Twins Tied to Misael Urbina, Expected to be “Aggressive” Internationally
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA Today SportsWho is Misael Urbina?
Minnesota is considered the favorites to sign Misael Urbina. To give a brief answer to the question above, he is a 15-year old outfielder from Venezuela. Scouts have called him an advanced hitter with an above-average hit tool and plus speed. MLB.com ranks him as the third overall prospect in their international class and they have plenty of positive things to say about him. He is a “line-drive hitter with a high baseball IQ.” They went on to say, “he’s already an advanced defender for his age.” They praised his instincts and makeup.
One of the reasons he has been able to vault to the top of the class is because of his international experience. He has been taking part in the Venezuelan Winter League’s parallel program. This allows the young outfielder to to compete against professional players with more experience than he has.
Baseball America has been following Urbina for some time. In February, MLB held a Venezuelan Showcase and Urbina was the only player to hit the ball over the fence during batting practice. At 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, there is room for him to grow into his frame. However, BA said “his swing gets in and out of the hitting zone quickly, but he has good bat speed.” In one of the games being scouted, Urbina beat out an infield single in 4.20 seconds.
Other Baseball America scouts said, his “athleticism sticks out in center field. A plus runner, Urbina showed a quick first step, gliding around the outfield with good instincts.” The same person went on to say, he “isn’t a pure hitter, but he has good bat speed and drove the ball for hard contact to all fields during BP.”
Baseball America has video of him hitting at an MLB International Showcase
Expected to Be Aggressive
MLB.com believes the Twins are one of a handful of teams that will “be aggressive” during this signing period. Minnesota’s bonus pool for the current year is $6,025,400. That total ties them with other clubs like Miami, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay. Team can also trade for an additional 75 percent of their bonus pool allotment. Since the Twins have just over $6 million, they could trade and end up with $10,544,450 in their final pool amount.
During the Shoehi Ohtani sweepstakes last winter, the Twins missed out on the big prize. However, they were able to make multiple deals to send some of their international bonus pool money to other teams. Minnesota acquired catcher David Banuelos from the Mariners in exchange for $1 million in international bonus pool cap space. They also acquired outfielder Jacob Pearson from the Angels for the same amount of space.
Banuelos has played 12 games for Cedar Rapids, where he is four months younger than the competition. So far this season, he’s hit .143/.234/.214 with 16 strikeouts and 4 walks. His only extra-base hit was a home run. Jacob Pearson is in extended spring training and has yet to appear in a game for the Twins system.
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