One of Jose Pirela's goals this year was to be playing in Charleston. Not only did he accomplish that, but he finished the season in a strong fashion. In the final game of 2009 he contributed three hits and drove in three runs in the RiverDogs victory.
At the beginning of this season, the RiverDogs coaches were pleasantly surprised with the twenty year-old infielder's level of play. Torre Tyson noted that initially he was uncertain as to whether or not whether Pirela would be playing with the RiverDogs, but he ended up being the lead-off batter.
Tyson is also impressed with the defensive abilities that Pirela has exhibited. He believes that while playing shortstop, Pirela did "one heck of a job." Tyson also cites one other very important contribution Pirela made this season.
"Pirela just does an outstanding job of bringing his 'A' game every day. He plays hard. When he got here in the first half, he really made some of the college guys step it up," he explained.
"The energy level that he brings to the field is outstanding," Tyson added.
Hitting Coach Gregg Colbrunn was also uncertain at the beginning of the season whether or not Pirela would be playing in Charleston. Like Tyson, Colbrunn has been impressed with his level of play. Pirela ended the season with a batting average of .295 while playing 97 games. He had 29 extra base hits and drove in 46 runs.
Colbrunn hopes that Pirela will continue to improve. In order to move up to the next level, he says that Pirela should work on improving his strike zone discipline.
Moving from the short season leagues to a single-A schedule with 140 games can be a difficult transition. Pirela says that he is a little tired, but still feels good. He is remaining focused because of his strong desire to improve and advance.
"I have learned a lot and I have gained a lot experience from all of the games this season," Pirela said through the help of a translator.
Pirela believes that in order to get to the next level he needs to improve his defensive skills and work on his hitting. The player who Torre Tyson describes as "a gamer," has plans of working hard in the offseason to achieve his goals.
Pirela More Than Numbers
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