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Dodgers sign top international prospect Diego Cartaya

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MLB.com

The Dodgers on Monday signed the top international prospect according to MLB.com, 16-year-old catcher Diego Cartaya.

The team signed a total of eight teenagers from Venezuela to open the international signing period, including Cartaya, three shortstops, three pitchers and an outfielder.

Teams have from July 2 to June 15 of the following year to complete their signings with players on the international market, ages 16 and up.

Cartaya already possesses an above-average rating of 60 in hitting and behind the plate. The power is at 45 currently but that is the sort of thing that develops over time in the minor leagues.

Here is the scouting report from MLB Pipeline:

The best overall prospect in this year’s class, Cartaya is a well-rounded player at a premium position with the potential to be a star on both sides of the ball.

An advanced hitter, the teenager displays plus contact skills and has been praised for his pitch recognition and feel for the strike zone. He has shown some power to the gaps and is expected to improve on that part of his game as he matures. Cartaya is a below-average runner, but the team that signs him does not expect him to be a threat on the bases. It does hope he follows in the footsteps of Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, who is also from Venezuela.

On defense, Cartaya has a reputation as a great receiver with very good hands. He handles pitchers well and has a high baseball IQ. He moves well behind the plate.

Cartaya’s skills translate to game action and have since his days in Venezuela’s youth baseball circuit. The 6-foot-2, 199-pound teenager showed off his strong arm and good footwork during the MLB Showcase for Venezuelan players in Cartagena, Colombia. He showed off his plate discipline one month later at the showcase in the Dominican Republic.