The start of the 2020-21 MLB international signing period was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The period, which normally starts every July 2, was instead pushed to January 15. With that just three weeks away, let’s look at some potential Dodgers signees.
It’s already been reported that the Dodgers are favorites to sign Jesus Galiz, a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela. But their top target appears to be a 17-year-old shortstop, also from Venezuela.
Wilman Diaz is ranked the second-best international prospect by MLB Pipeline, and No. 7 by Baseball America.
From the MLB Pipeline scouting report on the 6’2 Diaz:
Diaz shows a plus hit tool with excellent bat speed and a knack for recognizing pitches. There’s a natural loft to his pull side, but he has also shown the ability to drive the ball the other way with authority. He developed his bat tool and made a name for himself while playing for Venezuela’s youth teams back home in Aragua with a series of big hits. There’s also plus power projection.
On defense, Diaz shows plus arm potential and plus actions at shortstop. He’s a smooth fielder that can make plays to both sides. He can also run, and Diaz has been clocked at 6.4 seconds in the timed 60-yard run and has translated the speed into games as a good baserunner with basestealing potential.
Ben Badler at Baseball America notes that the Dodgers signed the top Venezuelan international prospect in both 2018 (catcher Diego Cartaya) and 2019 (outfielder Luis Rodriguez), with Diaz the top-ranked Venezuelan in this class.
“Diaz has the defensive actions and arm strength that give him a chance to stick at shortstop, though depending how big he gets, he might end up at third base,” Badler wrote.
The 2020-21 international signing period runs from January 15 through December 15. The Dodgers’ total international signing bonus pool for this period is $5,348,100.