We’re less than two months from the kickoff of the 2014-15 international signing period, during which Major League clubs will spend a combined hundreds of millions of dollars on amateur talents from Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Many of these players will be as young as 16 years old, and Ben Badler of Baseball America has penned a pair of articles in the past two days highlighting some of the top players and their potential landing spots. A subscription is required and highly recommended in order to read the full scouting report that Badler has on each player. Here are a few of the highlights from his work…
- Huascar Ynoa, the younger brother of A’s righty Michael Ynoa, could land also land a seven-figure bonus and has been scouted by White Sox vice president Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn. The Red Sox have also been tied to Ynoa, and some sources of have told Badler that they expect the Twins to be involved as well. One scout told Badler that Ynoa has the tools to be a frontline starter but lacks consistency. Badler points out that his older brother’s $4.25MM signing bonus from Oakland reduces some of the urgency for Ynoa to sign immediately on July 2.
- The Blue Jays look like the strong favorites to ink Venezuelan right-hander Juan Meza, who could command a bonus as large as $1.5MM. Meza works out at Carlos Guillen’s baseball academy in Venezuela and has a three-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curveball).
- Fellow Venezuelan right-hander Frankin Perez is also likely to land seven figures and has been most prominently linked to the Astros. Houston is also oft-connected to Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Angel Sierra, whose bonus could reach $1MM, and Dominican outfielder Rafael Ronny, who could be the second-most expensive Dominican outfielder in this year’s class, writes Badler.
- The Yankees, who are reportedly planning to shatter the international spending limitations this signing period, are heavily linked to Venezuelan catcher Miguel Flames, Venezuelan outfielder Jonathan Amundaray and Venezuelan shortstop Diego Castillo, says Badler. Flames and Amundaray should top $1MM, while Castillo could get close to that figure, he adds.