The Pittsburgh Pirates have been more aggressive in international free agency in recent years. They now have a potential breakout prospect in this year’s class.
With the pandemic pushing international free agency back from the typical July 2nd deadline to January 15th, most of the news and coverage on the prospects was out there with the teams of who the top players are signing with known. At the time, it was known that the Pittsburgh Pirates were going to be hitter heavy. The class is led by center fielder Shalin Polanco, who was one of the top international free agents available in the market place.
The Pirates also have now officially signed another top international free agent in Gustavo Armas, an outfielder out of Venezuela. With Junior Vizcaino, the club has certainly been more aggressive in this market. One area, however, they need to constantly be focused on is other avenues of success. The Pirates need to also hit on some of their other international players who are not as well known.
When the Pirates original signing class was announced, the club had already signed outfielder Ruben Vizcaya. With more time passing since January 15th, the right-handed hitting outfielder has been seen as a potential breakout prospect by Baseball America. One interesting note is that he’s taken to switch-hitting, which could increase the upside. But the biggest takeaway from Baseball America’s report is the all-around potential he possesses.
BA on Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Vizcaya: “… tools for center field between his plus speed and plus arm… a solid swing and the mix of strength and bat speed to show over-the-fence power already.”
Vizcaya adds another interesting talent to the farm system as Ben Cherington has repeatedly mentioned the need to add talent in different avenues. Being aggressive in international free agency is one of those avenues. With a top class, and multiple additions over the last 12 months, the Pirates are becoming a bigger player in this market. Vizcaya represents another option to breakout and become an impactful prospect and then player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.