While the 2020-21 signing period is still ongoing through December, the Giants so far have signed one of the deepest, high-volume classes of players among any club this year.
Top Of The Class
Venezuelan shortstop Diego Velasquez was a skinny 5-foot-10 shortstop early in the scouting process who grew to 6-foot-1, 162 pounds by the time he signed with the Giants. It’s still a wiry build with the athleticism and actions to be able to stay at shortstop, with slightly above-average speed, soft hands and the arm strength for the left side of the diamond. Velasquez is a switch-hitter with a contact-oriented swing and a line-drive approach from both sides of the plate and is more advanced from the left side. He’s not a big power threat, but he has started to drive the ball better over the past year as he’s gotten bigger. Velasquez trained with his father and with Ronny Cedeno.
Names To Know
Ramon Peralta, SS, Dominican Republic: Peralta takes a big leg kick and buggy whips the barrel through the zone with quick hands, giving him a chance to develop into a power bat with a power-over-hit offensive profile. Peralta worked out at shortstop as an amateur, though he will probably move over to third base in pro ball. Peralta trained with Rudy Santin.
Brian Guzman, OF, Venezuela: Guzman is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound outfielder who has shown signs of a promising righthanded bat and ability to hit with power that should be plus in the future. Guzman is limited to left field defensively, so what he does in the batter’s box will drive his value. He trained with Carlos Guillen.
Mauricio Pierre, OF, Panama: Pierre played right field for Panama’s U-15 World Cup team that won a silver medal in Panama in August 2018. He stands out for his athleticism and physical upside, with a ton of space to fill out his 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame. He’s an average runner with a plus arm and a chance to hit for power once he packs on more size and strength.
Carlos Rosario, OF, Dominican Republic: Rosario is an advanced hitter for his age with a nice lefthanded swing that’s quick, compact and easy. At 6 feet, 190 pounds, he has the bat speed and strength projection to develop above-average power. Rosario’s offensive game will have to carry him with a left field defensive profile. He trained with Sandy Nin.
Derwin Laya, 3B, Venezuela: Laya has ample physical projection left to fill out his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame and grow into plus raw power, with a loose righthanded stroke and a power-over-hit offensive profile. His best tool is a 70 arm, to the point where some scouts thought about what he would look like on the mound, but he signed as a third baseman. Laya trained with Cesar Izturis.
Samuel Rodriguez, SS, Venezuela: Rodriguez is a skinny 5-foot-11 shortstop who projects to stick at the position. He fields his position well, has plus speed and good bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate, albeit without much power. Rodriguez trained with Carlos Guillen.
Jose Astudillo, SS, Venezuela: Astudillo is a fluid defender at shortstop, where he has good hands and easy actions. He has solid contact skills from the right side of the plate, with a glove-over-bat profile. Astudillo trained with Francisco Ortiz.
Eliam Sandoval, OF, Dominican Republic: Like Carlos Rosario, Sandoval is another corner outfielder with a chance to hit and do damage from the left side. At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Sandoval has an easy swing, a good approach for his age and a chance to grow into plus raw power.
Juanel Ureña, SS, Dominican Republic: Ureña doesn’t have one standout tool, but he has easy actions, with a loose, low-effort swing from the right side and slightly above-average speed in center field.
Jan Caraballo, RHP, Dominican Republic: Caraballo has a projectable frame (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) with loose, whippy arm action and a fastball that has grown from mid-to-upper 80s last year to now touching 93 mph. Caraballo’s game beyond his fastball needs more work but he has a chance to throw in the upper 90s once he adds size and strength.
Dominican righthander Gerelmi Maldonado is 6-foot-2, 170 pounds with a fastball that has been up to 92 mph. He has a loose arm that works well and the physical projection for more velocity to come, with a breaking ball that’s ahead of his changeup.