The Los Angeles Dodgers have been signing international prospects to contracts left and right as they swiftly approach their international signing limit. With all of their young, worldwide signings, the Dodgers almost appear to be trading in the farm system for the international player pool.
Joc Pederson, one of the Dodgers’ best prospects, is holding down the domestic fort. The 6-1, left-handed outfielder from Palo Alto, Calif. has been dazzling the organization’s management for the past three years, hitting for both average and power as he rises through the Minor League system. Pederson has smacked 14 home runs in 85 games with the Dodgers’ AA affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts. This 21-year-old certainly seems like he will be one of the next Dodger prospects to make it the big leagues, but his youthful successors will likely not be that far behind Pederson.
In the last 12 months, the Dodgers have signed six different 16-year-old international players to their minor league system. Three of these teenagers – Daniel Padilla, Alvaro Trillo and Moises Perez – are from Venezuela. Padilla is a 6-3 outfielder who is reported to have great speed and a strong right arm by baseballamerica.com. Trillo is a right-handed pitcher whose fastball gets to the low 90’s and Perez is a shortstop who Eric Stephen of trueblueLA.com reports has a fantastic glove.
The Dodgers also signed two youngsters out of the Dominican Republic in Lucas Tirado and Alberto Estrella. Tirado is another shortstop and the 6-1 infielder signed for a cool million, which is almost half of the Dodgers’ entire international signing allowance for the year. Estrella, a utility infielder, pulled in the second largest signing at $600,000 and looks to be a promising addition to the Minor League system.
The last 16-year-old the Dodgers have signed is probably making the largest splash of the bunch. Mexican left-handed pitcher Julio Urias has been pitching up a storm since the Dodgers signed him last August. Urias has a 2-0 record this season with the Great Lakes Loons on 10 starts. The kid has kept his ERA down to 2.80 and has fanned men much older than him for 41 strikeouts in only 35.1 innings pitched.
Members of the Dodgers organization have stated that they believe Urias could be pitching in the majors by the time he is 18, so we will watch and wait. These young stars have great potential despite their youth and it is exciting to see several prospects that will be coming up in the Dodgers’ system.
Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+. You can see all of his articles here.