The Pirates continue to find baseball players in unlikely places, signing 16-year-old pitcher Alexsey Lukashevich, who is now the first player from Belarus ever to sign with a major league team.â†µ
In 2009 he was selected as one of 50 baseball players in Europe to train in the MLB European Academy in Tirrenia (Italy).â†µ
After the completion of training camp six MLB teams showed interest in the Belarusian Baseball player. Alex finally accepted the offer by the Pittsburgh Pirates.â†µ
This means that the Pirates' management team has now signed players from unlikely countries like Belarus (Lukashevich), South Africa (Gift Ngoepe, currently hitting very well for Class A- State College), India (Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, both of whom are pitching for the Pirates' rookie team), the Netherlands (Daan Cornelissen, also in rookie ball), Colombia (Yhonathan Barrios, a big-bonus signing in 2009), Australia (Dylan Child and Jarryd Sullivan, currently in rookie ball, and Mitchell Fienemann, who's with State College), Lithuania (17-year-old pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas, now in rookie ball), and Taiwan (Ping-Hung Chi, Chih-Weh Hsu and Sheng-Chin Hong, all in rookie ball). Of these, Ngoepe and Barrios have the best chance of making it to the majors.