René Rafael Pinto Sandoval
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
Pinto made his professional debut with the 1994 GCL Yankees, hitting .284/.340/.410 at age 16 and throwing out 45% of attempted base-stealers. In '95, the youngster returned to the GCL Yanks and struggled, going 9 for 49 with 7 walks and one triple. He hit .206 for both of his teams in 1996, the Oneonta Yankees and Greensboro Bats, with a composite .251 OBP and .275 slugging percentage.
René was much better with Oneonta and Greensboro in '97, again putting up similar numbers at both stops - his batting line for the season was .288/.327/.428 in 87 games. Pinto spent all of 1998 with the Bats, but hit only .227/.303/.301 and allowed 72% of opposing base-stealers to succeed. He did lead South Atlantic League in both putouts (909) and fielding percentage (.996).
In 1999, the still-young Maracay native played for Greensboro (.259/.328/.414 in 19 G) and the Tampa Yankees (.229/.267/.400 in 22 G). The next year, he finished his Organized Baseball career with Tampa (.137/.203/.274 in 24 G) and the Norwich Navigators (.234/.274/.416 in 28 G).
Pinto played for two Northern League clubs in 2003, hitting a combined .277 and slugging .439.
He batted .286 and slugged .429 in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games; his 6 RBI tied for the Venezuelan team lead. He was just 3 for 17 with a walk in the '06 qualifiers in the Americas for the 2008 Olympics but did throw out 2 of 3 attempted base-stealers. He went 1 for 4 with two walks in the 2007 Pan American Games.