Carson Vitale is no longer with the Los Angeles Angels organization, after being named the Los Angeles Dodgers International Field Coordinator. However, before his departure, Vitale managed a young crop of Angels talent in the Dominican Republic over the 2015 summer, and helped develop them to stronger careers as professional baseball players.
Though the Dominican Summer League Angels fell to a less than stellar record of 27-45, Vitale helped develop a group of high school age players to patience at the plate and speed on the base paths, and helped limit contact on opposing bats.
It goes without saying, but we must say it, most players in the Angels foreign affiliate are comparable to talented high school players, who are primarily raw and have a limited IQ when it comes to being a professional ball player. The team saw some of that rawness disappear and become a true virtue of success, as the team boasted a top 15 - of 38 teams - .344 on-base percentage, and top three in stolen bases, at 133. You can now expect to see a mix of foreign prospects use their mixed ability of reaching base and speed on the paths at the stateside affiliates in years to come.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TOP FOREIGN PROSPECTS HERE.
The Angels have not been able to make a large splash on the international scene for some time, excluding $8 million dollar purchase, Roberto Baldoquin, who went stateside immediately after Spring Training. With that said, there were few standout prospects on the DSL affiliate roster this past season.
Of the standout prospects, none showed as much flair as the 17-year-old southpaw, Jose Suarez. The top foreign prospect posted a 2-2 record and 2.13 ERA in 11 games before moving stateside to the AZL affiliate in August. Suarez did not allow an earned run in his first three starts (15 IP), and only had one outing go for more than two earned runs allowed. Opposing bats only hit .215 with a .549 OPS against Suarez.
Two prospects have began to emerge from the DSL affiliate in Cristopher Molina and Lianmy Galan. Both 18-year-old right-handed pitchers saw a full Rookie Ball season in the Dominican, with Galan posting a 2.88 ERA and Molina holding on to a 3.86 ERA himself. Aside from the numbers and same throwing arm, they are very different pitchers. Galan uses his low 90's sinker to produce weak contact, and Molina tries to over match his opponents with a low 90's four-seam that can get quite erratic (4.7 BB/9).
Julio Garcia, a 17-year-old shortstop, fell short statistically from what his "top prospect" status may suggest. Garcia finished last in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and second to last in batting average for all offensive players with the DSL affiliate. Despite the top position player prospect falling below expectations statistically, there were a few unknown prospects who rose to have a strong season.
There may have not been as much a surprise as first year professional, Leonardo Rivas. The 18-year-old utility man was hit by a pitch 12 times in his first 100 plate appearances, which boosted his on-base percentage to .401. It wasn't just the hit by pitches that helped though, as he walked in 13.4% of his plate appearances. Contact fell as he struck out nearly every five plate appearances, and he only saw 16 of his 55 hits go for extra base, but with growth physically and mentally, he could become a threat.
Along with Rivas, Angel Molina found himself as an on-base machine, reaching 37.7% of his plate appearances, and saw a lift in power. Molina finished the season with a .273/.377/.410 slash, leading the team in nearly every offensive category, including doubles (13) and home runs (4).
G : Leonardo Rivas, 65
R : Leonardo Rivas, 38
H : Leonardo Rivas, 55
2B : Angel Molina, 13
3B : Leonardo Rivas, 7
HR : Angel Molina, 4
RBI : Darlyn Mota, 33
SB : Leonardo Rivas, 21
BB : Leonardo Rivas / Gleyvin Pineda, 37
SO : Stevens Garcia, 59
BA : Darlyn Mota, .286
OBP : Leonardo Rivas, .401
SLG : Angel Molina, .410
OPS : Angel Molina, .786
TB : Leonardo Rivas, 80
HBP : Leonardo Rivas, 17
G : Franklin Salomon, 25
W : Jefry Yan / Raymundo Gonzalez, 4
L : Elvin Rodriguez, 6
ERA : Jefry Yan, 1.56
SV : Jorge Tavarez, 6
IP : Cristopher Molina, 60.2
BB : Alexis Peralta, 41
SO : Cristopher Molina, 52
WHIP : Jose Suarez, 0.927
H/9 : Alexis Peralta, 5.2
BB/9 : Jose Suarez, 1.3
K/9 : Jorge Tavarez, 11.3
K/BB : Jose Suarez, 4.25
InsideTheHalos Players of the Year for Dominican Summer League Angels:
Most Valuable Player : Leonardo Rivas
Batter of the Year : Angel Molina
Clutch Batter of the Year : Darlyn Mota
Pitcher of the Year : Jose Suarez
Starter of the Year : Cristopher Molina
Reliever of the Year : Jefry Yan
Surprise of the Year : Leonardo Rivas