2020-21 MLB International Reviews: Minnesota Twins
After spending heavily on a pair of corner outfield bats from the Dominican Republic in their previous signing class with Emmanuel Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa, the Twins' 2020-21 international signing class centered around Venezuelan shortstop Danny De Andrade.
Top Of The Class
A Venezuelan shortstop who trained with Jaime Ramos in the Dominican Republic as an amateur, Danny De Andrade was one of the early standouts in the 2020-21 international class. De Andrade performed well in games before signing, showing a short, fast swing with an advanced approach for his age to use the whole field. As he's added strength to his 6 foot frame, his power has trended up from more of a line-drive hitter with doubles pop to now being able to hit the ball out of the park in games, with a chance for above-average power as he continues his physical maturity. A below-average runner, De Andrade reads the ball well off the bat at shortstop, where he has quick actions, good body awareness and plays under control. He has the arm strength for the left side of the infield, though some scouts think he might outgrow shortstop and end up at third base.
The Twins also signed shortstop Freddy La Flor out of the Dominican Republic. He's a smaller-framed shortstop (5-foot-9, 150 pounds) with plus speed and the athleticism to play somewhere in the middle of the diamond. He has an average arm and could end up getting time at second base or center field as well. La Flor is a switch-hitter with a quick bat, with some scouts believing in his contact skills, though he doesn't project to hit for much extra-base damage. He trained with Carlos Guzman.
Names To Know
Rafael Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic: Cruz is the younger brother of Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz. Cruz was an up-and-down performer in games in the Dominican Republic, though scouts highest on him liked his future power potential once he fills out his 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame. Cruz trained with Banana as a shortstop, though he's likely to move over to third base or an outfield corner.
Reynaldo Madrigal, OF, Dominican Republic: Madrigal trained with Alfredo Arias as a shortstop, but he moved to the outfield, where he has a plus-plus arm for right field. He's a good athlete for a corner outfielder and has a chance to hit for power once he packs on weight to his lanky 6-foot-3 frame, with encouraging strides from his righthanded hitting ability over the past year.
Luis Rodriguez, SS, Dominican Republic: Rodriguez is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound switch-hitter who stood out most for his offensive potential, with a line-drive approach and gap power, projecting best long term at second base or possibly third. Rodriguez trained with Aldo Marrero.
Andres Centeno, OF, Venezuela: Centeno is a 6-foot-1 corner outfielder with impressive righthanded raw power for a 17-year-old, with a power-over-hit profile that will need adjustments against live pitching.
Santo Martinez, SS, Dominican Republic: Martinez is a 5-foot-9 middle infielder who impressed some scouts for his lefthanded-hitting ability, geared toward hitting line drives with doubles power. Martinez could develop at shortstop but might also end up at second base. He trained with Patrick Guerrero.
For a while, Jose Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old rigthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup. Olivares trained with Steward Salazar.