Results tagged ‘ Dominican Republic ’

Astros busy in the Dominican

The Astros have signed a pair of teenagers out of the Dominican Republic, pitcher Carlos Vasquez and outfielder Edward Santana, and have reached an agreement with pitcher Tomas Lopez, whose signing isn’t yet official.

Vasquez, 16, is a 6-2, 180-pound right-hander with an extra large frame and someone who Astros director of Latin American scouting Felix Francisco believes will be a power pitcher. He throws between 88 and 90 mph now, but Francisco said the ball jumps out of his hands and he has a good breaking ball.

“We feel this guy is going to be really strong in the future,” Francisco said.

Santana, 17, was the best position player left on the market, Francisco said. He can play center field, but the Astros like more in right field. There are many things Francisco likes about Santana, whose older brother used to play in the Rangers system.

“He runs 60 yards in 6.75 seconds and has a good arm,” Francisco said. “He can hit and has a real nice balance. He stays inside the baseball and uses the whole field. He’s not a big power guy right now and more of a guy you can project will hit 15-20 home runs. His power will come with time, but he does have good bat speed and good extension.”

Francisco likes that Santana hits the ball to the opposite field, which you don’t usually see in young players in the Dominican.

Lopez, 17, is a right-handed pitcher with nice arm action. He recently established himself in the Dominican Prospect League and began to draw interest from several teams, including the Astros.

All three players will report to the Astros academy in the Dominican Republic and will play there this summer.

Dominican signing is huge for Astros

Astros general manager Ed Wade announced Tuesday that the Astros signed 16-year old Dominican free agent outfielder Ariel Ovando to a 2011 Minor League contract. The Astros’ front office was giddy over the signing of Ovando, who got a signing bonus of between $2.6 and $2.8 million. That’s the equivalent of a high first-round draft pick.

Needless to say, this guy isn’t a chump.

Ovando will turn 17 on Sept. 15 and is expected to spend this season at the Astros’ Latin American complex in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. He will then participate in the instructional league in Kissimmee, Fla., in September.

“We’re extremely excited to get Ariel into the Astros’ organization,” Wade said. “Felix [Francisco] did a lot of work on this kid and we also were able to have some of our other evaluators scout him over the past several months. Ariel profiles as a middle of the order power hitter with excellent defensive skills and should move quickly through the Minor League system.”

Here are scouting reports on Ovando: 

Felix Francisco, special asst. to the G.M./Latin American operations: Darryl Strawberry type body. Large frame. Long arms and legs with a lot of room to fill out. Everyday right fielder with the ability to hit for average and power. Ball carries off bat. Will be an above average right fielder with an average to above-average arm. Smart kid who has a clear goal in life and is dedicated.

Clarence Johns, Eastern regional supervisor: 2XL frame. Long, lanky features. High waist with extra long arms and legs. Has the frame of Fred McGriff with the long arms and legs of Darryl Strawberry. Will be a middle of the order bat with 30 plus home runs and 100 RBI potential. Will drive the ball to all fields. Future strong defender with arm strength to hold runners in check. Makes solid contact with ease. Plays the game with confidence and youthful exuberance. Very engaging personality. Reminiscent of Jason Heyward (Braves) and Dominic Brown (Phillies) as amateurs.

Bobby Heck, assistant G.M./scouting director: Impact player. Large, lean and loose frame. Broad, sloped shoulders. High, trim waist. Body similar to Carlos Delgado. Will hit 3-4 in a lineup. Advanced hitter for age. Quiet confidence with a boyish smile.  Will be a big man.  Easy, fast bat with hitter’s hands. Reminds me of Jason Heyward, Fred McGriff and Carlos Delgado.

Ricky Bennett, assistant G.M./player development director: Tall, athletic frame, good build with room to fill out; body type similar to Cliff Floyd. Corner OF with power to all fields. Good bat speed and plate coverage. Ball jumps off bat and has 25-30 home run type power.