The first day of the 2020-21 international period saw the Los Angeles Dodgers agree to terms with 22 players, a group headlined by Wilman Diaz, Rayne Doncon and Jesus Galiz.
Galiz, a 17-year-old catcher out of Venezuela, was the top ranked prospect at his position and No. 8 overall on MLB Pipeline’s list. A former middle infielder, he has received praise for his strong arm and receiving skills.
Galiz also has a swing that has been described as compact and can drive the ball to all fields. Galiz initially was expected to sign a contract with the New York Yankees but they changed course and he now adds to the Dodgers’ organizational depth at catcher.
It’s an impressive crop of players that includes Will Smith, Austin Barnes, Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya, among others.
Galiz described his emotions after signing with the Dodgers, expressing happiness that he will get to realize his dream but also sadness for having to leave his native country and family behind, via Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
“It’s such a unique moment, and it only happens once in your life, so it’s very emotional,” Galiz said in Spanish. “You are happy and proud, but also scared and nervous. You think about Venezuela and all of the sacrifices people make there. I thought about my father and how I wish he was alive to see me make our dream come true.”
Galiz’s father passed away in November from complications caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). He was devastated by the loss, but found comfort by spending time at the Go Pro Baseball Academy, a place he has trained since being a child.
Galiz will rely on connections to help make his transition to the Dodgers a smooth one. He recently worked out with Kansas City Royals backstop Salvador Perez, who once was an international signing out of Venezuela himself.
Dodgers 2020-21 international singing period class
Half of the Dodgers’ signings were out of Venezuela (11), with five prospects from the Dominican Republic, two from Panama, two from Mexico, and one each from Curacao and Colombia.
Dailoui Abad, Dominican Republic, RHP
Juan Alonso, Panama, OF
Carlos Avila, Venezuela, C
Isaac Bareto, Colombia, OF
Miguel Bastardo, Venezuela, RHP
Elio Campos, Venezuela, SS
Jorge Carpintero, Venezuela, LHP
Wilman Diaz, Venezuela, SS
Brian Diaz, Venezuela, RHP
Rayne Doncon, Dominican Republic, SS
Jesus Galiz, Venezuela, C
Luis Guerra, Venezuela, SS
Jhonny Jimenez, Dominican Republic, RHP
Sebastian Jimenez, Venezuela, LHP
Roger Lasso, Panama, OF
Thayron Liranzo, Dominican Republic, C
Maximo Martinez, Venezuela, RHP
Kelvin Ramirez, Venezuela, RHP
Christian Romero, Mexico, RHP
Pedro Santillan, Mexico, RHP
Missael Soto, Dominican Republic, RHP
Michael Vilchez, Curacao, RHP
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