Draft : : Signings
Friday, February 01, 2002


Perfect Game Staff        
A very large number of draft prospects have attended Perfect Game showcasesor played in other PG activities. This June there will be a record number of PG players who will be drafted by major league clubs. In fact, we anticipate over 400 PG players will be drafted this June. Last year over 240 PG players were selected in the draft.

The Perfect Game Wood Bat Leagues have also produced a large number of draft picks. Of course, the majority of Perfect Game players go on to play at the college level. PG has players at nearly every major college in the country. This year?€™s fall league experienced a first, when three league players ended up signing free agent contracts with three different major league clubs.

The three Perfect Game players were free agents, because all three come from Venezuela. The first to sign was RHP, Alfredo Fernandez (above right), the San Diego Padres paid him $500,000 after a seeing him in a few performances in the PG Scout League and after a good showing at the Perfect Game Showcase at Baylor in Waco, TX. He throws consistently in the lower 90s and is only 17 years old.

Next to sign was outfielder Marvin Urdaneta (left) with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Urdaneta played the entire season in the PG Fall League and had attended several PG Showcases. He is one of the fastest runners we have seen all year. He ran an electronically timed 6.35 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, FL.

The latest to sign is LHP, Jhonathan Figueroa (right). He signed with the L.A. Dodgers shortly after pitching in a Perfect Game tournament in California. Figueroa matched Fernandez, signing for $500,000 and incentives. He had been seen exclusively at Perfect Game Leagues and Showcases for a full year. He also trained with PG instructors in Cedar Rapids, IA at the PG training facility. He turned down small offers early on and just kept getting better and better, through hard work and top instruction. We feel the Dodgers got a bargain at $500,000. 18 year old, Figueroa throws in the low 90s with plus life and has great make-up. He?€™s also a very intimidating lefty at 6?€™5/220.

It?€™s an interesting year when three young players from South America end up playing baseball in a fall league in places like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. To think these Latinos would come up north and end up with over 1.1 million dollars because of it, is yet another perfect, Perfect Game story. Another PG player from Venezuela, Lino Garcia (left), would have joined them, except he decided to sign right after attending the PG World Showcase last year. Garcia, an outfielder, is already ranked the #8 prospect in the D?€™backs organization.

Needless to say, Perfect Game has been fielding a lot of phone calls from Venezuela and the rest of Latin America. Seems like there are many others who would like to get the opportunity to come to Iowa, of all places. We expect a few more Latin players to participate in this year?€™s wood bat league and attend several PG showcases. Their agents must have the PG phone number memorized by now.
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