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  • 3 Top Prospects Tied to Twins in Upcoming International Signing Period

    Cody Christie

    Minnesota’s current roster has multiple players initially signed as part of the international signing period. The Twins are tied to a few players with another signing period opening soon, including a very familiar last name.

    Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    International Signing Changes
    Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association agreed to shift the international signing periods because of the pandemic. That means the players listed below are eligible to sign beginning on January 15, 2022, while the signing period ends on December 15, 2022. Players must turn 17 before September 1, 2022, to be eligible. Most of the top prospects already have their organizations identified even with the signing deadline multiple months in the future.

    How Much Can the Twins Spend?
    Eight teams have more money to spend than the Twins, but Minnesota is tied with five other teams in the next bonus pool group. Teams with a Round B competitive balance pick (Arizona, Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis) have a pool of $6,262,600. The Twins have $5,721,500 in their signing pool along with all the other teams that received a Round A competitive balance pick (Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay).

    What Players Are Tied to Minnesota?

    Yasser Mercedes, OF
    MLB Pipeline Ranking: 17
    Mercedes projects to be the Twins’ top signing during the upcoming international signing period. While many prospects list themselves as centerfielders, his speed and defensive ability have the potential to keep him in center field for the long term. MLB Pipeline said, “Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class.” It will take multiple years of development, but Mercedes will be a name to watch in the team’s farm system.

    Yilber Herrera, SS
    MLB Pipeline Ranking: 35
    MLB Pipeline compares Herrera to a young Jorge Polanco, and that has to get Twins fans excited with how well Polanco has been playing this year. The most significant difference between the two players is that Herrera's arm might be strong enough for him to stick at shortstop long-term. His biggest improvement area is his power, but that is an expectation with teenagers who haven't put on all their muscles. .

    Bryan Acuna, SS
    MLB Pipeline Ranking: 39
    Acuna, a Venezuela native, is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. Their father, Ronald Sr, also played professionally but topped out at Double-A. Right now, his best tool is his hit tool, but he has room to grow into his frame and add to some of the other tools. Like many top prospects, he currently plays shortstop, but he has the chance to be above average at multiple positions. 

    Which of these players sounds the most exciting to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    Baseball America says Acuna is 14.  MLB says he is 16.  He looks like he is 12.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say he isn't 16, but if he is already getting attention when he is clearly underage, we might be looking at a future HOFer.  Of course, good luck passing the smell test on his age to get him into the country should one draft him.

    MLB also says he is 5'11".  Cough.  Although, I suppose it's possible that video is two years old.  Duped by TwinsDaily again!  🤣

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    6 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

    Baseball America says Acuna is 14.  MLB says he is 16.  He looks like he is 12.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say he isn't 16, but if he is already getting attention when he is clearly underage, we might be looking at a future HOFer.  Of course, good luck passing the smell test on his age to get him into the country should one draft him.

    That BA video is 2 years old. So BA would have him being 16 right now as well.

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    1 hour ago, strumdatjag said:

     I like targeting shortstops since they often end out playing in a different position.  But it would be nice to see at least one top pitcher targeted. 

    Right? No 25-year-old starting pitching legends defecting from Cuba that hate the Yankees?

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    I would be happy with that haul if the Twins get that done.  They need up the middle depth on the farm and it looks like all three could provide it.  The Twins really have trouble developing shortstop's so would like to see more emphasis placed on guys that can stick at that position in International draft as well as armature draft.  Even better free agents would be welcome.  Solving shortstop cold really help this in multiple ways.

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    Sounds like an interesting class. Just from reading the scouting reports I am a bit more excited about Mercedes and Herrera. But who knows, maybe Bryan Acuna becomes as good as his brother. You never know with these 16-year-old prospects. 

    2 hours ago, HrbieFan said:

    Odd thing with the international list, no pitchers listed in the top 50(besides a 22 year old). Is that just because young pitchers also play SS? 

    I would imagine there are quite a few 16-year-old pitchers in this class who will turn out to be really good. The problem is projecting who that will be. I mean, even drafting HS pitchers is incredibly risky and these guys are two years younger. 

    All teams will no doubt sign pitchers as well. But at this age pitching prospects are probably just too raw to rank them as high as position players who are somewhat easier to project. 

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    Be outstanding if they can land all three. Adding talent every year through international signings is just as important as drafting well to keep that talent pipeline flowing. there's probably more risk involved (younger players, longer development time, rule 5 exposure, etc) but if you're scouting well and making smart decisions it's a huge opportunity.

    Twins have had some good success this way and these look like interesting prospects.

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    I Think adding all three is the only way to go. They need to keep their farm system restocked. and coming next year they will be dipping into that pool Heavily. Depending on how Negotiations go with Buxton they could need a lot of Help!

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    It's always exciting to see the Twins grab these young athletes.

    The organization was on a real roll with international free agents about a decade ago; they used to make up a huge part of the Twins prospect lists and they seemed to pan out more often than the states-side players. That pipeline has pretty much dried up since then though.

    I guess Bill Smith can put a feather in his cap in that regard.

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