This figures to be a big week in the amateur signings for the Dodgers. Today starts the 2018-2019 international players signing period. Reportedly to have signed a multi million dollar contract is 16 year old Venezuelan Catcher Diego Cartaya (BA #3 Int’l Prospect). Also signing were 16 year old RHP Jerming Rosario from Bani, DR (BA #23 Int’l Prospect), and infielder Alex De Jesus (not in BA To 50). From Baseball America:
Diego Cartaya, Venezuela, Catcher
Born: Sept. 7, 2001 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
Scouting Report: Cartaya has represented Venezuela at international tournaments since he was 10. That extensive game experience shows in the way he plays with a high baseball IQ well beyond his years, with a well-rounded skill set for a catcher. Cartaya projects to stick behind the plate with the potential to develop into an above-average defender. He has a plus arm and a quick exchange, with pop times in games in the low 1.9s. He blocks and receives pitches well for his age, showing good flexibility, agility and defensive instincts. Cartaya’s baseball acumen shows on both sides of the ball. He has a short, quick swing and focuses on driving the ball to center and right-center field in batting practice. He’s a polished hitter for his age with a sharp handle on the strike zone, recognizing pitches and not chasing much off the plate. Cartaya’s hitting ability and plate discipline should make him a high OBP catcher who can hit toward the top of a lineup. His power is mostly to the gaps now, but with his size, he could grow into average power once he gets stronger and gains a better awareness of which pitches he can turn on to drive with authority. While catching at the MLB international showcase in February, Cartaya reached out to receive a pitch in anticipation of throwing to second, but the batter’s swing struck him on the left elbow and he was wearing a sling after the game. He has since rehabbed and is back to normal catching and throwing again. The Dodgers are the favorites to sign Cartaya, who trains with Alexi Quiroz.
Jerming Rosario, Dominican Republic, RHP
Born: May 8, 2002 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 160 | B-T: R-R
Scouting Report: Many of the best pitching prospects in the game today who are from the Dominican Republic signed for small bonuses. It’s difficult to know which pitchers will see their velocity spike, stay healthy and remain in the starting rotation. Rosario separates himself from his peers is the Dominican Republic as an athletic righthander with the arrow pointing in the right direction on his stuff, possessing the attributes to project as a starter with a three-pitch mix and solid strike-throwing ability. Rosario throws 88-91 mph, with quick arm speed and plenty of space left on his skinny, projectable frame to fill out and throw harder. Rosario’s 79-82 mph changeup is advanced for his age, throwing off the balance and timing of opposing hitters. He sells it well by repeating his arm speed, with good action and separation off his fastball. His curveball is inconsistent, but at its best it shows sharp bite and good depth. The Dodgers are likely to sign Rosario for a bonus in the mid six figures. He trains with Franklin Ferreras.
I am sure there will be others to follow.
Friday is the final day that teams can sign their 2018 amateur draft picks. There is an exception; a College senior can sign up to next year’s draft. The Dodgers have not yet signed (or at least announced the signing) of their top three draft picks:
#1 RHP J. T. Ginn (High School)
#2 RHP Michael Grove (West Virginia)
#3 LHP John Rooney Hofstra
College senior #10 draftee Deacon Liput has not signed, but he has very little leverage and figures to sign at some point. It would make no sense for him to hold out until next June. If he wants to continue his baseball career it will start with the Dodgers and probably sign for in the $7,500 range.
It actually may be difficult for the Dodgers to sign all three of the top 3 because of the limited amount of bonus dollars available for them. I would think that #2, Michael Grove will be the toughest to sign as he figures to be able to go back to West Virginia for one year and look for 1st round money in 2019. Whether he wants to start his professional career now, or try and max his signing bonus will be the determinant factor. Ginn has a Mississippi State scholarship waiting and he could choose to go in that direction and come back in three years. Of course that is three years of potential injury and poor performance. I think the Dodgers will go over slot to sign him, but how much is the issue. Rooney figures to be the easiest to sign, but I am sure the Dodgers are waiting on him to see how much it will take to sign #1 and #2 before they finalize their offer.
We will know by Friday whether the Dodgers have their top 3 picks or not. Besides draft picks 1-3 and 10, the Dodgers have 9 other unsigned draft picks from 11-40, all of whom are HS or JC players and probably will end up back in school. But we will know about them by Friday as well.