15 MLB Prospects To Watch In the Dominican Summer League


The Dominican Summer League opens today. 

With so many other things happening this time of year on the baseball calendar, it can get lost in the shuffle, but the start of the DSL is an important one for first-year Latin American players. It’s a league that’s growing in importance now that teams rarely send even their top international signings directly to the United States their first year, which means the DSL is the first stop for nearly every Latin American player.

We have a preview of the top group of prospects to watch for all 30 teams in the DSL—300 scouting reports total—in our International Reviews. Here we’re going to zoom out to highlight 15 of the best prospects who signed for at least $1 million and will be playing in the DSL. We’re looking for players to follow in the footsteps of Orioles catcher Samuel Basallo, Mariners outfielder Lazaro Montes or Phillies shortstop Starlyn Caba as 7-figure signings who debuted in the DSL and are now Top 100 Prospects

We’ll have stories on 20 prospects who signed for lesser amounts who are breakout candidates to watch in the DSL as well as 20 of the top pitching prospects in the league. These are 15 of the biggest prospects this year in the DSL. 

Jose Perdomo, SS, Braves

Perdomo has been in Florida on the 60-day injured list as he rehabs a hamstring injury, so he’s still working his way back to be ready to play. The Braves threw nearly all of their bonus pool space at him this year, signing Perdomo for $5 million, the most ever for a player born in Venezuela. It’s an offensive skill set that should click right away in the DSL with his plate coverage, pitch recognition and bat speed to drive the ball for extra-base damage. While a lot of scouts who saw Perdomo when he was younger thought he would move to second or third base, his defensive improvements have helped his chances to potentially stick at shortstop. 

Emil Morales, SS, Dodgers

Morales signed primarily because of his offensive upside and he has backed up the Dodgers’ belief in his bat so far with the way he has hit and hit for power in preseason games. Signed for $1,897,500, Morales is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a rhythmic, well-sequenced swing from the right side, a disciplined approach for his age and the mix of strength and bat speed that leads to big power for his age and what should be 25-plus home run juice. Between his approach and game power that he has shown early on, he should be one of the most dangerous hitters in the DSL right away. His defense has improved at shortstop, but a lot of scouts expect him to eventually head to third base, where he profiles well both offensively and as a defender. 

Fernando Cruz, SS, Cubs

Cruz got $4 million, the No. 3 bonus this year for an international prospect, with the Cubs putting most of their pool space toward signing him. There’s quick-twitch athleticism to his game at the plate and in the field. He’s 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, a wiry shortstop with strong hands and a fast bat to generate impressive power for his size. Some scouts saw swing-and-miss risk with him, so the DSL will be a good initial test to see how everything translates and what shape his offensive skill set takes in pro ball. He’s a plus runner with a plus arm and the actions to stick at shortstop. 

Adolfo Sanchez, OF, Reds

Sanchez was one of the best pure hitters in Latin America this year when the Reds signed him for $2.7 million. He’s 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a lefthanded swing that’s quick, crisp and efficient. He stays balanced, tracks pitches well and has been a high-contact hitter whose power is trending up as well to drive the ball for extra-base damage to all fields. The bat is the carrying tool for Sanchez, whose average speed could end up ultimately pushing him to a corner, but he will debut in center field, where his instincts and routes are good for his age. 

Yandel Ricardo, SS, Royals

Ricardo is a well-rounded player with a good balance of tools and skills. Signed for $2,397,500, Ricardo is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and a switch hitter who makes frequent contact with a quick, simple swing and an approach that helps him use the whole field. There are flashes of pull-side home run power now with the strength projection to get to potentially average or better power once he’s in his prime. Depending on his physical development, Ricardo could stick at shortstop, though if he does have to go to second or third base because he outgrows shortstop, his game would project well at those spots too. 

Luis Cova, OF, Marlins

Cova was one of the prospects trending up as Jan. 15 approached when the Marlins signed him for $1.4 million. He’s a lean 6-foot-1, 160 pounds and a bursty athlete with plus-plus speed and a quick first step in center field. Different scouts disagreed on the shape of Cova’s offensive game down the road in terms of whether it would be more of a hit-first profile or a power-over-hit type. He showed good contact skills and a line-drive approach during the tryout process with more power that has come since then, with the bat speed and physical upside that suggests bigger exit velocities still to come as he fills out. 

Yovanny Rodriguez, C, Mets

There are several promising Venezuelan catchers to watch this year in the DSL—see our story on potential breakout prospects for others—but right now the top catching prospect in the league is Rodriguez, who got $2.85 million. There are two-way skills here with Rodriguez, an advanced catch-and-throw guy for his age with a plus arm, a quick release and soft hands as a receiver. At the plate, Rodriguez has shown a mix of plate discipline and power that’s advanced for his age.

Victor Hurtado, OF, Nationals

Hurtado has some of the best offensive upside of any hitter the Nationals have signed out of Latin America in recent years. They gave him $2.7 million and he’s now 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, a long lefty with an easy, fluid swing. He’s able to keep those long limbs under control at the plate to make contact and drive the ball well, showing home run power in games now with the bat speed and physical upside for him to develop into a 25-plus home run threat. Hurtado is an offensive-minded prospect who projects as a corner outfielder with the potential to hit in the middle of a lineup if everything clicks.

Paulino Santana, OF, Rangers

The early reviews on Santana have been strong, a continuation of the buzz that had been building around him leading into Jan. 15, when he signed for $1,297,500. He’s 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, an athletic center fielder with plus speed and a disciplined offensive approach. Santana is a patient hitter who recognizes pitches well, takes his walks and routinely takes quality at-bats. It’s a simple swing from the right side with a contact-oriented approach, but when he lets it loose he has the ability to drive the ball deep into the right-center field gap or pull one over the fence.

Francisco Vilorio, OF, Yankees

The best all-around tools in the 2024 class? You can make a good case for Vilorio, a powerful righthanded hitter who got $1.75 million. At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Vilorio looks like a man among boys, carrying his weight well with his strong but lean, broad-shouldered frame. He’s an explosive athlete with plus raw power that could become a plus-plus tool and he’s a plus runner underway with a 70 arm on the 20-80 scouting scale. Some scouts like Vilorio’s bat-to-ball skills too, though others thought it would end up a power-over hit profile. He runs well now and that will give him a chance to play center field, though at his size he could end up sliding to right field. 

Adriel Radney, OF, D-backs

Radney offers a mix of hitting ability and power upside from the right side of the plate. Signed for $1.85 million, he’s 6-foot-3, 180 pounds and employs a calm, balanced stroke with a good approach for his age. Some scouts thought Radney could end up with more swing-and-miss against better competition, but he has typically been on time with trending-up power that looks like a future plus tool. With his size and average speed, he’s most likely headed for an outfield corner down the road, but he has maintained his athleticism well enough to this point to get a chance to develop in center field.

Ashly Andujar, SS, Rockies

Andujar impressed a lot of scouts when he was an amateur because of his instincts and actions, both at the plate and at shortstop. He’s young for the class, turning 17 on July 29, and signed with the Rockies for $1.7 million. Andujar is a switch-hitter with the bat control that leads to a low swing-and-miss rate with line drives all over the field. At shortstop he has a good mix of quick-twitch athleticism, body control and game awareness to go with his plus arm. One of the biggest questions scouts had on Andujar as an amateur was his extremely slight frame and how that would develop, but he has steadily started to add strength to a still wiry 6-foot-1,165-pound frame. 

Jorge Quintana, SS, Brewers

The Brewers’ stretch of signing high-end talent from Venezuela continued this year with Quintana for $1.7 million. A switch-hitter, Quintana is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds and tracks pitches well with good strike-zone judgment for his age. He has good barrel awareness to make frequent contact, the foundation of a hitter who could get on base at a high clip. He drives the ball well from gap to gap with the strength projection for bigger power gains to come once he fills out. Quintana is a steady defender on the balls that he’s able to get to at shortstop, though a lot of scouts think he will ultimately head to third base, where he has both the offensive and defensive skill set to profile.

Jhonny Level, SS, Giants

Level’s bonus didn’t technically crack seven figures—he signed for $997,500—but I’m rounding up and counting him here because he’s one of the best shortstops out of Venezuela in the DSL this year. He’s 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, a heady player who has a short, quick swing from both sides of the plate and makes a lot of contact. With the strength he has added over the past year, he has become more than just a doubles threat and is now driving balls with surprising impact for his size. There’s a good chance for Level to be able to stick at shortstop, where he has quick actions and a well above-average arm. 

Robert Arias, OF, Guardians

The Guardians paid $1.9 million to sign Arias, one of the better pure contact hitters for 2024. It’s not a textbook lefthanded swing, but he has excellent hand-eye coordination that enables him to put balls in play at a high clip. He shoots line drives around the field and could come into more power as he fills out his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame and learns which pitches to try to pull for damage. He’s an above-average runner with a plus arm in center field.

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