Liriano leads Bucs' large Dominican contingent

Francisco Liriano, LHP, Pirates
Hometown: San Cristobal, Dominican Republic

Liriano attended Americo Pere High School in his native Dominican Republic in 1999 and signed with the Giants as an international free agent the following year.

His first season in the United States came in 2001, when Liriano pitched with the Giants' team in the Arizona League. Liriano was 17 at the time, and the lefty had a 2.81 ERA and was tabbed by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect in the league.

Liriano was dealt to the Twins in 2003, and he became an All-Star during his rookie season in '06. The lefty is one of six Pirates who are from the Dominican Republic, and he shares his hometown with relief pitcher Stolmy Pimentel.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.