Seven Players to Represent Pirates in the AFL

By Jason Shetler 

The Arizona Fall League announced their rosters on Wednesday. Seven minor league players for the Pirates will be playing for the Surprise Saguaros. Those players are Austin Meadows, Dovydas Neverauskas, Edgar Santana, Eric Wood, Jin-De Jhang, Montana DuRapau and Trevor Williams. The AFL season begins October 11th. 

Meadows will be playing in the AFL for a second straight year. The Pirates #2 prospect has put up an .896 OPS this season combined with the Altoona Curve and Indianapolis Indians. 

Neverauskas began the year with Altoona and was promoted to Indianapolis in June. Combined with the two affiliates, Neverauskas has posted a 3.10 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP in 47 appearances. He represented the Pirates in this year’s Futures Game in San Diego. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects reported on Tuesday that both Neverauskas and Gift Ngoepe were arrested this past weekend in Toledo due to a bar incident. 

Santana has played across three levels this season with Bradenton, Altoona and Indianapolis. The 24-year-old Dominican righty is posting a combined 2.69 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.06 in 41 appearances. 

Wood has been in the Pirates organization since 2012 after being taken as a sixth round selection. The 23-year-old native of Ontario, Canada is having his best season in 2016, hitting 16 home runs, while putting up an .805 OPS with the Altoona Curve. 

Jhang signed with the Pirates out of Taiwan back in 2011. The 23-year-old backstop has played with both Altoona and Indianapolis, as he’s posted a combined .709 OPS. Defensively, Jhang has thrown out 31% of basestealers. 

DuRapau is quite possibly the best reliever right now in the Pirates minor league system. A 32nd round pick in 2014, DuRapau is putting up solid numbers this year as the primary closer for Altoona with an ERA of 2.81, a 9.4 K/9 and a .212 batting average against in 48 appearances. 

Williams took part in the AFL last year, shortly before being acquired by the Pirates from the Miami Marlins as essentially compensation for losing their pitching guru Jim Benedict. Williams entered 2016 as the Pirates 24th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and has been terrific this season for Indianapolis, posting a 2.68 ERA, while holding opposing batters to a .249 average. 





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