Omar Minaya and Theo Epstein spoke at a round table
discussion over the weekend and the subject of Latin American player development came up. This was fun:
While many big-name players have emerged from the Dominican Republic,
the highly touted athletes often are kept out of baseball games and
kept in training facilities, thus explaining the tendency of Dominican
prospects to be more raw than most minor-leaguers. Buscones, which are
similar to agents in the Dominican Republic, take the talented children
(as young as 10 years old, according to Minaya and Epstein) and have
them fine-tune their stills through drills. This hinders their baseball
thinking so much that Epstein recalled a player that the Red Sox had
given $500,000 to that they soon realized did not understand what a
force out was.
Of course, given the fact that the Red Sox haven’t produced a single Latin American prospect of note under Theo Epstein maybe this anecdote says more about the Sox’ Latin American scouts than it says about the habits of Dominican kids and the buscones who find them.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.