Born: January 8, 1988
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 170
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2005
How Acquired: Int. FA
Agent: N/A


The Pirates’ media guide for years has shown Mendez as having played for the GCL Pirates in 2005.  That can’t be right, as he wasn’t signed until September of that year and he’s not listed anywhere else.  He seemed to settle in pretty quickly as an organizational catcher.  He’s a good defensive catcher who blocks pitches well, but his arm hasn’t been that good.  After the 2010 season, though, the Pirates moved him to the mound.  I don’t know much about him as a pitcher except that he throws in the upper 80s, or maybe a little harder.

DSL:  203/318/243, 74 AB, 3 2B, 8 BB, 23 K, 0-1 SB 

Played in 29 games in the DSL and didn’t hit.

Did not play 

R:  407/484/741, 54 AB, 3 2B, 5 HR, 6 BB, 12 K, 1-1 SB
A-:  205/253/256, 78 AB, 4 2B, 4 BB, 26 K 

Started off as part of a catcher rotation in the GCL and went on a hitting tear, with five HRs and in 15 games.  The Pirates quickly promoted him to State College, although it probably had less to do with his hitting than with an injury to Josue Peley and the loss of Chris Simmons to military service.  Unfortunately, the hot streak in GCL turned out to be a fluke.  Mendez struggled for three years at State College, never hit another HR.

A-:  161/246/179, 112 AB, 2 2B, 12 BB, 22 K

Shared catching duties at State College with Craig Parry and struggled to hit at all.  He threw out 27% of base stealers.

A-:  244/289/269, 119 AB, 3 2B, 6 BB, 27 K, 1-1 SB

This time shared catching duties with Matt Skirving.  He threw out only 15% of opposing base stealers, but that may have had more to do with the inexperienced pitching staff, which was dominated by the Pirates’ 2009 high school draftees.

R:  2-0-7, 3.80 ERA 1.06 WHIP, 23.2 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
A+:  1-0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 3.0 K/9 

Converted to the mound and served as closer in the GCL, where he put up good numbers.  The Pirates moved him up to Bradenton at the end of the year and he got into two games.

Converting position players to pitchers is fairly common–the Bucs also tried it in 2011 with Jesus Brito–but it seldom gets very far.  If he stays around Mendez will probably be an organizational pitcher.

Baseball Reference–Minors
2012: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
September 2005: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.