Saturday, June 3, 2017

2017 Dominican Summer League Astros Primer

The Dominican Summer League will begin its season today. This is the only foreign rookie league affiliated with Minor League Baseball since the Venezuelan Summer League ceased operations following the 2015 season.

Since I'm known to be lazy, I will copy and paste what I wrote from last year.

As the name implies, the league is located in the Dominican Republic, and all 30 Major League teams have bases set up throughout the country. The rosters of these teams primarily consist of international signings from Latin America and the Caribbean, and for many of these players, it is their first foray into professional baseball. They have spent countless hours preparing for this day, and today, they finally have an opportunity to showcase their skills. Although this is the lowest rung on the Minor League ladder, these players are just like the guys in Corpus or Quad Cities: They're chasing their dreams of becoming Major League Baseball players.

For many of us, this is the first time that we have heard of guys like Jonger Ochoa, Angel Macuare, Jervic Chavez, or Nerio Rodriguez. It may not be the last time, either. From here, Minute Maid Park seems like it's a universe away and many of these players may never advance past this league. Even Corpus Christi feels like a world away.

On the other hand, some of these kids may emerge to become top prospects, and we will be able to talk about them in the same vein as Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Kyle Tucker, and Franklin Perez. Some may even become stars in the majors, whether it is with the Astros or another organization. We are seeing some of these DSL alums such as Framber Valdez, Hector Perez, Marcos Almonte, and Yordan Alvarez begin to make an impact in the system.

You just never know who might emerge from this level to become an impact player. You may not know their names yet, but you might end up remembering a few of them a few years from now. Oz Ocampo and his team are excellent at what they do, and that is infusing young talent into the Houston Astros organization.

We at What the Heck, Bobby? would like to wish the Dominican Summer League Astros best of luck on the upcoming season. We hope to see some of you guys in Houston down the road, as well.

The Houston Astros field two teams in the Dominican Summer League, which underwent a bit of a realignment this offseason. They will be one of nine teams with more than one DSL affiliate in 2017. First up... a look at the Blue team.


The Blue team will play in the Dominican Summer League Northwest Division against the A's, Braves, Dodgers 1, Marlins, Rays 1, Red Sox, and Royals.

In 2016, they finished 42-23. While that is an outstanding record, they somehow missed the DSL playoffs. They will start their campaign against the Braves at 10:30 AM Eastern. All DSL games will begin at 10:30 AM Eastern.

Yorbin Ceuta, a highly touted infielder from Venezuela, will be one of the feature attractions in the Blue team lineup. He signed for $1 million last July 2 and has been a proven performer on the international circuit. Fellow Venezuelan RHP Angel Macuare was cited as a sleeper in the 2017 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

Asterisk: Player bats/throws left-handed
Italics: Player is making professional debut
Bold: Player is a switch-hitter

All players are Dominican unless stated otherwise. If there is signing information available for the player, it will be listed as well.

Coaching Staff

Manager: Charlie Romero
Pitching Coach: Rick Aponte
Hitting Coaches: Omar Rosario and Evaristo Lantigua
Coach: Erik Acevedo Rojas
Athletic Trainer: Ambiorix Reyes
Strength & Conditioning: Miguel Angel Cabrera

Charlie Romero begins his second stint with the Blue team; he managed the club in 2015.


Gustavo Almonte (6/3/1998); Astros' transaction page says he signed June 1. The contract may have been formalized on this date, he may have signed before June 1.
Yulian Frontado (Venezuela, 12/29/1998); signed March 2016
Freylin Garcia (12/6/1997); signed July 2016, was eligible to play immediately after signing
Ronny Garcia (12/2/1999); signed July 2016
Fredis Guerrero (2/16/1996); signed December 2016
Jose Antonio Hernandez (Venezuela, 6/18/1999); signed May 2016
Denilson Lugo* (nationality unknown, 12/22/1997); signed February 2017
Angel Macuare (Venezuela, 3/3/2000); signed July 2016 for $695,000
Ronaldo Marrero (2/7/1996); signed May 2017, originally signed by Phillies in 2013 as an IF
Angel Matos (7/21/1997); signed May 2016
Jonger Ochoa (Venezuela, 1/16/1997); signed July 2016
Kilvio Peralta (3/6/1997); signed March 2016
Antonio Pujols* (1/27/1998); signed September 2016
Fabricio Reina (nationality unknown, 2/26/2000); signed March 2017
Jean Reyes (Venezuela, 12/1/1997); signed May 2016
Nivaldo Rodriguez (Venezuela, 4/16/1997); signed June 2016
Oscar Severino (2/26/1998); signed July 2016
Renny Ugarte (Venezuela, 2/27/1997); signed September 2016
Nathanael Ventura (nationality unknown, 12/15/1995); signed February 2017


Brandon Benavente (Venezuela, 9/3/1997); signed July 2014 for $262,500
Freddy Chirino (Venezuela, 12/15/1999); signed December 2016
Nerio Rodriguez Jr. (9/21/1999); born in New York, signed July 2016 for $450,000
Rhandall Sanchez (Panama, 11/29/1998); signed May 2016


Alfredo Angarita (Venezuela, 11/16/1996); signed November 2015
Yorbin Ceuta (Venezuela, 1/14/2000); signed July 2016 for $1 million
Jonathan Matute (Venezuela, 4/28/1997); signed July 2013 for $215,000
Kendy Moya (12/14/1998); signed sometime before June 2016
Yeuris Ramirez (11/28/1998); signed July 2015 for $500,000
Anthony Rodriguez (7/23/1996); signed February 2015
Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (Panama, 10/30/1997); signed July 2014
Ronaldo Urdaneta (Venezuela, 11/18/1998); signed July 2015 for $60,000


Luis Coronel (Venezuela, 7/11/1997); signed June 2016
César Cortez (Panama, 4/1/1999); signed July 2015 for $100,000
Ronny Rafael (10/14/1997); signed July 2014 for $1.5 million
Angel Tejeda* (1/22/1997); signed May 2015


The Orange team will play in the DSL North Division alongside the Cubs 1, Dodgers 2, Indians, Pirates, Rangers 1, Rays 2, and a combined team consisting of players from the Indians and Brewers academies.

In 2016, the Orange team finished with a 31-37 record. Their first game in 2017 will be against the combined Indians/Brewers squad at 10:30 AM Eastern.

Freudis Nova will start his pro career with the Orange team. He signed with Houston for $1.2 million after a deal with the Marlins fell through. Nova has been touted as the best athlete in the 2016-17 international class. Also, Jairo Solis could be an arm to watch. Solis saw his stuff tick up after signing; his fastball has reportedly reached 94.

Bryan Solano is apparently the first Costa Rican to sign with a Major League club in eight years. He's starting off the season on the restricted list.

Asterisk: Player bats/throws left-handed
Italics: Player is making professional debut
Bold: Player is a switch-hitter

Coaching Staff

Manager: Carlos Lugo
Pitching Coaches: Gerardo Olivares and Darwin Peguero
Hitting Coach: René Rojas
Coaches: Alejandro Martinez and Selin Aquino
Athletic Trainer: Roman Rendon
Strength & Conditioning: Mike Myers and Geremias Guzman


Jesus Bernaez (Venezuela, 5/6/1997); signed March 2016
Jervic Chavez* (Venezuela, 2/8/1997); signed July 2016
Luis De Paula (11/15/1996); signed November 2016
Christopher Javier (7/16/1998); signed June 2016
Ronny Jimenez (9/19/1994); signed prior to 2015 season, former infielder converting to pitcher
Miguel Matos (9/29/1996); signed December 2015
Fredy Medina (9/26/1997); signed July 2015, former infielder converting to pitcher
Christian Mejias (Venezuela, 5/19/1999); signed June 2016
Cristofer Melendez (9/16/1997); signed July 2014
Wender Oberto (Venezuela, 12/9/1999); signed November 2016
Angel Ortega (Venezuela, 11/18/1999); signed July 2016 for $180,000
Carlos Quintero (Venezuela, 1/11/2000); signed December 2016
Jose Alberto Rivera (2/14/1997); signed October 2016
Mauricio Santana (2/3/1997); signed July 2015 for $17,000
Bryan Solano (Costa Rica, 1/25/1998); signed March 2017, currently on restricted list
Jairo Solis (Venezuela, 12/22/1999); signed July 2016 for $450,000
Asael Uribe (5/4/1996); signed March 2016


Jose Alvarez (Venezuela, 6/4/2000); signed July 2016 for $195,000
Luis Barajas (Mexico, 7/13/1998); signed January 2017
Jose Carrillo (Venezuela, 1/24/1998); signed May 2015
Gerry Castillo (10/3/1997); signed May 2016
Kelvin Perez (Venezuela, 12/8/1998); signed June 2016


Samir Caraballo (Colombia, 9/12/1998); signed November 2015
Deury Carrasco* (9/20/1999); signed July 2016 for $480,000
Jeury Castillo* (1/14/2000); signed July 2016 for $400,000
Michael Garcia (9/10/1997); signed May 2016
Sean Mendoza (Venezuela, 6/2/2000); signed July 2016
Freudis Nova (1/12/2000); signed July 2016 for $1.2 million


Euclides Chavez* (Venezuela, 7/1/1997); signed April 2016
Leonardo Gonzalez* (Venezuela, 5/27/2000); signed July 2016
Hector Martinez (7/6/1998); signed July 2014 for $300,000
Renaigel Martis* (Curaçao, 11/26/1997); signed November 2015
Ramiro Rodriguez (Panama, 2/2/1998); signed October 2015


68 total players (35 Blue, 33 Orange) representing 7 countries; 3 players of unknown origin
10 players born in 2000
Youngest: Jose Alvarez, born June 4, 2000
Oldest: Ronny Jimenez, born September 19, 1994
Largest bonus: Ronny Rafael, signed for $1.5 million in 2014

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