The Pirates have reportedly signed Indian pitchers Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh to minor league contracts. Both are 19 years old, and neither had played baseball until about a year ago. Both struggled in front of scouts a few weeks ago, but their extremely raw athleticism and quick progress since arriving in the United States makes them very interesting. They are light years away from the Major Leagues and obviously face an uphill battle, but this is just another example of Pirate management looking for creative ways to improve the farm system.
Here is an article about the pair’s journey from Indian athlete to baseball prospect. MLB Trade Rumors reported the news, via NPB Tracker. Yahoo! Japan apparently broke the news, but seeing that it is written in Japanese, I cannot confirm that. Hat tip to Bad Andy for leading me to this news.
EDIT #2: Pirates officially announce signings. According to the press release, Singh is actually 20.