TigsTown MLN: Latin Players Come Stateside

This edition of the TigsTown Minor League Notebook brings another Dominican signing, and a report of those players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela that will be coming stateside for spring training in 2008.

DSL Tigers Come Stateside: Pitcher Darlyn Duran and Eduar Reynoso, and first baseman Luis Grullon will all be coming stateside for spring training. Reynoso – TigsTown's #42 Prospect – is coming off an exceptional season in the DSL; one where he managed to post a 9-0 record with a 0.76 ERA in over seventy innings. While his stuff is mildly underwhelming, his impeccable command should allow him to have success if he is placed in the Gulf Coast League. Fellow starter Darlyn Duran also posted a perfect record in the DSL last summer, going 7-0 with a 2.09 ERA. Both pitchers will be vying for slots in the GCL Tigers rotation in June. After two sub-par seasons in the DSL, first sacker Luis Grullon broke out in a big way in 2007, notching a .292 batting average and .492 slugging average, backed by 34 RBI in just 38 games. Grullon will need a strong spring to have an impact role with the GCL Tigers, but he'll certainly have a shot.

VSL Tigers Come Stateside: A lengthier list of youngsters will be coming stateside from the Venezuelan Summer League this year; including two-time defending TigsTown Player and Pitcher of the Year, Lester Oliveros and Alexis Espinoza. Both players will be looking to prove that their VSL success over the last two seasons was not a fluke. Joining them will be pitchers Victor Larez, Mauricio Robles, and Luis Sanz. All three of the pitchers are coming off excellent seasons in the VSL; all having improved significantly since the 2006 campaign and each will be looking to find success in Florida in 2008. Joining Espinoza on the position side of things will be infielder Luis Palacios and Luis Salas. Salas brings a patient approach and a touch of speed to the field, while Palacios has demonstrated an excellent ability to make contact and hit for average. All seven players are not guaranteed spots on any stateside team, but all will have an opportunity to impress the organization's brass and make either the GCL or Oneonta squads once the short-season leagues begin.

Tigers Sign Shortstop: The Tigers have signed Dominican shortstop Javier Azcona. The 6'1", 160 pound right-hander will work out at the Tigers' Dominican complex, and will likely split time with fellow recent signee Domingo Gonzalez once the Dominican Summer League season begins.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.

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