Baseball America has unveiled its top 20 prospects from the Dominican Summer League, which is definitely going to be worth a read.
Because of the ages of players involved, and because of the geographic distance, the DSL is not a league where you’ll frequently get eyes-on scouting reports, let alone useful prospect rankings. Since BA does go to those lengths, however, it makes a list like this something you really love to see:
Mariners shortstop Noelvi Marte is the No. 1 prospect on our DSL Top 20 prospects list.
It's a gigantic league, and the Mariners have a couple other prospects coming out of the DSL I think are good sleepers to watch too. 1/Xhttps://t.co/E2bzub57i2
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) January 10, 2020
As Badler notes, the DSL is a huge league, with six divisions and 45(!) teams – many organizations, like the Cubs, have two teams in the DSL. It’s the jumping off point for almost every young player signed out of Latin America, and with so many 17, 18, 19, 20-year-olds to accommodate, the league simply has to be enormous.
What that also means is that when your organization’s prospects make a top 20 list, that’s pretty darn cool. And the Cubs? They landed two prospects in the top 12.
If you’ve followed Bryan’s work around here closely, the number 10 prospect from the league might not be a surprise: 17-year-old outfielder Yohendrick Pinango, who was signed in 2018 out of Venezuela for a $400,000 bonus. Pinango has an all-fields line-drive approach (for now), takes tons of walks, doesn’t strike out, and runs really well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a shot at stateside rookie ball this year. See BA for the full write-up on Pinango.
Two spots behind Pinango is another member of the 2018 class, shortstop Rafael Morel. Yes, the 18-year-old is the younger brother of South Bend third baseman Christopher Morel, who’ll be somewhere in Cubs’ top 25 prospects to most lists this year. Rafael was signed in 2018 out of the Dominican Republic for $850,000, and he’s already a good hitter – showing some pop, too – who might be able to stick at shortstop. Like Pinango, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Morel get a look in stateside rookie ball after extended Spring Training. See BA for the full write-up on Morel.