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2021-22 International Reviews: Detroit Tigers

Detroit's big international signings from the last few years are either already ranked among their Top 10 prospects or just on the periphery of that group, including Cuban outfielder Roberto Campos, Dominican shortstop Cristian Santana and Venezuelan shortstop Manuel Sequera. They added more high-end talent to their system from this year's class and could end up with a deeper collection of international prospects going forward as they expand from one to two teams this year in the Dominican Summer League.

Top Of The Class

The Tigers snapped up one of the top shortstops in Latin America on Jan. 15, 2021 when they signed Cristian Santana, who got off to a terrific start in the Dominican Summer League and is one of their most exciting prospects at the lower levels. One year later, they added Javier Osorio, one of the top Venezuelan shortstops in this class. Osorio has strong hands and quick wrists to snap the barrel through the zone with whippy bat speed. He has hit well in games with mostly gap power now, but he has the bat speed and physical projection remaining to develop into a 20-plus home run threat. An above-average runner, Osorio has the athleticism, hands, footwork and plus arm to handle shortstop. If he does outgrow the position, he has the attributes and offensive profile to project anywhere else on the infield, but the upside is there for him to be a shortstop with offensive impact.

Samuel Gil doesn't stand out for his physicality or raw tools, but the Venezuelan shortstop became a favorite among some international scouts because of his high baseball IQ and ability to perform in games. Gil separates himself more in games than he does in a workout. He has a relatively smaller, compact frame with baseball instincts beyond his years that are evident in all facets of the game. He puts together quality at-bats with a quick, easy swing that produces a high contact rate in games with the ability to spread line drives around the field. Gil has occasional sneaky juice for his size, but he doesn't project to be a big power threat. In the field, Gil is a savvy player with a good internal clock at shortstop. While some scouts who saw Gil early thought he might be a second baseman because of his arm, that tool has improved to give him a better chance to stick at shortstop.

Names To Know

Josue Briceño, C, Venezuela: During the tryout process, Briceño had a long, lanky frame, one that continues to grow to where he's now at least 6-foot-4 with more strength that he has packed on over the last couple of years. He's now a physical, lefthanded-hitting catcher with big raw power for a catcher his age with the leverage in his swing to drive the ball in the air when he squares it up. Briceño has a strong arm, though at his size and potentially not done growing he will have to work to maintain his athleticism and flexibility to stay behind the plate, with good signs on that early on.

Heison Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic: Sanchez was a switch-hitter early in the process, but he dropped his righthanded swing in favor of his more advanced lefty stroke. Sanchez has a mature approach for his age, tracking pitches well to work himself into favorable counts and make frequent contact with a loose, fluid swing and gap power, with the strength projection for more of his doubles to start flying over the fence in the next few years. Sanchez is an offensive-minded infielder who sticks out more for his game skills (particularly at the plate) than his raw tool set.

Franyerber Montilla, SS, Venezuela: Montilla is an athletic player who should play in the middle of the diamond, with a pair of plus tools between his speed and arm strength. He's a switch-hitter with good bat speed from both sides of the plate, showing a more polished swing path from the left side and more power from the right.

Sleeper Watch

Beyond their top signings, one player to keep an eye on is Junior Quezada, a center fielder from the Dominican Republic. He has an intriguing mix of athleticism, speed, arm strength and bat speed from a player who could stick at a premium position, if everything clicks for him.

AL Central

American League Central Prospect Notebook For July

Organization reports from our five American League Central correspondents, headlined by a Tigers righthander who has learned to become more efficient following a trade.

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