The Dodgers, still not content with their current haul of international prospects, reportedly have an agreement with 16-year-old Mexican right-hander Oscar Arzaga.
It hasn’t been announced by the team or reported by any writers, but his signing (as well as the signings of Maikel Pineda and Ronald Valenzuela) is listed on the official transactions page on the Dodgers’ official website.
The funny thing is, he apparently signed on Feb. 4, and it no one noticed it until about 11 days afterward.
He was eligible for the 2017 MLB Draft because he was enrolled in or was set to enroll at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, but since he is a Mexican National, he was able to sign a free agent contract, just as any 16-to-22-year-old Latin American player would be. It isn’t known if he was actually enrolled, but odds are he wasn’t if he were July 2 eligible.
I’m not going to lie: I hadn’t ever heard of the kid before a few days, but everything that has been written about him by those who have scouted him are really promising.
He’s 6’5, 210 pounds and, obviously at 16, is already physically mature. Here’s what Kiley McDaniel had to say about him back in 2014 when he wrote for Scout.
“The soon-to-be-eligible Mexican pitcher was a smaller guy in the lower 80’s, but the kid to watch was 2015 July 2nd prospect, Oscar Arzaga, a 6’3/200 15-year-old Mexican righty. Arzaga sat 86-88 and hit 90 mph with some cut and a 3/4 breaking ball that flashed average.”
Since that time, he has grown a couple inches taller and added at least 5 MPH to his fastball.
Steve Fiorindo of Prospect Pipeline had these notes after seeing him last year.
- Big, strong, durable frame.
- Works primarily off FB and SL.
- Slight stride towards RH hitter helps hide ball well.
- FB 91-93, SL, 80/81
- FB jumps out of hand, heavy.
- Slider with late action.
- CH was inconsistent, threw right/right, some flat, some with ASR and downward action.
And this from the Perfect Game Twitter account.
@battl2heaven would have depended on a lot of different things but he showed top 2 round potential
— Perfect Game USA (@PerfectGameUSA) February 16, 2016
So, this isn’t an insignificant prospect the Dodgers have apparently signed.
And finally, some video.
Everything looks promising, but he’s obviously very raw and will need a lot of development time. There’s no word on a bonus, but I’m guessing it’ll be at least a 7-figure one, considering he might have been a Top-2 round pick come next year.
It’s hard to truly evaluate a guy based on a 3-minute video and some limited scouting reports. But since I’m sure I’ll be asked, I’d put Arzaga in the Top 50 Dodger prospects — probably in the 35-50 range. If he’s able to tap into the potential in his prototypical pitcher’s frame (without gaining a lot of weight), he could be a guy who moves quicker more than most teenagers in the system.
Onto the next.