It’s not often on the international market that agreements fly under the radar for mid-to-upper tier signings, but that’s sort of what happened with Braylin Minier. You almost always hear about 7-figure signees before they sign, and who they are going to sign with. That didn’t happen with Minier, who not only got into the 7-figure range, he got well into it. The shortstop agreed to sign with the Cincinnati Reds for $1.8M and on July 2nd put his name on the contract. The bonus is the highest handed out by the Reds to an international free agent that wasn’t from Cuba in over a decade.
Nearly every player that signs in a signing period from the international market actually signs a contract for the following season – not the one in which they signed. His first season on the field will take place in 2020.
Braylin Minier Scouting Report
Position: SS | B/T: L/R
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 160 lbs. | Acquired: International FA, 2019
Hitting | Without any track record of games we’re relying on scouting reports on a 15 and 16-year-old kid, which is always dangerous. That said, those I’ve spoken to believe he should hit and has at least an average hit tool in the future.
Power | See the hitting disclaimer above for this one, too. But he shows good bat speed, a good frame to grow into, and could have above-average power down the line.
Running | He’s an average runner.
Defense | He’s a good defender who should be able to stick at shortstop.
Arm | His arm should play anywhere on the infield.
The Reds are clearly high on Braylin Minier – they did just give him $1.8M to join their organization. There’s plenty of upside here. He projects as a shortstop who could hit for both average and power. Those are rare types of players. With that said, he’s also a kid who just turned 16 in June and is at an incredibly far away point in his career between where he’s at right now and that ceiling that he could reach one day.
Still, it’s easy to dream on a premium athlete who got a big signing bonus who can also play shortstop and has a chance to be an above-average hitter, isn’t it? Cincinnati has stayed out of the 7-figure bonus market for the better part of the last decade, especially on non-Cuban players. In the last 11 years they’ve only signed one other player that wasn’t born in Cuba to a 7-figure bonus, and that came in June of 2015. This signing, this signing period, is different than the way the organization used to do things prior to the 2016 campaign when they went all out and then faced penalties for doing so. It’ll probably take a few years to see how this move turns out, but it’s a premium signing for an organization that hasn’t exactly had many of those.