Ben Badler of Baseball America gave readers his final predictions as to where the top international free agents will sign. Tomorrow marks the first day teams will be able to start inking players to contracts. Like the original article states, Badler predicts the Mets will end up with catcher Ali Sanchez, and shortstop Luis Carpio. Both ballplayers come from Venezuela.
The international signing period for MLB teams starts on July 2nd, which is this upcoming Tuesday. Once that day comes, teams will be able to sign 16-year-old international players they’ve been evaluating. Ben Badler of Baseball America breaks down the top 30 players today. He’s pinning the Mets as targeting catcher Ali Sanchez and shortstop Luis Carpio.
Sanchez ranks as the 25th-best international prospect on this list, but Badler says he’s a solid second choice after Jose Herrera when it comes to catchers. The backstop hails from Venezuela, and stands at 6′ tall and 180 lbs. He already has some international playing experience; he’s participated in the 2011 Pan American Championship for Venezuela, and has also played in the international prospect league in the Dominican Republic.
Here’s what Badler has to say about Sanchez:
Sanchez is more athletic than Herrera and has more experience catching, which is evident in his catch-and-throw skills. He’s an intelligent, high-energy player who has good hands and is a good receiver. He has a solid arm that plays up due to his quick transfer and accuracy. At his best he’s a quality defender who hits in games, though there are skeptics who question his bat. He doesn’t show much power, so he doesn’t stand out in batting practice, but scouts have seen him hit a lot against live pitching, showing a consistent approach and a contact-oriented swing. Sources believe the Mets have been tracking Sanchez for a long time and will make his signing a priority.
Carpio, a slick-fielding shortstop, has been attached to the Mets for at least a week now, and ranks 30th on this list. Badler notes his stock has been rising as the July 2nd date nears, and his offensive ability is better showcased in live game situations. He has more line drive power potential than home run potential, but he also has good bat control and pitch recognition. Some scouts have said he’s one of the more underrated international prospects.
Here’s Badler’s opinion on the 15-year-old shortstop:
Carpio has improved his strength, bat speed and running times. He ran the 60-yard dash in 6.8 seconds in January, but multiple clubs have clocked him at 6.6 seconds recently. He’s at least a plus runner under way, though he doesn’t have a quick first step and doesn’t get out of the box quickly. He is a good athlete who will start his career at shortstop but may end up at second base or center field. His hands are solid, but his footwork needs improvement, and he has a fringe-average arm.
We’ll see how everything shakes out as July 2nd rolls around next week. Are these two players ones you don’t mind the Mets going after? Obviously, it would be nice to see them in on some of the top-rated talent, but who in particular would you have liked to see them pursue?