One of the Pittsburgh Pirates more notable international signees made a big splash with his professional debut. Axiel Plaz only received 82 plate appearances at the Pirate Dominican Summer Affiliate but had 26 hits. This included 11 doubles, a triple, and three home runs. Not only did he rack up a ton of hits and extra-base hits, but he drew 13 walks with just 16 strikeouts. Plaz was praised for his defensive work when the Pirates signed him and he has the potential to hit for decent power. Next season will only be his age-17 campaign, so it’s far too early to tell what he’ll amount to.
Samuel Escudero also had a great season at the DSL. Like Plaz, he received less than 100 plate appearances, amounting to just 94, but he made the most of it. He collected a total of 21 hits while drawing more walks (16) than strikeouts (14). The only downside is that he didn’t hit for much power, with just five doubles and zero home runs. Escudero will be 19 next season and could be a nice steal from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates acquired Escudero from the Brewers in exchange for Troy Stokes Jr.
Miguel Sosa is another very young catching prospect who had an impressive season. Sosa reached the 100 plate appearance plateau with 109 and batted .305/.468/.512. Sosa drew over double the amount of walks to strikeouts with 25 bases on balls and just a dozen K’s. He also hit three home runs and eight doubles, leading to a .207 isolated slugging percentage. Although Sosa caught a decent bit last year, he spent more time in left field.
Plaz, Escudero, and Sosa had the best seasons among the Pirates’ under-20 catching prospects. But there were many more such as Richard Ramirez, Omar Alfonzo, Lennyn Nunez, Eybert Escalona, and July Vittini who also saw playing time for the Pirate DSL affiliate.