6/20/2018 – Dominican Summer League Indians

The Dominican Summer League doesn’t get much press, but it is the starting place for nearly every single international signee, many of whom become big name prospects upon reaching the US. On this date two years ago, a couple of those big name prospects had a really big day against the DSL Rays 2.

Mike Garcia12
Garcia makes a start for the Indians in 2018 extended spring training. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

On the mound, it was all Garcia as Mike Garcia started and went six shut out innings with just two hits and two walks allowed before Luis C. Garcia allowed one run over the final three, earning the save and striking out three. Don’t let the save confuse you, however, as this one was all about the offense.

After a scoreless first, the Indians put on a show in the second. After a Roger Marmol strike out, five consecutive batters reached including three walks and wrapped up by an RBI Brayan Rocchio single. After, Alexfri Planez struck out, but an error allowed Cesar Idrogo to extend the inning and keep the bases loaded. Big man, Jhonkensy Noel, didn’t allow the extra out go to waste as he hit a grand slam for his second home run of the season (he ended up with 10 on the season).

Brayan Rocchio
Rocchio dives for a ball during 2018 Indians extended spring training in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

The Indians took the third off as well, but brought home two more in the fourth, largely thanks to another error. Jean Montero lead off with a walk, then Rocchio singled him home thanks to a Dahiandy Johnson two base error. Rocchio then came home from third on an Idrogo single to push the lead to 9-0.

Rocchio’s next at bat came in the 5th when he doubled, followed by a Planez single and another Idrogo hit to bring home run number ten. Rocchio would come through one more time for the DSL Tribe in the seventh following another walk and another defensive miscue. This time, Daniel Aguilar walked, was replaced on the bases by a Jean Montero fielder’s choice. Montero took second on a wild pitch, then scored on a Rocchio single giving Rocchio four hits, three runs scored and two RBI before he was replaced on the bases by Jose Tena.

Cesar Idrogo
Idrogo stands at the plate for the Indians during 2019 extended spring training. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Rocchio wouldn’t be long for  the DSL as he played just 25 games before his .323/.391/.434 line helped advance him to the AZL, where he continued to dominate. He made it to Mahoning Valley last year and is currently considered the Indians #3 prospect by the IBI staff. Noel spent the rest of the season in the Dominican as he was just 16 when he completed this feat, but is already considered a top 50 prospect with the team as well. Idrogo also had a great season as a 17 year old in 2018 with a .309/.361/.436 batting line, although he did not perform to a similar level in the AZL in 2019.

As good as this DSL Indians team seemed at the time and as solid as their prospects were (Planez, Tena, both Garcias, Sergio Morillo, Jose Oca, Jerson Ramirez and Brauny Munoz have all had much success in the US), things really fell apart after this game. While this rout brought them to 8-8, they finished 32-40, 2nd to last in the DSL North behind only the combo Indians/Brewers squad.

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