Top 20 Prospects From 2011 DSL/VSL




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Much of our international coverage is anchored around July 2, for obvious reasons. That date marks the opening of the international signing period, the first date when 16-year-old players outside of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico can sign.

Yet July 2 is only the first date when 16-year-olds can sign, and as our International Reviews show, the world of international scouting is a 365-day process with few opportunities for teams to stop and catch their breath. The most advanced Latin American signings (or at least the ones who signed for the biggest bonuses) like the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, the Braves' Julio Teheran and the Mariners' Jesus Montero typically begin their careers in the United States. The rest start in either the Dominican Summer League or the Venezuelan Summer League, though the VSL has continued to shrink in recent years with only four teams remaining for the 2012 season.

The list of players who made their pro debuts in the DSL or VSL include Top 100 Prospects Randall Delgado (Braves), Rymer Liriano (Padres), Jean Segura (Angels), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Starling Marte (Pirates), Oscar Taveras (Cardinals) and Wilin Rosario (Rockies). While players who sign for the biggest bonuses tend to get the most attention, players who develop and stand out in the Latin American summer leagues can quickly surpass them. Having a great year in the DSL isn't a strong predictor of future performance, but a young player who doesn't hit in that league context at least raises a red flag. Pitchers are a bit different because they are still growing into their bodies and learning their deliveries. In other words, they can (and often do) take big leaps forward with their stuff.

Bottom line: The best prospects in the Latin American academies tend to separate themselves with their tools and on-field performance within in a year or two.

Last year's list included two current Top 100 prospects (Bogaerts and Cardinals righthander Carlos Martinez), five other players who rank among their organization's top 10 prospects (Mariners signing and current Yankees righthander Jose Campos, Yankees center fielder Ravel Santana, Tigers righthander Brenny Paulino, Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro and Indians outfielder Luigi Rodriguez), along with a handful of other intriguing prospects.

Players made this year's list based on their long-term major league potential, with a focus toward players who are expected to make the jump to the U.S. this year. Any player who had enough playing time to qualify for a Top 20 list in a higher league, like Mets righthander Rafael Montero, was not included.

Players are listed in alphabetical order, with their ages as of today, April 3.


Jayson Aquino, lhp, Rockies
Age: 19. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2009.
The Rockies tend to be conservative when it comes to moving even their best young arms to the U.S., in part because their lack of an affiliate in the Rookie-level Arizona League has meant their players have had to jump straight to the Pioneer League, where the average position player last year was 21 years old. It's hard to argue with Colorado's track record when it comes to developing pitching in Latin America. Aquino has followed that path, returning to the DSL last year after posting a 1.02 ERA in 62 innings in the league in 2010. He dominated the league again in 2011, then went to Arizona for instructional league after the season. Aquino, whose trainer is known in the Dominican Republic as "Aguila," topped out at 88 mph when the Rockies signed him in 2009. While his stuff wasn't overpowering at that point in time, Aquino has matured physically and is now showing a fastball that sits at 88-91 mph and reaches 93. There may still be more velocity to come. He has sound arm action and a good delivery that he repeats well, which enables him to pepper the strike zone. He's so efficient that he threw two seven-inning complete games, a nine-inning complete game and came within one out of throwing another nine-inning complete game in his final appearance. Aquino doesn't have a plus pitch yet, but he throws his changeup with good arm speed and is still gaining feel for his curveball. He should make his U.S. debut this year, probably with Colorado's new Grand Junction club in the Pioneer League.

G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
14
14
8
2
0
1.30
90
55
21
13
1
22
80
.175


Orlando Arcia, ss, Brewers
Age: 17. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 165. Signed: Venezuela, 2010.
For now, Arcia's older brother is the more well-known prospect, but there may soon be competition. Orlando, the younger brother of Twins No. 5 prospect, outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, has shown a knack for hitting but has more defensive value than his brother. As an amateur, Orlando trained with Jaime Torres, who is not related to the prominent agent in the Cuban market of the same name, but he is the brother of Brewers Venezuelan scout Freddy Torres. A $95,000 signing, Arcia played nearly the entire 2011 DSL season at age 16 but was already one of the league's best hitters. Arcia has a good offensive approach and good feel for the barrel, routinely putting the bat to the ball. He has a wiry body and projects as a line-drive hitter, but he showed surprising power last year. All of Arcia's tools play up because of his instincts on both sides of the ball. He has average speed and is a good baserunner. Like any young shortstop, he'll make errors early in his career, but he can make plays to both sides and coming in on slow rollers. He has a nose for the ball and can make throws on the run. His pure arm strength is a 55 on the 20-80 scale and his arm may get stronger because he's still so young. Some scouts who saw Arcia as an amateur thought he could end up at second base, which may still happen, but he's shown enough for now to stay at shortstop. He should head to the Arizona League.
 
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
218 47
64
16
1
6
36
30
20
13
4
.294
.386 .459


Jeimer Candelario, 3b, Cubs
Age: 18. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010.
Candelario was born in the U.S. but moved to the Dominican Republic, where he signed with the Cubs in October 2010 for $500,000 out of the Arias and Goodman academy. Candelario came as advertised in his pro debut in the DSL, showing the offensive upside that drew the Cubs to him as well as some of the defensive shortcomings he'll need to address. Candelario's offensive numbers were among the best in the league, as he shows the potential to hit for average, get on base at a high rate and hit for power. Candelario has good bat speed, uses the whole field and has the plate discipline to manage his at-bats and lay off pitches outside the strike zone. He's a switch-hitter who's more advanced from the left side. Candelario has strong hands, a thick frame and showed flashes of his power potential last year. Where he ends up defensively is still up in the air. He has a good arm but doesn't run well, his actions in the field aren't fluid and he could move over to first base at some point. He was impressive during his time in the U.S. at instructional league and will likely stay in extended spring training until the Arizona League season begins.
 
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
249 50
84
16
2
5
53
50
42
4
4
.337
.443 .478


Vicmal de la Cruz, of, Athletics
Age: 18. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010.
Vicmal de la Cruz
De la Cruz was one of the big names for July 2 in 2010, but he waited until November of that year to sign with Oakland for $800,000. Some scouts who saw de la Cruz as an amateur thought he had good tools but was a little rough around the edges and would have to down down some of the effort in his game, but he showed a relatively advanced offensive approach last summer in the DSL. De la Cruz, who trained with Raul Valera (known as Banana) and worked out at La Academia before signing, has a well-rounded skill set. He's shown a keen eye at the plate with good plate coverage and a knack for squaring up the ball. De la Cruz is already strong and physically mature for his age, with the raw power for 15-20 home runs in the future. He has plus speed to stay in center field. He's expected to play this summer in the Arizona League.
 
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
192
29
61
13
5
1
28 37
27
10
5
.318
.438 .453


Yeyfry del Rosario, rhp, Blue Jays
Age: 17. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 185. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
The Blue Jays added a slew of high-profile players last year out of Latin America once the 2011 international signing period opened. Before their July 2 spending spree, the Blue Jays also added a pair of promising pitchers in Rosario and lefthander Jairo Labourt last year on March 7. While Labourt may end up having more power to his stuff, some scouts prefer del Rosario and his advanced pitchability. Del Rosario, who is from Puerto Plata, signed for $70,000. He trained with Fabio Cruz and was throwing 83-84 mph when the Blue Jays signed him, but he threw a hard curveball in the mid-70s at the time. Many scouts believe that if a player has room to fill out and can already spin a tight curveball, there's more velocity coming. For del Rosario, that velocity came on quickly and he was throwing a lively 88-91 mph fastball last summer in the DSL. He's a terrific strike thrower for his age, knows how to change speeds and could end up having plus command. He doesn't miss a lot of bats now, but he has more room to fill out and shows feel for a breaking ball and a changeup, so the strikeout numbers could take a jump. He will likely head to the Gulf Coast League this year.
 
G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
14
13
1
8
0
2.78
45
33
24
14
2
10
31
.195


Edwin Espinal, 3b, Pirates
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
As an amateur, Espinal trained with former major league outfielder Luis Polonia, whose Dominican program has produced a handful of intriguing players. Espinal, who signed last year in April for $150,000, is built like a small truck and has the bat speed to catch up to plus fastballs, but he stands out more for his rhythm and balance at the plate than his pure power. Espinal's approach to hitting is beyond his years. He's a patient hitter who has good pitch recognition, stays back on breaking balls and doesn't expand his strike zone. He's calm in the box and doesn't swing and miss much. Espinal's size should help him develop natural power, but his swing path caters more to line drives than loft. After signing, Espinal lost around 30 pounds after working with Dominican field coordinator Larry Sutton and his staff, but he's a bottom-of-the-scale runner and will always be a large man who will have to keep his fitness in check. Espinal signed as a third baseman but played only first base and DH last year. He entered pro ball with at best a well-below-average arm, but his arm has gotten stronger and is now close to average. In the end it's the bat that will have to carry Espinal, who is ticketed for the Gulf Coast League this summer.
 
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
108
8
29
9
0 0
19
20
10
3
2
.269
.382
.352


Oscar Hernandez, c, Rays
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 196. Signed: Venezuela, 2009.
If you had Hernandez on your 2011 VSL fantasy team, you cleaned up. He topped the league in average, on-base percentage, slugging, home runs (he collected 21 when the runner-up hit nine), RBIs, hits and extra-base hits. He was an offensive monster and did it all while playing the most demanding position on the field. Hernandez is a legitimate prospect, but those Barry Bonds-esque numbers require context. The Rays' park in Venezuela has a very short porch in left field, which is why Hernandez hit 18 of his 21 home runs at home and the VSL Rays as a whole slugged .480 at home and .358 away. Yet even on the road, Hernandez hit .362/.481/.496 in 158 plate appearances and is one of the most promising position players the Rays have signed from the international ranks in years. He manages his at-bats well and has a chance to hit for both average and power. The huge home run numbers he posted in Venezuela may deflate when he comes to the U.S., where he may start off as more of a line-drive hitter with the power coming later, but he can hit the ball out to all fields and has the raw power to hit 20-25 homers in a season. Before Hernandez signed, he had showcased as an outfielder, but the Rays thought he had a catcher's body and he moved behind the plate. He receives strong reviews for his work ethic and has taken to catching quickly. He still needs to work on his receiving given his lack of experience, but he shows solid hands, mobility and a solid-average arm. He'll begin with one of Tampa Bay's Rookie-level clubs, likely the Gulf Coast League squad.
 
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
239 56
96
14
1
21
66
37
44
3
5
.402
.503 .732
 

Teoscar Hernandez, of, Astros
Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 180. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
Often in Latin America, the best players aren't the ones who signed for the biggest bonuses. That may end up being the case with Hernandez, who was about as unknown as it gets in the Dominican when he was an amateur. The brother-in-law of Astros Latin American director Felix Francisco knew Hernandez and wanted the Astros to come see him. The Astros went to Bonao to scout him as a favor, liked what they saw, brought him to their academy for further evaluation, then signed him for $20,000 last year in February. Playing in the DSL as an 18-year-old, Hernandez was a revelation, ranking fifth in the league in extra-base hits while flashing the potential for five average or better tools. Hernandez has good size and a quick swing with natural loft and power that shows up in games. He's a plus runner who will get the chance to stick in center field, but if he slows down as he fills out, he has an arm that grades out as at least a plus tool and would fit well in right field. He should make the jump to the Gulf Coast League this year.
 
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
226 41
62
13
7
7
35
28
42
16
4
.274
.360 .487
 

Dilson Herrera, 3b, Pirates
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 150. Signed: Colombia, 2010.
The Pirates are among the more aggressive teams in Colombia, where they work with closely with youth teams, including one in Cartagena called Con Familiar, which is how the Pirates became familiar with Herrera when he was 12. Pittsburgh subsequently signed him for $220,000 in 2010 after he became eligible to sign. Herrera immediately showed well that winter in the Liga Paralela (the minors of the Venezuelan League), then continued with a strong performance last summer in the VSL. Herrera was a switch-hitter as an amateur, but he dropped the lefty swing and has hit exclusively righthanded in pro ball. It's worked out well so far for Herrera, whose best tool is his bat. He's a natural hitter with a good swing who is difficult to get out because he doesn't have many holes. He has a chance to hit for a high average and get on base because he manages his at-bats well, uses the whole field with an up-the-middle approach and has plus speed. Herrera has a medium frame and gap power. He signed as a shortstop but played third base last year. He's a playable defender who needs work in the infield, with a 45-50 arm that may guide him over to second base in the future. He's scheduled to play in the Gulf Coast League this year.
 
AB
R
H
2B 3B HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
214
42
66
19
5
2
27
32
40
16
8
.308
.413
.472
 

Felix Jorge, rhp, Twins
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 190. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
Jorge trained at the Jose Guerrero Baseball Academy and was one of the top names among pitchers for 2010, but as July 2 approached, his velocity dipped and some teams backed away. The Twins stayed on Jorge and his velocity returned to the 88-92 mph range by the time he signed last year in February for $250,000. He pitched well in the DSL as his fastball velocity increased to 90-94 mph. With his size and projection, Jorge could eventually be regularly touching the mid-90s, perhaps even higher. Jorge has a power arsenal with his fastball and his breaking ball, a hard curveball that he can use to put away hitters. His changeup lags behind because he hasn't had much need for it yet. Jorge has good arm action and throws downhill, with a frame that should make him a durable starter if he can continue to make strides with his delivery and his command. He should make his U.S. debut this year in the Gulf Coast League.
 
G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
9
5
2
1
1
2.67
27
19
12
8
0
9
26
.192
 

Jairo Labourt, lhp, Blue Jays
Age: 18. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 205. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
March 7 was a productive scouting day for the Blue Jays in 2011. It's the date the Blue Jays signed Dominican righthander Yeyfry del Rosario for $70,000 and Labourt for $350,000. Del Rosario is a more prolific strike thrower, but Labourt works around the plate as well with two crisp offerings from the left side. Labourt, who is from Azua and trained at the Arias and Goodman academy, didn't allow an earned run in his first seven starts, a stretch of 23 innings. Labourt has a big, projectable frame and is a good athlete who already does a solid job of repeating his delivery. He throws a fastball up to 92 mph and complements his heater with a potentially above-average curveball that has tight spin and rotation. Labourt went to instructional league in Florida last year and should be there this summer with del Rosario in the Gulf Coast League.
 
G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
12
12
0
4
0 2.23
36
29
18
9
0
14
29
.220
 

Luis Lugo, lhp, Indians
Age: 18. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 200. Signed: Venezuela, 2011.
Lugo was one of the top pitchers signed in 2011, though he had been eligible to sign since July 2 the previous year. Lugo, who trained with Jose Montero and signed for $415,000 last year in February, pitched well in the DSL, then made a few appearances toward the end of the year in the Arizona League. Lugo has an enormous frame and a fastball that he's run up to 92 mph. There's more projection left given his size and the way his arm works, so he could be throwing in the mid-90s eventually. For his size and age, he has enough athleticism to repeat his delivery, but he still needs to get better there to be able to throw more strikes. He throws a curveball and a changeup that both need work.
 
G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
9
7
0
3
0
3.38
29
21
19
11
3
16
36
.194


Ketel Marte, ss, Mariners
Age: 18. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 160. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010.
Labeled as the sleeper of Seattle's international signing class in BA's 2010 International Review, Marte still is a sleeper, albeit one who shows signs of breakout potential. He signed for $100,000 and has a chance to be a premium defender with a contact-oriented bat. Marte is a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale and has good instincts in the field and at the plate. He has an athletic, lively body and excellent actions at shortstop with smooth hands and quick feet. He has good range, a strong arm and can make the flashy play without being susceptible to many of the youthful miscues that so many young shortstops make. Marte will never be a masher, but he stays within himself at the plate. He has a solid understanding of the strike zone and has a knack for putting the bat to the ball with a concise swing. Once he gets stronger and starts hitting line drives with more authority, his contact and speed should help him hit for a high average. He's a switch-hitter, though he hit better form the left side last year. He's in spring training now and is expected to open in the Arizona League this year.
 
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
220
44
57
5
3
2
22
26
35
16
6
.259
.341
.336


Luis Marte, ss, Rangers
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010.
The Rangers signed Marte for $215,000 in November 2010 from Christian Batista, who is known in the Dominican Republic as "Niche." Marte and fellow 2010 Dominican signing Alberto Triunfel split time between shortstop and second base last year in the DSL, with Marte getting more of the time at shortstop. While Triunfel is smoother in the field, Marte is bigger and has louder tools. Marte has quick hands at the plate and puts the ball in play with a line-drive swing. He's not a power bat but he's more than just a singles hitter, working the gaps and driving the ball for extra-base hits. He has an extremely aggressive approach at the plate that he'll have to tone down as he gains a better understanding of the strike zone. Marte has the raw tools to play shortstop. He's a good athlete with plus speed and a plus arm. His defense is more about his range and arm strength rather than actions and instincts, so he's still refining his glovework to cut down on miscues. He could start in the Arizona League, though the Rangers have a history of being aggressive with young Latin American players they like, so an assignment to short-season Spokane wouldn't be surprising.
 
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
231
29
67
16
1
2
42
6
38
17
10
.290
.309
.394


Luis Mateo, rhp, Mets
Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
Mateo had deals in place with the Giants and the Padres before he finally forged one that Major League Baseball approved last year—for $150,000—with the Mets. Mateo's story has some parallels to Yankees righthander Jose Rafael DePaula, though with an injury twist and perhaps less fanfare. Mateo had signed with the Giants for $625,000 on July 2, 2008, but the Giants voided the deal when they found bone chips in his right elbow. Mateo did not need surgery. That November, he agreed to terms with the Padres for a $300,000 bonus, but that deal fell apart when the league found issues with Mateo's paperwork, then suspended him in March 2010 for one year for misrepresenting his age. During his suspension, Mateo came forward with a new date of birth that was two years older, going from March 17, 1992, to March 22, 1990. The Mets followed him in winter ball in Colombia, then signed him from his trainer, Carlos Paulino, last year in April. Mateo should move quickly after carving up DSL hitters. Mateo's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery and throw strikes with a 91-94 mph fastball that can reach 96-97 with good angle. His power slider can miss bats and is ahead of his changeup, a pitch he hasn't had to use much but is something he's shown some feel for at times.
 
G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
13
13
6
1
0
2.00
63
44
17
14
1
5
80
.194


Sthervin Matos, 3b, Brewers
Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 185. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
Matos is from Santo Domingo, trained with Christian Batista and signed with the Brewers for $100,000 last year in March. Matos has an advanced approach to hitting for his age. He doesn't chase many pitches off the plate and he makes consistent contact in the zone. He has gap power and a line-drive swing that will benefit from additional strength. While Matos has upside at the plate, he may be further along right now in the field. A former shortstop, Matos has good actions and clean hands at third base. He charges the ball well and can throw on the run with a strong, accurate arm. He's an effective basestealer more because of his instincts than because of his speed, which is around average. He should head to the Arizona League this year.
 
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
113
18
31
5
2
1
16
17
20
13
3
.274
.394
.381
 

Adalberto Mejia, lhp, Giants
Age: 18. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.
Mejia was San Francisco's top international signing in 2011, when the Giants paid him a $350,000 bonus last February out of the Arias and Goodman academy. Mejia proved extremely polished for his age, ranking sixth in the DSL with a 1.42 ERA and third in walks per nine innings (0.95). He's so advanced that the Giants are skipping him over the Arizona League and the short-season Northwest League, sending him straight to a full-season assignment in low Class A Augusta to open the year. Much like Colorado's Jayson Aquino, Mejia is a lefty who used an average fastball that he spots extremely well for his age to pick apart DSL batters. His fastball ranges from 88-93 mph and he complements it with a changeup that he throws with good arm speed and is advanced for his age. Since his amateur days he's thrown a slurvy curveball that needs work, but he's also introduced a slider into his repertoire as well.
 
G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
13
13
5
2
0
1.42
76
58
18
12
0
8
71
.209
 

Francellis Montas, rhp, Red Sox
Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 186. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2009.
In two seasons in the DSL, Montas has a 7.60 ERA in 34 1/3 innings with as many walks (30) as strikeouts. The performance doesn't indicate it yet, but Montas already has one of the best arms in the Red Sox organization. Montas has blown up since the Red Sox signed him and now touches 100 mph, sitting at 94-97. His fastball has good angle, explosive finish, overpowering velocity and is tough for hitters to square up. The fastball is the big draw for Montas, who also throws a slurvy curveball that may morph into more of a true slider eventually. He does have some feel for a changeup, but it's a firm offering in the high-80s that only speeds up the bats of Rookie ball hitters. Montas has tremendous arm strength, but he's still fairly raw and needs to throw more strikes. A hamstring issue limited his action last year, but he went to Florida last fall for instructional league and is back there now. He and Red Sox righthander Edwar Garcia (a good athlete with a projectable body) should make their U.S. debuts in the Gulf Coast League this summer.
 
G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
5
5
0
1
0
4.26
13
7
7
6
0
12
12
.159
 

Joel Payamps, rhp, Rockies
Age: 17. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 170. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010.
Former big league outfielder Luis Polonia trained two of the players on this list in Pirates first baseman Edwin Espinal and Payamps, who signed for $465,000 on July 2, 2010, after the Rockies had followed him since he was 14. Payamps was Colorado's top international signing in 2010, and some scouts from outside the organization felt he was one of the better buys in the Latin American market. When the Rockies signed Payamps, he had a wiry body with a quick arm that touched 91 mph. He's added strength since then and now reaches 94 with his fastball. Since his amateur days, Payamps has always had a crisp, efficient delivery and feel for pitching. His control isn't as advanced as Aquino's, but he works around the plate and has bigger stuff, showing feel for his curveball and his changeup. Payamps may be ready to make the jump to the U.S., but given the Rockies' history, they may have him spend another year in the DSL to continue getting stronger.
 
G
GS
W
L
SV
ERA
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
10
10
1
3
0
3.29
38
35
17
14
1
18
38
.243
 

Carlos Penalver, ss, Cubs
Age: 17. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 170. Signed: Venezuela, 2010.
The Cubs have found a nice collection of young shortstops out of Latin America in recent years, going back to Starlin Castro in 2006 and Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya in 2009. Penalver was one of the Cubs' top international signings in 2010, when they signed him out of Maracay for $550,000, their biggest bonus of the year for a Latin American amateur. Penalver is an athletic player with good body control and agility. He has good instincts, hands and footwork at shortstop. He has a good idea of what he's doing at the plate and a quick, line-drive stroke with bat-to-ball ability and a sound knowledge of the strike zone. Penalver won't be a power hitter, but he needs to gain strength to be able to do some more damage when he does connect with the ball.
 
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
AVG
OBP
SLG
261
51
71
11
2
1
38
35
42
21
8
.272
.364
.341