There have been a number of reports about teams working out the various Cuban defectors over the last month in the Dominican and elsewhere. TX officials have worked out a number of them during that time. I would expect a lot of these guys to sign in the next 7-10 days.
The Dominican academy is at the tail end of its "pre-camp" camp, which lasts bout 6 weeks followed by about 6 weeks of ST. I think that there is even a post-season "camp" for working out and stuff over the winter as well. Those kids in the Dominican academy are doing supervised baseball activities year-round it seems.
There are still a number of high-ceiling LA prospects with a few warts or age-related questions/suspicions. Wagner Mateo. Daniel Sanchez. Rafael DePaula. Leo Perdomo. I would expect those who can to sign in the next 7-10 days as well. I suspect that TX has signed about 25-30 prospects over and above the 9 that have been officially announced/leaked/verified. Last year they signed a total of about 35-40 (see 2008 J2 worksheet). The total # of players at the academy is about 70-80 between the two clubs.
Most of these players are DSL org guys but many are legit. Some notable under the radar signings last year: Randol Rojas (DSL co-pitcher of the year- quite an honor with 33 teams and bout 600+ pitching prospects in the league!), Jose Mavare, Leo Gil, Carlos Ramirez, Carlos Oropesa, Robert Morillo, Luis Cedeno Reyes. In 2008 there were Easy Eddie Garcia, Fredo Chalas, Alex Gonzalez, Jose Monegro. The complete list of 2009 FA signs for 2010 won't be known until the DSL extended roster is released around 4/1. You'll see more than a few DSL guys in the AZL (and maybe a couple in spokane) this year- see my roster projection to see who I think will make the cut.
Jorge Arangure reports that SS Edo Salcedo might have his suspension lifted soon. Not sure why they would lift it unless there are new documents proving his age as legit or he has finally admitted lying. He was suspended for age-related chicanery in 2007 and must be 18 going on 19 for 2010 if his age is verfied. He was a 7-figure prospect before his suspension. Hopefully, this spells good news for Rafael DePaula who had his documents/age verified in Dominican legal proceedings over the last few months whereby the NYY requested another age investigation for the kid.
Spring training is almost upon us, and so are the endless stories about Hamilton's faith. Ugh. We are are secular humanists here right? Bring on the Deadspin tumult. Oh, wait, this is TX (austin is a TX deformation) so that probably plays up really well, the faith, not the drinking. But then, the repentant drunken sinner asking forgiveness after a night of jelly shots off of nearby navels also plays up well in the south. So, yeah, faith, sin, drinking, sex, forgiveness - I guess that all plays up really well in TX. So, yeah, nevermind, I'm used to it round these parts...
Evan Grant doesn't really do prospects that well but since only true baseball geeks do know prospects he does it well enough to keep the DMN/DMN forum crazies entertained. His "top 25" series is, as he says, easily ignored and derivative in a "I just got my BA Prospect handbook" kinda way. Having said that he did a knock-down piece profiling TX hitters for 2010 last week and their apparent and new-found recognition that they sucked last year. Hurdle is apparently getting through to my surprise, given the post-season comments by Kinsler et al denying that TX hitters had a lamentable year. That is now and will remain the best ST story we'll get this year.