Pirates Winter Report: Liover Peguero Shows the Signs of Future Stardom

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

Dominican Republic

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.

Venezuela

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.

Mexico

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

Puerto Rico

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.

Australia

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.

Colombia

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

United States

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.

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PiratePrimate

The day that Peguero’s at SS for the Pirates and Cruz is at DH or in the outfield is the day the Pirates start looking like a MLB franchise and less like a poor man’s bad circus act

Cocktailsfor2

I am also high on Peggy, but have no idea what they’re going to do with Oliva, who doesn’t do much for me…

bianco599

I think Oliva is about to be 27. Way younger than me but not sure what your future is if you can’t get playing time with one of the worst teams in the league.

emjayinTN

I think Liover’s stats are currently 19th in BA, and 24th in OPS – excellent numbers for a 21 year old in a league where 25 or 26 could be the average age, and lots of players with MLB experience.

I liked Hanson a lot. Still remember the Pirates GM promoting him to MLB and then he sat on the bench for about 9 or 10 games while Hurdle was getting PA’s for SRod so he could make another incentive plateau. I think it would be fair to say that Hanson was not a favorite of Hurdle.

Wilbur Miller

I don’t think you can understand this sort of nonsense in baseball terms. As fans, we don’t see the internal culture that drives so much of this. Why, for instance, would Dumbo keep playing a guy like VanMeter (or a dozen other guys) who offered zero, actually negative, present and future value? Picking literally anybody at random off the AAA roster made more baseball sense.

You can’t discount the role played by one baseball lifer viewing another baseball lifer as deserving a favor, just by virtue of still hanging around and knowing not to play loud music in the clubhouse. I’m convinced the ability to overcome that sort of bias is a crucial difference between well run teams like the Rays and incompetent ones like the Pirates.

emjayinTN

Thank you for that – no reason why this franchise should have a Manager with three straight seasons of sub-.400 Winning percentages.300 coming back. Go with something different. My favorite is local boy Don Kelly who played for 9 years in MLB and under some very strong Managers, including Jim Leyland. New core of players, new Manager.

Anthony

I think you’re extremely underestimating Donny’s current role and influence on this staff. Just bc he’s tech a Number Two doesn’t mean his input isn’t valued or that he doesn’t communicate directly with players or even provide his opinion on in game decisions. Shelton may bare the ultimate responsibility by default, but it is a fool’s errand to think he actually pulls all the strings.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony
emjayinTN

I see Kelly’s fingerprints on a lot of what is going on, but he is still No. 2. With his MLB experience and strong ties to the local community, he should already be the Manager heading into ST.

Shelton is BC’s boy and nothing better – he plays the people he has been instructed to play. The pressure on BC to put a winner on the field is the only thing that will get Shelton gone.

jon6er

I feel the younger players would react better to Don Kelly than they ever will to Shelton. I just can’t get on board with the ‘they like playing for Shelton’ narrative simply because veterans on perennial losers will complain publicly about their managers but guys trying to make the majors generally don’t rock the boat. It’s frustrating for me because the Pirates ownership doesn’t care about ‘intangibles’. I’ll always love the franchise since I’ve been a Pirates fan since the 1960 season when I was 6 years old and my uncle from Greensburg took me to a regular season game at Forbes Field, lol. As for Liover I’m still very impressed with him coming into his age 22 season in 2023.

Anthony

“It’s frustrating for me because the Pirates ownership doesn’t care about ‘intangibles’.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth; “intangibles” are quite possibly the only thing they care about. It is literally the bedrock of this FO’s mission. Now, whether or not they’re good at identifying and/or developing “intangibles” is another story.

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