More International Prospects To Watch Beyond The Top 50

Every year, there are around 600 international signings, with around 200 that will sign for at least $100,000. In addition to our rankings and scouting reports of the Top 50 international prospects for July 2, here are reports on other notable players who will be eligible to sign this year.

See Also: Top 50 International Prospects
See Also: Scouting Reports On Top 50 International Prospects


Venezuelan catcher Israel Pineda has a strong, thick build (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) that he will have to make sure he maintains, but scouts who liked him thought he was a good athlete for a catcher and should stick at the position with good catch-and-throw skills. He has a short righthanded swing and uses the opposite field. Pineda is expected to sign with the Nationals.

One sleeper in the class could be Jose Alvarez, who had a low profile in Venezuela but drew intriguing reports. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Alvarez’s athleticism is right up there with Alison Quintero, as he’s a legitimate average runner. He should stay at catcher, where he has soft hands, a plus arm and gets rid of the ball quickly. Those who have seen Alvarez have said he’s shown feel to hit in games as well from the right side of the plate and uses the whole field, but not many high-level scouts said they saw him.

While outfielder Tirso Ornelas is the highest-ranked Mexican prospect on the BA Top 50 and will be the highest-paid player from Mexico this year, some scouts preferred Mexican catcher Carlos Soto. He was eligible to sign last year but will sign on July 2 instead, with the Cardinals expected to get him from Los Mochis. He’s a 6-foot-3 lefthanded hitter who might move off the position but he has good bat speed and a chance to hit with power in games. If he moves off catcher, he’s likely limited to first base.

Another Mexican catcher, Victor Ruiz from the Toros de Tijuana, is a catcher/third baseman who drew praise from some scouts for his hitting potential with a chance to hit for power as well. He’s another big framed catcher at 6-foot-2 who might end up playing another position.

Venezuelan catcher Saul Torres is another 2015-eligible player who will sign on July 2, likely with the Yankees. He has an above-average arm with the blocking and receiving skills to stick behind the plate. Torres has strong hands with a chance to hit for power.

Wilfred Astudillo was the catcher on Venezuela’s COPABE 14U Pan American Championship team in Nicaragua in 2014. He has shown the ability to hit in games with some strength to his swing, though his body type and limited mobility might move him to another position. The Red Sox were expected to sign him, but that looks like it will no longer be the case.

Another player the Red Sox were expected to sign but probably won’t any more is Christian Longa, who was teammates with Astudillo on that team in Nicaragua, where Longa played first base and homered in the semifinal against Brazil. Those who liked Longa most considered him an offensive-minded catcher.

Victor Heredia had a big showing at the MLB international showcase in the Dominican Republic in February, going 3-for-3 with a home run. The big-framed (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) Venezuelan catcher has been linked to the Twins.


Some clubs didn’t show much interest in Jeury Castillo because of his stocky frame (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) and lack of any standout tools. Those who liked Castillo pointed to his lefthanded bat, with the ability to make frequent contact with hard line drives and a good approach in games. He should be ticketed for second base and is expected to sign with the Astros.

Wander Valdez (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) has an unorthodox righthanded swing, but he has shown the ability to track and recognize pitches and hit for power in games. He has played third base, though he probably will move to third base quickly and there’s risk he ends up in an outfield corner. The Twins are expected to make him one of their top signings this year.

Dominican shortstop Albert Suarez is a high baseball IQ player who stands out more for his skills than his size (5-foot-10, 165 pounds) or tools. He’s a lefthanded hitter who makes contact in games with a line-drive approach and sound defense to stick at shortstop, where he has a strong arm. The Dodgers are expected to get Suarez.

Jose Tortolero is a Venezuelan shortstop whose tools have been trending in the right direction. His speed and arm strength have improved to get him a better chance to stick at shortstop, with average speed and a 50-55 arm. There’s some loop in his lefthanded swing, but scouts who like him thought he hit well in games with a line-drive approach from the right side. Tortolero looks like he will sign with the Phillies.

Another Venezuelan shortstop, Lenin Sosa, was high up some teams’ boards because of his ability to hit. He’s 6 feet, 170 pounds with good bat speed and hand-eye coordination to make frequent contact in games from the right side of the plate with gap power. He might end up at second base. Sosa will likely sign with the White Sox.

The Diamondbacks are expected to sign Cesar Izturis Jr., the son of former major league Cesar Izturis. The younger Izturis is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and his tools don’t jump out, but he’s a lefthanded hitter who takes a professional BP, showing the ability to hit the ball to the opposite field and maintain an up-the-middle approach, although his swing has a tendency to get bigger in games. Scouts who liked Izturis thought he had good hands and a chance to stick at shortstop, though he’s not the twitchiest athlete and the way he throws might push him over to second base.

George Bell is the son of former major league outfielder George Bell, who spent most of his career with the Blue Jays, including 1987 when he was the American League MVP. His son stands out with a highly projectable, athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds. He has showcased at shortstop but will likely start his career at third base, where he has the arm to play, though he might end up in the outfield. He’s a fringy runner who has been an up-and-down performer in games, with gap power now but the physical projection to grow into more thump once he gets stronger. The Athletics are expected to sign Bell.

Venezuelan shortstop Erik Pena was expected to sign with the Red Sox, but that’s no longer going to happen. Pena is on the smaller side, maybe even generously listed at 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, but he is a bouncy shortstop who went to the MLB international showcase in the Dominican Republic in February. Pena is a high-energy player and a switch-hitter who’s more advanced from the right side. He has good bat-to-ball skills, though there isn’t much impact on contact. He has the hands to play shortstop, though his arm will have to improve to stay there, otherwise second base might be in his future.

Venezuelan shortstop Oswald Peraza is 6-foot-1, 175 pounds. Unless he outgrows the position and has to go to second or third, Peraza should be able to stay at shortstop, where he has the athleticism, arm and actions to play. He’s a tick above-average runner with a line drive oriented bat from the right side. The Yankees have been linked to Peraza.

Tucupipa Marcano is a wiry Venezuelan shortstop who has shown the ability to hit in games from the left side of the plate. He’s a good athlete as well with plus speed, though he’s not as polished defensively as the higher-profile Venezuelan shortstops in the class. The Padres have been linked to Marcano.

Nehemias Celestin is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound Dominican third baseman who stands out for his righthanded raw power, even if he is a limited runner. The Indians have been connected to Celestin.

Andrew Caraballo is a Venezuelan shortstop with a thin, wiry 6-foot-1 frame and should stay in the middle infield, where he has the athleticism and hands to play, with a 45 arm. Getting stronger could help his tools improve and potentially allow his righthanded bat to catch up. The Giants have been tied to Caraballo.

The best tool for Dominican shortstop Adelin Santana is his speed, which earns plus or better grades. He’s a 5-foot-11 lefthanded hitter who might go to second base and has shown some feel for hitting from the left side. The Angels are expected to sign Santana.


One of the best athletes in the class is Jhon Sandoval, a Venezuelan outfielder who has a lean 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame. Sandoval’s a plus or better runner with good strength projection and bat speed, though the raw tools stick out more than his game skills. The ball carries off well when he connects, but he will need time to develop his righthanded ability to his against live pitching. Sandoval is expected to go to the Tigers.

Another Venezuelan outfielder, Anderson Melendez, is a projectable 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, and scouts who liked him saw a line-drive bat in games with the ability to use the whole field and gap power that should improve as he puts on weight. He’s a fringy runner who will probably be a corner outfielder. The Brewers are expected to get Melendez.

Dominican outfielder Joel Reyes is a corner outfielder who showed a lot of swing-and-miss early on in the process against fastballs and breaking balls, but a good showing leading up to July 2 against some of the hard-throwing Cuban pitchers at tryouts helped him, with the Braves now expected to sign Reyes. Some scouts who saw Reyes more recently liked his righthanded hitting ability and saw more contact than he showed earlier. He’s around 6 feet, 190 pounds with below-average speed and projects as a right fielder.

Antonio Sucre, a Venezuelan outfielder, is also linked to the Braves. Scouts highest on Sucre liked his offensive skill set, with a sound righthanded swing and projectable power, with Sucre projecting as a corner outfielder.

Dominican outfielder Jimmy Mojica as a strong frame (6 feet, 175 pounds) with a thick lower half and has shown a good bat from the right side with a good hitting approach. His speed and arm strength are both around average and he projects as a right fielder. The Tigers are expected to sign Mojica.


Projecting 16-year-old pitching is difficult, which is part of why so many of the best Latin American pitchers in the big leagues were signed at 17 or later and for small bonuses.

One of the top names in the Asian amateur ranks this year is Seung-Bin Yoon, although most were not expecting him to sign with a major league team. Yoon stands out because he’s 6-foot-5 with a loose arm and can throw 88-93 mph. He has durability questions and trouble repeating his mechanics, which leads to erratic strike-throwing ability, with a slider that’s ahead of his changeup.

Venezuelan righthander Jairo Solis is a lean, projectable 6-foot-2, 160 pounds and should grow into more velocity from the 86-91 mph fastball he shows now. He is athletic and mechanically sound, generating good leverage and downhill angle on his fastball. He is able to throw for strikes fairly well for his age, though some scouts noted inconsistencies in his delivery he will have to fine tune. His low-70s curveball has good spin and should develop into his go-to secondary offering, though his changeup flashed good action to it as well, which gives him a potential starter profile. Solis is expected to sign with the Astros.

One name to keep an eye on in Panama is Edisson Gonzalez. At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, he doesn’t have a classic projectable build, but he’s been up to 92 mph and has shown feel for a breaking ball with three-quarters action and a changeup with solid sink.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone