2020-21 MLB International Reviews: Kansas City Royals
After adding one of the top outfielders in the 2019 class with the signing of Erick Peña from the Dominican Republic, the Royals built their 2020 class around one of the country's top shortstop prospects.
Top Of The Class
Early on, Daniel Vazquez was a skinny 5-foot-9 shortstop who lacked bat strength, but he has shot up to 6-foot-2, 160 pounds and is now one of the top players in the class from the Dominican Republic. Even before his growth spurt, Vazquez had good actions on both sides of the ball, attributes that are still intact. He has high physical upside with a lot of space left to fill out his lean, wiry frame and for his tools to continue to jump. Vazquez has good bat path from the right side, keeping the bat in the hitting zone for a long time with good contact skills and a line-drive approach. While other hitters his age often get pull-happy, Vazquez stays through the ball well to drive the ball to the middle of the field. The strength projection in his frame suggests a player who could grow into 20-plus home run power in the future. He's a below-average runner, and while projecting speed gains is tricky, he has the body type and athleticism where he could still get faster. Even if he doesn't, he has the ability to stay at shortstop, with easy actions, good footwork and body control, ranging well to both sides and coming in on the ball. He flashes a plus arm already that could tick up a grade once he gets stronger. Vazquez trained with Jaime Ramos.
Names To Know
Yosmi Fernandez, SS, Dominican Republic: Fernandez has a compact build (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) with good contact skills from both sides of the plate, producing line drives with doubles power. He he's an instinctive player with good actions and game acumen for 16-years-old, with a future somewhere in the middle infield whether it's at shortstop or second base. He trained at the MB Academy.
Sebastian Ramirez, OF, Venezuela: Ramirez has a promising blend of physicality, projection and tools. He has a tall, lean frame with broad shoulders, with a chance for plus raw power and arm strength with good speed and a possibility he could stick in center field, though he might outgrow the position. Ramirez is a lefty with a power-over-hit profile, so there's risk in his bat, but his raw tools stood out in Venezuela, where he trained with Yasser Mendez.
Diego Guzman, SS, Venezuela: Guzman has a compact 5-foot-11 frame and has a chance to be an offensive-minded infielder with good swing path, bat speed and hard contact with an advanced approach for his age. Guzman will probably start off at shortstop, though he could end up at second or third base. He and Sebastian Ramirez trained together in the same program with Yasser Mendez.
Angel Parra, OF, Dominican Republic: Parra is a sweet-swinging lefty hitter with a short, quick stroke with good bat control, a line-drive, all-fields approach and gap power from his slender frame. He will get time in center field, though his foot speed could push him to a corner. He trained at the Elite Baseball Camp.
Steven Cespedes, C, Dominican Republic: Training with Quico Peña, Cespedes is a lefthanded hitter with a good offensive approach for a 17-year-old catcher, using the whole field with solid bat-to-ball skills and doubles power.
Venezuelan outfielder Junior Marin moves surprisingly well for his strong 6-foot-3 build, improving his speed by a grade over the past two years to become a plus runner now. He's a hard-nosed player with an unorthodox swing but has solid contact skills and trended up later in the process while training with Alexis Quiroz.