LOS ANGELES - Legendary Dodgers scout Mike Brito was named International Scout of the Year at Major League Baseball's winter meetings in San Diego. Brito will be recognized today at a reception to be held at the Grand Hyatt's Coronado Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. Brito joined the Dodgers as a scout in 1978 and has signed 21 players who have reached the Major Leagues: RHP Bobby Castillo, RHP Luis Sanchez, LHP Fernando Valenzuela, OF Karim Garcia, RHP Ismael Valdes, RHP Antonio Osuna, SS Juan Castro, LHP Dennys Reyes, C Geronimo Gil, C Noe Munoz, LHP Victor Alvarez, RHP Isidro Marquez, LHP Arturo Lopez, LHP Alfonso Pulido, LHP Ediberto Oropesa, RHP David Cortez, LHP Daniel Garibay, RHP Joaquin Soria, INF Oscar Robles, OF Yasiel Puig and LHP Onelki Garcia.
"We congratulate Mike on his significant contributions to the Dodgers' international scouting efforts and his success overall in baseball," said Dodger Vice President International Scouting Bob Engle. "Mike has been an instrumental member of our organization for more than three decades and we are grateful for his service to the club."
A native of Cuba, Brito, 80, was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. He maintains a full schedule in pursuit of talent throughout the year and his trademark Panama hat makes him one of the most recognized figures within the international baseball community. Brito played with the Washington Senators' minor league system from 1955-61, reaching the Triple-A level. He later played professionally in Mexico from 1961-66 and moved to Los Angeles in 1968. As a Mexican League scout, Brito continued to play baseball on the weekends, which led to his association with the Dodgers. Brito signed Castillo after the Lincoln High School product struck out Brito on a full-count screwball with the bases loaded during an adult baseball league game in East Los Angeles in 1977. Castillo, the first player signed by Brito, eventually taught the screwball pitch to Valenzuela during the Arizona Instructional League in 1979. Two years later, Valenzuela became the only player in Major League history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in the same season for the 1981 World Champion Dodgers.
Brito will be the fourth recipient of the the International Scout of the Year Award. Past recipients are Ralph Avila, Los Angeles Dodgers (2006), Epy Guerrero, Toronto Blue Jays (2008) and Fred Ferreira, Baltimore Orioles (2012). The International Award began in 2006 and alternates every other year along with the Director's Award which was started in 2004. Neither the International Award nor Director's Award was given in 2009 or 2011.