The Dodgers reportedly signed eight players on the first day of the 2016-17 July 2 international amateur signing period, which runs from July 2, 2017 through June 15, 2018.
This time two years ago, the Dodgers spent almost $45 million on the likes of Yadier Alvarez, Yusniel Diaz, Omar Estevez and others. Because of that spending spree, the Dodgers are limited to spending no more than $300,000 on a single prospect until the next signing period. They also have a budget of $4.75 million to spend on international amateur free agents. They can trade for more bonus pool money (up to 75 percent, or $3.5625 million), and they did just that on Sunday by sending Jason Wheeler to the Orioles for an undisclosed amount of international money. Wheeler was acquired from the Twins for cash considerations, and he was then designated for assignment and accepted a trip to Double-A Tulsa.
The eight players the Dodgers signed are as follows:
- SS Jhostin Chrinos, Venezuela
- OF Julio Enrique, Cuba
- OF Geroge Heredia, Dominican Republic
- SS Eddys Leonard, Dominican Republic
- OF Jaime Perez, Cuba
- OF Rushenten Tomsjansen, Curacao
- SS Amin Valdez, Dominican Republic
- SS Jorbit Vivas, Venezuela
The only bonus amounts known at this time is $300,000 to Heredia. There’s a report that says Enrique also got $300,000 and Perez got $200,000, but I’m not sure how reliable it is. Perez makes for the second Jaime Perez from Cuba in the system, as the Dodgers have a 17-year-old from Havana on their Dominican Summer League 2 squad.
Here are the notes I could dig up on these guys.
Leonard, from DPL Baseball:
“Eddys Leonard has the ability to make consistent contact with gap to gap power. His above-average speed allows him to fully utilize his contact and power giving him the ability to extend singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Combining his speed with a high baseball IQ, at 16-years-old, and you get a player who will have the ability to steal bases at every level. His speed also gives him good range at short, while his arm strength and quick hands will allow him to be an above average defender.”
And some video:
Some words on the left-handed hitting Valdez, also from DPL Baseball:
“Amin Valdez is a flashy shortstop with a very quick release and soft hands. He generates effortless pop with smooth mechanics. With an immense amount of polish already in his game, he is more advanced than most middle infielders his age and even older. Expect Valdez to make an impact right away in pro ball after he signs in 2017.”
And that’s about it. Information on these new signees are scarce.
Ben Badler of Baseball America has the Dodgers linked to other prospects — all from Venezuela — who didn’t sign on the first day:
- RHP Laubert Arias
- SS Eynar Machi
- LHP Luisneyer Perez
- SS Carlos Santiago
It remains to be seen if the Dodgers actually sign any of these guys.
The Dodgers, probably, didn’t sign the best prospect in this class, but they may have signed the player with the best name ever in Rushenten Tomjansen. God bless his parents.
More of these signings will come in over the next 11 months, but don’t expect any big-time signings. That is, unless they can convince one Shohei Otani to sign if/when he’s posted this offseason.