This is the first in a series that I'll be doing about our minor league prospects; as each league finishes it's regular season, I'll make a post talking about the standouts at that level. I'm doing them piece-meal because when I did it all at once back in July, it ended up being gigantic, and I am planning on going more in depth this time especially when it comes to tracking people's history at later levels.
Some of you may recall that due to my unfamiliarity with the Dominican Summer League I initially left it off the list last month. However, tracking how the standouts from previous seasons have done, I now feel I've got a better grasp on the league. A quick list of things to keep mind about this league:
- Pitching-Dominated. League average in DSL runs around a .240 Avg, .680 OPS.
- Age-range. 20 is ancient, 19 is a veteran, 18 is league-average-ish, 17 is pretty young, and 16 is REALLY young. One year also makes a HUGE difference here.
- Rookie league. Take it for granted that anyone mentioned here is 4-5 years away, minimum.
- I am not a professional scout, nor have I watched these players in person.
Baudilio Lopez- RHSP 11/20/1990 (17) - 2.27 ERA, 87.1 IP, 0.98 WHIP, 24 BBs, 109 Ks.
I'm really high on this guy right now. His ERA is only so-so for top pitchers in this league, but his low WHIP and spectacular K/9 and K/BB more than make up for it. His endurance is also excellent for someone at this level, averaging over 6 innings per start. I can't stress enough the fact that he did this at 17. Depending on what his actual stuff looks like, this guy could crack our top-10 prospects list.
The only caveat I have about this guy (and really all the pitchers on this team) is the whole pitching dominates thing. Previous pitching standouts from the past two DSL seasons like Robin Molina, Jose Perez, Francis Cabrera, and Yeison Almeida have all had only middling success at higher levels; Manuarys Correa is the only really impressive pitching prospect to emerge from the DSL in the previous two years (though to be fair, Perez had great peripherals at Orem which may bely his high-ish ERA).
However, none of those guys had DSL seasons as impressive as the one Lopez had, so he gets the top spot.
Eduardo Soto- 2B Born 4/25/1991 (17) - .323/.394/.472/.866, 67 G, 248 ABs, 19 2B, 4 HR, 21 BB, 51 K, 19 SB, 6 CS
You may want to scroll back up and look at those DSL league averages again in order to get an idea of how REALLY awesome these numbers are. For additional perspective, the second highest OPS among people who got regular playing time on this team was .728. No one else was even above .700. That he is also just 17 years old makes them even more spectacular.
I thought he looked good back in July when he had just a .303/.806. He was second in homers (4-5 is a decent amount in the DSL) and first on the team in just about every other offensive category. He's got speed, developing power, hits for average, decent batting eye. The only thing you can complain about is that his K-Rate is a tad high.
The nice thing about pitching-dominated leagues is that those hitters that come out of them in one piece tend to be really good anywhere, and that's held true of recent DSL grads like Alexia Amarista, Luis Jiminez, and Darwin Perez. Look for Soto to demolish either Orem or AZL next year.
Also worth a mention...
Ariel Pena- RHSP Born 5/20/1989 (19)
Orangel Arena- RHSP Born 3/31/1989 (19)
Fabio Mesa Martinez- RHSP Born 10/29/89 (18)
As you look at the stats for these guys you might wonder why how I could possibly not have them billed right up there with Lopez. Again I just have to refer you to our prior history with guys coming out of this league. Lopez is young enough that it doesn't matter, but the rest are old enough that these ERAs are pretty expected. These guys all have better K-rates than in previous years though, so they may hold up better state side than their recent compatriots. I should also emphasize that both Soto and Lopez are REALLY good prospects, so coming in second to them isn't really that big a put down. I look forward to seeing how all these guys develop.
So that's the DSL Angels. For any who might be curious, they made the DSL playoffs as the Wild Card after ending the season tied for the division lead, then upset their division rivals 2 games to 0 in a best of 3 playoff series, before falling 4-3 in the semifinal game.
Coming up next, the AZL Angels.