Five to watch: Pirates' top five international prospects


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The Pirates' top five international prospects who have yet to play professionally in North America, according to Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo:

Starling Marte

Position: Left field

Age: 20

Country: Dominican Republic

Size: 6-2, 180 pounds

Bats: Right-handed

Signed: 2006, $85,000

Career: Was Dominican Summer League MVP this year after batting .296 with nine home runs in 65 games. ... Played in Florida Instructional League afterward. ... Should play for Bradenton of Gulf Coast League next year.

Scouting: Has some of best power of any prospect in system. ... Strong arm. ... Weighed about 20 pounds less when signed, but has filled out into superb athlete.




Exicardo Cayones

Position: Center field

Age: 16

Country: Venezuela

Size: 6-0, 175 pounds

Bats: Left-handed

Signed: This year, $400,000

Career: Bonus was richest in franchise history for Latin American amateur. ... Probably will play in Venezuelan Summer League next year.

Scouting: Exceptional speed should allow him to stay in center. "Prototype for the position," Gayo says. ... Smooth line-drive stroke to all fields.




Jodaneli Carvajal

Position: Shortstop

Age: 16

Country: Dominican Republic

Size: 5-9, 165 pounds

Bats: Switch-hitter

Signed: This year, $350,000

Career: Bonus ranked second in franchise history. ... Probably will play in Dominican Summer League next year.

Scouting: Exemplary hands, strong arm and superb speed has some considering him Pirates' top defensive prospect. ... Has some room to grow but offense could be limited.




Rogelio Noris

Position: Left field

Age: 19

Country: Mexico

Size: 6-2, 195 pounds

Bats: Right-handed

Signed: 2007, $110,000

Career: Hit total of 15 home runs past two years in Venezuelan Summer League, batting .284 and .272. ... Will be with Bradenton of Gulf Coast League next year.

Scouting: In addition to rare power, advanced approach has brought some of best on-base, RBI numbers at his level. ... Management might regret, in hindsight, that he was not advanced to Bradenton sooner.




Yhonathan Barrios

Position: Shortstop

Age: 16

Country: Colombia

Size: 5-10, 180 pounds

Bats: Right-handed

Signed: This year, $250,000

Career: Starred at academy in homeland owned by Chicago White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera. ... Played in Florida Instructional League, a rarity for someone so young. ... Probably will play in Venezuelan Summer League next year.

Scouting: Good bat speed could bring power eventually. ... Future at shortstop is iffy, partly because of stocky build.





Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com .


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