Los Angeles Dodgers 2024 International Review


The Dodgers continually produce quality international talent. Outfielder Andy Pages is with the big league club now as a rookie, while 19-year-old outfielder Josue De Paula is a Top 100 prospect with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and one of the game’s most talented hitters in the lower levels. Catcher Thayron Liranzo is a power bat in High-A Great Lakes, with shortstop Joendry Vargas and center fielder Eduardo Quintero coming off great Dominican Summer League seasons last year. They’re both now in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League with 20-year-old righthander Hyun-Seok Jang, a big 2023 signing from South Korea who has been up to 98 mph.

This year the Dodgers again brought in one of the top hitters in Latin America, though they still have a few million dollars remaining in their bonus pool for the current signing period, which runs through Dec. 15. If righthander Roki Sasaki decides to leave Japan to sign with a major league club after the season, many front office officials with other teams view the Dodgers as the favorite to get him. 

Top Of The Class

This year’s big-ticket signing for the Dodgers was Emil Morales, a 17-year-old Dominican shortstop who got $1,897,500. He’s one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the 2024 international class. He continues to grow, now 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a mix of contact and impact from the right side of the plate.

He has continued to tighten up what was already a sound swing with good rhythm and sequence, while his offensive approach is mature with the ability to discern balls from strikes and consistently work quality at-bats. He’s strong, has fast bat speed and has been hitting home runs in preseason games with the projection to develop 25-plus home run power. Morales has the upside to develop into a middle of the order hitter and has a chance to stick at shortstop, though scouts largely think third base is more likely.

He’s a smart player who has worked diligently to improve his defense, improving his first-step quickness and developing his arm into a solid-average tool, but he’s a below-average runner whose actions and range especially as he continues to fill out seem likely to nudge him to third base. The offensive profile would fit well there if he does move to third, with maturity and leadership that makes teammates gravitate toward him. 

Names To Know

Rafy Peguero, OF, Dominican Republic: Peguero, a 17-year-old born in New Jersey, signed for $297,500. He has a strong, compact build (6 feet, 190 pounds) that he will have to maintain, with a power stroke from the right side. Peguero is a righthanded hitter who can drive the ball with impact, and while it comes with some swing-and-miss, he does show a solid sense of the strike zone for his age. He’s a corner outfielder with fringe-average speed and an above-average arm.

Yojackson Laya, SS, Venezuela: Laya’s skill set doesn’t immediately grab attention during a workout because he doesn’t have standout size or tools, but he’s a player scouts appreciate the more they see him. Signed at 17 for $147,500, Laya is a smaller shortstop (5-foot-9, 155 pounds) with strong baseball instincts. Laya is an aggressive player with a quick righthanded swing and an accurate barrel, putting balls in play at a high clip with gap power. He’s a tick above-average runner with the mix of aggression and acumen that should help him steal bases. Laya has the instincts and actions to handle the middle infield. If his arm gets stronger he should be able to stick at shortstop, though he could also fit at second base.

Heudy Peña, SS, Dominican Republic: Signed for $132,500, Peña is a skinny 6 feet, 155 pounds at 17 with long arms and a knack for putting the bat to the ball from the left side of the plate. He’s athletic and an above-average runner who has a lot of room still to fill out, with his strength development something that will be crucial in determining his future for everything to be able to tick up. 

Sleeper Watch

The Dodgers added several players this year for $10,000 (signings of that amount or less are exempt from the bonus pools), including Venezuelan center fielder Erny Orellana. He has grown to 6-foot-2, 185 pounds at 17, showing good contact skills from the right side of the plate with gap power and plus speed that should give him a chance to stay up the middle.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone