July 2 Preview: Pirates, Yankees, Mets, More
The 2016-17 international signing period ends on June 15. After a two-week closed period where no players can sign, the 2017-18 period opens on July 2. Here are more Dominican prospects to watch for who are eligible to sign on July 2.
Mauro Bonifacio, of, Dominican Republic
It’s hard to miss Bonifacio. He’s built like a tight end in football at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds and he moves well for his size, running the 60-yard dash as fast as 6.7 seconds, which is above-average speed at his best. A righthanded-hitting corner outfielder, Bonifacio shows promising power potential and can take balls out to his pull side in BP, but his swing isn’t the most fluid and he will need to make adjustments to perform better against live pitching. He’s also the youngest player in the class, eligible to sign once he turns 16 on Aug. 31 (had he been born on Sept. 1, he would have had to wait until July 2, 2018 to sign). Bonifacio trains with Wellington Gonzalez and has been linked to the Twins.
Anthony Garcia, of, Dominican Republic
Like Bonifacio, Garcia is another huge outfielder from the Dominican Republic. He’s 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and athletic for big man, with his tools trending up as July 2 approaches. He’s improved his speed to run 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash, though with his size he will likely slow down, making him a better fit in the corner even if he does have a chance to begin his career in center field. Garcia has big power potential from both sides of the plate and, like a lot of young kids his size there is some swing-and-miss, he also shows feel for hitting in games. The Yankees are tied to Garcia, who trains at the MB Academy.
Juan Pie, of, Dominican Republic
Unlike Bonifacio or Garcia, Pie doesn’t have one standout tool. He’s a fringe-average runner with a restricted arm that will keep him in left field, where his defensive instincts need to improve. Pie’s best attribute is his bat. He’s a 6-foot-2, 170-pound lefty with quick bat speed and a knack for making contact in games. While some scouts noted up-and-down performance from Pie, he has generally performed well in games in the Dominican Republic. His swing isn’t always the most fluid or under control, but he hangs in well against lefties and uses the whole field with a line-drive approach. Pie trains with Raul Valera, who is known as “Banana,” and is expected to sign with the Pirates.
Fadriel Cruz, ss, Dominican Republic
The Rockies are the favorites to sign Cruz, who trains with Jaime Ramos. Cruz is skinny, high-waist shortstop (6 feet, 170 pounds) and a very good athlete with first-step burst. His quick-twitch shows in his fast lefty bat with a line-drive, slash-and-dash approach and gap power. He’s a smart player with a high baseball IQ as well.
Stanly Consuegra, of, Dominican Republic
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While a lot of scouts haven’t seen Consuegra, he’s one of the better prospects in the 2017 class. He’s a lean, quick-twitch athlete with high-level physical projection left in his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. After training for a while as a shortstop, Consuegra moved to center field. He’s a solid-average runner and his best tool is his outstanding arm, which already shows glimpses of being a 70 tool. A righthanded hitter, Consuegra shows good bat-to-ball skills against live pitching and isn’t a home run threat right now but makes loud, quality contact. Consuegra trains with Edgar Mercedes and is expected to sign with the Mets.