The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired several new players over the last month from both the draft and more recently, the international signings. While the amount of money the Dodgers spent on international free agents wasn’t much of a surprise, the young age of these players may be a shock to some.
Senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes said recently the signings were another means of adding depth to the organization, which has been a focus under the Guggenheim ownership group, via Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
Whether it’s this arena, the draft (or) trades,” Byrnes said, “since I’ve walked in, from Stan Kasten and ownership on down, we’re going to do everything we can to build our own talent flow through our own system. We all know the benefits of that, so any place we can be aggressive, scout and find players, we’ve tried to take that approach.”
The Dodgers have high hopes for the youngsters, but they also understand that scouting 16 year olds is no easy feat. That being said, although the players are in their teens, the Dodgers have done extensive scouting on their signees:
A lot of times, it’s first and foremost the tools, but also getting to know the player as a person, then seeing him as much as we can in game situations,” Byrnes said. “At the end of the day, it requires some imagination (and) some experience, because at 16, there’s not quite as much information as we’d have drafting a college junior.”
Whereas the Dodgers were forced to trade away prospects for middle-of-the-road Major League players as recently as 2014 in trades for Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez, the organization’s focus on adding depth should soon mitigate that issue.