I normally don’t pay too much attention to the Dominican Summer League, since it’s so hard to find info on prospects and so few of them ever pan out. However, over the last few years, we’ve seen players like Rubby De La Rosa and Angel Sanchez turn pedestrian performances in the Caribbean into stunning success in the states. For that reason, I’m going to look at a quintet of top performers from this year’s team.
Jackson Mateo, RHP
Of course the first player I want to mention is one for whom I have no scouting report, so I have to go purely based off of stats. In 15 starts this season, Mateo posted a 1.62 ERA, which ranked 9th in the DSL. He allowed just 18 walks and 49 hits in 72.1 innings, limiting opposing batters to a .190 average. He struck out 52 and allowed just 2 home runs. Jackson turns 19 on Monday and should expect a one-way ticket to one of the club’s rookie ball affiliates come March.
Miguel Sulbaran, LHP
Now, with Sulbaran, I lucked out and found an article written about him signing with the Dodgers. The rough translation had him talking about his repertoire as having an 85mph fastball, a curve and a slider. In spite of the mediocre velocity, Miguel allowed just a .179 OBA and struck out 52 batters in 57.2 innings. He’s small, listed at 5’10 and 165 lbs, but there’s room to grow for the 17 year old. Bringing him to the states would be aggressive, given his age.
Jonathan Martinez, RHP
Martinez joined the club in June and dominated from start to finish. He ended the season with a 1.67 ERA in 12 appearances, striking out 31 batters in 32.1 innings and allowing just a .168 OBA. He did struggle with lefties, tho, as they batted .316 against him in just 5 innings worth of work. But that means he held righties to a ridiculously low .138 mark. He’s the youngest player on the team, as he won’t turn 18 until next June, so there’s doubt he’ll move to the states next spring.
Gregory Pena, OF
Pena is an interesting case, since he was born in New York City. However, he lives in the Dominican which is why he was able to sign with the Dodgers in 2009. Last season, he batted just .212 with 5 extra base hits in 58 games as an 18 year old, but he took a huge step forward this summer by hitting .303 with 7 doubles, 5 triples and 3 homers. He also stole 23 bases in 29 tries. Gregory has shown a knack for drawing walks, as he drew one in more than 10% of his plate appearances over the last two years. Defensively, he spent time in all three outfield spots, collecting a total of 9 assists. His skill set is that of a leadoff hitting center fielder and hopefully he can continue to develop at the plate.
Josmar Cordero, C
Cordero was mentioned, along with Angel Sanchez, as being one of the Dodgers’ top international signings last year. Baseball America said he has “some power and solid catch-and-throw skills.” He batted .283 this year with 9 doubles and a pair of home runs, while he threw out 39% of attempted base stealers behind the plate. His walk and strikeout rates were solid and he even stole 4 bases. Looks like yet another backstop in the low minors.