On November 1st, the Dodgers hired a swath of scouts from the Seattle Mariners. Bob Engle, who is now running the Dodgers' international scouting, didn't take long to make his presence felt. With the resources the front office has pledged to rebuilding the Dodgers' reputation in Latin America, Engle provides vast experience upon which to draw.
Recently, the Dodgers announced the signings of four Dominican amateurs, though provided scant details. Late last night, Engle spoke with Mark Saxon of ESPN.com about the newest boys in blue.
"Ariel Sandoval is a multi-tool player with good makeup. Our scouts were on him for a long period of time. He has a chance to be a good hitter with power, he’s an above-average runner with an above-average arm and he has a chance to be a true center fielder.
Deivy Castillo is a very good, mature left-handed hitter with a great approach. He has a real good concept for a young kid. We like his bat and everything else is playable. We think he has a chance.
Ravel Hernandez is a switch hitter who is somewhat on the frail side now, but we think he’ll grow into his body. He has a lot of bounce and quickness in his actions. He has a plus arm and is a plus runner. He’s more of a line-drive, contact-type hitter.
Miguel Urena is a big kid – about 6-foot-8 – and a little older than the others at 19. We think there’s a lot of untapped ability in him. He has a fresh, big arm and a very good delivery. We think there will be a lot more in there when we get him into a pro setting."
With these signings, the Dodgers have added another four quality teens to their minor league system, to go along with earlier signings such as Julio Urias and Cristian Gomez.
Since clubs rarely publicize bonus info for smaller Latin American signings, it's hard to say exactly how much the Dodgers have left to spend under the newly instituted $2.9 million cap. However, if their signings ended today, it would be an enormous improvement over previous years and give Dodgers fans a lot to look forward to down the road.