In 2022, a look at the standings in the Domincan Summer League won’t show you a lot of hopeful things for the Giants. Both teams, the DSL Giants Orange (26-32) and DSL Giants Black (22-38) finished the season in the basement of the DSL South Division. However, even with some disappointing production, there were still some interesting players to follow from 2022.
The Top Signee
No one was more highly anticipated for this signing period than shortstop Ryan Reckley, who signed with a bonus of $2.2 million, the highest bonus the Giants have given in the international market since Marco Luciano’s $2.6 million in 2018. Unfortunately, his debut season was shortened. Reckley was hitless in his first five games, and then was put on the shelf after just six games, missing two and a half weeks. He got in five more after that before missing the rest of the season.
In just 11 games, Reckley hit .194/.370/.222, going 7-for-36 with one double, and nine walks to ten strikeouts. But it’s worth noting the incredible differences in the two short stints. He was 2-for-21 (.095) in the first six games, but with seven walks to eight strikeouts, and the double for his only extra-base hit. In the final five games, he was 5-for-15 (.333), but he didn’t let as many pitches go by, notching only two walks and only two strikeouts.
It’s still far too early to know what kind of player Reckley will turn into, but hopefully he’s healthy enough in 2023 to find out.
Two other Giants had significant bonuses in the 2021-2022 signing period, though neither had overwhelming debuts. Catcher Juan Pérez got $1.1 million, and was ranked the 43rd overall prospect in the signing period. Pérez played 47 games, and was among the team leaders, which is pretty notable for a catcher. He caught in 33 games, and was DH for the other 14. He hit .222/.312/.294 with two doubles and three home runs, and had 14 walks to 50 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, shortstop Dennys Riera got $700k, the 3rd-highest bonus the Giants paid out in the period. However, he struggled in his debut, batting .154/.237/.279, but half of his hits were extra bases. Out of 16 hits, he had five doubles, one triple, and two home runs.
Curiously, all three of these top signees were on the same DSL team, the Orange one. I doubt that means anything, but it was curious.
Other Top Performances
The best hitter for either team was Eliam Sandoval, albeit for a shorter time. In his second year, Sandoval hit .314/.392/.535 with four doubles and five home runs. Unfortunately he was limited to 26 games, leaving the July 21st game apparently with an injury, and was placed on the 60-day IL back just two weeks later. Sandoval was just 18 for the season, so hopefully he will come back in 2023 to follow up the strong season.
The other top hitter was 19-year old center fielder Estanlin Cassiani, who hit .375/.422/.415 in his second year at the level, with 14 doubles to 21 strikeouts and had 15 steals in 22 attempts. Cassiani wasn’t a power hitter, with just five extra base hits, three doubles and two triples, out of 66 total hits.
The DSL Giants’ leader in steals was 19-year old shortstop Jose Ramos, who had 22 steals in 23 attempts. Ramos hit .272/.400/.422 in his second go-around in the DSL, and walked 29 times to 28 strikeouts in some impressive plate discipline for the level. Ramos also had 11 doubles, a triple, and three home runs, showing a fair amount of pop for a speed-oriented hitter.
On the mound, the teams did not have any overwhelming pitching prospects. The lowest ERA put up by a regular starter was Luis Bermudez, who had a 1.45 ERA in 11 games, 10 of which were starts. He had just a 0.88 WHIP, with 13 walks and 39 strikeouts in 43.1 innings.
On the Orange squad, there were three starters who all showed strikeout potential. Ismael Mota had the best ERA, with a 3.14 ERA while striking out 55 and walking 25 in 43.0 innings. The Giants DSL strikeout leader was Jorge Martinez, who had 67 strikeouts to 22 walks in 50.0 innings, with a 3.42 ERA. Joining them was Melvin Pineda, who had a 3.3 ERA with 40 strikeouts to just 19 walks in 35.0 innings.