Well my original draft was entitled Back To The Future, so with this redraft, I will call it Back To The Future II. I will continue where I left off in yesterday’s post.
Maybe the future lies further down the organizational ladder. Even most minor league followers dismiss the Dominican Summer League (DSL), where the Mexican, Caribbean, South American ball players get their start. They begin to get acclimated to professional baseball in closer proximity to their culture rather than being thrown immediately into the US. The Dodgers have two DSL teams, appropriately named Dodgers DSL1 and DSL2. Below are five pitchers who may or probably not make their way to LA (or any other ML city), but they do have potential and hope. Maybe they will be remembered as they start to climb that long ladder to the top.
Antonio Hernandez – 17 year old LHSP – Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – 5’8” 187 lbs. – 3 Games Started – 15IP 8H 1ER 1BB 12K – 0.60 ERA, .157 BAA, 0.60 WHIP
Gerardo Castillo – 18 year old RHRP – Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – 6’0” 154 lbs. – 4G (all in relief) – 8.2IP 3H 0ER 2BB 5K – 0.00 ERA, .107BAA, 0.58 WHIP
Jose Ernesto Hernandez – 19 year old LHSP – Puerto Plata, D.R. – 6’3” 170 lbs. – 4 Games Started – 20.1IP 3ER 15H 3BB 18K – 1.33 ERA, .211 BAA, 0.89 WHIP
Orlandy Navarro – 18 year old RHP – Maracaibo, Venezuela – 6’2” 175 lbs. – 4G (3GS) – 14.2IP 1ER 10H 7BB 19K – 0.61 ERA, .196 BAA, 1.16 WHIP
Luis Pasan – 22 year old RHRP – San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. – 6’0” 175 lbs. – 6G (all in relief) – 3 saves (3 save opp) – 9.1IP 0ER 3H 5BB 12K – 0.00 ERA, .103 BAA, 0.86 WHIP
Today the AZL Dodgers (Arizona Rookie League) began their season to become the 8th minor league team to play in the Dodgers organization this year. The roster came out today and there are some familiar names on the roster.
Both Ronny Brito (SS) and Starling Heredia (LF) may get their USA debuts Saturday night in Arizona. These are two of the 2015-2016 International signings that are included in the Dodgers Top 30 prospects. Kevin Aponte a 19 year old CF from Maracay, Venezuela will also get his USA debut in Arizona. Then there is the hard throwing Aneurys Zabala who was included in the Chase De Jong trade with Seattle who will get his Dodger debut in Arizona.
Two pitchers that are also making their USA debut with Arizona and might be worth watching are 20 year old Jose Chacin, 6’4” 168 lbs. RHSP out of Cuidad, Bolivar, Venezuela, and 19 year old Yeison Cespedes, 6’1” 178 lbs. RHSP, from Azua, Dominican Republic.
Chacin has started 12 games in the DSL and has compiled a 7-1 record with 63.1 IP, allowing only 1 HR, with 10BB and 51K, and a 1.71 ERA, .222 BAA, and a 0.99 WHIP.
Cespedes has 42.1 professional IP as a DSL starter, compiled a 1-4 record and also allowing only 1 HR, with 14 BB and 31K, 1.49 ERA, .252 BAA, and 1.28 WHIP.
There will be many others, but those two should be fun to follow.
Another AZL Dodger pitcher to watch is 19 year old Kevin Malisheski. Kevin was a 38th round draft selection (2016) out of an Illinois HS who signed for $248,500 (as a 38th rounder). The Dodgers are very high on him (they better be to add $148,500 into their bonus pool for a 38th rounder). He was a 2 sport star in HS who tore his ACL playing football and did not pitch much as a senior. He did get in some games with AZL last year and is back again for 2017. Kevin is 6’3” 200 lbs. and if he gets a good start, you might see him start to climb the organizational ladder pretty quickly.
One other notable named pitcher is Amaury Telemaco Jr., son of the 9 year veteran pitcher, Amaury Telemaco. Telemaco Sr. pitched from 1996-2005 for the Cubs, DBacks, and Phillies. 18 year old Telemaco Jr. signed as a HS FA, but will start his professional career on the 60 day DL. We will probably have to wait until 2018 to watch Telemaco Jr.
There are currently five 2017 draft choices who have signed and are assigned to AZL:
15th Marcus Chiu 2B
18th Max Gamboa RHP (60 Day DL)
19th Zach Willeman RHP
24th Preston Grand Pre SS
30th Chris Roller CF
Ogden, a short season rookie league affiliate (Pioneer League), started a week ago, and has some players of note on that team as well. I will start to discuss some of these players in more detail as the season progresses, but for now, players to be watching should include.
Kevin Lachance 2016 10th rounder SS/CF 23 (next week)
Brock Carpenter 2016 20th rounder 3B 22
Christian Santana International Sign 3B 20 San Cristobal, DR
Hendrik Clementina International Sign C 20 Willlemstad, Curacao
(Another catcher from Willemstad, Curacao???)
Austin French 2016 27th rounder LHP 23
Jeff Paschke 2016 22nd rounder RHP 22
James Carter 2016 21st rounder RHP 23
Carlos Felix International Sign RHP 21 Navojoa, Mexico
(Hope he is as good as the last LAD pitcher from Navojoa, Mexico)
Romer Cuadrado International Sign OF 19 Maturin, Venezuela
Christian Santana, Brock Carpenter, Hendrik Clementina, and Kevin Lachance all have gotten off to good starts.
I would expect to see many of the college 2017 draftees to begin their careers in Ogden. Currently there are 23 of the 40 draftees who have signed. Thus far, seven out of the top ten have signed, and 6 have their bonuses published. Those six have resulted in a total below slot value of $8,500. Zachary Pop is the one remaining signee who has not had his bonus published.
After watching some film on 11th round selection, Jacob Amaya, LA area HS SS, I am convinced that the Dodgers would like to sign him. But they are going to have to wait to see what the first three picks sign for to see how much bonus money can be allocated to Amaya to get him to walk away from his Cal State Fullerton commitment. He is extremely soft handed and quick in his foot work and release. I do not know if he will hit at the ML level, but he will be able to defend. He is a very good looking HS SS.
Second round pick, University of Texas RHP, Morgan Cooper, is reportedly eager to sign and start his Dodger career. They are going to have to still see how much Jeren Kendall will require. Third round pick Connor Wong, University of Houston catcher, may be the last of the top ten because he is not as much of a need (or want) as #1 and #2.
Minor League Update
OKC 4-1 winners over Nashville Sound (A’s). Wilmer Font had another good start going 5.1 innings, 1 run on 5 hits, 2BB and 3K. The sole run was a Jeff Decker HR. Jeremy Bleich/Josh Fields/Madison Younginer finished with 3.2 perfect innings in relief. Alex Verdugo continues to be hot with another 2 hits and one walk, raising his BA to .341. Brett Eibner also had 2 hits for the Dodgers. Verdugo also added 2 stolen bases on the night, giving him 7 on the year. Kyle Farmer had another hit, and his BA is at .351. What are they going to do with him? Hint, he also plays a very good 3B.
Tulsa scratched out a 3-2 win over NW Arkansas Naturals (KC). Recently signed 29 year old LHP, Chris Rearick went 6 solid innings but did not get the win. He allowed 1 unearned run on 4 hits, 2BB and 5K. Shea Spitzbarth blew his first AA save but came away with the win. All-Star Corey Copping notched his 6th AA save on the year. Jose Miguel Fernandez and Quincy Lattimore led the Drillers with 2 hits each, with Fernandez getting his 8th HR. He is now batting .325 for the Drillers.
RC Quakes picked up a big 13-3 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies). Errol Robinson, Will Smith, Ibandel Isabel, Brandon Montgomery, and Victor Roach each had 2 hits. Smith (8th) and Robinson (1st) each hit a HR, while Isabel, Montgomery, Smith, and Roach (2) all had doubles. Caleb Ferguson started for the Quakes and went 5 good innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB and 2K. Andrew Thurman and Chris Cotton each pitched a perfect 1 inning each, while recently demoted Isaac Anderson finished up with 2 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits.
Great Lakes suffered a 4-2 loss to the South Bend Cubs. Jordan Sheffield did not get out of the 1st inning and took the loss. Ryan Mosely, Nolan Long, and Kyle Grana were solid in relief. Cody Thomas had a 2 hit evening, and Carlos Rincon slugged his 12th HR.
Ogden continued with their strong offensive output, but tonight got solid pitching in their 9-0 victory over the Grand Junction Rockies. Aforementioned Carlos Felix went 5 very strong innings allowing 2 hits. Matt Dittman and Jeremiah Muhammad followed up with 2 innings each of shutout and 1 hit pitching. The hot hitting raptors pounded out 14 hits with Moises Perez and Kevin Lachance each getting 3 hits, while Brock Carpenter, Christian Santana, and Michael Medina with 2 each. Carpenter hit his 1st HR, wile Romer Cuadrado hit his 2nd.
DSL 1 lost to DSL Braves 5-4. Marco Hernandez and Jhoan Calderon had 2 hits each.
DSL 2 beat DSL Astros Orange 12-1. Aldry Acosta started and went 3 innings, allowing 1 unearned run. He was followed by Nelfri Contreras, Dawalyn Lantigua, Reinaldo De Paula and Franklin De La Paz pitched 6 shutout no-hit innings. Roland Lebron led the offense with 3 hits, and Ismael Alcantara & Maikel Pineda had 2 each. Bryan Gonzalez hit his 1st HR.