Jays Nab Pair of International Prospects

I’m a little behind in posting about these two Jays transactions, but I wanted to do all of the required research before positing anything about them. Although the Jays have been slow in getting their 2011 drafted prospects under contract, they have managed to spend over a million dollars on a pair of international free agents: 16 year old Dominican SS Dawel Lugo for $1.3 million, and 16 year old Nicaraguan RHP Osman Gutierrez for $210,000, for a total of $1.51 million spent on the two Latin American prospects.

Dawel Lugo, from Bani in the Dominican Republic, has deep baseball bloodlines. His father, Ursino Leonardo Lugo, played with the Cleveland Indians Appy league affiliate in 1995 (at 20 yrs old) and 1997, but never stuck around thereafter. Over his 142 ABs, he managed a .254/.293/.268 line, walked 8 times to his 27 strike outs, and stole 18 bases while getting thrown out 8 times. Dawel, meanwhile, currently stands in at 6’1″ 180 lbs (at only 16 years old), and has received the largest signing bonus of all Latin American infielders this season from the Jays.

Dawel was recently listed by Baseball America as being expected to receive the 6th biggest bonus of all International Prospect available beginning July 2nd 2011. His bonus received from the Jays seems to be in line with other bonuses and well below what some of the more touted prospects got, as you can see here. You can also see a picture of Dawel and some of the other top recent DSL additions here. Apparently, Alex Anthopoulos and Marco Paddy both got to watch Dawel play while the DPL (Dominican Prospect League) team was travelling in Florida and Arizona during spring training. The “Scouts Corner” article available on him from the DPL site states that he has room to grow another 3 inches, although I have no idea how anyone can predict this. They add that his body type resembles that of Wilson Betemit, and also point out that he has a short stroke to the ball and drives the ball to all fields. His running is said to be below-average right now with room for improvement, while his defensive abilties are “smooth and clean“. Although Dawel is expected to have to move to 3B at some point, I’m sure the Jays will give him every opportunity to stick at SS.

Osman Gutierrez hails from Leon Nicaragua and already measures 6’4″ 200lbs at only 16 years old. He is said to have a “power arm”, which really could mean anything when speaking of a 16-year old. However, if this year’s draft is any indication of what a “power arm” is in today’s day and age, he could be hitting the mid-90s or so. The Giants and Phillies were apparently also interested in Osman.

The Jays are apparently going to have both of these prospects begin their careers in the DSL, and they could remain there for 2 years or so. Just as we did when Santiago Nessy was playing for the DSL team in 2010, we will keep you up to date with as much information as possible on these two prospects. As soon as they land in the U.S., either in the GCL or in Bluefield, we’ll have a much better understanding of just how good these guys may be.

- MG

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Tags: Dawel Lugo Osman Gutierrez

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