Cleveland Indians 2020-21 International Signing Preview
This is part of Ben Badler's 2020-21 international signing day preview. You can also find his international big board of 2020 prospects here.
The Indians have piled up contact-oriented, switch-hitting shortstops from Latin America in the lower levels of their farm system. They did it with Aaron Bracho and Brayan Rocchio in their 2017 class, Angel Martinez in 2018 and in 2019 with their top signing, Jose Pastrano.
Two of the top players the Indians are expected to sign on Jan. 15, 2021 fit that mold as well, with switch-hitting Dominican shortstops Angel Genao and Fran Alduey both in line for bonuses of around $1 million. Genao has a calm, smooth stroke from both sides of the plate with good bat path. He's an instinctive player and a fundamentally sound defender for 16. Alduey has a smaller, thin frame (5-foot-8, 150 pounds) with good bat-to-ball skills and a solid sense for the strike zone, though without much power.
A third significant signing the Indians are expected to make in January is Robert Lopez, one of the top catchers in Venezuela. Lopez is a lefthanded hitter who has performed well in games with a line-drive approach and gap power. He projects to stick behind the plate, showing solid catch-and-throw skills for his age.
Richard Polanco is another switch-hitting Dominican shortstop the Indians are expected to sign, with his bonus likely coming in around the $500,000 range. Polanco might end up at second or third base, but his feel for hitting is advanced for his age, with a line-drive approach and gap power.
Dominican shortstop Yefri Rivera and Venezuelan shortstop Emerson Purroy are among the other notable names linked to the Indians. So are Dominican shortstop Miguel Lopez and Dominican outfielder Crisofer Espinola, both of whom look to be in line for low six-figure bonuses. Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Gutierrez is also expected to join Cleveland's signing class.