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  1. The international signing period officially opens today. The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with three players ranked among the top 40 talents in this year's class, and now we know the dollar totals of their agreements. Read on to learn more about Yasser Mercedes, Yilber Herrera, and Bryan Acuña. The international market has been a key source of talent in the Twins system, yielding not only big-league players like Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sanó, but also several of their current most intriguing prospects. They'll be adding to that pool when the following expected signings become official. The Twins have a $5,721,500 bonus pool for international signings this year and it appears this is how they'll be divvying up a large chunk of it. Yasser Mercedes, OF – Dominican Republic ($1.7 million) DOB: 11/16/2004 (17 years old) 6'3", 180 lbs | Bats R, Throws R Ranked #17 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Mercedes The headliner of this year's Twins international class is a big lean outfielder with an impressive and balanced skill set. Speed and defense are considered his biggest strengths currently, leading many to believe he can stick in center field. According to MLB Pipeline, "Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class, but it’s his ability to use those tools in games that’s helped him become one of the most intriguing prospects on the international market." Yilber Herrera, SS – Dominican Republic ($700K) DOB: 1/15/2005 (17 years old) 6'0", 155 lbs | B: S, T: R Ranked #35 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Herrera "Think of a young Jorge Polanco. That’s the best way to describe the athletic Herrera." So claims MLB Pipeline's writeup on this switch-hitting shortstop, and this description comes as music to the ears of Twins fans. The Venezuelan infielder is currently known as more of a contact hitter with quick hands, but there is hope he'll start to develop substantial power as he grows into his frame. That's basically the path Polanco took on his way to becoming one of the best slugging middle infielders in the majors. Bryan Acuña , SS – Venezuela ($650K) DOB: 8/11/2005 (16 years old) 5'11", 155 lbs | B: R, T: R Ranked #39 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Acuña You probably recognize the last name. Yes, Bryan is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. He's been on the international scouting radar for sometime, and while he's not viewed as one of the premier talents in this class, it bears noting that his older brother signed with Atlanta for a mere $100K back in 2014. He's currently listed as a shortstop, but Acuña is unlikely to stick there. His bat is expected to be his ticket to advancement; he already has a good feel for hitting and the hope is that he'll add power he muscles up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. The international market has been a key source of talent in the Twins system, yielding not only big-league players like Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sanó, but also several of their current most intriguing prospects. They'll be adding to that pool when the following expected signings become official. The Twins have a $5,721,500 bonus pool for international signings this year and it appears this is how they'll be divvying up a large chunk of it. Yasser Mercedes, OF – Dominican Republic ($1.7 million) DOB: 11/16/2004 (17 years old) 6'3", 180 lbs | Bats R, Throws R Ranked #17 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Mercedes The headliner of this year's Twins international class is a big lean outfielder with an impressive and balanced skill set. Speed and defense are considered his biggest strengths currently, leading many to believe he can stick in center field. According to MLB Pipeline, "Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class, but it’s his ability to use those tools in games that’s helped him become one of the most intriguing prospects on the international market." Yilber Herrera, SS – Dominican Republic ($700K) DOB: 1/15/2005 (17 years old) 6'0", 155 lbs | B: S, T: R Ranked #35 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Herrera "Think of a young Jorge Polanco. That’s the best way to describe the athletic Herrera." So claims MLB Pipeline's writeup on this switch-hitting shortstop, and this description comes as music to the ears of Twins fans. The Venezuelan infielder is currently known as more of a contact hitter with quick hands, but there is hope he'll start to develop substantial power as he grows into his frame. That's basically the path Polanco took on his way to becoming one of the best slugging middle infielders in the majors. Bryan Acuña , SS – Venezuela ($650K) DOB: 8/11/2005 (16 years old) 5'11", 155 lbs | B: R, T: R Ranked #39 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Acuña You probably recognize the last name. Yes, Bryan is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. He's been on the international scouting radar for sometime, and while he's not viewed as one of the premier talents in this class, it bears noting that his older brother signed with Atlanta for a mere $100K back in 2014. He's currently listed as a shortstop, but Acuña is unlikely to stick there. His bat is expected to be his ticket to advancement; he already has a good feel for hitting and the hope is that he'll add power he muscles up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Ronald Acuña Jr. is a baseball superstar, and now Twins fans can hope his brother follows in his footsteps. Here's a look at Bryan Acuña, a top international prospect. Minnesota is favored to sign Bryan Acuña later this week, and he comes from a family of baseball players. His father, Ronald Acuña Sr., signed with the Mets in 1997. He played parts of eight minor league seasons and hit .282/.330/.364 (.694) while never playing higher than the Double-A level. He posted a .722 OPS in two High-A seasons with 36 extra-base hits in 148 games. His power never developed, but he continued to play in the Venezuelan Winter League until he was 30-years-old. Two Acuña brothers have already signed and started their professional careers. Ronald Acuña Jr. has played parts of four big-league seasons with three top-12 finishes for NL MVP. He has a .925 OPS with two Silver Sluggers and two All-Star selections for his young career. Jose Acuña signed with the Rangers in 2018. Last season as a 19-year-old, he played 111 games at Low-A, where he hit .266/.345/.404 (.749). He was over two years younger than the competition at that level, and he hit double-digit home runs and doubles. Now the focus turns to Bryan, the youngest Acuña brother. Bryan Acuña Scouting Report Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 5'11" | WT: 155 MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50 Offensively, Acuña has impressed scouts for multiple years. Back in 2019, he was one of the top prospects at an international showcase held in Arizona. At the time, he was drawing comparisons to his older brother, and his swing looked advanced for a 14-year-old. He has grown up around the game, and many of his scouting reports praise his baseball IQ. His hit tool compares well against many other players ranked ahead of him. There is also room for him to add more power as he grows and fills out his frame. Like many top international prospects, Acuña will sign as a shortstop, but there are no guarantees that will be his position for the long term. For comparison, Roderick Arias, the top-ranked international prospect this year, is also a shortstop, and he grades as a 55 Arm and a 55 Field. Acuña ranks behind him in both categories, but these are teenagers with plenty of development left to accomplish. Eventually, he may need to shift to second base, where he should profile as an above-average offensive player. Both of his older brothers topped out around 6-feet. Ronald, at age-24, weighs in at just over 200 pounds, while Jose was listed at 181 pounds last season as a 19-year-old. This should give some insight into how Bryan's body will develop into his early 20s, which is about when he'd reach the upper levels of the Twins farm system. As Jamie mentioned yesterday, there are no guarantees on the international market, especially when dealing with teenage players. Minnesota had an unbelievable class in 2009, but there have been other misses along the way. Now, Twins fans hope the youngest Acuña will use his baseball acumen to follow his family to the big leagues. Do you think Acuña's swing is similar to his brother's? What type of ceiling will he have? 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 View full article
  4. Minnesota is favored to sign Bryan Acuña later this week, and he comes from a family of baseball players. His father, Ronald Acuña Sr., signed with the Mets in 1997. He played parts of eight minor league seasons and hit .282/.330/.364 (.694) while never playing higher than the Double-A level. He posted a .722 OPS in two High-A seasons with 36 extra-base hits in 148 games. His power never developed, but he continued to play in the Venezuelan Winter League until he was 30-years-old. Two Acuña brothers have already signed and started their professional careers. Ronald Acuña Jr. has played parts of four big-league seasons with three top-12 finishes for NL MVP. He has a .925 OPS with two Silver Sluggers and two All-Star selections for his young career. Jose Acuña signed with the Rangers in 2018. Last season as a 19-year-old, he played 111 games at Low-A, where he hit .266/.345/.404 (.749). He was over two years younger than the competition at that level, and he hit double-digit home runs and doubles. Now the focus turns to Bryan, the youngest Acuña brother. Bryan Acuña Scouting Report Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 5'11" | WT: 155 MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50 Offensively, Acuña has impressed scouts for multiple years. Back in 2019, he was one of the top prospects at an international showcase held in Arizona. At the time, he was drawing comparisons to his older brother, and his swing looked advanced for a 14-year-old. He has grown up around the game, and many of his scouting reports praise his baseball IQ. His hit tool compares well against many other players ranked ahead of him. There is also room for him to add more power as he grows and fills out his frame. Like many top international prospects, Acuña will sign as a shortstop, but there are no guarantees that will be his position for the long term. For comparison, Roderick Arias, the top-ranked international prospect this year, is also a shortstop, and he grades as a 55 Arm and a 55 Field. Acuña ranks behind him in both categories, but these are teenagers with plenty of development left to accomplish. Eventually, he may need to shift to second base, where he should profile as an above-average offensive player. Both of his older brothers topped out around 6-feet. Ronald, at age-24, weighs in at just over 200 pounds, while Jose was listed at 181 pounds last season as a 19-year-old. This should give some insight into how Bryan's body will develop into his early 20s, which is about when he'd reach the upper levels of the Twins farm system. As Jamie mentioned yesterday, there are no guarantees on the international market, especially when dealing with teenage players. Minnesota had an unbelievable class in 2009, but there have been other misses along the way. Now, Twins fans hope the youngest Acuña will use his baseball acumen to follow his family to the big leagues. Do you think Acuña's swing is similar to his brother's? What type of ceiling will he have? 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
  5. 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. 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. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. 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. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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