The Dodgers have graduated many top prospects in recent years and still maintain one of the most premier minor league systems in Major League Baseball. It appears as if this will continue to be aided with an excellent scouting and player development departments. This will keep the Dodgers’ contention window open for a long time.
The Dodgers appear to have had an excellent international free agency class these last few J2 periods, with lots of intrigue.
In a recent column for Baseball America, Ben Badler outlines the international free agent signings the Dodgers have made recently with names like outfielder Luis Rodriguez at the top.
The @Dodgers signed arguably the best prospect out of Venezuela in 2019.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) December 23, 2019
Rodriguez, 17, is an athletic center fielder with a six-foot-two frame that has room to grow. Rodriguez hails from Venezuela and has fantastic bat speed. He is very advanced for his age and the organization is expecting big things from him. He currently possesses average raw power, but it appears that he is slowly starting to look like a future 25-30 HR hitter. The main thing for Rodriguez, though, is that he has the potential to stick in center field long-term depending on his growth.
Fernandez, 17, was a star of the 2015 Little League World Series and was one of the best Venezuelan hitters in 2019 at any position. He has power and does not project to strike out much. If all breaks right, he might have the chance to be a plus power bat at a premium position offensively. The only issue with Fernandez is that he is a poor blocker behind the plate, but he is still so young.
Medrano, 16, is a right-handed pitcher from Venezuela. He is somewhat of a soft-tosser at 16. The Dodgers gave him a pretty sizable signing bonus of $472,500, so they obviously believe in his talent. He is only throwing 84-86 miles per hour currently, but the velocity should tick up as he fills out.
Valdez, 16, is a left-handed arm from Mexico. He is very lanky and has room to fill out. He currently sits in the high-80s with his fastball and has a fantastic curveball in the present.
18-year-old Mexican left-hander Octavio Becerra signed in August for $375,000. He has cracked 92 miles per hour on his fastball and is a pretty imposing player in terms of build. He currently sits at six-foot-three and 210 pounds.
The Dodgers signed Santana for just under $300,000 out of the Dominican Republic at just 16 years old. For having such a lanky frame, he is already touching 90 miles per hour. He possesses really solid potential as a starting pitcher with a deceptive delivery, two solid off-speed pitches, and good command.