• Twins looking toward international market

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    With the Twins playing better baseball over the last couple of weeks, there has been plenty of talk about whether the Twins will be buyers or sellers when it comes to the trade deadline. While that date at the end of July will be very important for the Twins, there is another important deadline coming at the beginning of next month. Teams like the Twins will turn their attention July 2, when international players that have turned 16-years old can be signed.

    The biggest international signing in Twins history was Miguel Sano, who has turned into the best prospect in the entire organization. His $3.15 million signing bonus was the second largest in Twins history at the time but now ranks third behind Joe Mauer and this year's first round pick Byron Buxton. The rules for signing international players have changed with the new CBA and team's are not allowed to spend over $2.9 million on foreign talent. This means there can't be a deal worth as much as what Sano signed from a few seasons ago.

    According to the Star Tribune, there are a couple of players on the radar for the Twins as the signing deadline approaches. To get one of these top international players, the Twins would need to spend most of their allotted signing funds and there will be plenty of other teams interested in the services of the players listed below.

    Amaurys Minier, SS/2B
    Dominican Republic
    Height/Weight: 6'2"/200
    Bats/Throws: S/R

    The switching hitting middle infielder might need to switch to corner outfield or third base when he starts his professional career but his sweet swing projects to be a big bat. He has the power to drive the ball to all fields from both sides of the plate, a rare thing to find in a switch hitting 16-year old. When he starts to fill out, his smooth swing will develop even more power.

    Even though he is currently playing positions he won't play at the next level, there are plenty of defensive skills for him to showcase. He has go movement from side-to-side to go along with soft hands and a very powerful arm. These are skills that will help him when he moves to a different position in the future.

    The biggest problem for Minier right now is his ability to recognize pitches and make adjustments to offspeed offerings. He can look a little lost when a pitcher throws a good offspeed pitch at him when he's in the box. This is one skill that should develop over time and he still has one of the highest ceilings of any player on the international market.

    MINIER SCOUTING VIDEO (CLICK HERE)



    Luis Torrens, C
    Venezuela
    Height/Weight: 6'0"/170
    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Torrens has spent time at shortstop and third base but he looks to have found his home behind the plate. There are still plenty of things to work on with his defense since he has only recently started to adjust to being a catcher. His natural athletic ability and other tools should make his it easier for his transition to catcher. The Twins could use a high profile catcher in their system to be ready to take the place of Mr. Mauer in the coming years.

    His right-handed bat is what makes him standout versus some of his peers in the international market. Reports have him hitting doubles to all fields at this point but his frame offers room to add more muscle as he matures. This should allow some of those doubles to turn into home runs while he moves through a club's minor league system.

    He is one of the top players available from Venezuela this year and he has topped some lists at different points this season. There is plenty of offensive potential and his ability to stick at catcher should help his value on the market. He has shown the ability to play third base in the past so a team could convert him back into a corner infielder if catching doesn't work out.

    TORRENS SCOUTING VIDEO (CLICK HERE)
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins looking toward international market started by Cody Christie
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      How old is Torrens?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Am I correct in thinking that both these players are just over 16 years old? While it's exciting to get a talent like Sano, it's also something of a commitment to making a potentially difficult decision a few years down the road if the player turns out to have a somewhat lower ceiling. I forget how many years these younger players can remain off the 40-man roster, but at an age of something like 21 or 22 you can be in the position of deciding whether a player, who is younger than some of the college guys you are about to draft, will ever make it or not. Too many of these and your 40-man can become a little clogged with players who are not close to making a contribution to the major league club, and this can limit your maneuverability for trades or for callups. Or, the alternative becomes that you invest 5 years or so into a youngster and then wind up cutting him anyway, only to see him develop eventually into someone's fourth outfielder or useful relief pitcher, or even better.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      I don't understand how this stuff works. Outside of the US and PR, is it a free for all? If that is the case, with teams like the Yankees in this world, how do the Twins have a chance at these players?

      I love how the video for Torrens calls him "El Chamo de Oro." The kid of gold.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Torrens turned 16 a little over a month ago.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by SRP View Post
      I love how the video for Torrens calls him "El Chamo de Oro." The kid of gold.
      Golden Boy?
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      3B Torrens, Luis 5/2/95
      SS Minier, Amaurys 1/30/96
    1. CK's Avatar
      CK -
      I took it as a literal translation.
      SIGN ALL OF THEM
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by SRP View Post
      I don't understand how this stuff works. Outside of the US and PR, is it a free for all? If that is the case, with teams like the Yankees in this world, how do the Twins have a chance at these players?
      Players that turned 16 years old before July 1, can be signed after July 1. (yes, from countries that are not US, Canada and PR) With the new CBA, all teams will have the same maximum that they can spend internationally.
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      The international stuff really seems to be coming into its own as a crucial part of scouting.

      So here's a question -- maybe it's been asked before and maybe not: If Miguel Sano had been Rule 4 draft-eligible in 2012, or 2011 (let's just say he was from Chicago, for instance), what kind of round selection would he have been? Tough to say, I imagine, but I'm just curious what some of you more "in the know" than I am would guess.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by SRP View Post
      I don't understand how this stuff works. Outside of the US and PR, is it a free for all? If that is the case, with teams like the Yankees in this world, how do the Twins have a chance at these players?

      I love how the video for Torrens calls him "El Chamo de Oro." The kid of gold.
      Teams can only spend $2.9M on their international signings. Money shouldn't be a factor for any team any more when it comes to signing international players. If there is potential superstar, it should now come down to whether a club thinks the player is special enough that they are willing to spend their entire budget on one guy. Even before this budget though, a $10k bonus would get most international players. Only a handfull of the very high profile kids were getting seven figures.

      This does exclude the Asian markets, or Japan at the very least. Those guys can still come over here and demand big money.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Seth and Nick, thank you for the explanation. Thank god there is a financially even playing field somewhere.
    1. Jeff P's Avatar
      Jeff P -
      A couple of other interesting points that I have seen:

      1) Next year and going forward, the international cap will be adjusted for winning percentage the previous season. The article I saw said that the worst teams will be allowed to spend ~$5M while the best teams get to spend ~$1.8M.

      2) Starting in 2013-2014, teams will be able to trade their international spending cap space, but only an additional 50% of their cap.

      Jeff
    1. Einstein's Avatar
      Einstein -
      Ok, someone educate me. How does Jorge Soler get $30M over 9 years from the Cubs if there's a cap set at $2.9M for international players?
    1. Schafer9728's Avatar
      Schafer9728 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Einstein View Post
      Ok, someone educate me. How does Jorge Soler get $30M over 9 years from the Cubs if there's a cap set at $2.9M for international players?
      I believe its because he was eligible to sign before July 1st and did sign before July 1st, meaning he falls under the old rules.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      BA has a new article (subscription required) that profiles Venezuela, where the Twins have had recent success with both Wilson Ramos and Oswaldo Arcia. The article, however, links specifically the Twins to Dominican shortstop Amaurys Minier.

      Stopping short of calling the Twins "favorites", it says they're showing "heavy interest". In a Sano-esque way, whoever gets Minier is getting him for his bat (he's a switch-hitter, but better from his left side), who will move "quickly" to third base, but may end up at first or in an outfield corner. Sound familiar?

      Minier's bonus - if the Twins are to sign him - will probably require between half to two-thirds of the cap. My take: the Twins still regret letting Miguel Cabrera slip out of their grasp and will pay to get Minier.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Fan From Afar View Post
      So here's a question -- maybe it's been asked before and maybe not: If Miguel Sano had been Rule 4 draft-eligible in 2012, or 2011 (let's just say he was from Chicago, for instance), what kind of round selection would he have been? Tough to say, I imagine, but I'm just curious what some of you more "in the know" than I am would guess.
      Sano easily would have been a first-rounder, probably top ten. There was huge buzz surrounding him and it was quite a surprise to see the Twins come out on top.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
      Sano easily would have been a first-rounder, probably top ten. There was huge buzz surrounding him and it was quite a surprise to see the Twins come out on top.
      Yeah, BA had a question about that when he was signed (and keep in mind he was 16 so wouldn't have been draft eligible in the states) and had him going somewhere (IIRC) in the top 15.
    1. PMKI's Avatar
      PMKI -
      According to MLBtraderumors.com the Twins are showing heavy interest in Dominican shortstop Amaurys Minier.
    1. Vervehound's Avatar
      Vervehound -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Fan From Afar View Post
      The international stuff really seems to be coming into its own as a crucial part of scouting.

      So here's a question -- maybe it's been asked before and maybe not: If Miguel Sano had been Rule 4 draft-eligible in 2012, or 2011 (let's just say he was from Chicago, for instance), what kind of round selection would he have been? Tough to say, I imagine, but I'm just curious what some of you more "in the know" than I am would guess.
      someone asked jim callis this very same question in a b.a. chat last year and he speculated late first round. keep in mind that the kid was 16 when he signed so that increases the risk by a significant margin and lowers his worth. b.a. tries, for the most part, to not rank prospects until they at least hit the rookie leagues because you really have no idea what you have until then.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vervehound View Post
      someone asked jim callis this very same question in a b.a. chat last year and he speculated late first round. keep in mind that the kid was 16 when he signed so that increases the risk by a significant margin and lowers his worth. b.a. tries, for the most part, to not rank prospects until they at least hit the rookie leagues because you really have no idea what you have until then.
      Verve! Welcome aboard!

      Uh, where's your signature avatar I gave you a few years back?
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