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Monday, December 5, 2022

2022 DSL Pirates Recap: The Pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates used 73 players total between their two Dominican affiliates this season. Due to the amount of players at the level, we split our DSL recap into pitchers and hitters.

Out of the 73 players used by the DSL Pirates affiliates, there were 40 pitchers used. Half of those pitchers made at least one start. Below you will find recaps for 22 pitchers.

The list below is a mix of bigger name prospects, late signings, and guys who just performed well and received a lot of innings. I’ll throw in the asterisk that a long series I did earlier this year covering the DSL showed that there is almost zero correlation between performance in the league and making the majors. Very few pitchers make it to the majors from this league (not just Pirates pitchers) to begin with, and their DSL performance had little effect on whether or not those players made it. That being said, you would rather see players performing well. Scouting reports are much more important at this stage than results.

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 Minor League Recaps

Indianapolis Indians

Altoona Curve

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Bradenton Marauders

FCL Pirates

DSL Pirates Hitters

DSL Pirates Pitchers

DSL PIRATES PITCHERS

Andres Silvera had solid results last year, but he was still a raw pitcher with plenty of growth left. A lower profile signing out of Panama, he only threw 85 MPH at the top range when he signed, but the Pirates saw projection with time. He had a quality 2022 season, which included an All-Star appearance. In 41 innings over 11 starts, he had a 1.54 ERA, 45 strikeouts and an 0.80 WHIP.

Gilberto Alcala was a huge upside pitcher among a group of four potential top pitchers in the Pirates 2019-20 class. He ended up missing last year due to injury and had a rough time training on his own during the shutdown. He came back in 2022 to make eight solid starts on limited pitch counts. In 25 innings, he had a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 26 strikeouts.

Yojeiry Osoria was in that same upside group with Alcala in 2019-20. The lefty received a $600,000 bonus and lots of praise to match. That did not equal results last year, with a 6.12 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 25 innings. He was doing better this year in his limited time, but he finished the year on the IL. Both he and Alcala are 19 years old, so that upside should still be there if they can stay healthy.

Pitterson Rosa was the big name from the 2021-22 international signing class, receiving a $700,000 bonus. He made eight starts on limited pitch counts, posting a 3.22 ERA, 24 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP in 22.1 innings. That limited use is mostly because he wasn’t originally a pitcher, but he took to the position well, topping out at 94 MPH at 16 years old before signing. He should be in the FCL next year.

Keneth Quintanilla wasn’t a big signing three years ago, but the 19-year-old did well in limited time last year. He returned to the DSL this season and saw more work, finishing with a 3.13 ERA in 31.2 innings, with 37 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He was a low bonus guy, but that’s partially due to him being from Nicaragua, where lower bonuses are required, and also he was more about projection than current results when he signed, needing to add about 35-40 pounds to his frame minimum.

Victor Cabreja was a low profile signing late in the year, seen more as a filler due to his age (20), though the scouting reports read more like a late bloomer, with a fastball that got up to 93 MPH after he added 35 pounds to his large frame. He had a 4.67 ERA in 34.2 innings, with a 1.38 WHIP and 36 strikeouts.

Kevison Hernandez was a late/low-profile signing in last year’s class, who did well last year and this year, though his time was limited due to injury in 2022. He has a big frame and solid stuff, but he’s also 20 and injured this year. In two seasons, he has a 2.80 ERA in 35.1 innings, with 47 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP.

Wilkin Valdez is here because he got a lot of work (for the DSL) and he posted a 1.64 ERA, but this was his third season in the league (not including the shutdown season) and he’s had major control issues since the start, with 79 walks over 84 innings total. Now 21 years old, it seems unlikely that he has potential to succeed at higher levels

Fares Sanchez was a late signing this year who saw regular work and did well, posting a 1.44 ERA and an 0.86 WHIP in 31.1 innings. The downside was 16 strikeouts, and his scouting report wasn’t glowing for an 18-year-old (topped out at 91 MPH), but there’s potential if he can find a swing-and-miss pitch because the control is already there.

Alberto Saba is a projection signing from this year, throwing high 80s, while learning a changeup, but besides having a projectable frame, he also threw a high spin curve. The 17-year-old had a 3.60 ERA in 30 innings, with 25 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP.

Patricio Ress was a smaller name in the 2019-20 signing class, overshadowed by the high upside group of pitchers. Now 19 years old, he saw plenty of work in 2022, but struggled with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP.

Darlin Diaz was the big pitching name from the 2020-21 signing class, but has not played the part in two seasons. He had better overall results this year than last, but it came with less work and a slightly lower K rate than one in 2021 that was already low. The Pirates gave him a nice bonus because they saw future starter traits from someone who was hitting 92 MPH at 16 years old.

Jesus Clode was signed as a low priced pitcher late, though he came with a strong fastball at the time. Besides signing at 19, he profiled strictly as a reliever. He did much better this year, but also saw limited time, throwing 18.2 innings in 2022 after 32.2 innings last year. His 2.81 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 25 strikeouts are all nice totals. Don’t write him off yet because he’s 21.

Luis Faringthon greatly improved over one season. In 2021, he had a 5.18 ERA in 24.1 innings, with 29 strikeouts and a 1.44 WHIP. In 2022, he allowed one earned run in 22 innings, with 23 strikeouts and an 0.95 WHIP.  He received a $160,000 bonus in 2019 due to his three-pitch mix and competitive nature on the mound.

Jonathan Salazar has a big frame and potential for a plus fastball/curve combo. That has not translated to results, with a 6.15 ERA in 52.2 innings over two seasons. The silver lining is that he greatly improved his strikeout rate this year (5.4 to 9.9) and of course, the scouting report trumps anything they do on the field in the DSL.

Adolfo Oviedo was a late signing this year at 17 years old, earning a job during Spring Training. He’s here because of his workload, with a 4.33 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.

Isaias Uribe had an odd second season, improving his walk and strikeouts rates, but his ERA and BAA both went up. At 20 years old, you expect more because he was signed three years ago as someone who threw 93 with two solid secondary pitches. There was still room to fill out his 6’3″ frame, plus he’s a lefty, but putting in a third year at his age usually doesn’t work out well unless the pitcher was extremely raw/injured.

Dioris Valdez is an interesting inclusion here because he has TONS of raw power as an outfielder, but he doesn’t make enough contact. He became a two-way play mid-season and finished with an 8.31 ERA and nine strikeouts in 8.2 innings. He doesn’t project well as a hitter or pitcher, but he definitely has tools for either that you can dream on.

Hader Blanco was signed as a scrawny 16-year-old lefty out of Colombia, with a ton of projection and room to fill out. He had a 3.60 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 30 innings BUT he walked 29 batters, so he will be repeating the DSL.

Luis Joseph improved his control and results in his second season in the DSL, finishing this year with a 3.27 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. However, once he threw more strikes, he gave up more hits.

Jarlen De La Paz had control issues that limited him to 18.2 innings this year, finishing with 17 walks and 16 strikeouts. He’s a big lefty, with room to fill out and the makings of a strong curve. Doesn’t throw hard yet, but the projection is there. Control will be the key here.

Wilbur Martinez was an upside signing with projection and a bit of a strong record on the international circuit already. He had a 2.05 ERA in 26.1 innings, but he was also a third-year player and his control wasn’t great, with 19 BB/HBP during those 26.1 innings.

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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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soberg2002

What is the general scoop for the other 18 pitchers? Barely pitched, low figure signings, old for the level or some other description?

JimEastTennessee

Sheesh, I give up…how does one project pitchers this young

CTBucco

Heredia got a big bonus. Life changing money in all likelihood. I can see where it would be tough for a 17 year old kid, who may be living significantly better than he ever has before (no idea if that’s true for Heredia), to keep focused. Hopefully, they are also doing all they can to assess how the player will respond once monied.

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