In addition to the signing out of Nicaragua yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates added two new amateur players from Panama as well. They signed right-handed pitcher Wilbur Martinez and right-handed hitting third baseman Francisco Quintero (see update).
I mentioned in the article linked above about Sergio Umana signing, that he was playing in the U18 World Cup tournament going on right now. Quintero is also in that tournament, which is being held in Panama, so all of these players were signed together, though only Umana was official when we posted that article last night. Martinez was one of the last cuts from Team Panama before the tournament began, making the 30-man preliminary roster, but not the final roster.
Quintero has some pitching in his past, but he’s listed as a third baseman. He was teammates last year with Luis Tello, who was signed by the Pirates on July 2nd this year. Quintero just played in a tough 9-8 loss to Team USA on Wednesday and went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He went 1-for-4 against the Dominican team the next day. MLB Panama was the first to announce his deal on Instagram, followed shortly by his team in Panama.
Prior to the Pirates signing these three players (including Luis Tello) from Panama, they had just two players from the country in their system. They are Jose Amaya, a pitcher who signed on July 2, 2017 and spent the 2018 season with the DSL Pirates, and Brian Sousa, who signed for $160,000 in 2014 and was suspended by the Pirates for the entire 2018 season.
The Pirates have signed 32 international players since July 2nd. We will update our signing tracker later today and try to get more information on the three players signed yesterday.
UPDATE: More on Martinez. According to reports, he throws 90-91 MPH, with a mid-70s breaking ball and he shows nice separation with his changeup, which sits 80-81 MPH. He is 17 years old.
UPDATE #2: Quintero’s signing never became official (unknown reason, but the two usual reasons are ID issues or something wrong during the physical) so it appears that he won’t be with the Pirates unless the issue is able to be resolved.