After reading through the Hangout's Minor League Forum, in particular this thread, Orioles Director of Minor League Operations David Stockstill called me to set the record straight and to make sure Orioles fans have the skinny on the latest happenings in the Dominican Republic.
"We have five scouts in the Dominican Republic that are either full time or part time," Stockstill explained. "With myself and (Director of International Scouting and David's brother) John Stockstill, that's seven scouts to cover the Dominican."
Stockstill has been responsible for signing Dominican players for the last three years and he's seen an improvement of the quality of players he's been able to sign as the Orioles increase their presence on the island. In April, the Orioles will move into a huge complex that will include two full fields, a housing facility that can lodge and feed up to 75 players, and classrooms. Stockstill believes this will be a huge bump for the Orioles prestige on the island as word spreads about the new first class facility.
Stockstill also touted the hiring of Felipe Alou Jr. who will oversee the new facility and supervise the club's player development program.
Although the Orioles have improved their investment in the Dominican Republic under Andy MacPhail, Stockstill still does not see the Orioles competing for the "bonus babies" that the Yankees and Red Sox compete for. Of course there could always be a situation where the Orioles could get involved in these types of players, but the feeling is that the Yankees and Red Sox with their nearly unlimited budgets will be hard to outbid.
As of now, the Orioles are content to see what type of bump the new facility initiates along with their increased scouting presence.
Considering that Daniel Cabrera, Radhames Liz and Fredy Deza are the only players on the 40-man roster that come from the Orioles Dominican program, and outside of Liz there's not a top 20 prospect in the organization that comes from the island, Orioles fan can only hope the Orioles new emphasis on international scouting will open up another source of amateur talent to bring into the organization.
Thanks to David Stockstill for taking the time to talk directly to Hangouters.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.