Dodgers Latin American IFA Class Showing Star-Level Potential

The Dodgers have graduated many top prospects in recent years and still maintain one of the most premier minor league systems in Major League Baseball. It appears as if this will continue to be aided with an excellent scouting and player development departments. This will keep the Dodgers’ contention window open for a long time.

The Dodgers appear to have had an excellent international free agency class these last few J2 periods, with lots of intrigue.

In a recent column for Baseball America, Ben Badler outlines the international free agent signings the Dodgers have made recently with names like outfielder Luis Rodriguez at the top.

Luis Rodriguez

Rodriguez, 17, is an athletic center fielder with a six-foot-two frame that has room to grow. Rodriguez hails from Venezuela and has fantastic bat speed. He is very advanced for his age and the organization is expecting big things from him. He currently possesses average raw power, but it appears that he is slowly starting to look like a future 25-30 HR hitter. The main thing for Rodriguez, though, is that he has the potential to stick in center field long-term depending on his growth.

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Yeiner Fernandez

Fernandez, 17, was a star of the 2015 Little League World Series and was one of the best Venezuelan hitters in 2019 at any position. He has power and does not project to strike out much. If all breaks right, he might have the chance to be a plus power bat at a premium position offensively. The only issue with Fernandez is that he is a poor blocker behind the plate, but he is still so young.

Lesther Medrano

Medrano, 16, is a right-handed pitcher from Venezuela. He is somewhat of a soft-tosser at 16. The Dodgers gave him a pretty sizable signing bonus of $472,500, so they obviously believe in his talent. He is only throwing 84-86 miles per hour currently, but the velocity should tick up as he fills out.

Luis Valdez

Valdez, 16, is a left-handed arm from Mexico. He is very lanky and has room to fill out. He currently sits in the high-80s with his fastball and has a fantastic curveball in the present.

Octavio Becerra

18-year-old Mexican left-hander Octavio Becerra signed in August for $375,000. He has cracked 92 miles per hour on his fastball and is a pretty imposing player in terms of build. He currently sits at six-foot-three and 210 pounds.

Waylin Santana

The Dodgers signed Santana for just under $300,000 out of the Dominican Republic at just 16 years old. For having such a lanky frame, he is already touching 90 miles per hour. He possesses really solid potential as a starting pitcher with a deceptive delivery, two solid off-speed pitches, and good command.

NEXT: A Glance At The Current Bullpen

Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.


  1. So everyone agrees that the Dodgers have built an outstanding Farm Organization. Why do the sportswriters and some fans want the Dodgers to sign expensive free agents or trade them away when the Dodgers have such amazing talent coming up?
    The Dodgers on their 40 man roster have May, Gonsolin, Gonzaez and White not to mention Urias and Stripling to fill the Ryu and Hill slots. Why sign pitchers for 4-9 years when you can promote from within?
    The LA Times writers are especially idiotic with their screaming about free agents and trades.
    In Basketball one player can make a huge difference so huge props to the Lakers in baseball it is the Team so hurray to the Dodgers for continuing to sign great young talent. I have not forgotten the Dark Times with bad ownership apparently many others have….

  2. There are so many fans that want 107 regular season wins instead of 106. Along with the Series. They don’t understand that getting TO the playoffs is the key. The Atlanta Braves went to the Series ONCE in 13 playoff years. But–no one can say they didn’t have a great run. They signed Maddux as a free agent. Signed Terry Pendelton?? and he became an MVP?? And other signings that did well. BUT, they also let the kids play. Glavine, Avery, Justice, Chipper, etc. But, they never got over the hump. We have to give this management team the tools to make it back tp the playoffs over and over. Part of that is not trading away the future. Not signing the guys who put up a WAR of 5.0 per year before free agency and 2.5 after. Knowing when to play your cards (Zach Lee) and when to fold. Sometimes it is going to fail. But maybe, just maybe, things begin to click and the Series is achieved. And then in some of those we win. Give management a chance.Ya never know.

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