The Dominican Prospect League (DPL), working closely in organizational efforts with Perfect Game USA, will bring its top-prospect elite team to the United States from March 16 through March 22 to play games against two of the top Canadian 18U top-prospect teams.
In two events with an international feel, Perfect Game has arranged for the DPL club to play the Ontario Blue Jays in a single nine-inning game on Thursday, March 17, at the Osceola County Stadium complex in Kissimmee, Fla., the spring training home of the Houston Astros.
Five days later on March 22, the DPL elite team will play another nine-inning game against the Langley (B.C.) Blaze at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz., the spring training home of the Texas Rangers.
It is the first time the DPL has brought one of its teams to the United States, and the roster is brimming with signing-eligible talent.
“Many talent evaluators in the industry consider this DPL travel team to be the best Dominican amateur baseball team to travel to the United States, ever!” the DPL said in a news release.
Perfect Game expects dozens of professional scouts to be in attendance at the DPL-Canada games in Florida and Arizona. The DPL team also has a game scheduled against the Boston Red Sox Rookie Team on March 16 in Fort Myers, Fla., and open workouts are slated for March 18 in Kissimmee and March 21 in Surprise in an effort to get the Dominican players in front of the scouts.
“The goal of the DPL has been to help better prepare the top amateur talent from the Dominican Republic for life as professional baseball players,” the release stated. “To achieve this goal, the DPL focuses on developing the personal, professional and baseball savvy of these young players.”
One of the top prospects the DPL and Perfect Game will bring to the States is 16-year-old outfielder Ronald Guzman, a left-handed hitter from La Vega, D.R. In a video posted at dplbaseball.com, Guzman talks about a common dream among young Dominicans.
“My goal is to get a good contract so I can help my family,” Guzman says. “I want to get to the big leagues as soon as I can, become a good MLB player and work hard to become a Hall of Famer.”
Other top prospects on the DPL team include outfielder Franmil Reyes, shortstops Dawel Lugo and Ronniel Demorizi, and right-hander Dioscar Romero. All are eligible to be signed professionally in the upcoming July 2 signing period.
The Canadian teams that will challenge the Dominicans are loaded with some of that country’s top prospects and won’t take a back seat to anyone.
The Ontario Blue Jays have shortstop Kyle Hann (class of 2012), middle infielder Joey Hawkins (2011), catcher Justin Marra (2011) and right-hander Justin Atkinson (2011) on their roster. All are also on the Baseball Canada 2011 Junior National Team roster, and all have been and will most likely continue to be participants in Perfect Game events.
The Langley Blaze feature even more Junior National Team members and Perfect Game participants: right-handers Skylar Janisse, Roberto Suppa, Nic Pavetta and Tom Robson; infielder Dustin Houle; and outfielder Jerod Bartnik.
More information about specific final rosters will be provided at Perfect Game.org as the playing dates draw closer. Perfectgame.org will also provide extensive coverage of the Dominican Prospect League-Ontario Blue Jays event from Kissimmee on March 17.