Pittsburgh Pirates: Notable Seasons in the Dominican Summer League

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

These three prospects from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Dominican Summer League affiliate flew under the radar and deserve more attention.

The Dominican Summer League is a level that most of the Pittsburgh Pirates youngest prospects play. Guys who are fresh out of high school or signed internationally are usually here. Most are teenagers, and some are even still another year or two away from even playing a full-season level, like Bradenton.

There are some notable prospects at this level. Top international signees Axiel Plaz, Yordany De Los Santos, and Tony Blanco Jr. are at this level. But these guys are the most notable names at the Pirates’ Dominican Summer League affiliates. What are some underrated seasons from the Pirates’ affiliates?

RHP Andres Silvera

Signed out of Panama in January 2021, Andres Silvera made an excellent impression in 2021. He only pitched 36.1 innings but had a quality 2.97 ERA, 3.12 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP. Silvera had a poor 18.5% strikeout rate but only walked 6.4% of batters faced while allowing zero home runs. Silvera has continued to build off his strong 2021 season, improving in multiple areas.

Silvera’s bottom line consists of a 1.54 ERA, 2.13 FIP, and 0.80 WHIP in 41 innings of work. He’s striking out batters at a 29% rate while whittling his walk rate down to just 3.9%. Silvera has yet to allow a home run in his professional career but has now seen his ground ball rate go from just 37.8% to 53.5%.

Catcher Miguel Sosa

Miguel Sosa had a phenomenal year for the Pirate Dominican Summer League affiliate. Sosa’s first season as a professional wasn’t anything special. He had roughly league average numbers, including a .678 OPS, .353 wOBA, and 104 wRC+. He did walk in 13.6% of his plate appearances but had an isolated slugging percentage below .100.

Fast forward to 2022, and he’s demolished pitching at his level. He only stepped to the plate 109 times but hit .305/.468/.512. Sosa drew an impressive amount of walks with 25. Even better was he struck out just 12 times. He also showed good power, cranking three homers and racking up eight doubles. Sosa mostly played left field but saw an ample amount of time behind the plate as well.

RHP Keneth Quintanilla

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Keneth Quintanilla in July 2019. Quintanilla debuted in 2021, pitching solely out of the bullpen. He tossed ten innings, allowing just a single earned run while striking out 12. On the downside, he walked seven. It was a solid debut for Quintanilla, but he would be moved into a bigger role this season.

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Quintanilla pitched 31.2 innings for the Pirate DSL affiliate, appearing in ten total games, with eight being starts. All told, Quintanilla had a 3.13 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP. Quintanilla continued to strike out batters at a high rate, posting a 28.2% strikeout rate, but his walk rate decreased from over 15% to 9.9%. Home runs have been a non-issue for the right-hander, allowing zero. In total, he’s tossed 41.2 innings as a professional allowing no home runs yet.