2020-21 MLB International Reviews: Oakland Athletics
The 2019 signing class for the Athletics primarily centered around one player, shortstop Robert Puason out of the Dominican Republic. Their most recent international class took a similar approach, led by another premium athlete from the Dominican Republic and supplemented by more depth, with projection signings from Venezuela.
Top Of The Class
Dominican center fielder Pedro Pineda stood out early in the scouting process as one of the top players in the 2020 international class while training with Nube. He has a strong but lean, broad-shouldered frame (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) with physical projection remaining and has one of the best combinations of power and speed for a 2020 player. He's a quick-twitch athlete with explosive actions in the batter's box and in the field, showing plus-plus speed at his best. His barrel whips through the zone with excellent bat speed, generating plus raw power that could still tick up as he layers on more strength. Pineda shines in a workout setting and scouts highest on him saw him perform well against live pitching. There were times when his swing had extra length and loop to the ball, though he has worked to cut down on that to improve his bat path. Pineda has the speed and above-average arm strength to project in center field as long as he can maintain most of his speed and athleticism once he packs on more size.
Names To Know
Angel Arevalo, OF, Venezuela: While Pedro Pineda is the headliner of the class, Arevalo is the team's most exciting Venezuelan signing of the group. He was a long-term physical projection bet early on who got bigger, stronger and quicker during the shutdown in 2020. He's a center fielder with at least solid-average speed now and an above-average arm with a promising bat now showing more pop than he did a year ago due to his strength gains.
Anderson Machado Jr., SS, Venezuela: Machado's father, Anderson Machado, got 68 at-bats over three major league seasons as a shortstop with the Phillies, Reds and Rockies between 2003-05. Machado Jr. shows instincts for the game expected from a son of a former big leaguer, with a good offensive approach for his age and a solid swing from the right side with gap power. He doesn't have a plus tool that sticks out now, though there's more physical projection left in his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame. Machado doesn't have ideal quickness at shortstop, so he may end up at third base or possibly the outfield.
Moises Hernandez, RHP, Venezuela: Hernandez has a strong, powerful 6-foot-3 frame with his velocity climbing over the past year to reach 94 mph, with projection for more gas in the tank. He projects as a power arm with a slider and changeup coming from a good delivery for his age.
Jesus Perdigon, RHP, Venezuela: Perdigon's stuff depends on his long-term physical projection. He has a slender 6-foot-2 frame and should add to a mid-to-upper-80s fastball once he fills out, with solid bite on his curveball for his age as well.
Dayker Baldallo, SS, Venezuela: Baldallo has shown smooth actions at shortstop, where he has soft hands, good range and arm strength. He's a defensive-minded player with solid bat speed and a flat path to spray the ball around the field from the left side and will benefit from gaining much-needed strength to his skinny 5-foot-10 frame.
Ray Garrett, SS, Venezuela: Garrett is another smaller-framed (5-foot-10, 155 pounds), defensive-oriented shortstop. He projects to stay in the middle infield with soft hands and a quick release to an average arm.
There is a small number of players who sign out of Brazil each year. One of the better Brazilian players in this year's class was Sullivan Ribeiro, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound lefthander with pitching mechanics and mannerisms reminiscent of Dontrelle Willis. He gained significant velocity over the scouting process, going from the upper 70s early on to being able to reach 91 mph, showing feel for both his slider and changeup to give him a potential starter's repertoire.