted in seventh round in 2014 and he was released following the 2017 season after topping out at Bristol.

It appears that the Pirates will have a decent size group of players available for the league next year, which seems fitting with the name of the league. The level of play in the league is about equal to Double-A, so you could expect players from High-A on up to be among that group.




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