|Born: September 27, 1985
Height: 6′ 0″
Signed: Int. FA, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2003
How Acquired: Trade (for D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby)
Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates acquired Ciriaco, along with C Chris Snyder, from Arizona at the 2010 trade deadline for SS Bobby Crosby, OF Ryan Church, and RHP D.J. Carrasco. Baseball America ranked him the 27th best prospect in a very weak Arizona system before the season. His arm and defensive ability are above average and his speed rates a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He was a shortstop with the Diamondbacks, playing just a little at second. The Pirates have gotten him some time at other positions, including the outfield, to prepare him to be a utility player. The main issue with him has been his bat, as he lacks power, doesn’t make good contact, and rarely walks.
Didn’t hit much in rookie ball and showed very bad plate discipline.
Ciriaco moved up to low A and hit marginally better. He started walking more, although his walk rate was still low.
In the hitting-happy California League, Ciriaco regressed slightly. His walk rate dropped a bit.
Ciriaco returned to the Cal League and hit much better, his line still wasn’t impressive for that league. His walk rate actually dropped. He did do a lot better on the bases.
In AA, Ciriaco had a similar season, hitting for average but little else. Considering that he was moving from the Cal League to the slightly pitching-oriented Southern League, this was probably an improvement. He still drew very few walks, but at least used his speed well on the bases when he got on.
Prior to the trade, Ciriaco mostly struggled in the high-offense Pacific Coast League. The one improvement was increased power. He continued along the same lines at Indianapolis. His walk and K numbers remained abysmal. He didn’t steal as much, but maintained a good success rate. The Pirates called him up in September and he went 3-for-6 with a double and triple. For some strange reason, though, he played only two innings in the field, despite the fact that the season went down the tubes sometime around mid-April. Instead, Ronny Cedeno played the last 41 games at short.
Competing for a utility role, Ciriaco had a good spring but was sent down, to the consternation of a certain segment of the Pittsburgh media. Once in Indianapolis, he set about showing why, as he struggled mightily to hit. He had a nightmarish 10:1 K:BB ratio. The strangest parts of his season, though, were his meanderings back and forth between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. With the Pirates inundated with injuries, Ciriaco was their go-to guy to fill a roster spot. They called him up seven separate times, once just for one day. The oddest part of it was the fact that they seemed to have no use at all for him. In one stretch, he was in the majors for five weeks and made only six plate appearances. Prior to September he spent over two months on the roster and made only a dozen plate appearances. The Pirates didn’t even use him in situations that called for a defensive substitute, despite his good glove, although he was used as a pinch runner several times. Some of the attraction that got him on the roster seemingly was Clint Hurdle’s stated desire for a speedy bench player, but the Pirates effectively played for long stretches with a 24-man team. Why they did this rather than call up somebody like Matt Hague, who might actually have been useful, is hard to understand. In September, Ciriaco finally got some playing time, possibly to give the Pirates a chance to evaluate him prior to the off-season roster decisions. Surprisingly, he went 10-for-33 with two doubles and a triple. He even had a game-winning hit.
The Pirates designated Ciriaco for assignment in December 2011 when they signed Nate McLouth. There’s a good chance he’ll clear waivers, so he could be back at Indianapolis.
|2012: Major league minimum
2011: Major league minimum
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 9/8/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Protected
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2008
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2009, 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.118
|February 28, 2003: Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent.
November 20, 2008: Contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
July 31, 2010: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Chris Snyder and $3 M in exchange for D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church, and Bobby Crosby.
December 7, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.