Orioles director of international scouting John Stockstill told me late last night that the club has "evaluators" at the Dominican Prospect League who are "reporting to us on a regular basis."
Stockstill described the league as "basically a showcase" of Dominican teenage players who weren't drafted. It's largely gone unnoticed among fans here until ESPN.com ran a story yesterday with agent Brian Mejia noting how the Orioles and White Sox haven't had a regular presence at games.
Sound the alarms!
"We do have people reporting to us," Stockstill said.
Stockstill also pointed out that many of these players are showcased at other events. "And many of them have probably been at our facility and our camp," he said. "And that's not just Baltimore. That's probably a lot of other clubs, as well."
In other words, the Orioles aren't depending only on this prospect league to evaluate the talent over there. On any given day, you might have 20 workouts taking place at various complexes.
The Orioles are trying to repair the huge deficiencies in their international scouting, and it's a process that won't happen overnight. If you read Dan Connolly's excellent article in The Sun that ran on Dec. 27, you know they're shorthanded. They've been at a disadvantage for too long, and that's inexcusable in my book. But it's being corrected - slowly but surely.
And please stop calling me...OK, anyway...
It's probably worth noting that agents who accuse the Orioles of not having a "regular presence" at the prospect league games might not recognize the organization's representatives due to some structural changes that have taken place. It's not the same cast of characters.
NOTE: The Orioles are expected to announce their minor league staffs later today. That's the word on the street.