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Eli Wilson (Bristol 2019) Featured in Pittsburgh Organizational All-Stars

December 2, 2019

Each offseason, MiLB.com goes position by position across each system and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization. Click here to locate your favorite club.

Each offseason, MiLB.com goes position by position across each system and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization. Click here to locate your favorite club.

Pirates Organization All-Stars
Catcher -- Eli Wilson , Bristol (44 games): A product of the University of Minnesota, Wilson came to the Pirates in the 16th round of June's Draft and showed off a little bit of everything in his Minor League bow. 
The right-handed hitter posted an .835 OPS during his final go-around with the Gophers before batting .244/.356/.366 in 44 games in the Appy League with four long balls and 20 RBIs. What stood out from his offensive campaign was his ability to reach base consistently (23 walks to 30 strikeouts) and his propensity to hit left-handers with a .293 average and .806 OPS against southpaws. 
Wilson also did this while backstopping 42 games for Bristol, which finished with a 4.06 team ERA. On a personal level, Wilson threw out 39 percent of basestealers and maintained a .993 fielding percentage in 360 1/3 innings behind the dish. 
First baseman -- Mason Martin  (Bristol 2018), Greensboro (82 games), Bradenton (49 games): With sights set on making the most of his full-season debut in 2018, Martin had an up-and-down year that saw him head to the Appy League to make some corrections. In 2019, though, he left all that behind and showed the best he had to offer as a promising young slugger at first base. 

Back in the South Atlantic League, the 20-year-old clubbed six homers in the first month and never slowed down. In fact, Martin seemed to improve as the year went on, hitting a team-best 23 long balls and adding 12 more after a promotion to the Florida State League in July. 
"I think that's always been my philosophy -- to drive the ball as best I can," he told MiLB.com in June. "The perfect swing, for me, isn't a ball up the middle. The perfect swing is one I can get under and drive, hopefully to a gap or even over the wall. Now, I have the strength behind that swing too, so I can get away with that approach, too."
With 35 homers overall, a .558 slugging percentage and .908 OPS to end the year, Martin racked up plenty of accolades across the board. Along with his organization-leading home run total, he finished as a midseason and postseason All-Star in the South Atlantic League and was named a player of the week in the FSL in late July.
Outfielders
Jonah Davis  (Bristol 2018), Greensboro (80 games), West Virginia (five games): A 15th-round pick in 2018, Davis flexed his muscles during his first year in the Appalachian League and showed more of the same in his follow-up with the Grasshoppers in 2019. 
The start of the year was not kind to Davis, who had an .080 average over his first 13 games. But as the weather started to heat up, so did Davis. Over the final 58 contests, the New York native blasted 17 home runs with a .943 OPS. 
He saved his best performance for August, when he went deep 10 times and hit .318/.383/.654, which looked a lot closer to his Rookie Advanced numbers and earned him the South Atlantic League's Player of the Month.
Right-handed starting pitcher -- Mitch Keller , Indianapolis (19 starts), Pittsburgh (11 starts): The club's top prospect lived up to the billing yet again with another dominant season on the hill. 
Keller was inconsistent in his first cup of coffee in the International League in 2018 but returned in 2019 and flourished. He finished third in the league with 123 strikeouts, ending the year with three double-digit strikeout performances. His 3.56 ERA was third in the IL among pitchers with at least 100 innings. In a year that saw the ball fly out of the yard in Triple-A, Keller yielded only nine long balls. 

The metrics backed up the eye test as Keller finished with a 3.60 ERA and an impressive 28.2 percent strikeout rate while only walking 8 percent of the batters he faced in Triple-A. After all was said and done, he was tabbed as the IL's Pitcher of the Year. He also gained his first Major League experience, making 11 starts with the Pirates. Getting strong with his cutter and slider helped Keller, but Esposito said the hurler also learned things on the fly.
"I believe there was an evolution to Mitch's success this year," Esposito said. "If you look at the stat line and some of the games he pitched this year, he had some really good numbers. But there were a lot of moments in these games where he was learning valuable lessons, whether it be running up his pitch count, his ability to get the ball to certain spots. He continued to evolve and learn how to pitch with his arsenal. ... There were a lot of learning moments for him, some were in Triple-A, some were in the big leagues. He was able to come back and use Triple-A as his platform to make those adjustments." 
Left-handed starting pitcher -- Domingo Robles  (Bristol 2017), Altoona (18 starts), Bradenton (10 starts): The southpaw proved to be an innings eater and finished the year with three complete games (two shutouts) to lead the Pittsburgh system. 

In the Florida State League, Robles kept a 2.61 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while holding hitters to a .203 average in 10 outings. After moving up to the Eastern League for the first time, he recorded six starts with at least six innings pitched. His breakout culminated in his finest start of the year on Aug. 26 when he blanked Akron over nine innings, yielding five hits and whiffing five on 95 pitches. 
Relief pitcher -- Yerry De Los Santos  (Bristol 2018), Greensboro (37 games): De Los Santos began his season in the Sally League in May and dominated out of the bullpen with 13.14 strikeouts per nine innings while keeping a 0.88 WHIP. Overall, he whiffed 73 hitters (38 percent) in 50 innings for the Grasshoppers. 
In games where he got the chance to close, the right-hander was perfect, going 13-for-13 in save opportunities. He walked just 12 and yielded three homers, becoming a dominant force as a back-end reliever for Greensboro.