Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Grading the Dodgers' five most recent international signees, in a fun way

The Dodgers announced on Tuesday the signing of five international prospects. I'm here to grade the signings.

No, I'm not grading them on the strength of their baseball talents -- I've never heard of any of these guys before Tuesday. I'm grading them on the strength of their names.

We can easily say there's no "80" name here like Pratt Maynard or Osiris Ramirez, but there are a couple of plus-plus names.

Shakir Albert, 16, outfielder, Curacao
Grade (present/future): 70/70
- Albert would have graded higher if he had a, shall we say, better last name tool. It starts off so strongly with "Shakir," but it falls off a bit with "Albert." He's reached his maximum potential, but his floor is much higher than everyone else's.

Hendrik Clementina, 16, catcher, Curacao
Grade (present/future): 65/70
- Clementina gave Albert a run for his money, but comes up just a tad short. The hockey-style first name grades out as "plus," but don't sleep on the last name -- it's a bit underrated.

Julio Lugo, 16, outfielder, Dominican Republic
Grade (present/future): 50/55
- Lugo is hurt by the fact there's already been a Julio Lugo in the majors. That isn't the younger Lugo's fault, just unfortunate for him. Now, if a middle name or suffix emerges, that could boost his grade.

Gersel Pitre, 17, catcher, Venezuela
Grade (present/future): 65/70
- File this under combinations of letters I have never seen. I read "Pitre" as "Petrie," the last name of former Sacramento Kings' general manager Geoff Petrie. It's probably wrong, but that's what I'm going with. Gersel is quite the unique first name. He definitely challenges Albert for highest grade of this quintet, and has the upside of Albert's name.

Misja Harcksen, 18, right-handed pitcher, Netherlands
Grade (present/future): 65/75
- I don't even know where to begin here. Both names are fantastic on their own, but together they lack a little projection. Still, Harcksen can thrive with his last name alone. I might be underrating the name a bit at present, but it has the most upside of any on this list.

Here's a video of Harcksen throwing in a bullpen.


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I'm not sure what to make of these guys, really. I just thought this would be a fun take on looking at some international prospects the Dodgers signed. I wouldn't expect to hear much from these guys next season, but when you see a unique name pop up in a box score, you can say, "Oh yeah!" (but not like the Kool-Aid Man).

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