Minnesota Twins 2024 International Review


Toward the end of the 2023 season, the Twins international scouting department went through changes. The Twins hired Roman Barinas, a long time international scout with the Dodgers who also worked for them in player development, to become their new Latin American scouting director, with predecessor Fred Guerrero joining the Royals’ international scouting group. A lot of the class this year for the Twins has players who stick out for their athleticism, though they also came away with a pair of advanced hitters and a pitcher whose stuff has taken a major jump since signing day. 

Top Of The Class

The Twins paid $1,897,500 to sign 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Daiber De Los Santos. There is still rawness to his game, but De Los Santos is an outstanding athlete with high-end tools that are exciting if everything clicks. He’s 6-foot-1, 165 pounds with plus speed, a plus-plus arm and a quick-twitch mover at shortstop.

There are scouts who did like his hands and actions at shortstop, though like a lot of young shortstops he can get out of control at times, so some scouts thought he might end up in center field. Either way, he has the explosive athleticism to stick up the middle and the bat speed to drive the ball well from the right side for a player with his wiry frame. The bat speed suggests potential above-average power that could come, but there is some swing-and-miss risk, so he will need to improve his pitch recognition and plate discipline against better pitching.

The Twins also gave a seven-figure bonus to Dominican outfielder Eduardo Beltre, who got $1,497,500. He has been slowed by a left wrist injury that could keep him out at the start of the Dominican Summer League season, but he’s another player who stood out for his athleticism.

He’s 5-foot-11, 175 pounds with a chance for both power and speed. It’s a fast bat with hard connect when he centers the ball to drive it for extra-base damage. Scouts were split on Beltre’s righthanded hitting ability, with some seeing solid contact skills, while others thought he would have to make adjustments to perform better in games. His plus speed gives him a chance to stick in center field if he’s able to retain that speed as he gets bigger, though if not there’s a chance he could slide to a corner. 

Names To Know

Yandro Hernandez, OF, Cuba: A relatively later sign for the class, Hernandez got $800,000 in May shortly before he turned 19. He played in Cuba’s 18U national league in 2023 and hit .463/.542/.575 in 96 plate appearances with 11 walks (including a league-high six international walks) and six strikeouts. Hernandez won the batting title, ranked first in the league in slugging and OPS and second in on-base percentage. Hernandez is 5-foot-11, 175 pounds and stands out for his hitting ability.

It’s a sound swing and approach from a selective hitter who makes frequent contact and has a good sense of the strike zone. Hernandez racked up a lot of doubles in Cuba and makes consistent quality contact with a chance for average power. Last season Hernandez mostly played right field with some time at first base and a little bit in center field, but he will develop with the Twins as a center fielder. He’s an average runner underway, which isn’t prototype center field speed, so he could end up pushing back to right field, which would put more pressure on his power climbing. He has an above-average, accurate arm with a quick release.

Victor Leal, C, Venezuela: Leal, 17, signed for $447,500. He’s 5-foot-11, 175 pounds and a high-energy catcher who looks like he should be able to stick behind the plate with an average arm. There is hard contact for his age at times when he connects, though he will have to make adjustments to his approach to make more contact against live pitching. 

Nestor Urbina, SS, Venezuela: Urbina is a 16-year-old, switch-hitting infielder the Twins signed for $397,500. Urbina played for Venezuela in the U-15 World Cup Americas Qualifier in 2022 and performed well there, batting .381/.417/.571 in 24 plate appearances. He’s 5-foot-10, 170 pounds with a thicker lower half built along the lines of Mets middle infielder Luisangel Acuña and is one of the better pure hitters in Minnesota’s class. His short levers help him keep his swing tight and put balls in play at a high clip with hard line drives and what should be a good amount of doubles in a hit-over-power profile. Urbina could see time at shortstop but more likely gravitates to become an offensive-minded second baseman, though he has a strong arm that would fit at third base too.

Alver Medina, SS, Dominican Republic: Medina, 17, signed for $347,500. He’s 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, a lean, athletic shortstop with above-average speed with a strong arm and a chance to stick at the position. He’s still learning to slow the game down both in the field and at the plate, making hard contact at times but with adjustments he will have to make to get more consistent contact. 

Guillermo Sosa, SS, Venezuela: Signed for $197,500, Sosa is a wiry athlete (6-foot-1, 155 pounds) with a lot of physical projection remaining that could change the course of his career once he layers on more strength. He’s 17 with plus speed and an aggressive, high-energy approach to the game, both in the field and at the plate. Like a lot of young shortstops, he’s still learning to corral his energy, but he’s a quick-twitch mover who can make the flashy play. He will need to control his aggression at the plate as he moves up, but for his slender build he can hit the ball hard on a line and could grow into bigger exit velocities once he packs on more muscle. 

Ricardo Paez, OF, Venezuela: Paez, a 17-year-old lefty, signed for $157,500. He’s 5-foot-10, 165 pounds with plus speed and the strength to drive the ball well for his size. There isn’t a ton of physical projection remaining with Paez, but his speed gives him a chance to stick in center field. 

Davrik Fuenmayor, OF, Venezuela: Fuenmayor has some of the bigger raw power among this year’s signings for the Twins. He’s 6 feet, 190 pounds, a 17-year-old righthanded hitter who is strong for his age with above-average raw power in a power-over-hit game in an outfield corner.

Sleeper Watch

There are few 17-year-old pitchers signed this year who throw as hard as Dominican righthander Yoel Roque. When he signed on Jan. 15 for $27,500, Roque was touching the low-90s, but his velocity has skyrocketed quickly. He has been up to 97 mph this spring, showing a power fastball/slider combination. He’s 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and still learning to throw more strikes. He should get an opportunity to develop as a starter, though he also could emerge as a reliever with top-of-the-scale velocity.

The Twins also picked up 17-year-old Mexican infielder Ramiro Dominguez for $10,000. He has a smaller build (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) and good bat control from the right side, keeping his swing tight and compact for a low swing-and-miss rate with gap power. He likely projects best at second base but runs well and could handle the outfield as well if needed.

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