I think Jay’s theory #2 (our scouting is mediocre) of why Cleveland is where it is seems to make the most sense. To take it even further, I’m not sure that the Shapiro regime has been very successful in Latin America
Using Retrosheet, these are the only amateur free agents we have signed since 2001 to make the big leagues:
My understanding is that Retrosheet only has this information for guys that made it to the big leagues so I can't tell how many guys we signed in those years, only that these are the only players to make it.
Raffy was a valuable member of the pen for two years, but this can't be the kind of production one wants to see. Granted, there is a bit of a lag here as most of these guys are signed when they are 16 so the oldest would be somewhere around 24. Interestingly enough, however, these three guys were all older than 16 when they signed.
In the pipeline, Hector Rondon, probably our best Latin American prospect signed in 2004. Jeanmar Gomez and Kelvin De La Cruz, assuming they signed when they were 16 were also from the 2004 class. Another fairly prominent prospect, Carlos Rivero signed in 2005. Abner Abreu and Alexander Perez are still a little far away for me to start thinking too much about.
Looking at this, the question is what happened in 2001 (transition year), 2002 and 2003? I’m not sure if they spent a bunch of money and missed or they decided not to spend much in the region. And what about the guys in the pipeline, how much better are they? The problem is, when it comes to Latin America, there is so much that I don’t know. I have no idea how much money it cost to sign these guys, how much money we have spent total, how much comparative to other teams, etc.
In case anyone was wondering, Fausto, Victor, and Jhonny were all signed prior to Shapiro taking over. The other Latin American players, on the team and in the minors, were all received in trades.
I made this a fanpost as the last thread was way too long for my internet connection.