Dozens of major league scouts will be on hand for the 2014 Louisville Slugger Tournament Series in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Prospect League features some of the best youth baseball players in the world, and they are all looking for a contract with a major league organization. This event is a great showcase for all of that talent, and players can use it as a launching pad for a successful professional career.
Meanwhile, the clubs get a great chance to evaluate a lot of talent all in one place over the course of a couple of days.
This is a great opportunity for both sides, and it has the opportunity to change many lives.
When: Jan. 20-21, 2014
Where: New York Yankees Training Facility, Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
Top Prospects to Watch
Eduard Pena, OF
Sometimes a player has all of the skills to succeed; it is just a matter of putting it all together. Eduard Pena has time to improve, but he needs to showcase his skills at this event.
The outfielder has good speed and a strong arm in the field, but the real question mark is how his bat will develop. Perfect Game describes his ability at the plate (via DPL Baseball):
His approach is inconsistent but he has a sweet swing when everything comes together and tons of power, which he showed with a long game home run on Friday. I rarely make swing comparisons to a big leaguer immediately on seeing a young prospect but Pena’s swing looked just like Curtis Granderson’s, complete with the swing-and-miss tendencies.
Any prospect at this age would love to have the success of Curtis Granderson, but Pena has to learn to be more consistent at the plate in order to get a big-time deal.
Gabriel Corporan, 3B
Although Gabriel Corporan is only 15 years old, he is already 6'2" and 195 pounds. Amazingly, he is just going to keep growing in size as he becomes a force at the plate.
This strength is what has plenty of scouts intrigued. Corporan has the power to hit the ball out of any ballpark and is already showing what he can do against inferior pitching.
Still, the third baseman's swing is based on timing with a big leg kick, something that will lead to problems when he faces good breaking balls. The good news, though, is that this part is teachable.
On the other hand, you cannot teach size or strength, and Corporan has enough of both to be a legitimate power hitter in the majors. This will almost certainly be enough to land him a contract at the next level.
Starling Castillo, OF
When scouts search through players at this age, many want to find the ones who can be five-tool players in the majors. Although there are not many around, Starling Castillo is one to watch.
At 6'3", he takes big strides that help him cover a lot of ground in the outfield and on the basepaths. This speed will help him at all levels regardless of how well his bat comes around.
Of course, Castillo has also shown a lot of potential at the plate with a nice, level swing that allows him to make consistent contact on virtually every pitch. If he adds strength as expected, he has the ability to hit for power and average.
Players like Castillo do not come around too often. Following this showcase, the outfielder will be in high demand among major league organizations.
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