Brito’s other signings include the present Dodgers starter, Julio Urias, who won 20 games in 2021; the mercurial outfielder Yasiel Puig, who’s Cuban; pitchers Ismael Valdez, Joakim Soria, Antonio Osuna, Victor Gonzalez and Dennys Reyes; shortstop Juan Castro and the outfielder Karim Garcia. One other of his finds, Bobby Castillo, a converted third baseman often known as Babo, taught Valenzuela the best way to throw a screwball.
“I’m not lying to you,” Brito told The Los Angeles Times in 2011. “Inside every week, Fernando was throwing the screwball nearly as good as Babo.”
Mike Brito was born on Aug. 21, 1934, in Cuba and was a catcher who, starting in 1955, played three seasons within the lower tiers of the Washington Senators’ minor league system, then several seasons within the Mexican League.
After retiring, he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work as a truck driver and arrange an adult amateur league that he also played in.
Scouting became his option to stay in baseball. “Because of God, I became a scout within the Mexican League,” he said in a brief video profile, “The White Hat & Wild Horse: The Scout Who Found Puig.” When he was asked by Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis to work for the team, he recalled considering, “It’s like you discover a man within the desert and ask him if he wants a glass of water.