It's been a busy time for the minds at Baseball America recently with the MLB Draft taking place last week, but BA's Ben Badler has a different focus in his most recent piece, profiling more of the top names available in this year's class of July 2 international prospects. Here's a look at some of the highlights, though Badler's actual piece offers far more depth and information, as well as scouting videos…
- The Red Sox have shown heavy interest in left-handed hitting Venezuelan outfielder Freddy Rodriguez, who is training at Carlos Guillen's baseball academy. Rodriguez runs the 60-yard dash in 6.8 seconds and some scouts think he projects well enough to play center field.
- The Nationals have shown strong interest in Dominican third baseman Anderson Franco, although he will have to wait until Aug. 15 to sign due to the fact that he's not yet 16 years of age. The switch-hitter has big raw power and a strong throwing arm.
- Dominican shortstop Lucas Tirado has become one of the Dodgers' main targets. The 16-year-old played in the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field last season and figures to be in line one of the summer's biggest bonuses. Badler notes that he has a nice left-handed swing, but his other tools are questionable.
- The Brewers are very intrigued by Dominican outfielder Nicolas Pierre, who many project to be able to stay in center field. Badler notes that he doesn't have one standout tool but is solid across the board.
- Badler also profiles shortstop Carlos Hiciano and right-hander Mayky Perez, though he doesn't list specific suitors for any of those highly regarded talents.