The International signing period is still 5 1/2 months away (July 2nd) but it's never too early to start compiling a list of some of the top available talents. One of the top names this year will be pitcher Rafael DePaula, who was suspended last year for lying about his age. He is now playing in the newly formed Dominican Prospect League:
http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog...ngure_jorge_jrSeveral months ago, La Esquina profiled the start of the Dominican Prospect League, a brainchild of agents Brian Mejia, Ulises Cabrera and Roberto Morales where unsigned teenage Dominican prospects could participate in a league designed to show off their talents to MLB team scouts. The aim was to erase the perception that Dominican prospects could not be properly evaluated -- and consequently compensated -- by teams since, unlike their American and Canadian counterparts, they don't participate in games.
And an update on DePaula from the Dominican Prospect League website:
Depaula ready to go PRO!!!
Rafael Depaula made his Dominican Prospect League debut January 6th and is now eligible to sign with a professional team. In his first outing, Depaula threw two shutout innings while allowing 1 basehit, striking out 5 batters, and surrending two walks. After his outing, he said that he felt good to be in competitive game situation and is eager to prove that he is one of the top amateur pitchers to come from the Dominican Republic. In his first game, Depaula featured a fastball working 93-95 mph, an effective curveball, and a 84 mph changeup.
Now that he is eligible to sign a professional baseball contract, Depaula will be proving his ability on a weekly basis against the other DPL prospects. Stay tuned for more details as we march towards the first DPL All-Star game on January 23rd.
Rafael Depaula's Jan 6, 2010 game results:
2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 5SO
And here's a video of DePaula:
On the DPL website, there is a scouting report on a shortstop named Jean Carlos Batista.
Jean Carlos Batista
Team: Potros del Este
Height/weight: 6'2", 165 lbs.
DPL Scouting Report:
Most skilled shortstop on the island.
Can really use the hit-tool from both sides of the plate.
Gap to Gap power.
Plus arm that will stay at SS.
Great Makeup, will be a leader within clubhouse and model for other kids.
Extremely hard worker.
I'll update this thread as more information becomes available.