ENGELB VIELMA, SHORTSTOP
|Born: June 22, 1994
Height: 5′ 11″
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, Minnesota Twins, 2011
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|When the Twins signed Vielma out of the Dominican, he was regarded as a good defensive player whose slender build left questions about whether he’d be strong enough to hit. Those questions haven’t been answered, at least not in a positive way, as he’s shown almost no power at all throughout his time as a pro. His ability to draw walks will probably always be very limited by pitchers knowing he’s unlikely to hurt them beyond hitting a few singles. He is regarded as a plus defender at short. The Pirates claimed him off waivers from the Phillies.
Vielma played mostly short in the DSL and hit reasonably well for an 18-year-old.
Vielma spent the season in the Gulf Coast League, apart from a late season promotion to the Appalachian League. Apart from solid plate discipline, he didn’t do much at the plate and, in particular, showed no power at all.
The Twins moved Vielma up to full season ball and he hit for a solid average, but with no power. His walk rate also dropped quite a bit. Baseball America ranked him 22nd in the Twins’ system after the season.
Vielma spent the season in high A and again hit for a solid average with no power and a walk total that was probably limited by pitchers not being hesitant to challenge him. He had a much higher stolen base total than in any other season. BA ranked him 18th in Minnesota’s system after the season.
At AA, Vielma had largely the same season as the previous two, except for an improved walk rate. He missed the month of May with an injury and rehabbed in high A. BA ranked him 25th in the Twins’ system and they added him to the 40-man roster after the season.
The Twins sent Vielma to AA at the start of the season, then moved him up to AAA in mid-May. He hit about the same as the previous year in AA, with continued improvement in his plate discipline. In AAA he struggled badly, with a high K rate for the first time in his career and very few walks. The Twins removed him from their 40-man roster in September and San Francisco claimed him. After the season, the Giants also designated him for assignment and the Phillies claimed him. The Phillies than dfa’d him three weeks later and the Pirates claimed him.
Vielma will probably serve as a glove-only utility infielder, replacing Gift Ngoepe in that role. It’s hard to see what need the Pirates have, though, as they’ll have Kevin Newman at short at Indianapolis in 2018, and Max Moroff also available. They’ll also have Cole Tucker in AA. It’s quite likely that they’ll try to get Vielma through waivers.
UPDATE: The Pirates designated Vielma for assignment to clear roster space after the Gerrit Cole trade.
|2018: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $90,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/2016 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2017)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|September 8, 2011: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an international free agent.
November 18, 2016: Contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins.
September 12, 2017: Designated for assignment by the Minnesota Twins.
September 14, 2017: Claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins by the San Francisco Giants.
November 20, 2017: Claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants by the Philadelphia Phillies.
December 11, 2017: Claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
January 14, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.