Our new Pirates Winter Report will highlight one Pittsburgh Pirates prospect each week, then give brief notes from each country playing winter ball. This week, we start with Liover Peguero, who just recently wrapped up his season in the Dominican.
Liover Peguero wrapped up his winter league season with some solid numbers, posting a .293/.326/.415 slash line in nine games. The Pirates allowed him to play through October 30th, but he lost a couple of games due to rain out.
I’ve seen fans compare similarities between Peguero and a former Pirates prospect, Alen Hanson. You could make generalized comparisons between the two, such as moving through the system at a young age, not putting up great stats on offense or defense, and plenty of tools to dream on. They are really nothing alike, which is one if the reasons I’m high on Peguero.
If you’re just comparing tools, Hanson might win. His speed was a legit plus speed. When he played outfield, he covered an insane amount of ground. He could steal a ton of bases as well, and forget it if a ball got in the gap. He had terrific range as a middle infielder as well, some of the best you’ll see. Plus he had at least average power.
Peguero plays the game under more control. The game doesn’t get faster than him. He has all of the tools to be a productive starting shortstop in the majors. He’s just lacking consistency on both sides of the ball, but that’s something that should come with age and experience.
Peguero’s brief winter league time produced some nice video highlights, though that’s taking into account that we were only seeing the highlights. The important part to remember. He’s still 21 years old. I’m still very high on him because he’s shown the glimpses of future stardom at a young age, while playing at an upper level.
Around the World
Besides Peguero, we also mentioned recently that Dariel Lopez had his season end on October 30th.
It’s a slow start to the winter for the Dominican, as Jeremy Beasley and Osvaldo Bido are the only ones playing now.
I didn’t see anything announcing that Endy Rodriguez was done, but he hasn’t played recently and he’s not injured, so he may have been on a short schedule as well. He has a .490 OPS in six games.
Oneil Cruz reported to his team on Friday. He will be in action as soon as he’s in game shape from having the last month off.
Diego Castillo made his debut this week. He told the local media in Venezuela that the Pirates want him using the entire field, both as a hitter and on defense. It sounds like he’s going to be allowed to play a lot this winter.
Fabrico Macias and Jared Oliva are going in different directions this winter. Both had solid starts, but Oliva struggled this week, then went to the bench, while Macias has played well. On Thursday night, Macias hit two doubles, giving him six on the winter. He has a .725 OPS in 19 games. Oliva was down to a .617 OPS in 18 games.
Leagues Yet To Play
The full schedule in Puerto Rico starts tonight. The Pirates players will be on Gigantes de Carolina. Scheduled to play are Brad Case, Will Kobos, Jeffrey Passantino, Aaron Shackelford and Nick Gonzales. They also have NDFA signing Ryan Velazquez and DSL pitcher Pitterson Rosa listed on the roster.
The league in Australia starts on November 9th with six Pirates in the league. Utility man Jase Bowen, outfielders Solomon Maguire and Sammy Siani, infielder Jesus Castillo (who won the FCL batting title this year), catcher Dylan Shockley, and first baseman Ernny Ordonez are all scheduled to play.
The league in Colombia begins on November 11th. They will have eight Pirates, with five pitchers on the same staff. Eddy Yean, Johan Montero, Cristian Charle, Oliver Mateo and Diego Chiquillo will all be on one team, along with infielder Andres Alvarez. Outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco and infielder Francisco Acuna are also in the league.
Arizona Fall League
While it’s not winter ball, just a reminder that the AFL Fall-Stars game will be shown on MLB.com. If the Houston Astros win tonight, the game will also be on MLB Network. The aforementioned Nick Gonzales will be playing, as will Henry Davis. Quinn Priester was chosen for the team, but he pitched on Friday, so it seems unlikely he will give an inning on Sunday. Details here.
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.