Detroit Tigers 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.
After spending $2.85 million in 2019 on Cuban corner outfielder Roberto Campos, the Tigers' big signing in their next class will come from the middle of the diamond.
Dominican shortstop Cristian Santana is expected to be the centerpiece of the Tigers' upcoming class, with a bonus likely to be around $3 million. Santana is an athletic shortstop with a compact righthanded swing, making frequent contact with an advanced offensive approach for his age. He's also a cousin of Tigers shortstop prospect Wenceel Perez.
A second prominent shortstop in the 2020-21 class, Abel Bastidas from Venezuela, is also expected to sign with the Tigers. He's a lanky shortstop (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) with a smooth, fluid swing from both sides of the plate and good bat-to-ball skills. He has hit well in games and shows signs of emerging power, with more likely coming once he fills out. He's smooth in the field too, with some scouts thinking his actions will play there, though others think he might outgrow the position.
The Tigers have rarely spent much money on amateur pitching prospects in the Dominican Republic, so it's even more notable that they're expected to sign Rayner Castillo, who looks to be in line for a bonus north of $500,000. He's a 6-foot-4 righthander who has reached the low-90s with the physical projection to throw significantly harder.
Cuban outfielder Carlos Pelegrin, Venezuelan shortstop Yimmy Diaz and Venezuelan outfielder Elian Riera are other Tigers' targets.