Five great international prospects to watch for 2023

The 2023 international signature period opens in four months on January 15, 2023.

With the way international signings work, most top players have already committed to signing with teams years ago when they were 13 or 14, which means players signing for $1 million and up haven’t seen much in an ongoing competitive environment in the past two or three years. .

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association did not reach an agreement on an international draft in July, so the pace of the international market is unlikely to change soon.

For Baseball America subscribers, we’ll have plenty of information about the top players in the 2023 class as January 15 approaches. Today, we’re starting with a look at five of the biggest players, most of whom are looking to get rewards in the $3 million and above region, with a focus on players planning to play in the mid-diamond.

Ethan Salas, C, Venezuela
Team: Parents

Salas became famous early on as international scouts were tracking his older brother, Marlins Shortstop Jose Salas, 2019 signing from Venezuela who was one of the best candidates in his class and is now the No. 5 potential player in their organization. Ethan a More exciting Likely compared to his brother at the same ageHe is one of the world’s most polished gamers for his age in recent years. At 6 feet 2 and 180 pounds he is one of the most advanced hitters of January 15, 2023. Salas has strong base skills between his communication skills and sheet discipline. He has a built-in swing in his left hand, stays balanced and is always on board and on time. Salas tracks the court well and has a knack for throwing balls all over the fields in games. Salas doesn’t have the current strength of some of the more physically mature players of his age, but he does really shine a home run power that should continue to rise as the natural strength progresses. As talented as Salas is in the batter box, reviews are similar for his work behind the plate. His blocking, receiving and throwing mechanics are all polished to match his age, with an above average lever triggered by his quick release and should improve once he adds strength. For some scouts, Salas is the best player in his class, a well-rounded player with advanced striking and defending ability in an advantageous position.

Felnin Celesten, SS, Dominican Republic
Team: Mariners

Celesten was another player who stood out early in the scouting process for his polish in board and sports. A substitution hitter, Celestine showed good rhythm on the board with a well-sequenced swing, especially for his age, with the ability to drive the ball with a surprising sting for his size, resulting in a track record in attack. As Celesten has grown to 6-foot-1, 178 pounds, his tools have increased, making him a player with an impressive blend of instrumentation, athleticism and game skills who can expect to play a center position. Celesten still has a nimble sport frame, but the added power resulted in flashes of extra raw power that go along with his increased speed. He has good hands and quick feet in a short position, and his strong arm is another plus.

Alfredo Dono, Venezuela
Team: Reds

With Gabriel Moreno (Blue Jays), Francisco Alvarez (Mets) and Diego Cartaya (Dodgers), three of the top 10 potential in our Top 100 are Venezuelan anglers. There’s more on the way this year with Salas and Duno, two high-end talents with different skill sets. While Salas is a polished player who makes the game look easy, Duno stands out more in his physical abilities and current gadgets. He is 6 feet 3 feet tall 220 pound with Excellent bat speed and Plus the raw power from the right side. As he continues to gain strength, he could end up with 70 strengths on a 20-80 scale. The Duno’s strong arm gives it another additional tool that could turn into a 70 as well, with an effective version for runners with pop times of less than 1.9 seconds in games. Duno has a great hunting frame, But his catching and throwing skills are advanced for his age. He’s very athletic for his size – he’s an average runner at least – and his hands are soft to receive the ball well.

Brando Maya, Cuba
Team: Yankees

It was customary for the top Cuban players to leave the country and step into the main league lineup right away or get there quickly after a while in the minor leagues. These days, many top Cuban players are leaving the country in their teens to sign for one of the top clubs in the league, with 16-year-old Maya being the same age as other players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela who will sign on January 1. 15. Like Salas behind the board and Celesten at Shortstop, Mayea brings a good balance between sports, hitting ability and tools in the middle of the field. At 5 feet 11 and weighing 170 pounds, Mayea has a quick, straight right-side swing with a knack for shooting all over the strike zone, while also moving into a throwing position to use the entire field. It’s a profile that was hit hard, but added more juice along with the drag as it gained strength and more should be coming. Those strength gains also helped him accelerate, with Mayea now an over-arm runner at the center of the field.

Starlyn Caba, SS, Dominican Republic
Team: Phyllis

William Pergola Jr. has been Velez’s best international signing in his category from this year’s signing period which opened on January 15, 2022, a left-back from Venezuela. Pergola Jr. has hit .380/.470/.423 in 83 games in the Dominican Summer League this year, tied with 11 walks and only three hits (3.6%), showing minimal strength but with outstanding communication skills and defensive traits to stay in the shortstop. The January 15 MVP is another short player of a similar build at 5ft 10ft and 160lbs expecting to stay in position. Caba isn’t a formidable player, but he has more ball driving ability with impact at the same age than Bergolla Jr., driving the ball well into the gaps from either side of the board. He’s a plus runner and a good athlete, and that’s evident in the way he plays. He’s a fluid defender whose hands and feet work well in stance and an arm is nearing a plus and should be there soon with more strength gains.

Ken Griffey Jr. (Photo by Stephen Dunn Getty Images)

Ken Griffey Jr., Andy Pettit’s head coach for the 2023 USA Baseball Classic

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