Los Angeles Dodgers 2020-21 International Signing Preview
The Dodgers signed catcher Diego Cartaya in 2018 and outfielder Luis Rodriguez in 2019, giving them the top-ranked Venezuelan prospects in their respective international signing classes. Now two more prominent Venezuelan prospects are expected to lead the Dodgers' 2020-21 class when the signing period opens on Jan. 15.
The headliner of the group is Wilman Diaz, who trained in the same program (Alexi Quiroz) as Cartaya and is one of the elite prospects for the upcoming class. He's an athletic 6-foot-2 shortstop with a loose, low-maintenance swing from the right side, showing good bat speed with the ability to hit and hit for power in games. Diaz has the defensive actions and arm strength that give him a chance to stick at shortstop, though depending how big he gets, he might end up at third base.
For a long time, the Yankees were expected to sign Jesus Galiz, a Venezuelan catcher who is one of the top prospects in the class. That changed in November, and now Galiz appears headed to the Dodgers instead, for about half as much money as he was expected to get from the Yankees. There are no age, drug test or medical issues with Galiz, who is still considered one of the top catchers available for Jan. 15, earning high marks for his skills on the field and overall makeup. The Yankees' loss is the Dodgers' gain, making them set to add another Venezuelan catcher to join Keibert Ruiz, Cartaya and Yeiner Fernandez already in their farm system. Galiz is a strong bet to stick behind the plate, where he has soft hands and receives well with good athleticism, quickness and flexibility behind the plate. Scouts highest on Galiz also liked his ability to hit in games with a line-drive approach now and a chance to grow into 15-20 home run power.
A third key player to watch for the Dodgers is Rayne Doncon, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Doncon is 6-foot-1, 177 pounds with long limbs, a high waist and big physical upside, with a variety of paths his future could go depending on his physical development. He has the body type where early on it looked like he could outgrow shortstop, but so far he has remained lean and agile enough for the position while getting stronger, showing good defensive instincts and a nose for the ball. He has fast bat speed and as he's gotten stronger he has quieted down some of the extra noise with his hands starting his swing, showing a knack for hard contact on fastballs with the strength projection to grow into more power.
Other notable players expected to join the Dodgers' signing class include Panamanian outfielder Roger Lasso, Venezuelan catcher Carlos Avila and Venezuelan lefthander Jorge Carpintero.
Another player to watch for the Dodgers is Misael Soto, a former shortstop whose best tool was his arm before he converted to pitching. He's an athletic Dominican righthander with a quick arm and a fastball that has gained velocity into the low-90s, with a chance to throw significantly harder in the future. Miguel Angel Vilchez from Curacao is another righthander linked to the Dodgers.