This weekend, the international signing period opens for prospects eligible in 2022. Before new prospects join the organization, MLB Pipeline ranked each organization's top-ranked international prospect. Minnesota has plenty of high-ranking prospects initially signed on the international market. Here is a look at some of the top names.
5. Danny De Andrade, SS
Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: NR
De Andrade was Minnesota's top-ranked international signee during the 2020-21 signing period. At the time, MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 16th overall prospect and the 8th best shortstop in the class. The Twins handed out a $2.2 million signing bonus to get him into the organization. Last season, he made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .264/.340/.348 (.688) with 14 extra-base hits in 50 games. Defensively, the majority of his starts came at shortstop, but he is already seeing some time at third base. Some scouts project that third base will be his likely defensive position, but Minnesota will continue to give him every opportunity to stick as a shortstop.
4. Yunior Severino, 2B/3B
Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 16
Severino originally signed for nearly $2 million with the Atlanta Braves, and he was considered one of the best international prospects in the 2016-17 class. Following the 2017 season, he became a free agent after the Braves were punished for international signing violations. Minnesota signed him to a $2.5 million bonus, and he has made his way up the organizational ladder. Last season as a 21-year-old, he hit .273/.372/.430 (.802) with 39 extra-base hits in 98 games split between Low- and High-A. He's a player to keep an eye on as he may have unlocked power potential waiting still yet to surface.
3. Misael Urbina, OF
Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 12
Minnesota signed Urbina as part of the 2018-19 signing period and gave him the third-highest bonus in the class ($2.75 million). He was ranked as the 6th best prospect in the class, and he has shown some solid tools during his professional career. Last season as a 19-year-old, Urbina made his stateside debut with Fort Myers. In 101 games, he hit .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 21 extra-base hits. He was over two years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers. Urbina can play all three outfield positions, and his speed is his best tool at this point. He likely gets another shot at Low-A to start 2022.
2. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 5
With other well-known hitting prospects, Rodriguez may be a little more unknown by fans. Among the top-30 international prospects in 2019-20, Rodriguez was the 8th ranked prospect. Minnesota signed him for a $2.5 million bonus, and the pandemic meant he spent his first two professional seasons in the instructional leagues. Last year, he played 37 games for the FCL Twins and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including ten home runs. At season's end, Rodriguez finished runner-up to Kala'i Rosario as the Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year.
1. Jhoan Duran, RHP
Seth's Top-30 Pitcher Ranking: 9
Duran may have taken a step back in 2021, but that still doesn't take anything away from his enormous potential. Arizona signed Duran in December 2014 for $65,000. Minnesota acquired Duran along with Gilberto Celestino for Eduardo Escobar's expiring contract at the 2018 trade deadline. Last season, Duran was limited to five Triple-A as an elbow strain put him on the shelf for the rest of the season. When healthy, he can regularly reach triple-digits with his fastball, and he utilizes a sinker-splitter hybrid pitch that is tough for hitters. Duran needs to prove he is healthy in 2022, and then he might be able to help the big-league pitching staff.
Which prospect stands out the most to you? Who do you think makes the most significant impact in the years ahead? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE
— Yasser Mercedes
— Yilber Herrera
— Bryan Acuña
— International Signing Period History