Happy July 2! This year’s version of the international signing period isn’t going to be anything close to what it was for the Dodgers during the 2015-16 period. But they have inked their first prospect in the form of Albert Suarez, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic.
We had Ben Badler on the podcast last week and he spoke a bit about Suarez, saying he’s more of a guy who is lauded for his baseball intelligence/skills rather than his raw tools. In other words, don’t expect him to be a .300/.400/.500 guy with 30-home run power.
Suarez signed for a reported $300,000. The Dodgers have $2,118,900 to spend during this period, but they cannot spend more than $300,000 on any prospect. For context, they signed Damaso Marte, Jr., for $300,000 last period. That’s about the quality of prospect you’re looking at for $300,000 and less. But there have been some cheap international signings who have gone on to become quality MLB players.
The Dodgers signed Rubby De La Rosa for $15,000 in 2007. He ascended the minor-league ladder and put himself on the prospect map. And while he didn’t contribute a lot to the Dodgers, he was a key piece in the Nick Punto trade (probably the key piece).
Of the prospects in my Top 100, the following were signed for less than $300,000:
- Johan Mieses (35): $40,000
- Michael Medina (37): $275,000
- Ariel Sandoval (40): $150,000
- Angel German (44): $75,000
- Leonardo Crawford (50): $47,500
- Felix Osorio (65): $205,000
- Keibert Ruiz (71): $140,000
- Yadir Drake (75): $100,000
- Daniel Padilla (77): $200,000
That doesn’t even include some guys whose bonuses are unknown to me like Dennis Santana, Miguel Urena and many more.
No one truly knows if these teenagers are going to be good or bad. It’s an even bigger crap shoot than the MLB Draft. Maybe Suarez is the next Omar Vizquel. Maybe he’s the next Jose Offerman. Maybe he never sniffs the majors. But the Dodgers are going to attempt to bolster the minor-league system even more with a few of these lottery tickets.