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Pirates Prospect Watch: Esmerlyn Valdez Hits an Inside the Park Grand Slam

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In the first inning of Friday’s Bradenton contest, Esmerlyn Valdez hit an inside the park grand slam.

The Pirates signed Valdez in early 2021 as an international free agent, and he arrived in the US after one year in the DSL. Last year, in his second season in the FCL, Valdez hit .312/.377/.518 with six homers.

He’s a bat-first prospect, spending his time in the field between the corner outfield spots and first base. Valdez is batting .273/.389/.477 with four homers this season. His 33 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances (30.6%) is a concern, but Valdez is a 20-year-old getting on base at a high rate and hitting for power in the low levels.

Here’s that inside the park homer from Valdez.

PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH

INDIANAPOLIS lost 3-0.

  • RHP Wily Peralta pitched three shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out three.
  • 2B-LF Ji Hwan Bae went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • DH Henry Davis went 1-for-4.
  • SS Liover Peguero went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • 3B Malcom Nunez went 1-for-4.

ALTOONA was postponed.

GREENSBORO lost 4-3.

  • RHP Derek Diamond pitched four shutout innings, allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out four.
  • RHP Alessandro Ercolani pitched three innings in relief, allowing two runs on a hit and two walks, with three strikeouts.
  • 1B Maikol Escotto went 1-for-4 with a double.
  • C Shawn Ross went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.
  • 3B Charles McAdoo went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

BRADENTON won 8-7, led by an inside the park grand slam by Esmerlyn Valdez.

  • LHP Michael Kennedy allowed four runs on eight hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. His runs came in the fifth and sixth inning, with two homers in the sixth.
  • SS Keiner Delgado went 2-for-5 with a double.
  • LF Solomon Maguire went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.
  • CF Shalin Polanco went 1-for-4 with a walk and a double.
  • RF Eddy Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a walk.

FCL PIRATES lost 8-6.

  • 3B Yerry De Los Santos went 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.
  • C Luke Scherrer went 1-for-2 with two walks and a double.
  • SS Carlos Caro went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.
  • CF Eduardo Oviedo went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
  • 2B Roinny Aguiar went 1-for-3.

STATCAST HEROES

Wily Peralta whiffed four on eight swings on his splitter. STATS

Michael Kennedy had 14 whiffs, with nine from the slider on 17 swings. STATS

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE

  • Triple-A: Indianapolis, 7:15 PM – TBD
  • Double-A: Altoona, 2:00 PM – RHP Bubba Chandler (1-1, 3.10)
  • Double-A: Altoona, Game Two – TBD
  • High-A: Greensboro, 7:35 PM – TBD
  • Single-A: Bradenton, 6:30 PM – RHP Khristian Curtis (0-2, 5.21)
  • Rookie: FCL Pirates, 10:00 AM – TBD
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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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