Pirates claim Engelb Vielma off waivers

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

On Monday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates made a move on the waiver wire claiming infielder Engelb Vielma from the Phillies

The Pittsburgh Pirates now have 38 players on their 40-man roster. This is due to the team claiming infielder Engelb Vielma off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday afternoon.

Engelb Vielma is a 23-year-old infielder that has never played in the Major Leagues. He also comes with a pair of Minor League options remaining. So, if he makes it to Spring Training on the Pirate 40-man roster, it can be expected that he will open the season at Triple-A Indianapolis.

In the Minor Leagues, Vielma has played third base, shortstop, and second base. While he is a plus defender at each position, he is not much of a threat with the bat. Essentially, he is Gift Ngoepe without the feel good story.

Last season Engelb Vielma split time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Minnesota Twins’ organization. In 141 plate appearances at Double-A, he owned a .362 on-base percentage, .328 slugging percentage, a .325 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 104.

In his first taste of Triple-A ball, things did not go well for Vielma. He got on base at just a .233 clip, his slugging percentage was .260, he owned a .233 wOBA, a wRC+ of 31, and he struck out 22.9 percent of the time in 314 Triple-A plate appearances.

Engelb Vielma’s time with the Phillies was short lived. The Phils claimed him off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on November 20. This came after San Fran claimed him off waivers from Minnesota in mid-September.

Next: Yankees interested in Gerrit Cole

It is very possible that Engelb Vielma does not even last the rest of the off-season on the Pirates’ 40-man roster. Sam Moll has already been claimed by the Pirates this off-season, only to be designated a week later. And, as was pointed out above, if Vielma does make it to Spring Training with the Pirates he will be sent to Triple-A Indianapolis. Most likely, he would have a reserve role for the Indians behind players such as Kevin Newman, Kevin Kramer, and Chris Bostick, among others.