Pittsburgh Pirates: Arizona Fall and Winter League Updates

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Minors: The Arizona Fall League and the Winter Leagues are about a week into their seasons.  Here is an update on how the Pittsburgh Pirates players are performing so far.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have plenty of players involved in both the Arizona Fall League and Winter League play in the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.  The headliner in terms of the players who are participating is Jung Ho Kang, who is playing in the Dominican Winter League.  Other’s in the league are Edwin Espinal, Montana DuRapau, and Pablo Reyes. Furthermore, Elvis Escobar is playing in Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates have many more prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League.  The group is headlined by their top pitching prospect in Mitch Keller.  Other top prospects like Taylor Hearn and Kevin Kramer are also playing in the league.  The Pittsburgh Pirates also have a few prospect who are not top prospects, but players who have done well in the minors.  This list is made up by Brandon Waddell, Mitchell Tolman, and Logan Hill.

Winter League

The Winter League has just started, so there is not a ton to recap yet.  Jung Ho Kang has played in two games thus far.  He is sporting a .142 batting average with one hit in seven at-bats.  He does have three RBI’s though, with one coming via a sacrifice fly.  He also has struck out three times already.  Now, one should expect some struggles from Kang, he has not seen legitimate live in-game pitching since the 2016 season with the Pirates.

Espinal is 1-3 so far this season with a run scored.  Reyes, who is playing mainly second base, went 1-5 with a single.  Meanwhile, DuRapau, who is most likely the closest to the majors, had a very poor first game.  He only recorded one out and allowed a run on a hit and two walks.  Elvis Escobar is playing Winter Ball in Venezuela and so far has a five-game hitting streak, going 8-20 for a .400 batting average.

Arizona Fall League

Mitch Keller has made one start so far and was very good.  He pitched three scoreless innings and struck out four hitters.  Brandon Waddell has pitched out of the bullpen in both of his appearances.  His ERA is at 6.00 right now, as he has given up two earned runs in four innings on four hits while striking out four.  Taylor Hearn also has pitched one inning out of the bullpen, and it was a clean one-two-three inning with a strikeout.

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On the offensive side of things, Kevin Kramer is continuing his strong 2017.  He is batting .429 through two games so far.  He has seven at-bats, and has three hits including a double.  He has only struck out once and has worked two walks.  Logan Hill has played in three games and has three hits in 11 at-bats for a .273 average.  He also has provided some pop with two of his hits being home runs, and he has five RBIs.  Mitchell Tolman also has played in three games and has 10 at-bats.  He is struggling the most out of the three, posting a batting average of just .200, though he has worked three walks in the three games.