The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 21 international amateur free agents on the first day of the international signing period. We posted an article with some brief information on all 21 players as they were made official, including pictures of 20 of those players. I added a photo for the 21st player last night, so now you can see all of the new players. Today we look at extended scouting report for every player on the list. You can check out our international signing tracker, which will be updated throughout the entire signing period, which runs until June 15th. So be sure to bookmark that page.
Here’s more information on all 21 players. Unless it’s noted below, the player is 16 years old. Only five players were older and eligible to sign before July 2nd.
Cristopher Cruz, RHP – Cruz was the top signing as far as cost ($850,000), but there are other pitchers on here with similar high upside. At 6’2″, he’s a very projectable pitcher, similar to what you see the Pirates look for in the amateur draft. He already has a clean delivery, great arm speed and a feel for pitching. He will sit 87-90 right now, but he will touch 92-94 in outings.
Javier Rivas, SS – There is huge potential upside with Rivas, who could end up being the top position player in this class. He’s already 6’3″, with plenty of room to fill out. He’s very athletic, moves well in the field, with good hands and smooth actions. He runs well now, but there is projection with his speed as he continues to get stronger. He projects to stick at shortstop.
Delfin Ramirez, SS – Another big upside shortstop, who has excellent ball-to-bat skills, making a ton of contact with some raw power. He gets high marks for being an intelligent player, with good makeup. He could possibly stick at shortstop, but if not he would be a solid second baseman. Ramirez has grown two inches recently, so there is still plenty of catching up to do on the strength side.
Robert De Paula, OF – Power bat,who really barrels the ball well at a young age. He’s a corner outfielder with great makeup. The Pirates went looking for power, and he’s just a step below the top two in this signing class.
Ewry Espinal, OF – Espinal is all about power right now and it has potential to be plus power not far down the line. He’s a strong kid already, so despite being 16, there isn’t a ton of projection. He’s currently a corner outfielder, who has a very good arm, but he may see time at third base in the future. For having a stocky build, he runs well. His cost was lower than the top players (in the $200,000 range), but that doesn’t speak well to his upside at the plate.
Luis Faringthon, RHP – Described as a fierce competitor on the mound, he has a good, clean delivery that has some deception. He throws strikes with a three-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curve), sitting 86-90 MPH with the fastball.
Francisco Quintero, 2B – Quintero is 18 years old. He’s described as a high energy player, who is very athletic. He has solid bat speed at the plate and strong defense with an arm to play anywhere. He was announced at second base, but he has played some third base and could see time at shortstop.
Darvin Garcia, RHP – Garcia was an older signing at 20 years old and he’s going to pitch this year. He’s more advanced than the other pitchers right now, sitting 90-93 MPH with a solid slider. He has a large frame, so despite his age, there is some projection.
Eliecer Romero, RHP – Romero is 17 years old out of Venezuela. He shows good arm speed, with a fastball that is 87-90 MPH now, and a solid changeup. Very athletic player.
Gilberto Alcala, RHP – Alcala signed for $450,000 and he’s 6’3″, 175 pounds. He has a solid frame/build for future projection, great arm speed and already has advanced feel for his curve. He has a solid changeup and nice downhill plane on his fastball, which sits 87-92, and touches 93 MPH.
Roelmy Garcia, RHP – Listed at 6’2″, 172 pounds, he already throws a plus changeup. His velocity is currently in the same range as the other players here, but he has some of the best arm speed, and could easily end up being the hardest thrower in this class. Very athletic player. Big upside.
Rafael Mendez, RHP – He’s 6’3″, with a big frame, which gives him a lot of projection. He currently has a good changeup, and mixes it with a solid fastball that sits 85-88 MPH. Mendez is considered raw (described as young for his age), so he could take a little longer to develop, but there is plenty of upside.
Wandi Montout, RHP – Montout originally signed two years ago, but his contract was voided when his couldn’t verify his identity. He’s already 22 years old, but he’s a power arm who throws harder that anyone in this group. He’s got a big body, which still has room to fill out. He will head to the DSL this year, but will likely end up in the GCL before the season is over.
Yojeiry Osoria, LHP – Another pitcher here who could end up as the best in this group. Osoria signed for $600,000. He’s a lefty with a broad frame and long levers. He has solid arm action, possessing three pitches with life. He already spins a curveball with potential for a better shape when he adds some velocity. His changeup is above average already and has plus potential. His fastball is 86-89 MPH and he commands it all around the zone. That’s rare at this age and you won’t find “command” used for anyone else here.
Enmanuel Terrero, OF – He also signed for $600,000, which is the highest bonus handed out to a position player so far this year for the Pirates. Terrero is a left-handed hitter, who has excellent bat-to-ball skills. He’s very strong for his age and already shows power. He’s grown slightly recently, now up to 5’10, 180 pounds (was 5’9″, 171 not long ago). He plays center field now and has good speed, but could move to a corner outfield spot as he gets older.
Jeral Toledo, SS – Toledo is a switch-hitter, who is described as an athletic middle infielder with potential. He’s a very raw player right now, listed at 5’11”, 160 pounds, he really has a lot of room to fill out. He could be a player who we don’t see much from during his first season, but there is reason to like his upside.
Dioris Valdez, OF – There isn’t much to say here unless I figure out different ways to describe someone with plus power. Valdez is a late bloomer at 18 years old, who is strictly a corner outfielder signed for his bat. It’s not only the best current power in this group, at 6’1″ and 184 pounds, there is room for him to continue to get stronger. Power power power.
Diego Chiquillo, LHP – Southpaw signed out of Colombia. He stands 5’11”, 185 pounds, with a broad body and big frame. He already throws an above average curve with shape and depth. The pitch has plus potential. He mixes that with an 86-90 MPH fastball.
Kenneth Quintanilla, RHP – Signed out of Nicaragua, he has a good, clean delivery already and spins his breaking ball. He stands, 6’0″, 154 pounds, so there is room to fill out, though he doesn’t have a big frame, so that limits the projection. Already has three pitches he controls, and should step into a starter role next season with no issues.
Patricio Ress Vilet, RHP – Signed out of Mexico, he’s already a very polished pitcher for his age. Not a ton of projection with his 6’2″ frame, but he hits 90 MPH with his fastball and already mixes three pitches well.
Eybert Escalona, C – Catcher who was signed more for his bat. At 16, he’s already a very strong player, who has line-to-line power. His defense needs some work, but he’s very athletic and he projects to stick behind the plate, giving the Pirates a potential power bat at a tough spot to find power.