The Dominican Prospect League (DPL) has established itself as the largest player in the international signing period over its six years of existence, producing the most prospect to sign professional baseball contracts of any entity in the world.
The DPL, who have helped close to 60 prospects reach agreements since July 2nd 2015, also shattered the record for total bonuses awarded to 16 year old players in the first week of an international signing period.
This year, DPL players were awarded signing bonuses that amount to more than $46.0M. Once again, the DPL fulfilled their role as mentors, bringing joy and success to the handful of 16-17 year old prospects that belonged to the prestigious organization.
With Don Juan Marichal, the immortal Cooperstown Hall of Famer positioned at the center of the table of honor, three dozen DPL players marched through the main room of the Hotel el Embajador, in Santo Domingo, to receive a hat and jersey representing the team with which they agreed to sign with on July 2nd. The players also received a commemorative DPL ring, acknowledging their accomplishment of graduating to professional baseball.
Manny Acta, former MLB manager and current general manger of the Licey Tigers Winter Baseball Team, also participated and shared his word of wisdom with the new baseball professionals and their families.
The number of prospects who signed and their total bonuses is a direct reflection of the consistent and diligent work of the DPL, which has now completed its 6th season of helping MLB teams evaluate and sign some of the most talented amateur baseball players from the Dominican Republic.
Including the most recent signing since July 2nd, the DPL has now helped each of the 30 teams sign over 600 amateur baseball players for contracts valued at approximately $200M. It is clear that the DPL has revolutionized the evaluation and signing process for amateur baseball players from the Dominican Republic; allowing each of the MLB teams an equal opportunity to evaluate the top amateur players from the Dominican Republic in game situations over a lengthy period of time.
Among the nearly 60 DPL player who agreed to terms since July 2nd, who where accompanied by their families, were Brian Mejia and Ulises Cabrera, President and Vice President of the DPL, and the promotors who are responsible every year of leading the group of young prospects, most of humble status, see their dream of signing a professional baseball contract come true.
This group, which in the last week has agreed with a total of 24 of 30 MLB teams, was introduced to the international press on July 5th, 2015 by the most revered Dominican baseball player in history, Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. Marichal offered the new professional players words of wisdom and motivation as their careers begin the long road to the Big Leagues.
“You all have reached the first step, by signing as professional ball players. Now you should make your maximum effort to reach the ultimate goal, which is become a Major Leaguer. Undeniably, it is path so rigid, that only two percent of those who sign will reach that feat, but with diligent effort, believe me, it is possible” said Marichal.
Manny Acta advised the DPL Alumnus to always maintain the humility and discipline they were brought up with, which are aspects that must join their talent to be able to succeed in baseball. “Those who are undisciplined are frequently ousted from the prestigious baseball industry,” emphasized Acta.
Lucius Fox ($6.0MM, Giants), Wander Javier ($4.0MM, Twins) , Jhailyn Ortiz ($4.0MM, Phillies), Starling Heredia ($2.6MM, Dodgers), Yonathan Sierra ($2.5MM, Cubs), Suely Matias ($2.250 MM, Royals), Carlos Vargas ($1.6MM, Mariners) headed the DPL class of 2015.
“We feel extremely satisfied, because a hard-working group of our players who are a part of our family have agreed to professional contracts. That is why we make the effort to showcase their talents to the different organizations, including showcases in the United States,” expressed Mejia.
“This represents an extensive season. First we identify the talents across the country, then we develop the players on the field, in games and in practice sessions. This is all made possible because of our team, who is constantly on the road organizing and gathering the talents, and the trainers and scouts who have allowed us to elevate the recruiting process to new horizons,” added Mejia.
“Now that you have signed, you must be aware that this is the beginning of a long carrier that awaits you, and your efforts should not be reduced. In fact, they should elevate to levels exceeding the efforts that have helped you get this far,” explained Cabrera.
“In our organization, it is prohibited to say ‘I cant’. Through dedication and effort, everyone here has the ability to achieve their desired goals,” added Cabrera.