The 2012 draft was unusual for several reasons. Aside from the new rules, there was little consensus about who the best player in the draft
was or how teams had the top of their boards lined up.
In the world of scouting 15- and 16-year-old international free agents, that lack of consensus is more routine. One team might view a player as a
$1 million prospect, while another sees the same kid as a $100,000 guy.
The best players usually rise to the top, though there is always disagreement about even who those players are. And there are always players who sign for bonuses that leave scouts from other teams scratching their heads. There have always been bonuses given out for questionable reasons, but this year there will be a new twist with the $2.9 million bonus limit for each team—and the relative ease with which teams could bend the rules if they want.
So in our international amateur rankings, we are doing things a little differently. In the past we have ranked players based on their expected signing bonuses, but this year we have ranked the top 20 players in the international market for July 2 based on talent, just as we do with our draft rankings. We aren’t sure exactly how the bonuses will line up, but
our rankings are an attempt to capture the scouting consensus of the industry—to the degree that it exists. The list does not include players
who have already been eligible to sign or suspended players, like Dominican righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua.
The players at the top of the list have separated themselves, but after you get past the top 15 or 20 you’ll find a large pool of players who generate a wider variance of opinion and are fairly close together in terms of value. For that reason, we cut the list off at 20. We will continue to add more scouting reports on notable players in the coming days, as well as a team-by-team forecast for Baseball America subscribers, who can read full scouting reports on the top 20 players.
1. Franklin Barreto, ss/cf, Venezuela
2. Luis Torrens, c, Venezuela (video)
3. Jose Mujica, rhp, Venezuela (video)
4. Alexander Palma, of, Venezuela (video)
5. Gustavo Cabrera, of, Dominican Republic (video)
6. Jose Castillo, lhp, Venezuela (video)
7. Luiz Gohara, lhp, Brazil
8. Carlos Belen, 3b, Dominican Republic (video)
9. Luis Castro, ss, Venezuela
10. Wendell Rijo, ss, Dominican Republic (video)
11. Amed Rosario, ss, Dominican Republic (video)
12. Amaurys Minier, ss, Dominican Republic (video)
13. Richard Urena, ss, Dominican Republic (video)
14. David Rodriguez, c, Venezuela (video)
15. Deivi Grullon, c, Dominican Republic (video)
16. Julio de la Cruz, 3b, Dominican Republic (video)
17. Jose Almonte, rhp, Dominican Republic
18. Sergio Alcantara, ss, Dominican Republic
19. Frandy de la Rosa, ss, Dominican Republic (video)
20. Jose Pujols, of, Dominican Republic (video)