Top performers from MLB's international showcase

Trainer Partnership Program features prospects from DR, Venezuela

February 22nd, 2019

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic -- More than 130 prospects from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela showed off their skills in front of 200 scouts and baseball officials this week at the Mets’ academy in the biggest and most successful Trainer Partnership Program Showcase to date.

The ultimate goal for the teenagers is to impress evaluators and eventually sign contracts with big league clubs during upcoming international signing periods. For players already eligible to sign, events like the Trainer Partnership Showcase provide another opportunity to get in front of scouts and prove that older prospects still have big league potential.

The three-day event featured traditional scouting exercises like the 60-yard run, batting practice and fielding drills, in addition to advanced technology resources used to evaluate the players. The prospects also played a game each day.

Here’s a look at the top performers at this week’s showcase.

At the plate:

Venezuelan catchers Diego Viloria (eligible to sign July 2, 2020) and Samuel Thomas ('19) recorded three hits each. Outfielder Gabriel Tirado ('19) of Venezuela scored three runs while outfielder Wilmer Feliciano ('20) of the Dominican Republic drove in three. Shortstop Ronelvy Taveras ('20) of the Dominican Republic, catcher Samuel Rojas ('19) of Venezuela, and outfielders Frank Pena ('20) and Cristian Dominguez ('20) of the Dominican Republic also had two RBIs apiece.

Rojas hit the ball hard all week, including a triple to center field with an exit velocity of 96.4 mph. Catcher Abraham Hernandez (2019) of Venezuela recorded a triple of his own that registered an exit velocity of 100.3 mph -- one of the hardest-hit balls of the event. Infielder Yimmy Diaz ('20) of Venezuela also tripled with an exit velocity of 95.9 mph.

On the mound:

Right-handed pitcher Charbel Abboud (2019) of Venezuela led all pitchers with six strikeouts. Right-handed pitcher Diego Navarro ('19) and lefty Luis Baldiris ('20) each struck out five batters while eligible right-handers Angel Ramirez and Cristian Nunez from the Dominican Republic each struck out four.

Abboud’s fastball averaged 90.3 mph and topped out at 93.4 mph. The spin rate on the pitch was up to 2,528 rpm, topping the MLB average of 2,263 rpm for fastballs.

Right-handed pitcher Raul Rangel (2019) of Venezuela featured a fastball that topped out at 89.7 mph with a 2,292 rpm spin rate, while right hander Aaron Martinez ('20) of Venezuela threw fastballs in the 89-91 mph range with a 2,454 rpm spin rate.

On the bases:

Several prospects showed their speed on the basepaths. Thomas led the event with four stolen bases while Venezuelan catcher Jason Ollarve (2020) and outfielder Luis Baret ('20) of the Dominican Republic stole three bags each.