Ben Badler of Baseball America, one of the best when it comes to international signings, reported today the Dodgers signed Ariel Sandoval for $150,00.
Sandoval, 17, is an outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Badler said the Dodgers' brass was impressed with Sandoval's potential to hit for average and power. He also has above-average speed that is currently good enough for center field.
Sandoval, righty all the way, is 6'2, 180 pounds and, at 17, figures to fill out a bit more. Badler said he has enough arm to play right field
Before people get too terribly excited, Sandoval will likely play in the Dominican Summer League for a couple years at minimum. He's at least five years away, if not a little longer.
This is the Dodgers' first six-figure bonus signing since overhauling the international scouting department, including Vice President Bob Engle and Latin American Scouting Coordinator Patrick Guerrero.
There's nothing not to like about this signing. He won't crack my Top 50 prospects (which drops the week of Jan. 14), but he is definitely someone to keep an eye on going forward.