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  1. Normally, 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. https://twitter.com/NoDakTwinsFan/status/1349801710751985668?s=20 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
  2. There is no question how important signing international players is to MLB organization. One strong signing class can alter a franchise’s future as Minnesota’s current core includes Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, and Jorge Polanco, who were all signed during the same international signing period.Normally, 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 Click here to view the article
  3. The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me. Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine. Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list. At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter. Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good. Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis. Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect. So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out? The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic.com/2326602/2021/01/16/mlb-international-signing-period-day-1/?source=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.
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