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Pirates sign OF Harold Ramirez

Published on July 2, 2011 by in Transactions

Ben Badler from Baseball America reported earlier today that the Pirates have singed Colombian outfielder Harold Ramirez for $1.05 million. That is the 2nd highest bonus given out by the Pirates for an International player ever behind only Luis Heredia last year.

Here’s what Tim at Pirates Prospects has on Ramirez:

Ramirez is 16 years old, and has a thick 5′ 11″, 175 pound frame.  Despite the frame, he’s a plus-plus runner, although he doesn’t really have the arm for center field, and there’s some debate over whether he has any power projection left in his frame.

Obviously, signings like this take a long time to really figure out because of how young the players are when they sign. Really all most International players have is raw talent and it just depends on how that gets developed. However, it sure is nice to see the Pirates finally becoming players in the International market after basically abandoning it under the previous regime.

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Pirates’ June Organizational Awards

McCutchen hit .347/.447/.495 in June.

As we do every month, let’s take a look back at June to point out the top performers at each level of the organization.

The month of June saw the Pirates win 16 games, the most in a month since they won 17 in August of 2007.

This is also the first month that State College and the GCL Pirates appear on this list as they kicked off their seasons this past month. Neither State College nor the GCL Pirates played many games, so those clubs’ winners all come with a very small sample size.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pitcher – Jeff Karstens

Karstens went 3-0 with a stellar 1.52 ERA over 6 starts this June. In 41 1/3 innings, which led the team, he struck out only 15 and walked 7. However, he only allowed 27 hits, which is good for a minuscule 0.82 WHIP.

Hitter – Andrew McCutchen

‘Cutch led the club in BA (.347), OBP (.447), and SLG (.495). Hard to argue with those numbers. He also tallied 8 doubles, 2 homers, and stole 5 bases in 6 attempts.

AAA Indianapolis Indians

Pitcher – Garrett Olson

Olson quietly has been pitching extremely well this year for the Indians. In June, he made 5 starts and was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. Over 25 innings, he struck out 18 and walked 9 while holding opponents to a .145 batting average.

Hitter – Matt Hague

Hague absolutely erupted in June and has burst on to the scene as a legitimate option for a Major League call up. He hit .402/.449/.645 with 5 homers and 11 doubles in 107 AB. He collected an extra base hit in each of his last 6 games of the month.

AA Altoona Curve

Pitcher – Jeff Locke

Locke was almost a shoe-in to be at AAA by this point, however he ran into some issues starting off the season and remains in AA. Hopefully he has turned the corner. In 6 June starts, Locke was 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he struck out 32 and walked 13.

Hitter – Starling Marte

As hot as Marte started the season, he has gotten better each and every month, with June obviously being his best. It would be nice to see Marte walk more as he only drew 4 walks all month, but there is no doubt he can hit. In 92 AB, he posted a line of .337/.378/.522 with 2 homers and 11 doubles.

A+ Bradenton Marauders

Pitcher – Brett Lorin

Lorin continued his solid year for Bradenton as he went 1-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 4 starts in June. He also was selected to participate in the FSL All-Star Game last month, as well. In 21 innings, he struck out 20 and walked just 4.

Hitter – Robbie Grossman

Boy, this was a tough one as I have to give props to both Ramon Cabrera and Adalberto Santos also. A ton of players had excellent Junes for Bradenton. However, Grossman gets the edge here with his .341/.500/.495 line. A lead off hitter with a .500 OBP is obviously doing his job. Grossman also hit 2 homers, 8 doubles, and stole 4 bases in 5 attempts.

A West Virginia Power

Pitcher – Colton Cain

Cain’s first season in full season ball is going pretty smoothly and June was his best month so far. In 5 starts, he was 1-1 with a 2.17 ERA. Over 29 innings, he struck out 19 and walked 7. He held opponents to a .187 average.

Hitter – Drew Maggi

Maggi finally looks to be getting in gear as he broke out in June with a .351/.439/.495 line over 97 AB. He homered twice, hit 2 triples, 4 doubles, and stole 7 bases.

A- State College Spikes

Pitcher – Matt Benedict

This year’s 30th round pick is dominating the NY-Penn League early on. Benedict went 1-0 with a 0.73 in 3 starts for the Spikes. In 12 1/3 innings, he has struck out 6 and has yet to walk a batter.

Hitter – Samuel Gonzalez

The hitting has been pretty suspect to start the season for the Spikes, but Gonzalez has easily gotten off to the best start. Through 8 June games, Gonzalez hit .440/.448/.600 in 25 AB.

R GCL Pirates

Pitcher – Orlando Castro

This is the first year in the states for the 19-year old lefty and he’s off to a solid start with a 2.00 ERA in 2 June starts. Over 9 innings, he has struck out 12 and walked only 2.

Hitter – Alen Hanson

Hanson is quickly making a name for himself and might be someone to keep an eye on to see if he can continue what he’s doing. The 18-year old, switch-hitting 2B from the Dominican Republic hit .400/.488/.800 in 35 AB. He has 2 homers, 2 triples, and 4 doubles to go along with 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts.

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Offense falters, Bucs lose 2-1

Published on July 1, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Nationals 2, Pirates 1

WP: Drew Storen (5-2)
LP: Tim Wood (0-3)

The Pirates’ offense failed to come through today when they had to. They finished with just 6 hits and their 1 run that they scored was due to a Washington error. For the game, they were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. You can’t win if you do that.

Charlie Morton was so-so, but was effective as he gave up just 1 run over 5 2/3 innings. The Pirates’ defense also did an excellent job up until the 9th inning. Chris Resop got out of a 1st and 2nd with no one out jam with 3 straight strikeouts in the 8th inning and Daniel McCutchen pitched an easy 7th. Tim Wood ran into some trouble in the 9th inning and picked up the loss as Matt Stairs hit a walk-off single off the top of the wall to win it for the Nats.

That was most likely Wood’s final appearance as he is most likely the guy who will be sent down tomorrow to make room for Brad Lincoln, who will be starting the 2nd game of a double header.

Ronny Cedeno extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

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Game 81: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Washington Nationals Live Blog

Published on July 1, 2011 by in Live Blogs

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Karstens, Pirates roll to series win in Toronto

Published on June 30, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Pirates 6, Blue Jays 2

WP: Jeff Karstens (6-4)
LP: Brett Cecil (1-3)

I seem to say the exact same thing every time Jeff Karstens starts, and that is that he once against pitched great. He went 7 innings today and gave up just 2 runs, both on solo homers. I am literally now at the point where I expect the Pirates to win now when Jeff Karstens starts. What a crazy season.

The Pirates opened up scoring in the 1st as Presley would be plated by McCutchen on a ground ball after leading off the game with his first ML triple. In the 5th, the Pirates would extend their lead to 2-0 as Presley hit Josh Harrison in with a sac fly after Harrison led off the inning with a double.

The Jays would tie it up in the 5th with their 2 solo homers and would be held scoreless the rest of the way.

The Pirates answered right back in the 6th inning when Lyle Overbay hit a lazy fly ball to left field that dropped in “Major League” style. Toronto would then throw the ball into right field and Overbay would advance to 3rd on the play. Ronny Cedeno would follow that up with an RBI double to right field to bring up the designated hitter Brandon Wood. Wood launched one over the left center field fence for his 3rd home run of the game and gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead.

Matt Diaz would add a little insurance in the 7th inning with an RBI single to score Andrew McCutchen who doubled earlier in the inning.

Chris Resop, Tony Watson, and Jose Veras would combine to pitch 2 scoreless innings to close out the game in relief of Karstens. The win gave the Pirates an 8-7 record in interleague play this year and also inched them to within 2 games of 1st place in the NL Central. Tomorrow’s game also marks the exact half way point in the season and the Pirates are guaranteed to be over .500 after that game regardless the outcome.

They will head to Washington for a 4-game series, including a double header on Saturday. Charlie Morton will take the hill for the Pirates against a familiar opponent in Tom Gorzelanny.

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Game 80: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Toronto Blue Jays

Published on June 30, 2011 by in Live Blogs

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