Prized shortstop Joendry Vargas signs with Dodgers

The history of the Dodgers in the international market goes back to the 70s with the opening of an academy in the Dominican Republic.

And that commitment to explore Latin America and the Caribbean for prospects remains as strong as ever.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to shortstop Joendry Vargas, the No. 3 prospect in the list of 50 best international promisesand Dominican outfielder Arnaldo Lantigua, who is ranked No. 23.

The Dodgers, who have a base signing quota of $4,144,000, have not confirmed the deals, which are subject to the results of medical exams.

At 6-foot-3, there will be questions about Vargas’ ability to stay at short stop, but he already shows a quick first step, good hands and outstanding instincts at his position. He’ll stay in the middle of the infield for as long as he can, but his potential to show off with his arm will help if he transitions to third base in the future.

At bat, he shows a forward approach with the ability to hit for average. One of the better hitters of his breed, he hits line drives to all flanks and home run potential with a mechanically good swing. Vargas is expected to show more raw power and add extra-base hits as he matures physically.

A power patrolman, Lantigua is already tall and strong and is expected to pack more muscle. His ability to consistently make contact and hit for power has been improving in recent years. If he continues to improve at the expected rate, he could become a middle-of-the-line hitter. Lantigua can be very aggressive in the batter’s box and needs to improve his patience at the plate, but he is working to better recognize pitches and adjust his plan of attack.

Defensively, he has the potential to stay in center field thanks to his speed and good arm, but for those same reasons he could also end up in right field. He trains with Marino Sierra in the Dominican Republic.

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League Baseball team between January 15 and December 15. The player must be 16 years old before signing and 17 years old before September 1 of the following year – in practical terms, that means players born between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2005 will be eligible to sign in this next period. Players need to be registered with Major League Baseball in advance to be eligible to sign.

Teams are allowed to make changes to their international signing quota beginning January 15.

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