After three years in the Venezuelan Summer League, the Cubs are back with two teams in the DSL. Playing with only four teams last year in the VSL, the Cubs decided to leave Venezuela and concentrate all their young international prospects at their new training facility in the Dominican.
Cubs DSL teams should draw more attention than they have in the past two years as most of their top international prospects signed last summer will start their pro careers in the DSL. Two years ago, SS Gleyber Torres and OF Eloy Jimenez skipped the DSL and began their careers in the Arizona Rookie League.
Dominican Summer League Primer
The season kicks-off on June 4 and if you’re not familiar with the Dominican Summer League, here’s some information on the league that features 42 teams.
Cubs 1 will play in the Boca Chica South and Cubs 2 are in the six-team Boca Chica North. The 72-game schedule ends in late August and there is a 35-player roster limit. No player on the active list may have four or more years of playing experience as the league is designed to develop teenage prospects.
Cubs 1 open their season against the Mets 1 and Cubs 2 face the Mariners in their opener on Saturday, June 4.
Here are the six divisions:
Boca Chica Baseball City—Blue Jays, White Sox, Padres, Orioles 1, Reds, D-Backs 1
Boca Chica San Pedro—Braves, Rockies, Tigers, Angels, Brewers, Yankees #2, Cardinals, Nationals
Boca Chica North West—Dodgers 2, Red Sox 1, Rays 1, Marlins, Phillies 1, Royals, A’s, Astros Blue
Boca Chica South—Mariners, Rojos (Reds 2), Twins, D-Backs 2, Dodgers 1, Orioles 2, Giants, Cubs 2.
Boca Chica North—Rangers 1, Cubs 1, Indians, Yankees 1, Mets 1, Pirates
Boca Chica North East—Phillies 2, Mets 2, Astros Orange, Rangers 2, Rays 2, Red Sox 2
Here’s an in-depth look at the rosters of the two DSL squads.
Yonathan Perlaza, SS, 17, S/R, 5-10, 195, 11/10/1998—Considered by some pundits the top rated international prospect signed by the Cubs before they agreed to terms with Eddy Martinez. Perlaza attacks the ball with an aggressive swing from the right side and uses his hand speed to generate hard contact from the left side. Rated as one of the top hitters in the class, Perlaza possess average speed and rated as an average defender.
Jonathan Sierra, OF, 17, L/L, 6-4, 190, 10/17/1998—Drew Darryl Strawberry comparisons before the signing period started and those followed him to fall instructs in Mesa. The tall, slender frame and sweet powerful swing have shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He participated in fall instructs after signing a $2.5 million bonus, and was assigned to the DSL after extended spring training.
Brailyn Marquez, LHP, 17, 6-4, 185, 1/30/1999—Rated as one of the top left-handers in the July 2 class, Marquez already sports a fastball in low 90s to go along with a decent curve and change-up. If he can continue to develop his three-pitch repertoire and fill out his 6-foot-4 frame, the Cubs could have a power left-handed arm for the future. Definitely an arm to keep an eye on this summer.
Yunior Perez, P, 17, R/R, 6-4, 190, 12/19/1998—Currently armed with a fastball in the low 90s and a curveball that “needs work”, Perez is another arm to keep an eye on in this year’s class. The tall, lanky right-hander has time to grow into his body and increase the velocity of his fastball. The development of his secondary pitches will go a long ways to his success.
Riger Fernandez (1-6, 6.52 ERA, 12 GS, 38.2 IP, 20 BB, 14 K) and Freddy Tineo (0-4, 5.70 ERA, 12 GS, 42.2 IP, 16 BB, 21 K) were part of the rotation last year in the VSL while Pablo Ochoa (3-6, 2.68 ERA, 7 GS, 50.1 IP, 19 BB, 41 K) appeared in 14 games in the DSL. Wander Feliz is making the move to the mound after playing the outfield last year in the VSL. Relievers Juan Rengifo (11 saves in VSL) and Aneuris Rosario (11 saves in DSL) will anchor the bullpen.
Behind the plate, Raymond Pena caught 35 games last year in his debut season while Henderson Perez and Herson Perez are part of the 2015 international class. Henderson Perez signed for a reported $1.25 million. Rafael Narea spent his spring in Mesa after hitting .212/.356/.249 last year in the VSL. Narea should spend most of his time at second. Other infielders include 3B Luis Hidalgo, 2B Orian Nunez, 1B Richard Nunez, and 1B Jose Rojas.
17-year-old Jose Gutierrez signed a $550,000 deal last summer and the switch-hitter will be making his pro debt. Samir Lara (.272/.348/.437, 28 G) and Jose Jules (.218/.294/.270) are back in the DSL after their debut seasons along with Moises Colasante.
Aramis Ademan, SS, 17, L/R, 5-11, 160, 9/13/1998—The Cubs handed the Dominican $2 million to sign last summer and the 17-year-old made his stateside debut at fall instructs and was in Mesa for extended spring training. Touted for his defensive skills by scouts and evaluators during showcase events, Ademan has a quiet approach from the left side and uses his quick hands to make solid contact but doesn’t generate much power.
Miguel Amaya, C, 17, L/R, 6-1, 185, 3/9/1999—Considered the top prospect from Panama, Amaya is valued for his defensive skills and not his bat, which is considered below average by some evaluators. He displays an above average arm but will need to work on his bat from the left-side to develop into a complete prospect. Amaya attended fall instructs and spent two months in Mesa this spring before being assigned to the DSL for his first pro season.
Luis Diaz, SS, 16, R/R 5-10, 175, 4/16/1999—The slick-fielding shortstop with a strong arm got an invite to the fall instructional league in Mesa. One of his top tools is his speed, which he displayed at instructs but his bat has a long way to go to catch up to his glove and speed. Diaz was described as having below average power but a good feel to hit from the right side. He’ll see plenty of time at second.
Abraham Rodriguez, OF, 17, L/L, 5-11, 175, 3/9/1999—Cubs scout Ciril Cumberbatch was not only able to sign Miguel Amaya but also inked Rodriguez to a reported $250,000 deal. He excelled in the Panama’s national youth baseball championships, hitting .412 (28-68) with a .574 slugging percentage and 17 stolen bases.
Faustino Carrera, P, L/L, 17, 5-10, 165, 3/9/1999—A product of the Northern League of Mexico, the left-hander pitched for Tijuana. Carrera drew interest from the Cubs, D-Backs, Giants, and Astros at a showcase held by Tijuana last year. Scout Sergio Hernandez signed the lefty, who begins his pro career in the DSL.
Andres Bonalde (2-4, 4.76 ERA, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 11 BB, 27 K) and Emilio Ferrebus (0-3, 9.51 ERA, 10 GS, 29.1 IP, 19 BB, 18 K) were both part of the rotation in the VSL last year, their debut seasons. Deibi Torres (2-4, 6.17 ERA, 54 IP, 26 BB, 26 K) made 13 starts last year in the DSL. Former infielder Francisco Garay has made the switch to the mound for 2016.
Daniel Diaz (.186/.325/.196) caught for the VSL Cubs last year and was promoted to the DSL at the end of the season. Franklin Tineo moves behind the plate after spending his first two pro seasons in the infield. SS Ronaldo Lopez (.186/.208/.257), 1B Fidel Matos (.247/.335/.391), SS Fidel Mejia (.275/.360/.331) and 2B Henrry Pedra (.209/.308/.258) all have Rookie League experience.
Keep abreast with all the Cubs DSL players as NorthSiders Report will be providing daily updates for the entire season on both teams.