Down in the Doldrums

For years the Dodgers had so many prospects stashed down the Dominican Republic they fielded two teams in the summer league there to accommodate them. Championships were a regular occurrence- in the 90's Dodger -sponsored teams won three titles in a row and in 1997 ,both LA clubs met in the title series.

Now, though, they put just one team forth and not a very good one at that. This year's entry finished with a 30-42 record making them fifth in a six-team division. That's the worst a Dodger team has ever done down here.

The main problem is hitting or the lack thereof. As a team they managed only a .223 average and there were only two players who could be considered a positive force at the plate-catcher Keyter Collado, who hit .314, and outfielder Alfredo Silverio who totaled .276-6-47 for the 61 games in which he played.

Alexis Marte and Vladimr Carela showed some power potential but Marte had only a .168 average and Carela hit a meager .152.

The pitching was far better with a cumulative 3.94 ERA. Daigoro Rondon (6-4, 2.94) was the top starter while Jhonny Caraballo stood out as a closer with a 2.00 ERA and six saves.

All in all, though, it was a year that clearly illustrates why Frank McCourt assigned Ralph Avila the job of straightening out the Dominican scouting situation in the hope that something resembling the good old days could be revived.

Team leaders:

Average- Collado .314
Hits- Collado 60
HR- Silvero 6
RBI- Silverio 47
SB- Amaury Guzman 16

Innings- Rondon 67.1
Wins- Rondon 6
ERA-Kelvin Dominguez 2.24
Saves- Caraballo 6
SO- Dominguez 75

Most surprising - RHP Pedro Noboa, who had been released by the Cardinals but who came on for 3-2, 2.38 season.

Biggest Disappointment - Infielder Johan Garcia, who had been expected to be a hitting leader but who regressed to a .226 mark.

Best Prospect- RHP Eduardo Perez had been considered such but was injured and held to only three games. RHP Tommy Perez came back well from elbow surgery to show promise.