The Reds have been signing international players in “groups” this year. Their first group was the ones signing from the Dominican Republic. The next group was from Curacao and Colombia. Last week they signed six players from Venezuela. Those are the ones we’re going to take a quick look at today.
Johnny Ascanio | Shortstop
He’s a switch-hitter that has a chance to stick at shortstop long term. He’s a high energy guy who has good make up and a very high baseball IQ. There’s some bat-to-ball skills present. He will need to add some strength moving forward. He just turned 16 on July 4th – so he’s one of the youngest guys that’s signed this year.
Agustin Bernal | Shortstop/Second Base
He’s a short player who tries to model his game after another short player you’ve heard of: Jose Altuve. His swing mechanics are quite similar to those of Altuve. He’s a plus-plus runner. He shows good bat-to-ball skills already at the plate. Defensively he will likely wind up at second base in the long run.
Iverson Espinoza | Infielder
He’s a high energy player with good make up. He’s athletic enough to move around the infield to multiple positions. There’s also a chance he could get an opportunity to play in the outfield. He’s got plus speed. Very good hand-eye coordination that plays well with the bat. He will need to add some strength as he continues to mature.
Jesus Torres | Outfielder
He’s a plus runner who can play center field now. He’s very athletic, giving him a chance to stick in center field long term. The arm is also potentially plus in the future. There’s potential with his bat – the tools are there, but he will need to clean up and change some things mechanically once he gets into professional baseball and has a chance to work with pro coaches.
Elkyn Chirinos | Right-Handed Pitcher
He’s got a projectable body with an athletic delivery that gives him some upside to work with. He currently throws in the 88-92 MPH range, and usually sits right in the middle of that around 90.
Fraiber Castillo | Right-Handed Pitcher
Unfortunately I couldn’t get any information on him. He was a part of this signing class, though.
I’m told that none of these guys were “high dollar signings”, though I didn’t get the specifics on the money like I had previously gotten with the other signings. That said, I’ve taken the route that Baseball America has in the past couple of years and tried to avoid announcing individual bonuses for these guys unless someone else has already put it out there.
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