Baseball Prospectus posted its review of Pelotero yesterday, which is well worth checking out if you’re a Pirate fan. The documentary delves pretty deeply into the Miguel Sano saga, depicting Rene Gayo as the manipulative villain of the falling out between Sano and the Pirates.
As Ken Funck notes, this is very clearly only one side of the story and despite there being quite a bit of hearsay about what Gayo did or did not tell Sano, there’s no real direct evidence of anything. You can read the post and (if you get a chance) see the documentary and draw your own conclusions. Either way, it sounds like it paints a picture of the Latin American signing process that most of us haven’t seen yet and I’m interested to check it out.
My feelings on this whole thing have been set for a while and I don’t think this will change them. It’s really unfortunate that the Pirates missed out on Sano; the kid is obviously one heck of a prospect and the Pirates had a chance to sign him and failed. I don’t know who’s fault it was that the Pirates didn’t sign him and I suspect that you can place blame all over the place: on the Pirates’ front office, on Gayo, on Sano’s agent Rob Plummer. That being said, this incident alone isn’t nearly enough to make me question the Pirates’ commitment to developing talent in Latin America. The Pirates learned from their mistake with Sano and make sure they got their guy when Luis Heredia became available. The Pirates’ system is slowly filling with very talented Latin American players — from Starling Marte to Alen Hanson and the West Virginia crew and Heredia below them — signed by Rene Gayo, starting before Neal Huntington’s time as GM and continuing on through. As unfortunate as failing to sign Sano was, at some point you have to realize that dwelling on it will only drive you crazy and you have to move on.