Twins Expected to Be Aggressive As 2020-21 International Signing Period Opens
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsNormally, the signing period opens in July, but this year it got pushed back as teams dealt with the pandemic. Now it will open at 8 AM Central Friday, January 15 with some big names to keep an eye on.
Top of the Class
Many consider Cuban outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes to be the top available player during the signing period. He is the younger half-brother of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Since he is already 23-years old, he could move quickly to get to the big-leagues and there are many that consider him a five-tool talent. Other top players expected to sign include Oscar Colas, Wilman Diaz, Carlos Colmenarez, and Armando Cruz. However, the Twins are not expected to sign any of the top five players in this class.
Recent Minnesota Signings
Minnesota has been focused on outfielders in the international market over the last three seasons. Back in 2017, the club signed Venezuelan outfield Carlos Aguiar for a $1 million signing bonus. Minnesota’s 2018 class included Venezuelan center fielder Misael Urbina. Last year’s two biggest names were Emmanuel Rodriguez ($2.5 million) and Malfrin Sosa ($900,000) out of the Dominican Republic.
How Can the Twins Spend?
Minnesota has $6.431 million to spend in the current international signing period. This is tied for the highest total with Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay. MLB.com is expecting the Twins to be very aggressive as the signing period opens.
Who Will the Twins Target?
After focusing on outfielders for three years, the Twins will turn to the infield at the top of their 2020-21 signing class. Minnesota has been rumored to be tied to Venezuelan shortstop Danny De Andrade, who MLB.com ranks as the 16th best prospect in the entire class. The 16-year-old comes in at 6-feet tall while weighing 160 pounds.
Even though he is Venezuelan, he has been training for multiple years in the Dominican Republic with Jamie Ramos, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program. His defensive skills are strong enough to stick at shortstop, but there is some concern that he will need to move to third base because of his size. He can drive the ball to all fields and his bat speed helps to separate him from other international prospects. His body has plenty of room to add strength and he is very projectable.
The Twins are also connected to shortstop, Fredy LaFlor, MLB.com’s number 28 prospect in the class. They compare him to a young Eduardo Escobar and that would certainly make Minnesota fans happy. Scouting reports have him starting his career at shortstop, but he also can shift to center field or second base. He’s a switch hitter with a quick swing.
What are your thoughts on this year’s international signing class? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
- nclahammer likes this