Monday, November 12, 2012

Dodgers International Scouting Goes into Hyper-Drive

It's becoming quite clear that the Dodgers are going to continue to expend a significant amount of resources on the international market, and it makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.

The American first-year player draft is highly competitive, and unless you under-perform by a great deal there is no chance of getting the top prospects America has to offer.  Heck, no matter how coveted a young player is, it is my hope that the Dodgers are never in the running to sign those players.  After all, that would mean that the Dodgers hit the toilet that season (i.e. last place in the league).

So, seeing that the American first-year player draft is not likely (hopefully) to be the place we can compete for the best prospects, we instead focus our attention to the areas were we can gain an equal footing.  Heck, with the kind of financial resources we now have, the Dodgers are in the process of positioning ourselves as the most knowledgeable and best destination point for foreign born ballplayers. 

You see, there is no foreign draft to lock the Dodgers into a position behind lesser performing teams.  We can use our might to identify the best players and sign them, and the only thing that stops us from hoarding every potentially great future star is a cap on the total dollars we can spend on young foreign born players per year.  

So, we spend like drunken children internationally.  It provides one of the few competitive advantages the Dodgers have over much of the league.

BTW, the Dodgers released more news today on the international front.  They have hired 6 new international scouts to cover Europe, Cuba, Latin America, Mexico, the Pacific Rim and Venezuela.  Per the Dodgers Press Release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers added experience to their international team of scouts with the signing of Pedro Avila, Gene Grimaldi, Patrick Guerrero, Pat Kelly, Jamey Storvick and Mike Tosar it was announced by Dodgers’ General Manager Ned Colletti.

The six scouts will serve under Bob Engle, who was hired by the Dodgers on November 1 as Vice-President of International Scouting.

Colletti also announced the hiring of Josh Bard as special assistant, player personnel and professional scouts Willie Fraser and Scott Groot.  Former Dodger third baseman Bill Mueller, who served as special assistant, player personnel, will become a full-time professional scout.

The six international scouts will cover the following areas—Avila will be coordinator of Venezuela operations, Grimaldi will be coordinator of European operations, Guerrero will be coordinator of Latin America, Kelly will be coordinator of the Pacific Rim, Storvick will be special assignment scout in the Pacific Rim and Tosar will be coordinator of Cuba and Mexico.

“The experience and international knowledge these scouts possess will benefit our organization immediately,” said Colletti.

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