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2016 MLB International Amateur Signing Period


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1 minute ago, Unkn0wn said:

Excited about this class. If it comes together as expected it should be huge.

I really like the speculation that we could get a couple of the Cubans as well. That would help fill in some of the gaps in our mid-level (A+/AA) tier. 

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5 hours ago, K26dp said:

I really like the speculation that we could get a couple of the Cubans as well. That would help fill in some of the gaps in our mid-level (A+/AA) tier. 

Yes, Cubans have worked out well  in the major leagues. Solid character guys with no mental issues. Fine upstanding citizens. 

Oh I see, you were making a joke!

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3 hours ago, Screaming Brave said:

We'll get the bad Cubans for sure. We never pick the good ones. The league is still laughing at the Olivera trade that YOU signed off on!

Your memory is as faulty as your social skills. The Olivera trade was the one that I was not happy with. 

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I was the one here who loved the Olivera trade. He'd absolutely dominated international competition for a decade. Then, he hit a woman and I wanted him gone. It also sounds like his passion for baseball vanished the instant he reached America. He was playing to play rather than for the love of it.

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On 6/2/2016 at 11:40 PM, Positive Thinker said:

Like Puig?

Nope. As bad as he has been this season, Puig has had an All-Star season and two seasons where he got actual MVP consideration. That's a good investment, whatever else comes along.

I suspect Unkn0wn was talking about the recently released Alex Guerrero as well as Olivera. 

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Baseball America is looking at the top 5 players eligible to be signed at each position on July 2, and today was shortstop day. Here's their Top 5 picks and where they're rumored to sign, along with the write-up on Kevin Matian.

  1. Kevin Maitan, Venezuela
  2. Luis Almanzar, Dominican Republic
  3. Luis Garcia, Dominican Republic
  4. Freudis Nova, Dominican Republic
  5. Gabriel Arias, Venezuela

For many teams, the best player in the 2016 class is Maitan, who trains with Henderson Martinez. In 2013, Martinez had lefthander Ricardo Sanchez, who signed with the Angels for $580,000 that year on July 2, and was later traded to the Braves. At the time, Maitan was still 13, but he was so talented that Martinez was already showing him to teams when they came in to scout Sanchez and the following year when they were watching outfielder Brayan Hernandez, who signed with the Mariners for $1.85 million in 2014.

Now 16, Maitan has progressed into a special talent, one with a rare combination of physicality, athleticism, tools, hitting ability and overall feel for the game. It’s why he’s going to get the top bonus in the class aside from Cuban players and shatter the record for a Venezuelan amateur bonus ($2.8 million for Blue Jays righthander Adonys Cardona) on July 2, with the Braves the heavy frontrunner to land him for north of $4 million.

Maitan is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and should be have a big, physical frame once he’s filled out. He has good bat speed and some scouts already give him plus raw power, with a chance to grow into 70 power as he gets stronger. He has generally been a high-level performer in games as well, earning praise for his ability to recognize pitches with a mature hitting approach. Maitan’s swing is more advanced from the right side of the plate, and while there is some swing-and-miss that comes with the power, it should be manageable given the overall offensive production.

“Nobody is a can’t miss,” said one scout, “but it’s hard to see him missing. And he got better as I saw him more and more. It’s tough to bet against the bat. I saw him hit a ton in games. The approach is really sound. He can discern a ball from a strike. He’s going to strike out a bit because of the swing plane, but I think he’s going to hit and hit for power.”

The biggest split among scouts on Maitan is whether he stays at shortstop. He’s not Miguel Sano, who when he signed with the Twins as a shortstop projected to be so large that sticking at the position was never a realistic option. Maitan is big, but not Sano big, so whether he remains a shortstop long-term is still up in the air.

For now, Maitan is a plus runner, and while he figures to slow down as he puts on weight, his combination of athleticism, plus arm, hands and footwork are all good enough to begin his career at shortstop. Some scouts expect Maitan will outgrow the position and slide over to third base, but others believe the tools are all there for Maitan to have a shot to remain a shortstop.

“Sometimes we try to move guys off the position too fast,” said a second scout, who held one of the most optimistic views on Maitan’s defense. “I think he can stay at shortstop until he’s about 30.”



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The only solace I take in that trade right now is that we appear to have dealt Wood at the perfect time. As several people here predicted, he does look like he's breaking down physically.

But Hector Olivera has disgraced the Braves organization.

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Ben Badler at Baseball America broke down the top international catchers, and where they'll sign.

  1. Abrahan Gutierrez, Venezuela
  2. David Garcia, Venezuela
  3. Alison Quintero, Venezuela


Among all 2016 international prospects, the highest paid catcher is expected to be 16-year-old Abrahan Gutierrez, who is likely to sign with the Braves for at least $3 million. Gutierrez, who trains at Carlos Guillen’s academy, stood out in Venezuelan youth baseball circles at an early age.

When he was 11, he played catcher in the 12U World Championship in Taiwan in 2011. As a 14-year-old in 2014, he was one of the youngest players on the Venezuelan team that went to Mexico for the 15U World Cup, where he was teammates with Rockies outfielder Daniel Montano, Red Sox outfielder Albert Guiamaro and other prospects who signed on July 2 last year. Gutierrez held his own at the plate during that tournament, batting .250/.348/.400 in 22 plate appearances.

At that time, Gutierrez looked to be on the trajectory to become one of the top prospects in Venezuela for 2016, but he hasn’t taken the steps forward yet that some were expecting from him last year. He still is one of the better catchers on the market, he hasn’t dominated in games or shown the premium tools scouts would like to have seen given his expected price.

“He had tremendous ability as a catcher as a 14-year-old in that tournament,” said one scout. “It’s in there. He just got bigger—almost too big—but I still believe in his ability.”

At 6 feet, 205 pounds, Gutierrez has a bigger build for a catcher his age, so while he’s not the most athletic or agile defender, scouts highest on him liked his receiving ability and saw solid arm strength. While Gutierrez’s build had some scouts concerned about a move to first base, he has plenty of experience behind the plate and should be able to stick there as long as he keeps his conditioning in check. He’s a righthanded hitter with solid bat-to-ball skills and the ability to use the opposite field with gap power.



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On June 14, 2016 at 9:34 AM, jidady said:

The only solace I take in that trade right now is that we appear to have dealt Wood at the perfect time. As several people here predicted, he does look like he's breaking down physically. Whomever handled him at an early age should be sent to baseball purgatory. Why would anyone see that and not say "dude, we need to change your delivery "

But Hector Olivera has disgraced the Braves organization.

With that herky jerky delivery, it didn't take an Einstein to know he wouldn't last long. He is toast. 

Hector disgraced the Braves, MLB, the Cuban people, and all of mankind. 

Edited by Positive Thinker
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And here's Baseball America's ranking of the prospects. I have included the expected signing team where available, but nothing is certain until there's a signature on a contract.

  1. Kevin Maitan, ss, Venezuela (ATL)
  2. Luis Almanzar, ss, Dominican Republic (SDP)
  3. Luis Garcia, ss, Dominican Republic (WAS)
  4. Gabriel Arias, ss, Venezuela (SDP)
  5. Freudis Nova, ss, Dominican Republic (N/A)
  6. Jeisson Rosario, of, Dominican Republic (N/A)
  7. David Garcia, c, Venezuela (TEX)
  8. Yunior Severino, ss, Dominican Republic (ATL)
  9. Jose Sanchez, ss, Venezuela (N/A)
  10. Victor Garcia, of, Venezuela (STL)
  11. Yorbin Ceuta, ss, Venezuela (HOU)
  12. Francisco Morales, rhp, Venezuela (PHI)
  13. Marcos Brito, ss, Dominican Republic (N/A)
  14. Yasel Antuna, ss, Dominican Republic (N/A)
  15. Abrahan Gutierrez, c, Venezuela (ATL)
  16. Livan Soto, ss, Venezuela (ATL)
  17. Luis Noguera, lhp, Venezuela (COL)
  18. Diego Infante, of, Venezuela (TBR)
  19. Brayan Gonzalez, ss, Venezuela (PHI)
  20. Jean Carlos Carmona, ss, Dominican Republic (MIL)
  21. Yeikel Blandin, of, Venezuela (COL)
  22. Alison Quintero, c, Venezuela (SDP)
  23. Wencel Perez, ss, Dominican Republic (N/A)
  24. Yerdel Vargas, ss, Dominican Republic (OAK)
  25. Roancy Contreras, rhp, Dominican Republic (NYY)
  26. Yefri Del Rosario, rhp, Dominican Republic (ATL or CLE)
  27. Marcos Gonzalez, ss, Dominican Republic (CLE)
  28. Justin Lopez, ss, Venezuela (SDP)
  29. Luis Veloz, of, Dominican Republic (SEA)
  30. Ricardo Mendez, of, Dominican Republic (WAS)
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Yeah, for completeness sake, here's the Top 15 defected Cuban players. They aren't included in the previous list because they could sign at any time, but in many cases they are waiting until the July 2 deadline so teams can use their 2016/17 bonus pool.

Because of the penalties imposed on the Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, D-Backs, Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Red Sox, Royals, and Yankees for exceeding their bonus pools in the prior two years, they will not be able to offer bonus over $300K to any international amateur free agent, with the exception of certain older Cuban players. I have noted those below as well.

I've also noted where players have been linked to teams, but these are just as tenuous, if not more so, than the non-Cuban list.

  1. Yulieski Gurriel, 3b/2b (bonus pool exempt)
  2. Jose Fernandez, 2b/3b (bonus pool exempt)
  3. Lourdes Gurriel, ss/3b/of
  4. Jorge Ona, of (not cleared by MLB, SDP)
  5. Norge Ruiz, rhp (not cleared by MLB)
  6. Randy Arozarena, ss
  7. Vladimir Gutierrez, rhp (HOU)
  8. Luis Yander La O, 3b/2b/ss (bonus pool exempt)
  9. Yadiel Hernandez, of (bonus pool exempt, MIA/ARI/MIL/COL)
  10. Adrian Morejon, lhp (not cleared by MLB, SDP)
  11. Lazaro Armenteros, of (ATL/PHI/SDP)
  12. Alfredo Rodriguez, ss (CIN)
  13. Ronald Bolanos, rhp
  14. Jonatan Machado, of
  15. Cionel Perez, lhp (not cleared by MLB)
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16 minutes ago, youngbloodz said:

So who is the favorite to sign him

Phillies, though Atlanta and San Diego have also reported interest. After a lot of talk back in February, it's been pretty quiet so he's probably got a deal in place. The one thing known for certain: it's not the Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, D-Backs, Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Red Sox, Royals, or Yankees.

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