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.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2013 Select Baseball - the Dodgers Insert Cards

Following up on yesterdays post, here are the various Dodgers' insert cards available in Panini's Select Baseball set.  Go here to see the the Dodger base cards.

En Fuego

#17 Clayton Kershaw                                    #27 Matt Kemp

#30 Yasiel Puig

Select Team

#2 Clayton Kershaw                                         #9 Matt Kemp

A Clayton Kershaw autographed card (#18) is indicated on Panini's checklist, but I have yet to see one.  I assume at this point it is available only through a redemption.


#96 Scott Van Slyke


#28 Clayton Kershaw


#12 Clayton Kershaw

Thunder Alley

#15 Matt Kemp                                           #22 Yasiel Puig


#7 Yasiel Puig

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 1/7/2014 - Dodgers Links - A Mattingly Extension Coming Soon and Kemp Doing Fine

The Dodgers Winter Development camp is currently ongoing.  Check out a pic above of some instructors at Dodger Stadium who are there to lend their voice and experience to some of our best prospects - Eric Karros, Ramon Martinez and Tommy Lasorda.  Pic via Juan Ocampo/LA Dodgers 2014.  See more photos here.

  • Brian Wilson started a Instagram account, @vinweez, and you should check it out.  He is currently vacationing in Australia, and is sharing a bunch of pics.
  • Panini America shares a bunch of preview pics of their upcoming 2013 Elite Extra Edition Baseball card set that comes out later this week.  This is a prospect heavy card set.  See a Piazza card on the right.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Stories and more from Maury Wills".  BTW, you should make Dodger Insider a part of your daily reading list.
  • Via Vince Lombardi Jr. at Outside Pitch MLB, "A Review of Sandy Koufax’s Dominant, but Shortened Career".
  • Emma at Dodger Blue World takes a look at currently living Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Peter Gammons tells us that "Matt Kemp still recovering from ankle surgery".  This is all good news.
  • Classified under, "it's about time!"  Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew, Topps to produce baseball cards of players from the film ‘Major League’

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *