While the 2015 draft has come and gone, the Los Angeles Dodgers are just getting started when it comes to adding amateur talent. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs lists the Dodgers as favorites to sign the top three international free agents available during the next signing period, as well as two more in the top 15.
Who are these players and is blowing past their bonus pool a smart move? Let’s take a look at both of those issues.
According to McDaniel, the top international talent available on July 2 is Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez. He made a name for himself during a game in which current Dodgers’ farmhand Hector Olivera played, coming into the game and touching the upper 90s with his fastball while also showing a potentially plus breaking ball and advanced changeup.
The 19-year-old defector has a lean, projectable frame at 6’3 and 175 lbs, with a loose arm and confidence in his repertoire. Alvarez’s bonus is estimated at $16 million.
Ranking second on the list is Eddy Martinez, a relatively new name on the prospect spectrum. Martinez was declared a free agent in May but is waiting until the next signing period to sign with a team, indicating the Dodgers’ interest. The 20-year-old outfielder has five tool potential, though with more 50s than 60s or 70s.
He profiles as an average hitter with fringy power, but his speed and arm strength should serve him well in center field. His bonus is predicted to be $11 million. No. 3 on the list is one of the more intriguing players on the market.
Bahamian Lucius Fox attended high school in Florida until last summer, when he moved back to his home country and registered as an international free agent. Fox is a good runner who currently plays short but may have to move off the position in pro ball. He shows a good swing from both sides of the plate and could grow into some power. He could sign for $5.5 million.
Los Angeles is also connected to some more “conventional” prospects; 16 year olds from the Dominican Republic. Known as “Pit Bull,” Starling Heredia is the best of the second bunch, with a promising bat and surprising speed. He’s had some issues making contact in games, but has a swing that should produce power once he harnesses it.
Heredia currently plays center field but should move to a corner once he fills out. Ronny Brito is your prototypical lithe shortstop with projection and smooth actions. He projects to stay at short as a pro but there are questions about his bat, which is common among 16 year olds.
The third player is somewhat similar to the club’s fifth round pick from this year. Like Brendon Davis, Onil Cruz is a super learn infielder with a pretty swing.
CONTINUE READING: Dodgers’ Plan For International Spending