The 2023 international signing period began over the weekend for Major League Baseball. Between Sunday and Monday the Cincinnati Reds made it official with 14 signings. Those won’t likely be the final signings from the class, but they are likely to make up the bulk of the deals the organization has this signing period. Let’s hop into the scouting reports.
Alfredo Alcantara Scouting Report
A shortstop from the Dominican Republic, Alfredo Alcantara has a chance to be productive on both sides of the ball. Defensively he shows good feet, good instincts, and has an accurate arm. Hes’ got a chance to hit, being described to me as a “guy who can really swing the bat”.
Alfredo Duno Scouting Report
We covered Alfredo Duno in his own article given just how big the signing was. He inked a deal for $3,100,000 (we only report on signing bonuses that are publicized elsewhere due to the unfortunate circumstances that have happened in the past around the safety of players and their families) – a record bonus handed out by the organization to a non-Cuban born international prospect.
Duno is a potential 5-tool catcher. He is already 6′ 2″ and 210 lbs but has turned in above-average to plus running times. He’s showing plus arm strength already. He’s got good hands and athleticism behind the plate.
His bat speed stands out and that, along with his size gives him plus to plus-plus raw power. The swing isn’t always consistently where it needs to be and he’ll need to continue to work on keeping things in sync, but he’s got a chance to hit for average and power down the line.
Andre Vasquez Scouting Report
A right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic, Andre Vasquez is new to pitching after making the switch from the outfield two years ago. He’s 6′ 3″ and 180 lbs and has room to fill out his frame. His fastball already works in the low 90’s and there’s plenty of projection for added velocity there. He also throws a curveball and a change up. There’s a chance for him to be a starting pitcher.
Angel De La Cruz Scouting Report
An outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Angel De La Cruz fits in as a corner guy with plenty of power potential. His approach will need some refinement at the plate as he needs to work on identifying breaking balls. Defensively he’s got a strong arm.
Anielson Buten Scouting Report
Born in Haiti but raised in the Dominican Republic, Anielson Buten stands out for his defensive ability where he can play all over the field – including shortstop and center field. He has plus speed. His swing is simple and he can use the entire field.
Brauli Diaz Scouting Report
A switch-hitter, Brauli Diaz has plus-plus speed. He can cover you at short and second, and may see time in center in the future. His left-handed swing is ahead of his right-handed swing at this point, but he’s shown an ability to get the barrel to the ball from both sides of the plate.
Brayan Joseph Scouting Report
A very strong defensive shortstop, Bryan Joseph stands out in the field. He’s a good athlete. His bat is behind his glove at this point. A switch-hitter, his left-handed swing is also ahead of his right-handed swing. For a point of time he had given up hitting from the right side of the plate but has since picked it back up.
Bryan Diaz Scouting Report
The lone left-handed pitcher in the initial group of signings, Bryan Diaz is a smaller guy but one who has three pitches in his arsenal. He’s got a fastball in the upper 80’s at this point but hitters struggle to pick up the ball against him. Diaz stick out for his ability to throw strikes.
Emmanuel Talavera Scouting Report
A tall right-handed pitcher from Venezuela, Emmanuel Talavera is already 6′ 5″ tall. He’s long and lean and has room to fill out his frame. His fastball is already up to 92 MPH with room to add velocity. He will also show a slider and a change up in his arsenal.
Irvin Gonzalez Scouting Report
Another right-handed pitcher out of Venezuela, Irvin Gonzalez is a 6′ 1″ starting pitcher. He’s got a fastball, breaking ball, and a change up with a chance for all three to be average with the breaking ball perhaps having more potential than that. Everything he throws shows good movement
Rafael Leon Scouting Report
A native of Colombia, Rafael Leon is a right-handed pitcher is a 3-pitch guy. The 6′ 2″, 175 lb. teenager throws a fastball, change up, and a curveball.
Sheng-En Lin Scouting Report
He was a position player and pitcher during his time in high school, but Cincinnati is signing the 17-year-old as a shortstop/center fielder. He been up to 99 MPH on the mound and threw multiple pitches, but the Reds like him more as a position player. Very athletic, he’s got plus-plus speed to work with. At the plate he’s got an advanced hit tool from the left side and he’s already showing power with more in the tank down the line. Obviously with the arm strength he showed on the mound, he stands out with his arm in the field as well. (Signed June 5th)
Rafhlmil Torres Scouting Report
A strong defender at shortstop, Rafhlmil Torres can make both the flashy plays as well as the routine ones up the middle. He’s got an average arm. At the plate he’s a switch-hitter and puts together good at-bats. There’s plenty of tools and some projection remaining for Torres.
Sergio Villa Scouting Report
While Sergio Villa is from Colombia he had been in living and training in Venezuela for a while before the signing period began. In the last year he’s put on about 15 to 20 lbs of good weight and has picked up nearly 10 MPH on his fastball and is now touching 90 MPH. He can spin a breaking ball. Villa also throws plenty of strikes.
Yeycol Soriano Scouting Report
A left-handed hitting center fielder, Yeycol Soriano hails from the Dominican Republic. He has really strong reads and routes in center that helps make up for his solid, but not excellent speed. He also shows a plus arm. At the plate he can go gap-to-gap now. There’s room to fill out his thin frame, which could lead to more power down the road.
Dominic Scheffler Scouting Report
The 17-year-old left-handed pitcher signed with the Reds on January 20th. The lefty appears to be the 1st ever player from Switzerland to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team outside of Otto Hess, who was born in 1878. Scheffler pitched in Japan and Germany during his high school career before signing with Cincinnati. He throws in the low 90’s with his fastball and has topped out at 94 MPH. He also shows a quality breaking ball to go along with clean mechanics. (Signed January 20th)
Christian Lopez Scouting Report
A physical kid, Lopez is 6′ 2″ tall and 207 lbs. There’s chance to stick as a starting pitcher. His delivery is low effort. The fastball has been up to 88 MPH with good angle, and there is a chance to add more velocity moving forward. The lefty has a breaking ball that works in the low-to-mid 70’s with depth. His fastball and breaking ball have high spin rates. (Signed February 16th)
Yael Romero Scouting Report
The first baseman has played for the U18 Mexican National Team, hitting cleanup frequently and has performed well on the international stage. Romero has improved his body over the past year, getting into better shape. At the plate he’s got a chance to hit for both average and power in the future. Like many first baseman, speed is not a part of his game. Defensively he’s good around the first base bag and shows good hands and feet at the position. He’s expected to play in the Dominican Summer League this year. (Signed February 20th)
Angel Zazueta Scouting Report
A lean right-handed pitcher with a projectable body that should be able to add plenty of good weight. Zazueta’s fastball currently works in the upper 80’s. He will also mix in a change up in the 79-81 MPH range. His breaking ball is a low-70’s curveball. He throws strikes and mixes his pitches well. The righty could start or relieve. He is expected to play in the Dominican Summer League this year. (Signed February 15th)