The Cincinnati Reds and the rest of the teams around Major League Baseball can begin signing eligible players on the international market today. Normally this period begins on July 2nd, but for the second consecutive year things were pushed back to January 15th. After a strong class of signings in 2021, the Reds are expected to make an even bigger splash this year. Official signings will be rolling out over the week, though the signing period is open until December 15th. Most of the signings, though, will be taking place in the next few days.

With the new rules in place, teams are on a much more even playing field when it comes to signing players. The bonus pools are broken down into three tiers, with the bottom teams only $1.1M off from the top teams. Cincinnati is in the middle tier this year and have a bonus pool of $5,721,500 for this class of players.

As signings are completed I will share them here. As I am able to gather information on the players this weekend, I will update the reports on them here as well.

Ricardo Cabrera | Shortstop

The Cincinnati Reds signed Cabrera on Saturday. He is 17-years-old.

Ricardo Cabrera Scouting Report

Perhaps the biggest non-Cuban signing on the international market for the Reds since these things have been tracked, Cabrera was rated as highly as the #3 overall prospect in free agency this year (Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both had him in the 3rd spot). He’s a right-handed hitting shortstop who is currently listed at 6′ 0″ and 175 lbs.

Signing out of Venezuela, Ricardo Cabrera has true 5-tool potential, where the future grades across the board are all above-average or better. His best tool is his hit-tool, which grades out as above-average to plus. While we are dealing with somewhat limited game-action looks, he has shown a good approach at the plate with good pitch recognition skills. There’s also above-average power potential in his bat, and he’s a good runner, too. Defensively he looks like he should be able to handle shortstop long term, but if he does outgrow the position there’s nothing that suggest he couldn’t be a strong third baseman in the field or at the plate.

Anthuan Valencia | Shortstop

The Cincinnati Reds signed Valencia on Saturday. He’s 17-years-old.

Anthuan Valencia Scouting Report

Another highly touted shortstop pick up out of Venezuela today for the Reds has them bringing Anthuan Valencia aboard. He’s been rated among the top 50 free agents in this class. Valencia has 5-tool potential, with power and defense being his top two tools.

The 5′ 10″ and 170 lb. infielder sticks out for his athleticism and defense where he shows above-average defense and an average arm that plays well anywhere on the infield. There’s nothing to suggest he can’t remain at shortstop long term. Offensively he’s got a chance to hit for average and he shows above-average power potential. He also shows average speed on the bases.

Esmith Pineda | Outfielder

Signed with the Reds on Monday. He’s 17-years-old. His signing bonus was reported to be $800,000 by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Esmith Pineda Scouting Report

A big signing coming out of Panama, the Reds are picking up outfielder Esmith Pineda on the first day of the signing period. Listed at 5′ 11″ and 180 lbs. Pineda is best known for his power potential, which is above-average to plus. His arm strength rates out nearly as well as another above-average tool in his arsenal and should play well in right field. His hit-tool, speed, and fielding all grade out as potentially average in the future.

Other signings as first reported by Ben Badler of Baseball America (will be updating with scouting reports as I get them)

Joneiker Arellano | RHP

Signed with Cincinnati on Saturday. He’s 16-years-old.

Joneiker Arellano Scouting Report

A pitcher with a lean but projectable frame. His fastball is currently up to 89 MPH, but he should gain some velocity as he fills out. Throws plenty of strikes. Also has a breaking ball and a change up.

Jesus Correa | Shortstop

Signed with the Reds on Saturday. He is 17-years-old.

Jesus Correa Scouting Report

A switch hitting shortstop with very good hands and footwork around the bag. He gotten stronger over the last year and it’s starting to show up at the plate. There’s more hit here than power, both now and in the future. Grew up playing soccer before taking up baseball in the last few years. He was training with Orlando Cabrera.

Henry Guerrero | Catcher

Signed with Cincinnati on Saturday. He is 17-years-old.

Henry Guerrero Scouting Report

A catcher with a long and lean frame that projects to have some power as he fills out and matures. He showed a good approach at the plate. Defensively he shows an average, but accurate arm behind the plate. He, like nearly every teenage catcher that ever existed, needs to continue to improve on his receiving and blocking skills but he shows the potential to remain behind the plate in the long run.

Lisnerkin Lantigua | RHP

He signed with the Reds on Saturday. He is 17-years-old.

Lisnerkin Lantigua Scouting Report

Among the pitchers that signed with the Reds he’s the highest rated guy among the group at this point. He profiles as a starter who has three pitches. The 6′ 1″ starter has a fastball that has been up to 93 MPH. He shows a solid breaking ball already that has the potential to be above-average down the line. He also shows a change up. Throws strikes. A former outfielder, he’s only been pitching for about two years. Sticks out for his competitiveness.

David Lorduy | RHP

Signed with the Reds on Saturday. He is 18-years-old.

David Lorduy Scouting Report

A reliever with good fastball velocity and a slider. The fastball could get into the mid-to-upper 90’s in the future, giving him a chance for two plus pitches down the line.

Nelfri Payano | RHP

He signed with the Reds on Saturday. He’s 17-years-old.

Nelfri Payano Scouting Report

A former shortstop, the 5′ 10″ righty only took up pitching about a year ago. He’s been up to 93 MPH and sits in the 90-91 MPH range with good movement on both planes. Likely to pick up more velocity as he matures. He shows a breaking ball that has a chance to be an average offering in the future. His change up needs work if he’s going to remain a starter in the long run.

Adrian Reyes | Outfielder

Signed with Cincinnati on Saturday. He’s 17-years-old.

Adrian Reyes Scouting Report

A switch-hitting corner outfielder, Adrian Reyes’ calling card is his future power potential. There may be some swing-and-miss in his game down the line, but he’s got plus raw power that he could tap into. He’s got average arm strength that should play in either corner.

Gilberto Rojas | Catcher

Scouting Report and info coming soon.

Carlos Sanchez | Outfielder

He signed with the Reds on Saturday. He’s 17-years-old.

Carlos Sanchez Scouting Report

A guy who can play all around the field. He was working out for teams as an outfielder, but he’s a former shortstop who could play at second, third, first, or even in left field. He’s got a good arm in the outfield and is an average runner. At the plate he already uses the entire field. There’s potential plus power down the line as he matures.

Mauricio Serrano | Infielder

Scouting Report and info coming soon.

Ben Walmsley | LHP

He signed with the Reds on Monday.

Ben Walmsley Scouting Report

His fastball is up to 91 MPH. Has a chance to start. His secondary offerings are still developing. Has some deception in his delivery, throws strikes. From Australia.

More signings and info coming soon. Signing bonuses will not be reported here unless they have been published elsewhere.

21 Responses

  1. James Phillips

    I’ve been super-critical of ownership and Krall, bt being active in the international market is a really good sign. They’ve been trying to win while all but ignoring the international market for a couple of decades. The past couple of years of signings are a really good start.

    A question, though, how much of this is Krall and his team, and how much of this was put in motion when Willia was still in charge? Is this a new direction for the team or a short-term blip that will change with the new focus on aligning payroll to resources?

    • Doug Gray

      The current international scouting director and the top scouts in the market were all either brought in by Williams or were here before even he got here. Not entirely sure who seemed to get the money guys on board with spending internationally around 2015/2016, but someone got through to them and the team has been moving in the right direction ever since.

      • Doug Gray

        Obviously the 2016 class changed things as the team went out and spent big and well over allotment with Jose Barrero, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Alfredo Rodriguez. But when the organization was able to come back from the penalty box the rules were very different and having every team working sort of on the same playing field with regards to money being spent probably didn’t hurt a team like the Reds who had struggled to truly get in on the top non-Cuban prospects on the market.

      • Joe

        Will there be any types of grades given to each club for these signings, and if not, would you be willing to give your own grade, despite the fact that these are extremely young players?

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t know nearly enough about anyone who wasn’t signed by the Reds to grade any other organization.

  2. Crestwood Craig

    Doug, how long will the Reds have control over these players that they signed? At 17 years old, I wouldn’t expect any of them to hit the majors for at 4-5 years.

    • Doug Gray

      Like all players they must spend 6 years in the system before minor league free agency. That clock is extended if they are added to the 40-man roster.

    • Stock

      Based upon Fangraph ratings Cabrera has a 40 FV. that would put him in the middle of the second round. The Reds have already locked up Alfredo Duno for the 2023 draft. Alfredo Duno is projected by Fangraphs at 40+. that would put him at the end of the 1st round.

      • Doug Gray

        No, the Reds have not “locked up” Alfredo Duno for 2023. First off, we don’t know if there’s a draft or not. And if there is, then they most certainly haven’t locked anyone up. Secondly, until the ink is on the paper and it’s been approved by MLB, nothing’s official.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s tough to say, honestly, because you’re dealing with a different kind of scenario. Most of the guys signing today would be sophomores or juniors in high school. That makes the comparison a tough one to make. How do you really try to compare a 16 or 17-year-old who has probably never faced a pitcher with both a good breaking ball and a 94 MPH fastball to a 20 or 21-year-old from Florida who just hit .350 and 17 home runs? I know that it’s technically someone’s job to do so, but it seems like an incredibly unfair ask given how different the kinds of players we are looking at are.

    • Doug Gray

      Hoping to get a lot more info shortly. When I’ve got some more, I’ll update this. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty busy day for anyone involved in this hierarchy of scouting and signing.

  3. Hoyce

    Best guess… where would Cabrera rank in the reds system rn?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think I could argue for any ranking higher than 8th. Could certainly argue for spots lower than that, though.

  4. Doug Gray

    So the Reds just tweeted out 10 signings. We’re showing 13 here. The deals are in place for those that aren’t listed by the Reds, but the contracts simply aren’t official yet. Just wanted to be sure to clarify why there was a difference between what they are showing and what we’re showing (and other places are also showing).

  5. MBS

    I’m really happy about Cabrera! The #3 international prospect is definitely a good get.

  6. Stock

    In 2018 the Reds used their 2nd round pick and their competitive balance pick to take Lyon Richardson and Josiah Gray. I loved these two picks because the learning scale, and hence growth, is much greater for someone just beginning a project than for someone who has been doing something for years.

    Josiah Gray became a top 100 prospect and is now pitching for the Washington Nationals. Lyon Richardson has never been able to consistently match the velocity he showed in the month or two prior to being drafted and has not worked out so well.

    From Doug’s summaries above it appears that Jesus Correa and Nelfri Payano are similar players. Correa was playing soccer until recently switching to baseball. Payano was a SS before recently switching to pitching. I am excited to see how these two develop as well as how the top three develop.

    • Doug Gray

      As far as I am aware – none of the players here are related to anyone we would typically know. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t, but it’s usually something that is brought up.