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2014 International Signing Thread

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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#21

Posted: June 23, 2014, 9:24 AM Post
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Subscriber... quite a few pitchers discussed but here's the first paragraph on Espinoza

Who Is The Best Pitcher On The International Market?
June 23, 2014 by Ben Badler


Anderson Espinoza, rhp, Venezuela

But the consensus is that the top pitcher on the international amateur market this year is Venezuelan righthander Anderson Espinoza. Like Dominican righty Marcos Diplan, the No. 1 pitcher out of Latin America last year who signed with the Rangers for $1.3 million, Espinoza has an extremely quick arm coming out of what scouts consider a small build at around 6 feet, 180 pounds. The Red Sox, who are planning an aggressive strike on the international market this year and will go well beyond their international bonus pool, are the favorites for both Acosta and Espinoza, with Espinoza’s price tag pushing toward $2 million.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#22

Posted: June 26, 2014, 11:50 AM Post
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Subscriber Content

Ranking The Top Power Hitters For July 2

Present raw power is one of the easiest things to see in a player. But in Latin America, things are not always what they seem.

Players lie about their ages, with 19-year-olds masquerading as 16-year-olds and passing through Major League Baseball’s investigations. Trainers often double down by pumping them full of steroids, then take them off the juice in enough time for them to pass a drug test upon signing.

So scouts have to figure out why a player might have such unusual raw power for his age, then determine whether a player will tap into that power with enough frequency in game situations. Every year in Latin America, there’s no shortage of physical righthanded hitters with big power and questions about whether it will translate against live pitching...


2. Gilbert Lara, ss, Dominican Republic
It may sound strange, but for a guy who can hit the ball as far as almost anyone in the class, Gilbert Lara does more to worry scouts than impress them with his BP sessions. A righthanded hitter, Lara can hit towering blasts to his pull side, generating power with ample strength from his physically mature frame (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and a deep leg kick. There isn’t much ease to the operation with Lara, who takes a max-effort swing with a grip-and-rip approach, wearing out the left field foul line with a dead pull mindset. It’s not a pretty stroke and he does swing through a lot of pitches in games.

And yet, somehow, Lara finds a way to hit in games. The power comes with strikeouts, but he’s able to hit the ball with authority in game situations, which he did at the MLB showcase in San Pedro de Macoris in January, going 5-for-6 with a home run, a triple, two walks and one strikeout.

“He has an upright, slightly open stance and crunches his hands really close to his back ear,” said a second scout. “Everything he did was effort and ugly. In BP, it’s all pull and he would crush balls. I just had a hard time believing he would make enough contact in games. But then, every time in games, he would square the ball up, even though it’s awkward. He doesn’t look like he should square the ball up as much as he does, but he has hitting ability and tremendous raw power. I don’t think he has the pure hit tool (Dominican shortstop Adrian) Rondon has, but he’s probably one of the top hitters out there, combined with the impressive power.”

Lara can’t play shortstop, and while he will get a chance to play third base, several scouts think he’s a future left fielder or first baseman, which will put a lot of pressure on his bat. Lara, who trains with Enrique Soto and Jaime Ramos, shouldn’t have much trouble putting up big numbers in Rookie ball, but his unorthodox style and ability to make adjustments will be tested as he faces better pitching.

“When I first saw him in BP, he was hitting balls a mile, but he was just geared up for power,” said a third scout. “From everything I saw in BP, I was like, ‘There’s no way he’s going to be able to do that in a game.’ But he’s been a guy consistently who, maybe not every time, but he’s consistently performed in games. There is swing and miss there, but he does hit, and he hits for power. That’s one thing that’s had him stick out over a lot of these kids. I saw him in quite a few games, and he’s performed in games—and hit home runs.”

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#23

Posted: June 26, 2014, 1:27 PM Post
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The narrative of Lara's defense keeps shifting further down the defensive spectrum. By next month he may be a DH.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#24

Posted: June 26, 2014, 2:18 PM Post
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And That said:
The narrative of Lara's defense keeps shifting further down the defensive spectrum. By next month he may be a DH.


The closer a prospect is linked to the Brewers, the worse his consensus scouting report becomes. It's an immutable law of the universe.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
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Posted: June 26, 2014, 2:20 PM Post
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And That said:
The narrative of Lara's defense keeps shifting further down the defensive spectrum. By next month he may be a DH.


Probably the same people who said Sergura couldnt play SS


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#26

Posted: June 26, 2014, 3:07 PM Post
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Yes the conspiracy against the Brewers as an organization lives on...

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
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Posted: June 26, 2014, 3:33 PM Post
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I heard he has a broken leg and a disease.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
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Posted: June 26, 2014, 3:45 PM Post
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TheCrew07 said:
Yes the conspiracy against the Brewers as an organization lives on...


Setting aside the degree to which I was being facetious, ingrained bias need not be the result of a conspiracy. Different organizations have different reputations which color how people interpret moves they make. See, for example, all of the punditry making fun of the Dodgers for signing Yasiel Puig a couple years ago.

I'm willing to bet the fact that the Brewers are the acknowledged frontrunners for Lara has a certain impact. (But also I was just joking.)


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#29

Posted: June 26, 2014, 3:45 PM Post
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Keith Law thinks Lara is a terrible pitcher, and an unnecessary risk.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#30

Posted: June 27, 2014, 7:15 AM Post
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SRB is probably more right than not, the Braves got a lot of bounce of the years in their evaluations based on reputation. And it's not like they routinely churned out 'impact talent' they got Chipper to go with Smoltz and Glavine then signed Maddux and largely churned out solid players to keep shuffling around those guys over the years. Some of that is undoubtedly a what have you done for me lately bias, that should be a little bit less than it was in the offseason. There is also certainly a position effect. Players who are imperfect, but near the top of their system will get hammered more than a similar quality player, who is in a deeper system and therefore perceived as 'depth'.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
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Posted: June 27, 2014, 5:11 PM Post
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And That said:
Keith Law thinks Lara is a terrible pitcher, and an unnecessary risk.

His secondary pitches will never develop, and 6'3"/205 is a horrible pitcher's build. Bullpen arm at best.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#32

Posted: June 30, 2014, 10:21 AM Post
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Lara checks in at #5

Top 30 International Prospects List
June 30, 2014 by Ben Badler


Scouting and ranking international prospects is a different process from doing so on the pro or amateur side in the United States. In the draft, teams are primarily scouting 18-year-old high school seniors and 21-year-old college juniors, with every organization having access to the same basic information because every prospect plays in public games. Some teams may spend more time watching certain prospects and they might bring in a handful of players for pre-draft workouts, but whether a team is scouting Carlos Rodon at N.C. State or Brady Aiken at his high school games or with Team USA, every club makes decisions off the same publicly available looks.

Scouting Latin America is a different animal. Teams are watching kids who are 15 and 16, which already makes the projection more difficult to peg, before the reality that many of the players are using false ages, steroids or both. There are national and international tournaments, as well as trainer-organized games run by the Dominican Prospect League and the International Prospect League, but much of the scouting work is done by teams bringing players into their academies, where teams can work players however they best see fit. A player who looks great at one team’s academy for a week might go to another club’s academy and struggle, leaving those organizations with two very different perceptions of the player based on private information.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#33

Posted: June 30, 2014, 10:24 AM Post
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Subscriber content. I'm not sure why anyone would let their child train with Enrique Soto as the story is pretty horrible, for those that haven't read previously I quoted below.

Top 30 International Prospects For July 2
June 30, 2014 by Ben Badler


5. Gilbert Lara, ss, Dominican Republic
Born: Oct. 30, 1997. Height: 6-3. Weight: 205. B-T: R-R.

Lara has spent several years in the program of Enrique Soto, the Dominican trainer who was convicted of sexually assaulting two boys he had previous trained. A third player who told a Dominican TV station that Soto had sexually assaulted him was killed before the report aired. Soto was also caught in 2012 for having his son, George Soto, sign with the Mariners for $700,000 in 2007 using a fake age to appear four years younger. Soto and Jaime Ramos are splitting the commission on Lara, who has played in both the International Prospect League and the Dominican Prospect League.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#34

Posted: June 30, 2014, 10:26 AM Post
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Scouting Report: Reds Sign Cuban Pitcher Raisel Iglesias

Cuban righthander Raisel Iglesias has signed a seven-year major league contract with the Reds, the team announced Friday. The deal is for $27 million, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Since Igelsias is 24 and has three seasons of experience in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, his signing is exempt from the international bonus pools.

At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Iglesias was primarily used as a reliever while pitching for Isla De La Juventud and the Cuban national team. Several scouts project Iglesias as a bullpen arm, but the Reds plan to begin his development in the minors as a starter and believe he can reach the big leagues in that role.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#35

Posted: June 30, 2014, 1:11 PM Post
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TheCrew07 said:
Scouting Report: Reds Sign Cuban Pitcher Raisel Iglesias

Cuban righthander Raisel Iglesias has signed a seven-year major league contract with the Reds, the team announced Friday. The deal is for $27 million, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Since Igelsias is 24 and has three seasons of experience in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, his signing is exempt from the international bonus pools.

At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Iglesias was primarily used as a reliever while pitching for Isla De La Juventud and the Cuban national team. Several scouts project Iglesias as a bullpen arm, but the Reds plan to begin his development in the minors as a starter and believe he can reach the big leagues in that role.



Wow. 7years/27mil? at age 24? No clue where he stands for what his pitches are. But at 5'11" and just 165? The Reds are paying him nearly 4mil per year, which as a Starter isn't all that bad if he pans out. But as a RP? It's one thing if he turns in to a quality 8th inning/Closer within a year but if he's a RP and doesn't make the team by this time next year and is just an Arm in the Bullpen. What an Overpay!! I don't think I've ever seen his name before, so this is just confusing. He has to have 93+MPH FB with something else that's just filthy to really condone this signing.

Any insight?


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#36

Posted: June 30, 2014, 2:03 PM Post
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Okay found the BA read:
Iglesias threw 88-92 mph at the World Baseball Classic in March 2013, but later that summer when Cuba played the U.S. college national team, he was sitting at 92-95 mph out of the bullpen. Iglesias throws a sweepy but effective 76-81 mph breaking ball that can be a swing-and-miss pitch at times, with erratic but improving control, and with the athleticism that bodes well for his ability to make adjustments.

He doesn’t repeat his mechanics, which affects his command, though part of that is by design, as Iglesias (like many other Cuban pitchers) intentionally moves around his arm slot and manipulates the shape and speed of his breaking ball. Since leaving the island, he also showed the Reds some feel for a changeup. Iglesias probably isn’t ready to go straight to the majors, but given his present talent level, Double-A would make sense once he’s in game condition.

“He’s a big arm,” said one scout who saw Iglesias recently. “He’s a bullpen guy for me. I don’t see how he’s going to start, but he’s a seventh, eighth-inning kind of guy. He’s up to 95 with a pretty good slider and he’s starting to throw the changeup now with fair feel for it, but I don’t see the command or ability to repeat (his delivery) to start. He has a great arm. I think he’s two years away (from the majors).

So they are going to focus him at SP where he's around 88-92FB which may take 2years to reach the Majors. Or they can sit on him at RP and maybe within a year's time join the club but now you're paying really 6years/27mil for ML service for what reads to be a 7th inning/maybe 8th inning guy? Yikes!! Wish there was a piece about what other teams were supposedly in on him.
Again, another International signing who's proven talent is elsewhere and he's paid a FA type contract with never playing 1 game in a MLB minor league system. At the age of 24 no less!! Meanwhile, guys who are drafted(let's go ahead and say Carlos Rodon) Are age 21 looking to sign roughly 6mil deal and then have to climb the Minors ladder before they can now begin earning a ML salary of approx. 500k/550k/750k their first 3 seasons. Let's fast track Rodon-6mil today. 2016 Opening day starter(age 23)-2018 pre-arb=1.8mil more by age 25 or 7.8mil total before he reaches Arb.
Iglesias gets close to the same signing bonus, and is earning a ML paycheck once he has a work visa. By the time he makes his first ML appearance/ he'll likely have made more than what Rodon will earn for his first 3 years playing for the White Sox. Then a Performance-based Arb sets in where Rodon can either make money less than what Iglesias is guaranteed already/ the same/ or some more...but again based on performance with each year.

I just have a problem with this setup. I truly hope this kid never makes it as a Starter and fizzles out as nothing more than a Manny Parra type RP that the Reds wasted 27mil on.


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#37

Posted: June 30, 2014, 7:14 PM Post
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Give some love to Hyo-Joon Park just for the 80 grade bat flip.

http://youtu.be/N-Wbi2rAJTI?t=33s


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#38

Posted: July 01, 2014, 8:30 AM Post
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Subscriber.

Signing Predictions For The Top 30 International Prospects
July 1, 2014 by Ben Badler


5. Gilbert Lara, ss, Brewers
Some teams say they won’t do business with any player from Enrique Soto, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting former players and had one of his sons sign for $700,000 using a fake age. Soto and Jaime Ramos are both handling Lara, who has an unconventional style but some of the best raw power in the class and has shown his power in the games, though a move to first base or left field is likely. The Brewers are the favorites.

FORECAST: BREWERS

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#39

Posted: July 01, 2014, 12:00 PM Post
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Subscriber, nothing new.

Team-By-Team International Forecasts
July 1, 2014 by Ben Badler

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: 2014 International Signing Thread
#40

Posted: July 01, 2014, 12:39 PM Post
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brewcrewdue80 said:
Okay found the BA read:


Found? I linked the article on top of the part I quoted like I always do...

The point is to click the link and give BA's website the hit if you are interested, I'm not archiving full articles here. We do that in the Link Reports, but that's a different scenario... Outside of the Link Reports on the minor league forum I'm not looking to "borrow" content, I want to drive traffic to the websites that are doing the work, and even in the LRs we push people to the popular blogs we utilize so they get as many hits as possible.

I believe that if people are serious about following the minor league side of baseball they should fork over some coin and pay for the information from BA, PG, BP, or whomever so I'll quote some teasers to hopefully spur interest to drive traffic and revenue for those sites.

The free information from various sites around MLB.com and MiLB.com are fantastic, but they are also biased and in many cases the extreme best case scenario, especially the stuff from Mayo and Pleskoff; it reads like what parents would say about their kids. MLB has a vested interest in pimping their prospects so that everyone believes there is hope, it keeps fan interest high even in the lean years. Personally I want the cold hard truth, just give me the facts without the fluff, but being a fan should be about finding what works for you. If a poster prefers MLB.com and Pleskoff to BA and JJ Cooper I have no issue with that, that's why I provide the links; bookmark and regularly visit the sites that work for you.

In case anyone is wondering I find PG and MLB to be similarly positive about every prospect they write about and for good reason. I think BA and certain prospect gurus like John Sickels are more in the middle, the rest of the information is going to vary based on the source. For example I find some stuff at fangraphs to be very insightful but many times you're just going to get the organization's take on their own prospects... I can get that from TH and the JSO after already having heard it in an audio interview from the LRs. Of course there are also people I generally avoid like Keith Law because he plays favorites; his guys can do no wrong and everyone else sucks type thing. Regardless I'll continue to provide the links (with the exception of ESPN), do with them what you will.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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