I thought I'd continue in the same vein as last week by going over the major foreign free agents signed by the teams in the NL West that have emerged over the last five years and see how they have impacted each system. Since I'm fairly unfamiliar with a lot of the goings on outside of Rockies Nation in this arena, I'll probably need some assistance in the comments section and will post this now, but edit the various team sections as I learn more.
At any rate, I'll just go team by team and list the major prospects that have risen in the system over the last five years after entering via the foreign free agency route (since players sign out of the Dominican as young as 16, more time is needed to evaluate their progress) and try to gauge from that how each team stacks up in its scouting and development overseas:
There are a few solid players here, but nobody with the ceiling of the Rockies group.
Enrique Gonzalez - RHP signed out of the Dominican in 1998, Gonzalez is pitching well for Tucson. His ceiling is mid rotation tops, probably more likely a bottom of the rotation innings eater.
Danny Richar - INF Most of the Diamondbacks foreign players at AA Tennessee are merely minor league filler, but Richar should be the exception. He's gifted defensively at second and has a good command of the strike zone with decent pop. He's stolen eight out of ten bases for the Smokies and at twenty-three still has some projection left.
Emilio Bonifacio - I'm a little more skeptical of Emilio, as I am of any D-backs position prospect that doesn't do much until getting to the friendly environs of Lancaster. still, he's young enough to keep an eye on I suppose.
Ramon Pena (nie Adrian Rosario)
I don't think any other club in our division can boast that four of their top dozen prospects came from foreign free agency. And that's not just because the Dodgers and D-backs have had better drafts these last few years. You add in other standouts like Manuel Corpas and Shane Lindsay, and our team's foreign signings definitely look like one of its strong points. Looking over the lists I think we'll outrank our competition by quite a bit in this category for now.
I have a feeling that the Dodgers will be our stiffest competition here as they've always done well outside the U.S.
Joel Guzman - might as well start at the top, Guzman will weigh heavily in the Dodgers' favor for this ranking.
Ching Lung Hu
Right off the top of my head I can't think of any impact prospects the Padres have acquired from overseas. That's probably just because I don't know my Padres prospects that well.
They do well in the Dominican, even if they end up trading many of their best players from there like Francisco Liriano. They are coming back throughout Latin America after a slow phase following their acquisition of Pedro Feliz. Others in the system acquired via this method:
And thanks to DrBGiantsfan over at Minor League Ball for enlightening me on the improvements the Giants have made over the last three years.
Their version of Carlos Martinez is 16 year old Julio Izturis (brother of Cesar and Maisur) while they also have a seventeen year old pitcher in Rookie ball this year, Jose Valdez.