The DSL season started yesterday with a loss to the DSL Dodgers. Unfortunately I'll be busier this year and won't be able to do weekly reports, I 'm still trying to decide if I have enough time to do monthly reports. Still, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at possible players to watch on this years team.
First off neither of our big bonus players Gasperini or Vasquez are on the team. Gasperini was always a huge longshot to find himself in the DSL. But with the cancellation of the Arizona Royals, I thought there might be a chance Vasquez would play with the DSL Royals until Burlington's season started. I guess as a fan who wanted to see the stats from actual games, I had underestimated the Royals decision to let the young players learn at the Surprise complex in a controlled environment. At this point, I would predict that Gasperini stays at the Surprise complex all year and doesn't play for a rookie team this year. Vasquez on the other hand I'd give at least a 50/50 chance that he plays for Burlington when they start the season in about a month.
First lets look at last years team and see who graduated and who's still around to watch. If we look at my last DSL report from last year, I had predicted that both two year players Emmanual Camacho (LHP) and Angelo Castellano (3B) would graduate. Since they are both still listed as active by milb.com but not on the DSL roster, I'd have to assume they have graduated. But, whether they make it to Burlington or stay at the Surprise complex is yet to be seen. Next were the first year players, I predicted that Jose Martinez (SS) had a good chance of graduation. And, like above he isn't on this years DSL roster, so he has likely graduated to the USA. Julio Pinto I figured would get the call to Arizona at some point and likewise isn't on the DSL roster. Finally, I predicted that the remaining first year players that I followed would still be around: Alberto Saez (LF), Junior Reyes (LHP), Ofriedy Gomez (RHP). All three of them are on the current DSL roster. So, my predictions here were fairly accurate.
So, who's new? Well even though the Royals left almost a million dollars of IFA bonus money in the Glass' pocket, minor pick-ups included Joel Arias (OF/CF) and Jose Caraballo (OF/RF). There are a few other newcomers but they weren't signed as 16 year olds and generally are less attractive. But at least a couple of newish pitchers could becoming interesting, since its possible a growth spurt since 16 has made them more interesting. Jorge Rodriguez (LHP) and Arnaldo Hernandez (RHP) are as young as our 2nd year players Gomez and Reyes. Finally for the pitchers, Starling Quinonez (RHP) isn't young at 18 going on 19 but is listed as 6'5". If this height came from a late growth spurt, he could be of interest if he can translate that height into velocity. For position players, we have returning 17 turning 18 year olds Jesus Atencio (C), Offerman Collado (2B), Jose Mogollon (OF), and Jose Vital (OF). Of these last players, only Jesus Atencio played the first game, so although age is very important in the DSL it isn't everything.
Finally, if for no other reason than he went 3 for 4 with 2-2B on the first day in an offense challenged league, I have to mention Yeison Melo (OF/DH).
So, In the end if I were to pick 7 players to follow this year in the DSL it would be:
Joel Arias (OF/CF)
Jose Carabello (OF/RF)
Jesus Atencio (C)
Alberto Saez (LF)
Junior Reyes (LHP)
Ofriedy Gomez (RHP)
Jose Vital (OF)
Special 8th player:
Yeison Melo (OF/DH)
However, I'd still pay attention to the other interesting players/pitchers in case another Pedro Fernandez pops-up.