VALENTIN LINAREZ, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: February 14, 2000
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2018, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates signed Linarez midway through the 2018-19 signing period. He’s a big guy, possibly bigger than his listing. He throws both a sinker and a four-seam fastball. Both sit in the low-90s, but he can get up to about 95. Linarez also employs a slider.
Linarez had a solid debut, dividing his time between starting and relieving. Obviously, the walk and K rates weren’t good, but that’s not unusual for a pitcher in his pro debut.
Pitching strictly as a starter, Linarez improved significantly. He held opponents to a 214/274/289 line. He got off to a slow start, with a 5.93 ERA in his first three starts, but put up a 1.08 mark in his last nine.
Linarez was impressive over the last three-quarters of the 2019 season. He was in fall instructionals and would have been in the GCL or Bristol in 2020, but the season didn’t happen.
Linarez made eight starts in the FCL and was mostly dominant, including a very high K rate. He had control issues at times, but opponents batted just .188 against him. When Greensboro needed pitchers late in the season, the Pirates moved Linarez there and he made two starts. He mostly pitched well, but was hurt by gopher balls, giving up three in nine innings.
LInarez spent most of the season in the Bradenton rotation. He got off to a horrific start, with a 12.27 ERA through his first May start. After that, he pitched much better. Over the last three months, including two end-of-season appearances for Greensboro, Linarez’ ERA was 2.08. His control faltered at times, but opponents batted only .210 against him. He had a significant platoon split; left-handed hitters put up an OPS of .751 against him, right-handed batters just .563.
Linarez will be in his second year of Rule 5 eligibility. He should be at Greensboro to open 2023.
|2023: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2018
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2024
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|January 25, 2018: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.