Jason Cole's recent update to his roster for AZL Extended includes Ernesto(Vicente) Escobar. So the org must think pretty highly of this kid. The scouting reports on him were mixed, suggesting that he had little projection, and when looking at pics of him from ST by Scott Lucas (rangers.scottlucas.com), I would have to agrees. Ben Badler over at BA suggested that he was a bargain however at 350K so we'll soon see what we have in this kid. He apparently has 3 decent pitches but not, apparently, as good as those of Richard Alvarez, who at 16, will make his AZL debut as well (it seems). He created some buzz during his first B game in ST both because of the stuff he was throwing and the poise he showed (in addition to the fact that he looked 14), but also because no official word of the signing had ever been made it seems.
So, it seems to me that what we have in these kids might be another Boscan/Pimentel hybrid or something, but their stuff doesn't really remind you of Perez at this point. Perez came into A- with two pitches that flashed plus and his FB was already in the 90-94 range. Escobar and Alvarez are reputed to touch 90 but I'm not sure they did in ST but don't read too much into that as the long layoff has its effects on everyone. Their ceiling might be the 88-92 range as their frames don't seem all that projectable, Alvarez weighing a buck fifty, and Escobar already being "filled out" so to speak.
So as of now, even before the frack'in draft, here are my projected starting rotations in A- and AZL. Keep in mind that the distinction between starters and relievers in short season ball is not a point of emphasis so I have them in the "rotation" just based on their ceiling as starters as they progress through the system.
(possibly these guys if they no space comes open in one of the A-level full-season squads or if they get demoted: Nevarez, Gutsie, Nelo, King, Miller, Hurley)
I think that a few players currently on the Domincan roster will make their way to state-side rosters once the season begins. For Spokane, expect Ben Henry, Aaron Thompson, and Mark Stanford to join the bullpen staff. While for the AZL club, expect Tony Thompson, Miguel Munoz (DR), Johan Yan (DR), Ovispo de los Santos(DR), Denny Peralta (DR), Ernesto Rosendo(VZ), Kevin de Leon (DR) to be assigned to the roster sometime during the season, that is, if all clear customs.
Of course, the biggest omissions, if you can call them that, are the exclusion of Kyle O'campo from the Hickory roster and the puzzling exclusion of Dominican Anyenil Mendoza from the AZL roster. Mendoza received rave reviews from DSL coach Tingler in an interview with Jason Cole and he was also an intructs invite. I hope he is not caught up the Age-Gate-09 mess.
Juan Polanco, Miggie de los Santos, "Ace" Ventura, and Jairo Valdez, all Dominicans, are also mysteriously absent from a state-side roster this year. Dominicans Polanco, Ace Ventura, Wilson Ventura, and Hector Martinez (an 08 sign) are not on any roster at all! Venezuelans Santiago Chirino (an 08 sign) and Roan Salas also remain unassigned.