Categorized | Latin America, News, MLB

Steroids Hurting Dominican Prospects

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – The international signing period opened on July 2 amidst a cloud of controversy in the Dominican Republic, where numerous top prospects allegedly tested positive for steroids. But while MLB scouts and officials were treading cautiously in Santo Domingo, several prospects in Venezuela were reaping seven-figure bonuses to develop their skills in the U.S. minor leagues.

Adonis Cardona, a powerful 16-year-old right-hander, reportedly set a record for a Venezuelan prospect when the Toronto Blue Jays gave the hard-throwing, front-of-the-rotation pitcher a $2.8 million bonus. Oakland doled out a $2.2 million bonus to third baseman Renato Nunez, while another Venezuelan, outfielder Danry Vasquez, got a $1 million bonus to sign with Detroit.

While the number of signings in the Dominican Republic has definitely been affected by the stain of steroids, the Latin American “hotbed” of future Major Leaguers still managed more than a few noteworthy deals. Houston completed one of the biggest deals when the National League franchise inked 16-year-old outfielder Ariel Ovando for a bonus in the range of $2.6-$2.8 million. Ovando has also cleared the rigorous background checks done by MLB.

Below is a partial list of the Latin American prospects signed recently by MLB clubs.

Jose Torres, RHP, Seattle Mariners ($851,000)

Phillips Castillo, OF, Seattle Mariners ($2.2 million)
Hector Veloz, 3B, Baltimore Orioles ($300,000)
Ariel Ovando, OF, Houston Astros ($2.6-$2.8 million)
Mauricio Cabrera, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Yoel Araujo, OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($800,000)
Reyson Zoquier, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Daniel Sanchez, SS, Chicago Cubs

Yordyn Calderon, 3B, Seattle Mariners ($477,500)
Ronny Mejias, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks ($300,000)
Yorman Garcia, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Vicente Lupo, OF, New York Mets
Gabriel Ceñas, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays ($700,000)
Adonis Cardona, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays ($2.8 million)
Jose Tovar, LHP, Colorado Rockies ($350,000)
Danry Vasquez, OF, Detroit Tigers ($1 million)
Francisco Silva, SS, Philadelphia Phillies ($200,000)
Renato Nunez, 3B, Oakland Athletics ($2.2 million)
Anderson Mata, LHP, Oakland Athletics
Jose Torres, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Source: Baseball America

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