International Reviews: San Francisco Giants
Top 2016-17 signing: Multiple players for $300,000, including OF Ismael Alcantara, Dominican Republic. Total signings: 26. The Giants had a limit of $300,000 for what they could spend on an international amateur player in the 2016-17 signing period that began last year on July 2, a penalty for exceeding their pool the previous year when they signed shortstop Lucius Fox out of the Bahamas for $6 million. They gave that $300,000 maximum bonus to four players on July 2, with one from Panama and the other three from the Dominican Republic.
One of those $300,000 signings was Dominican outfielder Ismael Alcantara, a 16-year-old whose standout tools are his power and arm strength. He’s a big, strong power hitter at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds from the left side, with a power-over-hit profile right now as his game skills catch up to the tools. His strong arm should allow him to play right field. Samuel Jorge is a 17-year-old Dominican third baseman the Giants signed for $300,000. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with a strong build and thick lower half, Santos has quick hands and a chance to hit for power from the right side. He’s an offensive-oriented player with good hand-eye coordination and a knack for putting the ball in play. Ghordy Santos, 17, is the third Dominican prospect the Giants got for $300,000. Santos is an athletic shortstop with a lean, tapered build (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and stands out in the field, where everything he does shows quick-burst athleticism. He’s an above-average runner with quick hands, quick feet and a plus arm. Santos is a righthanded hitter with good bat speed and doubles power, with his defense more developed than his hitting. In Panama, the Giants signed switch-hitting shortstop Enoc Watts for $300,000. Watts is a below-average runner who doesn’t have the same explosive first-step quickness as Santos, but he has great instincts at the position for a 17-year-old. Watts is a heady player who has a knack for being in the right spot defensively, with his plus arm another weapon in the field. Watts is a skinny 6 feet, 160 pounds, so while he does make contact in games, getting stronger will be important for his offensive development. Three Venezuelan players also got six-figure deals from the Giants on July 2. One of them is righthander Rafael Martinez, a 16-year-old who got $250,000. He’s 6 feet, 160 pounds with room to fill out, easy arm action and should be able to add to a fastball that sits 88-91 mph and has reached 92. He also shows feel for a spike curveball that isn’t consistent yet but has good shape and downward rotation. He's represented by Felix Luzon. Keyberth Mejias, a 17-year-old Venezuelan catcher, stands out more in games than in workouts. Signed for $230,000, Mejias is a righthanded hitter with good hand-eye coordination who makes frequent contact in games, showing occasional power but mostly sticking with a line-drive approach. At 6 feet, 170 pounds, Mejias is very active behind the plate and should be able to stay back there with an above-average arm. He trained with Dennis Suarez. Andrew Caraballo, a Venezuelan shortstop signed for $170,000, has an aggressive, gamer mentality with good all-around instincts for the game. Still 16, Caraballo is an offensive-oriented player with quick hands to buggy-whip the barrel through the hitting zone to produce hard line drives. At 6 feet, 175 pounds, Caraballo is a 55 runner with an average arm, with some scouts believing his future is at second base. He trained with Dennis Leonnett. The Giants also signed Luigi Pichardo