| Born: January 22, 1991
Height: 5′ 11″
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2008
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Ponce is a slightly built infielder with strong defensive abilities, including good range. He’s patient at the plate and generally puts the bat on the ball, but he hasn’t hit the ball with much authority so far.
NOTE: MiLB.com, which is prone to puzzling errors, shows Ponce as having played in the Mets’ system in 2008, but no other site shows that and the Pirates’ media guide indicates that he initially signed with the Pirates.
Ponce played second and third in the VSL and showed a good eye at the plate.
Back in the VSL, he had almost the exact same season at the plate, except he hit for less power. He walked more than he struck out. He served as the team’s regular shortstop.
Opened the season in the GCL, but moved up to State College when 2011 draftee Brian Sharp abruptly retired. He didn’t hit much in the New York-Penn League, but continued to show a good eye. He was the Spikes’ regular at short for the second half of their season, even though another 2011 draftee, Kirk Singer, was known primarily as a glove guy. That’s an indication that the Pirates think highly of Ponce’s defense.
Ponce moved up to West Virginia from extended spring training when Kirk Singer was promoted to Bradenton. He initially replaced Singer at third, then later played some at short when Alen Hanson was hurt. He also backed up Dan Gamache at second. He managed a .629 OPS in July when he played every day, but in the other months, when he was more of a backup, his OPS figures were .315, .350 and .472. His defensive play, along with that of Francisco Aponte, may have helped stabilize a very shaky pitching staff in the second half of the season.
Ponce will serve in a similar utility role in class A in 2013, beginning at West Virginia.
|2013: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2012
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|November 17, 2008: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.|