January 15th, 2022 was the day teams were allowed to sign International Free Agents (IFAs). As of this writing, the Dodgers have signed 30 IFAs.
The Dodgers announced their 30 international signings from the 2022 class, including top prospects Samuel Muñoz (ranked No. 7 overall on Top 50 list by MLB) and Accimias Morales (No. 37).
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) January 16, 2022
There are various levels of news about the players so we’ll provide an overview of what we can find. We’ll first start out with the prospects that appear on the MLB Pipeline Top 50 International Prospects.
So far, with Samuel Muñoz, I’ve seen him listed as an outfielder, third baseman, and a first baseman. Most importantly, he is a left-handed hitter, that prospects as an excellent overall player.
Munoz is a left-handed-hitting infielder with an advanced approach at the plate and tons of power projection.
He already shows an above-average ability to barrel up the baseball to all fields, and the thought is the ability will translate into homers in the future as he fills out his large and developing frame. He sprays the ball to all fields with pop.
Munoz has already come a long way. The teen was first showcased as an outfielder but moved back to his original spot in the infield because of his improved athleticism and quickness. He runs the 60-yard timed run in 6.6 seconds and has the potential to be a good baserunner. His high baseball IQ and makeup are also noteworthy. He shows good actions in the infield and displays solid arm strength. There’s still a chance he moves to third base because of his size, but it’s too early to tell. – MLB Pipeline
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) January 9, 2022
Muñoz, from the Dominican Republic, is only 17 years old but is already 6′ 3″ and weighs 190 pounds. Although MLB Pipeline has him as their 7th highest-rated prospect, Baseball America only has him at 42.
Accimias Morales, a native of Venezuela, is a 6′ 5″ right-handed pitcher. MLB Pipeline has him at number 37 on their list and has some notes about him.
Morales is one of the most interesting pitchers on the market and has the type of upside scouts seek.
Large and durable with a 6-foot-4 frame, Morales shows plus command potential with all three of his pitches. He’s athletic, features a repeatable delivery and has a presence on the mound.
Specifically, his fastball has been clocked at 93 mph, he throws a hard slider with a sharp break and throws a changeup with lots of movement. His ability to mix up his repertoire while still pounding the strike zone stands out for a prospect his age. He projects to be a mid-rotation starter in the big leagues one day. – MLB Pipeline
There isn’t much more on Morales yet but we hope to provide more information on him soon.
There isn’t much information on Mairo Martinus yet but I did see this quote from MLB Pipeline:
….shortstop Mairo Martinus of Curacao, considered the top infielder from the island since Ozzie Albies…
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) January 15, 2022
The Dodgers First Russian
The signing of the first Russian by the Dodgers is interesting. Enrique Sevilla is only 16 and already throws 90 MPH.
RHP Enrique Sevilla (16) born in Russia (of Cuban father) officially signs with Los Angeles Dodgers from Europe.
Scout: Nestor Perez Sr.
Russia's first Dodgers player. 90 mph fastball. pic.twitter.com/RRJN1ES7Wf
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) January 15, 2022
The opening of each period of signing IFAs is an exciting time. However, it truly is a grab bag. The Dodgers have had some amazing IFA signings such as Fernando Valenzuela and Julio Urias. They have also wasted a ton of bonus money on some players that never worked out. Overall, trying to figure out the upside of 16 and 17-year-olds is a hard task. We can only hope one or two of them work out as contributors for the Dodgers.