Season 8 in NCAA could be referred to as the year of the International’s. The market was abundant with talent for those teams looking to land a big player, which many teams took advantage of. Only time will tell how good the signings were but one thing was sure, a lot of money was paid out to get players into the United States to play ball.
Arizona landed SP Rafael Guerrero with a signing bonus of $10.7M. He projects to have outstanding control, 4 solid pitches and will be tough against lefties. Guerrero started 13 games in rookie ball with an era 4.08, 60 hits, 56 K’s and 18 walks. They also grabbed SS #p3165578Jose Samuel#p for $6.4M, who projects to be more of a 3B player then SS with great speed with below avg. splits. Samuel got in 4 games at the Low A level, managing 3 hits and 2 stolen bases with a .200 batting avg.
Buffalo’s scouts were fortunate enough to grab Orlando Galvez while they soaked up sun and drinks in Aruba for a price of $6.8M. Galvez projects to be a great closer, having the durability/stamina to be ready when called upon, great control and vR to go along with 3 very solid pitches. He spent his time in Rookie ball where he saw 3.1 innings allowing 4 hits, 3 strike outs and a 0.00 era.
Charleston Cougar’s found their player, Odalis Velazquez , overseas in the Dominican Republic for a price of $8.4M. A projected SS who will probably see more time at 3B, Velazquez looks to help out the Cougars with his dangerous bat. He spent 27 games in High A, knocking out 35 H, 16 2B, 5 HR, 23 RBIs with a batting avg. of .330.
Charlotte hopped on the plane with Charleston to the Dominican, grabbing Erubiel Ordaz on their trip for a price of $15.6M. The Tar Heels plan on Ordaz helping out in their future starting rotation where his pinpoint control will dominate the lefties and he projects to be solid against righties as well. Ordaz started 12 games for the Heels in Rookie ball, recording 57.2 innings where he gave up 51 hits, 69 K’s, 11 BB for a 3.43 era.
Cincinnati kept the Dominican pipe way open, landing Omar Andujar for a price tag of $15.6M. Omar looks to be an outstanding C that has the arm and accuracy to keep runners honest along with a pitch call rating that his pitchers will benefit from. His bat will also help the Bearcats out as he projects to be an elite hitter across the board, however his durability looks to only allow him to play in half of the games. Andujar spent S8 in Low A ball where he spent 76 games with a5.33 era pitching staff and his bat produced 93 hits, 28 doubles, 17 dingers, 65 rbi’s, and a solid .309 batting avg.
Detroit had no problem handing out money in the international market as they to found their two signings in the Dominican. Eliezer Arrojo signed the largest international contract this season at a price of $17.5M where the speedy LF will give the Wolverines exactly the large bat they were looking for in the offseason. Arrojo signed early, getting 96 games in at AA where he recorded 126 hits, 40 doubles, 23 homers, 86 rbis, with a solid .293 batting avg. Detroit however wasn’t done in the Dominican with just Arrojo, they managed to find Edgardo Renteria there as well for $9.0M. The sun may have gotten to the Wolverines scouts with this signing as Renteria projects to be a solid long relief pitcher although his durability is very weak. Edgardo got himself into 12 Low A games this season for 16.1 innings of ball with a 2.76 era. He should produce to a nice pitcher, however there were plenty of players that project to be better players after Renteria was signed.
Fargo sent their scouts away from the masses and ended up finding Mark Glover in Australia for a price of $11.5M. Glover will be dominate against lefties as a starting pitcher and with his control and 3 outstanding pitches, along with a 4th solid pitch, will be a force against righties as well. He only managed to get into 2 rookie league games for 8 innings of ball, scattering 5 hits, 11 K’s to 2 walks, and a 1.13 era.
Helena didn’t want to miss out on all the Dominican fun, landing Victor Valdes to help out their bullpen for $13.5M. Valdes follows the trend of beign dominant against lefties while solid against right-handed batters with great control, 2 outstanding and 2 solid pitches. He managed to start 11 games in rookie league, giving up 27 hits, 25/15 SO/BB, with an era of 3.91 in 25.1 innings.
Kansas City sent their scouts to Cuba, finding Tomas Olmedo and luring him into the states for $15.9M. Olmedo looks like he’ll lock down LF for the Wildcats and give them an outstanding bat and speed on the bases. Olmedo saw 53 games of action in rookie league this season, managing 87 hits, 23 doubles, 15 home runs, 74 rbi’s with a “double take” batting avg. of .390.
Little Rock found their international signing in Venezuela, C Jumbo Tejera for $7.5M. He’ll be able to throw potential stealers out on the bases although his pitch calling projects rather low. His bat should get him on the bases himself, solid numbers across except for power. Tejera spent 66 games behind the plate in rookie ball to manage a 4.53 era pitching staff. He battled Kansas City’s Olmedo for a batting avg. of .386!, swinging out 107 hits, 11 doubles, 5 home runs and 56 rbis.
Memphis wasn’t scared of all the scouts in the Dominican and followed the masses to find Harry Piedra for $7.3M. Piedra looks to be a solid starting pitcher for the Tigers with stamina, control and his splits all projecting nicely. He grabbed 2 start in AA ball for 9 innings of work and a 4.00 era before the Tigers called him up to the big leagues. He started 4 games in the majors where he gave the Tigers 21 innings, 12 hits, 17 K’s, 6 walks and an era of 5.57.
Minnesota shared a flight with Little Rock down to Venezuela and brought back home Davey Albaladejo and $11.0M lighter in their pockets. Davey looks to secure the 2B spot for the Gophers and will bring to the position a solid bat and speed. He put in 67 games at Low A this season where he destroyed pitchers for 104 hits, 31 doubles, 17 home runs, 67 rbis and a best .391 batting avg. A stop in Cuba quick on the way home allowed Jorge Cordero to jump on board for $12.0M. Cordero will take his place behind the plate with avg. pitch calling but a dangerous bat when he gets up to the plate. He spent 67 games in High A where he managed a pitching staff to a 4.45 era. Offensively he recorded 76 hits, 15 doubles, 11 home runs, 46 rbis, and a nice .289 batting avg.
New Orleans grabbed #p3165478Miguel Montanez#p out of Cuba for $15.8M. Montanez looks to be the future closer for the Bengals, projecting to outstanding control and solid vR with 2 ace pitches. He spent 16 games in High A where he went 11 for 11 in saves with a 1.72 era before being called up to AA where he continued his success going 18 for 20 in saves with a 3.68 era.
Philadelphia, worried that the Dominican talent was being bought up, spent their time in Cuba and found Fausto Gimenez for $11.6M. Gimenez might be the best pitcher found in the international market this season where he will be dominate against righties and unhittable against lefties. With his control he’ll be able to place the ball wherever he chooses and 3 solid pitches will leave batters wondering what happened. He started in 5 games at the Low A level for a total of 26.2 innings of work, giving up 16 hits, 27 strike outs to 7 walks and an era of 2.36.
Salem went to the western hemisphere to find #p3165443Ramon Higashioka#p in the Republic of Korea for a price of $12.4M. Ramon could be used as a SP or help in the bullpen, having pinpoint control of his pitches and nice splits. He found himself starting 24 games in High A for the Beavers, giving up 124 hits, striking out 135 while walking 45 batters, and an era of 3.53.
Scranton stayed away from the populated areas and went to Honduras where they found Pedro Aviles for $15.0M. Aviles looks to help out the Lion’s bullpen as a long relief pitcher when he gets to the bigs. He started 28 games in Low A for them this season, allowing 112 hits, striking out 103 while only giving up 39 walks with a 4.97 era.