Updated Player Pages

Just a quick post, mainly to note that I’ve added player pages for players who are in minor league camp for the first time.  Tim noted this when he posted the minor league spring training roster recently.  Of course, I don’t have a great deal of information on these guys yet.

The process did serve as a reminder of the greatly added interest the lower levels of the farm system are providing these days.  Back in the dark days of the GM-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, year after year went by with literally no additions of note from Latin America.  This year there are at least three real prospects–or maybe “real potential prospects” is a better description of teenage ballplayers–in their first camp:  Dilson Herrera, Harold Ramirez and Elvis Escobar.  The latter two may still head to the Dominican Summer League, but they probably wouldn’t be in camp if there wasn’t at least a chance of them playing in the Gulf Coast League this year, which would be a big step for 17-year-olds who haven’t played professionally yet.

After years of Latin minor leaguers who figured, at best, to be organizational players, the Pirates have stockpiled a large number of guys at the lowest levels who are worth watching.  Probably a large majority won’t go anywhere in the end, but that’s normal.  The focus has been mainly on position players, Luis Heredia notwithstanding, but that’s good because that’s the system’s weakness.  Between West Virginia, State College and the GCL, I figure the following hitters are all guys who have a chance to turn into real prospects:

Catcher:  Samuel Gonzalez

Infielders:  Jose Ozuna, Dilson Herrera, Alen Hanson, Yhonatan Barrios, Jodaneli Carvajal (and maybe Edwin Espinal–I don’t know much about him yet)

Outfielders:  Willy Garcia, Gregory Polanco, Luis Urena, Jesus Vasquez, Raul Fortunato, Harold Ramirez, Elvis Escobar

If the Pirates can get just 2-3 good prosects out of this group, they’ll be far ahead of where they were a couple years ago.

About WTM

Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.
  • JohnDreker

     Espinal is supposedly a monster for his age at the plate and he is a solid fielder with a strong arm. Went to the Luis Polonia Academy down in the Dominican and Luis raved about him, calling him a top player for the 2010 signing period. He was tearing it up in the DSL until he got injured, although he didn’t miss a ton of time so it wasn’t anything serious

  • James Marasco

    I really enjoy columns like this. There are plenty of outlets in which I can find main headlines, but articles like these aren’t as abundant (especially Pirate-organization centric).