New York Yankees 2024 International Review


The Yankees have three international signings ranked among the Top 100 prospects. The top one is outfielder Jasson Dominguez, who got $5.1 million in 2019 and reached the big leagues when he was 20. Shortstop Roderick Arias with Low-A Tampa and Kevin Alcantara now with the Cubs in Double-A were both big-ticket signings for the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic. Outfielder Brando Mayea is one of the better prospects in the complex leagues this year, catcher Agustin Ramirez is in the midst of an outstanding offensive season with Double-A Somerset and 6-foot-7 pitchers Henry Lalane and Carlos Lagrange are both top 15 prospects in the organization. 

Top Of The Class

Dominican outfielder Francisco Vilorio, signed for $1.75 million, has an exciting mix of size, explosive athleticism and tools at 17. He has grown to 6-foot-4, 212 pounds with wide shoulders and carries that weight well. He has the strength, bat speed and leverage that produces plus raw power now and what could end up becoming 70 power.

Scouts were mixed on Vilorio’s pure hitting ability and thought his power could some with some strikeouts, while others saw him blending both contact and impact. Vilorio’s explosiveness shows up at the plate and in center field. He moves extremely well for his size with plus speed underway and has an outstanding, well above-average arm. That tool set gives him a chance to stick in center field, though with his size, some scouts think he will settle in as a right fielder. 

Names To Know

Richard Matic, 3B, Dominican Republic: Matic is one of the younger players in the class—he turns 17 on July 26—and signed for $850,000. He’s 6 feet, 200 pounds with a good balance of offensive and defensive skills for a young third baseman. Matic makes frequent contact with good bat speed and average raw power now that could end up plus. Usually amateur players in Latin America who are already at third base carry risk of moving to first base, but Matic has the attributes to stick at third base. His hands, range and above-average arm all fit at the position. 

Dexters Peralta, SS, Dominican Republic: Peralta, 16, has been on a rapid upward trajectory over the past year and a half. Signed for $500,000, Peralta is 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, a lean, high-waist build with a ton of space to add good weight. His swing works well from both sides, staying compact and smooth with good bat control. He’s able to generate loft with hard contact now and the potential for average or better power given his bat speed and strength projection. He’s a good athlete and plus runner who’s a fluid mover at shortstop with a strong arm. 

Queni Pineda, C, Dominican Republic: The top international catchers overwhelmingly hail from Venezuela, but Pineda is an exception, landing a $350,000 bonus. He’s 5-foot-10, 190 pounds at 17 with the attributes to stick at the position. He has an above-average arm, with pop times around 1.9 seconds on his best throws, and his hands work well behind the plate. He’s a righthanded hitter with good timing and drives the ball well with a chance to be a 15-20 home run threat. 

Alexander Almonte, RHP, Dominican Republic: The Yankees consistently pluck pitchers out of obscurity for low bonuses who turn into flamethrowers. Almonte came at a higher price point than that, landing a $275,000 bonus, but he has a chance to turn into another power arm for them. It’s already a big fastball for 17, touching 94 mph with downhill plane, good arm action and more velocity to come at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds. Almonte has innate ability to spin multiple pitches, including an unusually high-spin fastball that cut and ride that’s difficult for hitters to barrel. He throws a power curveball too that gets into the low-80s with good depth and tight rotation. His curveball is ahead of his changeup, a pitch he shown some feel for but hasn’t used much yet. 

Brown Martinez, OF, Dominican Republic: Martinez is a $130,000 signing with the tools to develop into an above-average defender at a premium position. He’s 5-foot-10, 160 pounds at 17 with plus-plus speed, moving around with ease in center field with good reads, routes and range as well as an above-average arm. He’s a righthanded hitter who has a simple approach and good feel for the barrel with a line-drive approach and gap power. 

Isael Arias, OF, Mexico: Arias is a burner runner who was with Oaxaca in the Mexican League and signed with the Yankees for $125,000. He was a previously eligible to sign player who is 18 now and turns 19 in August. Arias shows the tools to stick in center field, mainly because of his athleticism and 80 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Arias hit .179/.222/.239 in 72 plate appearances with Oaxaca last season, obviously against much older competition, but his speed and defense are ahead of his righthanded bat. 

Angel Ventura, OF, Dominican Republic: Like Arias, Ventura is another previously eligible player who is 18 and signed for $125,000 with speed and defense his selling points. He’s a lean, athletic 6-foot-1, 165 pounds with plus-plus speed that he should be able to retain and stay in center field, with his glove ahead of his righthanded bat.

Sleeper Watch

Dominican shortstop Christopher Reyes would be waiting until Jan. 15, 2025 to sign if he had been born eight days later. Instead he will play the full Dominican Summer League season at 16 as one of the youngest 2024 signings. Reyes got $100,000, and while he’s not that big (5-foot-10, 155 pounds), he has an impressive combination of tools and skills, especially in the field. He’s an athletic shortstop with plus-plus speed, plenty of quickness and soft hands. He’s instinctive, reads hops well, has good footwork and the internal clock more typical of a shortstop beyond his years. At the plate, Reyes does have a solid approach and bat-to-ball skills for his age, but his power is limited, so getting stronger will be key for his offensive development. 

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