Texas Rangers 2020-21 International Signing Preview
The Rangers traded for extra bonus pool space during the 2019-20 signing period, enabling them to land two of the top prospects in the 2019 class in Venezuelan shortstop Maximo Acosta and Dominican outfielder Bayron Lora, as well as center fielder Zion Bannister from the Bahamas.
Teams aren't allowed to trade their bonus pool allotments in the 2020-21 signing period, but the Rangers are connected to multiple high-profile players in the upcoming class, including Dominican outfielder Yeison Morrobel, who is in line for a seven-figure bonus. Morrobel has a lean, athletic frame (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) with a fast bat and good barrel control from the left side and gap power that should increase as he fills out. He's an average runner now and should start in center field, though as he gets bigger he might end up in a corner.
Another big position prospect the Rangers are expected to sign, Venezuelan shortstop Danyer Cueva, stands out for his smooth, fluid swing from both sides of the plate. He's a high-contact hitter with a compact, balanced swing and gap power.
Yeferson Tineo, a Dominican shortstop once expected to sign with the Braves, now looks to be headed to the Rangers instead for a mid six-figure bonus. Tineo is an instinctive player with a slender 6-foot, 170-pound build. He's not as physically advanced as some of the other top shortstops in the class, but he's a savvy player who fields his position well with good jump off the bat and a nose for the ball, showing soft hands and a quick transfer. He has a smooth swing from both sides of the plate with a line-drive approach and occasional doubles power.
The top pitcher the Rangers are expected to sign is Brayan Mendoza, a Venezuelan lefthander with an easy delivery and good pitchability for his age. He locates his stuff well, mixing a fastball that reaches the upper 80s with a lively changeup and breaking ball.
Two Venezuelan shortstops expected to join the Rangers' class include shortstop Julio Pinto and Keiderson Pavon. For a long time, the Pavon was going to sign with the Angels, but now he looks headed to Texas instead. A diminutive shortstop who goes by the nickname "The Little Giant" or "Altuvito," Pavon is 5-foot-6, 140 pounds, but scouts highest on him praise his righthanded-hitting ability and high overall game acumen for his age.
The Rangers should also sign shortstop Gedionne Marlin from Curacao, shortstops Frandi Almonte and Gleider Figuereo from the Dominican Republic and outfielder Francisco Laya from Venezuela. They're also expected to sign Dominican righthander Ivan Oviedo, the son of former Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.