Pedro Ciriaco is one of the many infielders the Pittsburgh Pirates had in their rotation door of players in the early-2010s, and has become an obscure ex-Bucco
I come across a ton of obscure former Pittsburgh Pirates players anytime I perform research for articles. Some guys had short stints with the Pirates that aren’t remembered well, or at all, others have been completely forgotten about in the annals of history.
I find some enjoyment in looking back through the Pirates’ history and seeing some of these forgotten relics. Because of that, I want to start a series, highlighting some of these extremely obscure former Pirates players that only diehard fans may remember. Today’s player, and the first player of this new series, is infielder Pedro Ciriaco.
Ciriaco was signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2003 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Throughout his tenure with the D-Backs, Ciricaco was mostly a high-contact/low-power type hitter. He only ever once had a slugging percentage above .400, but batted .310 and .296 in 2008 and 2009. After spending the first five-and-a-half seasons in their system, the Snakes traded him to the Pirates, along with Chris Snyder for three players including D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church, and 2004 American League Rookie of the Year winner, Bobby Crosby at the 2010 trade deadline.
Ciriaco made a brief late season cameo in Pittsburgh in 2010 and returned for the 2011 season. While Ciriaco’s big league experience with the Pirates only lasted 31 games and 40 plate appearances, he racked up 13 hits, including two doubles and a triple. Though he only had a 1:9 BB:K ratio. But the Pirates let Ciriaco go in free agency the following off-season, where he would end up in Boston.
2011 ended up as Ciriaco’s best season, as he hit .293/.315/.390 with a 107 wRC+. Ciriaco rarely drew a walk with a 2.9% walk rate in his 272 plate appearances, but he only struck out at a 17.3% pace. Ciriaco spent most of his time in the field at third base but also played a handful of games at both middle infield positions. But this was the peak of Ciriaco’s career.
Over the next three seasons, the infielder would bounce around with the San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals, and Atlanta Braves. 2015 was his last season, in which he appeared in 84 games and 151 plate appearances for Atlanta, but only hitting .261/.275/.352 with a 68 wRC+. Ciriaco would play for the Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins, and Detroit Tigers’ minor league teams in 2016 before falling out of affiliated baseball.
Over the next two seasons, Ciriaco would spend his time in the Dominican Winter League, and Mexican League. However, after the 2017-2018 off-season, Ciriaco would not play for another professional team. The last team he played for was the Leones Del Escogido in the 2017-2018 offseason.
One interesting path Ciriaco crossed was Oneil Cruz’s. They were both teammates in that 2017-2018 offseason. Cruz was only 18 years old at the time, and only played one game, but shows how small the world is.