Scout Avila proud to see Pedro elected to Hall

Talent evaluator convinced Dodgers that 16-year-old was worth signing in 1988

Scout Avila proud to see Pedro elected to Hall

BOSTON -- While Pedro Martinez had the honor of being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, the scout who signed the right-hander as a 16-year-old in 1988 looked back with pride.

Ralph Avila, who was one of the pioneers in finding talent in the Dominican Republic, convinced his bosses with the Los Angeles Dodgers that Martinez was worth signing for reasons more substantial than being Ramon Martinez's kid brother.

In fact, Avila still remembers the report he sent to his boss after Martinez's second pro season.

• Pedro Martinez gear

"I sent my scouting report to Charlie Blaney, who was the farm director," said Avila. "I remember what I recommended about him. I said, 'He's a little kid, not that strong, but he's very smart and very dedicated. He has the makeup. He has a lot of things. Because of his size, we have to take care of him real well.' The rest is history."

Martinez became the second Dominican player to be elected into the Hall of Fame, joining Juan Marichal.

Avila had the inside track on Pedro thanks to Ramon Martinez, whom he had signed in 1984.

"When [Pedro] first came to our camp, he was 12 or 13 years old, there with his brother," Avila said. "He was already a very active kid, played Little League. Not too many people wanted him because of his size. His brother was doing so well, and his father was a pitcher in the Dominican Republic. The first year, we didn't use [Pedro] too much. The second year, we really used him."

As it turns out, Martinez would pitch just one full Major League season for the Dodgers, getting traded to the Expos for Delino DeShields.

Pedro elected to Hall of Fame

"We offered his brother Ramon, we offered [Pedro] Astacio, we offered Ismail Valdes, but Felipe Alou insisted on Pedro," said Avila.

Though that transaction still stings Dodgers fans, Aviles was thrilled to see the pitcher Pedro Martinez evolved into.

"I have a section there in Cooperstown in the Latin America exhibit -- my scouting report on Pedro Martinez is there," said Avila.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.