International Reviews: Washington Nationals
Baseball America's annual
International Reviews provide
scouting reports on every team's top international amateur signings from
the 2012 calendar year, as well as a look at any notable signings from
the Cuban market.
See also: 2011 National League East International
OF Luis Guzman, Dominican Republic, $385,000.
3B Neivy Pilier (Dominican Republic), OF Aldrem Corredor (Venezuela).
After years of high draft picks, the Nationals won't make a selection until No. 68 overall this June. Given that the Nationals had a 45-32 record heading into July 2 and seemed likely to be picking at the end of the first round anyway (a pick they no longer have after signing free agent reliever Rafael Soriano) and have one of the smallest international bonus pools for the upcoming 2013-14 signing period, it's somewhat surprising that the organization wasn't more aggressive internationally last year. They did spend more than usual, however, as they move further away from the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal.
Dominican center fielder Luis Guzman
, who signed on July 2 for $385,000, might be one of the best international players the Nationals have signed in several years. Guzman, who turned 17 in September, trained with Amaurys Nina and was one of the top hitters in the International Prospect League. The lefty has an advanced approach at the plate, great balance and good bat speed. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Guzman is a 55 runner who can play center field now with a 55 arm. He's going to have to monitor his body and may end up moving to a corner as he gets larger.
Venezuelan outfielder Aldrem Corredor
signed soon after Guzman for $190,000. Corredor, a 17-year-old from Caracas who trained with Luis Davalillo, played for Venezuela at the 16U World Championships in Mexico in 2011. Corredor is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and stood out for his power potential from the left side of the plate. He's a big-bodied guy who's gotten himself into better shape recently. He's around an average runner and will play a corner outfield position.
In December, the Nationals added Dominican third baseman Neivy Pilier
) for $225,000. Pilier, who became eligible to sign when he turned 16 on Aug. 1, trained with Christian Batistia (known as "Niche") and played in the Dominican Prospect League. Pilier is 6-foot-1, 180 pounds with a fast righthanded swing that generates loft and occasional power from right-center field over to his pull side. He can get too uphill, however, so he's working to keep his swing compact. He has a strong arm at third base but he's still cleaning up his footwork.
Like Pilier and outfielder Randy Novas (the recipient of Washington's biggest international bonus ($150,000) in 2011), Dominican outfielder Darryl Florentino
also trained with Batista. Florentino, a July 2 signing for $85,000, is a speedy center fielder with an athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame and an average arm. The run tool stands out most about Florentino because his bat is still raw, but he's worked with Nationals coaches to revamp his swing and take a more direct path to the ball.