Pirates Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo and his staff have beefed up the lower levels of the organization with intriguing international signings in recent years. Dominican center fielder Starling Marte in Triple-A and 17-year-old Mexican righthander Luis Heredia get a lot of attention, but the low Class A West Virginia lineup tonight was filled with Latin American signings.
One name to watch is shortstop Alen Hanson, an unheralded player when he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and still a sleeper as the Pirates' No. 27 prospect. Batting leadoff for West Virginia, Hanson went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double tonight, leading a nine-run outburst from the Power. West Virginia center fielder Gregory Polanco went 3-for-5 with a triple, left fielder Willy Garcia went 3-for-5, first baseman Jose Osuna went 1-for-4 and second baseman Jodaneli Carvajal added a pair of singles in his four at-bats. Of that group of young Latin American talent, Hanson is the best prospect. They're young, they're raw (Hanson, Garcia and Osuna each made an error tonight) but they're all interesting sleepers with at least one tool that stands out.
One of the two players in West Virginia's lineup tonight who wasn't an international signing was right fielder Josh Bell, who made his official pro debut after signing for $5 million as a second-round pick last year. Bell, 19, picked up his first hit with a double in the fifth inning, but he finished 1-for-5 with three strikeouts, two of which were swinging.
On the other side of the ball, Hagerstown center fielder Brian Goodwin looked good in his pro debut. A Nationals supplemental first-rounder out of Miami Dade JC in 2011, Goodwin homered and walked in a 2-for-4 night out of the leadoff spot.