2018-19 International Reviews: Atlanta Braves
This is part of Ben Badler's 2018-19 International Reviews series chronicling all the moves made by teams on the international market over the prior year. To see all 30 teams, click here.
Total 2018 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018) signings: 23
The Braves are still in the process of rebuilding their international program after Major League Baseball slammed them with penalties following the 2017 season for international signing violations in previous years.
MLB removed several players from the Braves, though the signing restrictions the commissioner's office imposed on the club won't start until July 2, when the Braves won't be able to sign anyone for more than $10,000 in 2019-20. During the 2018-19 signing period, which began last year on July 2, the Braves couldn't sign anyone for more than $300,000, which was the standard penalty box teams any team enters for two years for exceeding its bonus pool, which the Braves did in 2016-17.
The biggest bonus the Braves gave in 2018 was $200,000 to 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Francisco Floyd, who trained at the Tiburones academy. A wiry 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Floyd is an athletic, quick-twitch shortstop who sticks out for his defensive ability. He projects to stay at the position, where he has good actions, nimble footwork and reads the ball well off the bat, with his arm and speed both grading out as 55 tools. Floyd's glove is more advanced than his bat. He has an aggressive hitting approach with a spray bat from the right side.
Frankelvin Vidal is a 16-year-old Dominican righthander who signed with the Braves for $165,000 in July after training with Banana. Vidal has a smaller, relatively filled out frame (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) with a wide back and a fastball that touches the low 90s. He has a simple delivery, throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate and keeping the ball down in the zone, though with the ability to get swing-and-miss when he elevates. Vidal primarily works off his fastball, sprinkling in a slider with short break.
Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Paiva, who trained with Guillermo Quintero, signed with the Braves in July. Paiva is still learning to translating his tools into game skills, but if that clicks he has a chance to be a power/speed threat in center field. He has a lot of space to fill out his wiry frame (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and is already showing flashes of above-average raw power. He's also an above-average runner with an above-average arm, giving him a good chance to stay in center field.
Dominican righthander Cesari Moreno signed for $135,000 in July after training with Quico Pena. He's 6-foot-4, 205 pounds with broad shoulders, strong legs and a big fastball for a 17-year-old. He has steadily gained velocity, regularly reaching the low 90s now and topping out at 96 mph. He throws a power curveball with good depth and has shown feel for a changeup with fading action, though he's still learning to keep his delivery in balance to be able to throw more strikes.
Podcast: Fixing The Braves Bullpen And Signing Braden Bishop
J.J. and Kyle break down the Braves bullpen woes, and scout Jeff Sakamoto joins the podcast to discuss signing Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop.
See also: 2017-18 Braves International Review
See also: 2016-17 Braves International Review (Notable prospect Kevin Maitan)
See also: 2015-16 Braves International Review (Notable prospect Cristian Pache)
See also: 2014-15 Braves International Review (Notable prospect Ronald Acuna Jr.)
See also: 2013-14 Braves International Review (Notable prospect Ozzie Albies)
See also: 2012-13 Braves International Review
See also: 2011-12 NL East International Review