Blue Jays Latin American Presence: 2014 Pt1

Jays From the Couch continue to review Blue Jays International Free-Agent signings during the Alex Anthopoulos years with a look at the class of 2014

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

The Blue Jays went big during the 2014 signing period with between 26 and 29 signings, depending on which source you reference. Due to the size of this class, it was decided to divide the 2014 class into two parts: Pt1 will have those who debuted in 2014  or signed in 2014 and Pt2 will have those who debuted in 2015. Simple.

Class of ’14 Pt1 is a much smaller group than Class of ’14 Pt2, but there are some interesting prospects on this list. The signing of Hansel Rodriguez, who has jumped in many Blue Jays Top Prospect lists this winter, went relatively unnoticed. This class has two intriguing outfield prospects, as well as a potential power 1st baseman.

Class of 2014 Pt1

RHP Luis Sanchez (Dominican Republic)

Sanchez is a 6’3″ 200lb pitcher from Puerto Plata, who signed on January 21, 2014. He was lights out in 5 starts with the GCL Blue Jays but struggled as member of the Bluefield Blue Jays in 2015. His BB/9 increased from 3.24 with the GCL  to 6.64 in Bluefield. Sanchez continued to strike out 7+ batters per 9IP but just couldn’t control the walks. The 22-yr will return to Bluefield in 2016.

 

RHP Hansel Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)

Hansel has quickly made a name for himself, but the results haven’t followed….yet. He’s got a projectable 6’2″ frame and is able to pump his FB up to 95mph. He throws a throws a curve and slider. The RHP has added muscle to his 170lb frame, which should result in an uptick in velocity. Repeating the year with the GCL Blue Jays helped Rodriguez bounce back from a rough 0-3, 7.11ERA rookie season. In 2015 he made 10 appearances, 7 starts, going 1-2 with 4.68ERA while posting 2.13BB/9 and 7.87K/9. He should move on to Bluefield in 2016 as a 19-yr-old.

 

OF Edward Olivares (Venezuela)

The 6’2 186lb Olivares wasn’t able to replicate his DSL in 2014 to GCL success in 2015. If you throw away his poor .198BA it wasn’t a horrible season. He still managed to hit more doubles (8) and HR (3) in in 2014 than he did in 2014 with a .314BA. Edward still showed good speed with 14 SB. Olivares should return to the GCL for his year 20 season.

 

RHP Jose Dominguez (Mexico)

Signed on December 4th, 2014 as 19-yr-old. He made 7 relief appearances for the DSL Blue Jays walking 10, 19K, 3-0 record and 1.08ERA in 16.2IP. He pitched in well in June before being shutdown in July and returning for one game in August.

 

C Antonio Concepcion (Panama)

Antonio singed on Dec 9th and made his DSL debut on May 30th going 0-for-1. He hit .290, 5doubles, a triple, a HR, 9BB and 12K as 18-yr-old.

 

OF Cristian Peguero (Dominican Republic)

Signed in November, Cristian made his DSL debut on May 30th. He played 45 of his 54 games in CF and hit .277 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, a HR, 20BB, 42K, 6SB and 5CS as a 19-yr-old.

 

1B/OF Francisco Rodriguez  (Dominican Republic)

Francisco played 41 games at 1st base in 2015, after  playing 49 games in the OF in 2014. He turned some of his 2014 doubles (16) and triples (4) into home runs in 2015 with 9HR. He hit 6 doubles and 2 triples while continue to show a good approach with 45BB and 52K. He finished ’15 with a solid .843OPS but will need to put the ball in the more (1.36 GO/AO) to take advantage of his power. He should move stateside in 2016 and could bypass the GCL.

 

OF Antony Fuentes (Venezuela)

After playing just 10 games in 2014, 6 in LF,  . The 5’11” outfielder return to the DSL and played 62 games, all in RF. Antony showed extra base power with 11 doubles, 5 triples, and a HR while walking 17 and striking out 18. The 20-yr-old should see the GCL in ’16.

 

OF Norberto Obeso (Mexico)

**correction: signed Sept 12, 2013**

Norberto dominated in his 71 DSL games. He hit .351 with a 897 OPS. Obeso does a good job of putting the ball in the air (2.2 GO/AO). The DSL was clearly no match for Norberto as he walked 58 times and only struck out 20 times. He doesn’t appear to have much pop, hitting 12 doubles, 4 triples and no HR in 262AB. Obeso should pass go, collect $200 and head straight to Bluefield where he should get more of a challenge.

 

Conclusion

The major IFA signing for the class of 2014 became official in 2015, prior to July 2nd. The Class ’14 Pt1 has already begun to bare fruit, which should help the Blue Jays re-stock the farm with high ceiling pitchers.

 

 

*FEATURED IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Trevor Pritchard UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.