Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top International Signings of 2010

•1. Esteilon Peguero, SS, SEA
Peguero is a long, lean athletic player that is a shortstop currently but will likely move to 3B. He doesn't have a lot of power right now, but I project him to have above average power. His bonus was recently reduced from $2.9 million

to $1.1 million. The Mariners didn't give a reason, but he is still my favorite international player signed this season.

•2. Adeiny Hechevarria, SS, TOR
Hechevarria is a solid defensive SS with an average bat at the position. He won't be a dominant force, but could be a good hitter in time. He is very raw though and it showed in his pro debut batting .266 and slugging .357.

•3. Luis Heredia, P, PIT
Heredia has a really good breaking ball and a mid 90's fastball at his best. He throws 4 pitches and he could fight Taillon and Allie for the top pitcher in the Pirates rotation.

•4. Carlos Matias, P, STL
Matias ate DSL hitters alive with his upper 90's fastball. The K/BB rate is exciting for a guy who can get close to 100 MPH. He's far from a likely success, but a great fastball like that can't be taught and can allow a pitcher to succeed much more readily. He could be the best pitcher out of this group.

•5. Renato Nunez, 3B, OAK
Nunez is 6'1" and about 175 lbs but he can really hit. He has plus power potential and a nice swing that should generate enough offense to play any corner position. He is a 3B now and has a decent chance of staying there.

•6. Adonis Cardona, P, TOR
Cardona is a lanky righty who can reach 93 and sits in the low 90's. He is very raw mechanically and will need time to refine his command and develop secondary pitches. His curveball flashes plus potential but other times is below average. He reminds me a little of Mets 10th rounder from this year, Akeel Morris, who signed for $120,000.

•7. Joel Araujo, OF, TB
Araujo may be the most likely OF to stick in CF out of this class, even if his arm is a little weak. He has a powerful swing and should develop 15 HR power and should be able to steal 20-30 bags with his plus speed. He is one of the more polished players to come out of the D.R. this season.

•8. Phillips Castillo, OF, SEA
When you see Castillo, you have to dream. His frame could allow him to be a truly massive human being. He's 6'3 and about 185 LBS and could grow to be 6'6" and 225 without too much imagination. He is an average runner now and could end up below average. He is a RF and he has the arm to play there. He needs a lot of work in the outfield, though. At the plate, he has a hitch in his swing at the start but he has good bat speed and generates plus power which could increase as he gains strength. He could be the best hitter in this years' class.

•9. Roughned Odor, SS, TEX
Odor has an easy swing and looks like he should hit very well early on and could be one of the quickest to advance to full season ball. His defense is good but his arm looks below average for shortstop. I would love to see his range and quickness at 2B where he could really be impressive.

•10. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF, OAK
Vicmal is a small lefty with a short, quick, level swing that is ideal for a line drive hitter. I am confused when I look at him because I can't see him getting a lot bigger or stronger unless he grows a few inches. He has very good speed and should be able to play centerfield. His arm is average, maybe a touch above for centerfield.

•11. Danry Vazquez, OF, DET
Vazquez is another projectable OF. He has a nice line drive swing and should develop power as he gains strength. His arm is solid and should be able to play RF. He doesn't have the speed to stick in CF, though. My gut tells me to watch this guy closely.

•12. Wagner Mateo, OF, ARI
Mateo originally signed in 2009 with the Cardinals for $3.1 million but his contract was voided after failing the physical, apparently due to vision impairment. He ended up signing with Arizona for a huge discount at $512,000. He had an adequate season in the Dominican Summer League hitting .257 with a .401 slugging percentage. He did have contact issues and was rawer than I originally thought. He is still worth watching because he is an exceptional athlete.

•13. Ariel Ovando, OF, HOU
Ovando is a long, lean player with a setup and swing that no one would teach a young hitter. He waggles the bat and has a long swing that generates a lot of power but creates big holes for good pitchers to take advantage of. Adjusting this will be crucial to his success. His bat is his ticket to wherever he goes, as he's not a great defender or speedy player.

•14. Jorge Padron, OF, BOS
Padron doesn't have the ceiling of many of the players on this list, but is likely to at least be a 4th OF'er at the big league level. His average and power were not great this season in the Eastern league but he should improve this year, which will be his age 24 season.

•15. Gabriel Cenas, 3B, TOR
Cenas is a power hitting 3B that will keep growing into his power but is just scratching the surface now. He's not overly athletic and may have to move off of 3B but his bat is his calling card.

•16. Jin Yeong Kim, RHP, CHC
Kim signed for $1.2 million in March and can throw up to 92. I don't know a lot else about this Korean pitcher but the amount the Cubs spent makes me take notice.

•17. Christopher Tamarez, SS, NYY
Tamarez is a glove first SS that could grow into an average offensive shortstop. He had a good Dominican Prospect League season as well.

•18. Javier Pimentel, SS, MIN
Pimentel is along the lines of Minnesota's signing last season of Jorge Polanco. They are both athletic, glove first shortstops who are likely to stick there but don't have much offensive upside.

•19. Jose Torres, P, SEA
Torres is a rare signing out of Colombia and Seattle paid him $851,000. He won't blow you away with velocity, as he throws mostly upper 80's. He is very raw but could improve a lot as he gains strength and gets better coaching.

•20. Hector Veloz, 3B, BAL
The Veloz signing confuses me. He has potential with the bat and is a decent 3B, but paying $300,000 for a kid who already tested positive for anabolic steroids shocks me. I think he could really a good hitter but I don't know what kind of player he'll be after he is off steroids.

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