Start to Vasquez's Career Begins to Focus

Speculation has swirled as to how the Tigers would handle their new prized prospect from Venezuela, Danry Vasquez.

After giving Vasquez a seven-figure bonus rumored to be as much as $1.2 million at the start of the international signing period last July, the Tigers didn't hesitate to see what they had gotten for their investment.

Vasquez's visa was quickly squared away and he was in Lakeland in time for the Tigers Fall Instructionall League, giving the developmental staff and Danry himself a chance to get comfortable with each other.

After hitting .270/.329/.330 in the Venezuelan Parallel League this winter, it was time for the Tigers to start laying the plans for his official pro debut in 2011.

According to Director of International Operations Tom Moore, the Tigers plan to bring Vasquez back to the States to participate in minor league spring training, before returning to Venezuela to make his debut in the Venezuelan Summer League that typically starts in May.

"While he is back in Venezuela, we will decide how we want to handle him the rest of the year," said Moore. "Obviously, having been to the states already this year, his visa will be in order and he will be able to move during the season if necessary."

While Moore would not commit to a definitive plan for Vasquez beyond debuting in the VSL, he did not rule out the idea that Vasquez could return to Lakeland for the start of the Gulf Coast League season in late June.

Since Moore joined the Tigers in his current capacity in 2006, the organization has not had a Latin American amateur signee that has made his stateside debut in his first season of professional baseball. Vasquez could be the first to accomplish that feat if he gets off to a nice start in the VSL.

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