The traveling Dominican Prospect League elite team wrapped up its nine-day visit to the United States by beating the Langley Blaze from British Columbia (Canada), 5-2, Tuesday (March 22) in a Perfect Game USA-sponsored contest at the Texas Rangers’ spring training complex in Surprise, Ariz.
Approximately 70 scouts, including several Major League scouting directors and international scouting supervisors from numerous organizations, attended the nine-inning game on a beautiful, sun-drenched Arizona afternoon.
It was the DPL elite team’s second Perfect Game-sponsored game on their U.S. tour, which began with a 6-2 loss to the Ontario Blue Jays in Kissimmee, Fla., on March 17.
“A mixture of solid pitching and defense, and timely hitting were displayed by both teams,” Perfect Game’s Vice-President for Development Brad Clement reported from Surprise. “It was the third game of the day for the Langley Blaze, who performed against the low-A Seattle Mariners team in the morning and played against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team in a split-squad game in Maryvale while the DPL-Blaze game was being played in Surprise.”
Clement reported that DPL right-handers Dioscar Romero, Jose Morel, Robert Ramirez and Jeffrey Marte all pitched well in the game and “flashed their upper 80s/low 90s fastballs along with an array of effective off-speed stuff to keep the Blaze from scoring after the third inning.”
Other DPL players who impressed the scouts were outfielders Ronald Guzman and 15-year-old Franmil Reyes, both of whom were also impressive in the DPL’s game against the Blue Jays in Kissimmee.
Blaze right-hander Jeremy Filipek also pitched well, allowing only two runs in five effective innings.
More than 100 scouts, cross-checkers, scouting directors and even a few MLB general managers attended the two PG games in Florida and Arizona, and Perfect Game officials have expressed an interest in not only making this an annual event, but also expanding it.
The experience was probably most beneficial for the young Dominican players. Most were performing on U.S. soil for the first time and most are 16-years-old who will become free agents on July 2, 2011. Reyes, a 6-foot-4 outfielder, won’t be eligible for free agency until 2012.
“Anytime we can come to the States and play at big league fields, it’s always a plus,” the 16-year-old DPL top prospect Guzman said before his game in Kissimmee on March 17. “My experiences have been great and it’s good to see how the pro guys go about their business.
“I want to turn pro and hopefully sign in July with a good bonus to help my family,” he said. “I want to get to the big leagues and hopefully to the Hall of Fame.”