Jodaneli Carvajal Named Top International Prospect
Ben Badler from Baseball America recently posted what he considered the top 20 prospects who played in either the DSL or VSL in 2010. His only requirement was that the player had at least 100 plate appearances or 25 innings pitched. The article requires a subscription and can be viewed here.
Representing the Pittsburgh Pirates on the list was Jodaneli Carvajal. He was signed by Pittsburgh as a 16 year old in June of 2008 for $350 K which at the time was the second highest bonus for an International player in team history, trailing only Exicardo Cayonez who starred in the GCL this past season. At the time some scouts said that Jodaneli could be the best of the Pirates 2008 International signings, which besides Cayonez also included Yhonathan Barrios who signed for $250 K and made the GCL roster after just one season in the DSL.
Carvajal lacks size, listed at just 5′ 9″ 145 lbs, but he is a good line drive hitter who makes decent contact hitting from both sides of the plate. He will take his share of walks and has great speed which he will eventually be able to use to steal 30+ bases yearly in the future. He has great hands in the field and a strong arm with the ability to stay at SS.
In 2009 he played just 33 games in the DSL, mostly as a DH with seven games at 2B. He batted .259 and was a perfect 17-17 in stolen bases.
In 2010 he returned to the DSL playing a full season with most of his games spent at SS occasionally taking turns at 2B. He hit .304 with 26 walks and a team leading 23 stolen bases. His .766 OPS was good for third on the team and his 58 runs scored was the highest total among both the DSL and VSL.
He was invited to the Fall Instructional League in Bradenton following the 2010 season and he is currently in the minor league spring training camp, with the strong possibility he will open up the 2011 season in the GCL. A call up to State College at some point is also possible, likely late in the year if it happens.