Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Dodgers Continue to Prospect for Gold

One of the promises made by the Dodger ownership group was to place a stronger emphasis on player development.  After all, why should the team depend on the oft-chance that they can sign the next great free agent when they are fully capable of developing their own talent.

Well, the Dodger just announced 5 new international prospect signings.  Per a Dodgers press release:
The Dodgers signed a pair of 16-year-olds from Willemstad, Curacao, in outfielder Shakir Albert (signing scouts: Rolando Chirino, Camilo Pascual, Engle) and catcher Hendrik Clementina (Chirino, Patrick Guerrero, Engle). Los Angeles also signed 16-year-old outfielder Julio Lugo of Bani, Dominican Republic (Guerrero, Franklin Taveras, Engle), 17-year-old catcher Gersel Pitre from Vargas, Venezuela (Pedro Avila, Guerrero) and 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Misja Harcksen from Rotterdam, Netherlands (Engle, Eugene Grimaldi).

During the 2013 calendar year, the Dodgers signed 47 international amateur prospects, including 23 from the Dominican Republic, 10 from Venezuela, four from Mexico, two from Colombia, two from Curacao, and one each from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and Panama.
Shakir Albert, a 16-year old from Curacao can be seen below signing his Dodger contract in early December, as shared on his twitter.

Jon Weisman at Dodgers Insider shared a video of Netherlands pitcher Misja Harckse throwing in the bullpen.  Watch it below.

Video Link:

It'll be years before we find out how good any of these kids are, so there's really no reason to put any spotlight on them yet.  Still, I thought it would be fun to to point out how unique each kid's name is.  I couldn't, in my wildest imagination, make up any of these monikers.

Julio Lugo?  Really?  Is he at all related to the Julio Lugo who used to play for us a few years back?  Clearly, the young European from Rotterdam (which is a fine city, BTW) is my favorite of the bunch.  How, exactly, do you pronounce Misja Harcksen? 

Speaking of Rotterdam... I remember, one evening, many moons ago, crawling into a hotel lobby with a friend from West Africa, who I was traveling with, and spending the next few hours drinking beers with the hotel clerk from Germany.  It was the strangest and most unique alcohol fueled discussion I had ever had.

Our German hotel clerk regaled us with stories of his numerous wives (including his current Filipino mail-order bride) as my West African travel companion detailed his coming to Europe and his subsequent love affair with a blonde Swede bombshell.  All I could tell them was that I was a American who was getting tired of explaining to people that I'm of Filipino decent from California, and that I lost my friend, who came with me to Europe, because he was having a psychological breakdown of monumental proportions.  

Yhea... my trip that summer was eventful.

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