Brewers pick up pair of Top 25 international prospects

January 16th, 2024

For teams like the Brewers, it’s easy to see how important their efforts in the international market are to the organization’s long term health. Just look at the new face of the franchise, top prospect Jackson Chourio, a 2021 signee out of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Or look at No. 2 prospect Jeferson Quero, another Venezuela native. All told, nearly one-third of the Brewers' current Top 30 Prospects, per MLB Pipeline, signed from the international market.

That number is about to go up.

The club continued stocking that pipeline as the 2024 international signing period opened Monday, adding two talented infielders to their system to highlight their 35-player class of 2024. Venezuelan shortstop Jorge Quintana ('s No. 12 international prospect) and Dominican shortstop Jesús Made (No. 22) are the headliners of that group, which includes players from seven countries.

The team also agreed to terms with Dominican shortstop Luis Peña, Venezuelan catcher Luis Corobo, Venezuelan shortstop Joandrew Peña Dominican righty Dalvin Bodne, and righty Christopher Peralta, who is the cousin of Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta. The hitter-heavy class features 16 players from the Dominican Republic, 11 from Venezuela, three from Panamá, two from Nicaragua and one each from Costa Rica, Germany and Mexico.

The Brewers received a pool of $6.52 million.

“We are adding 35 players from seven different countries all with the potential to become big leaguers,” said director of international player evaluation Luis Pérez in a statement. “This class would not be possible without the great work of our scouts and front office. We look forward to these young prospects joining our player development system and working toward fulfilling their dreams of reaching the Majors.”

The switch-hitting Quintana, 16, is a tall, athletic infielder with good bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate. Scouts have noted that his game is very polished -- on offense and defense -- especially for someone his age. He will improve on all facets of his game when he joins the club's academy.

Quintana has a knack for hitting the ball into the gaps with flashes of home run power. His overall strength is expected to improve as he matures and his body develops. Defensively, he is a twitchy athlete with the quickness needed to remain at shortstop.

Made is another intriguing shortstop prospect in this year's class and has a chance to make an immediate impact with the organization. The switch-hitting infielder has above-average power potential from both sides of the plate and a good feel for the strike zone. In the batter's box, he has a slightly upward swinging motion and uses it to hit the ball hard into the gaps. He also shows flashes of home run power.

Physically, Made has a lean body with room to pack on more muscle and strength as he matures and his body develops. Given his soft hands and good footwork, Made is recognized as an emerging defender with plus arm potential. His quickness and instincts give him a chance to be a difference-maker defensively in large part because he can make both routine and extraordinary plays.

“Today we celebrate the accomplishments of our newest class of Brewers,” said director of international scouting James Armstrong in a statement. “Each of these players have now realized their lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player, a path which required years of training and devotion to improving every day. That discipline is one of the vital traits we seek in signing the next generation of talented ballplayers, and we strongly feel each of these individuals embody those qualities."

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year.

That means players born between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, will be eligible to sign in the current signing period. Players must be registered with Major League Baseball in advance to be eligible to sign.

Armstrong indicated on a call with reporters that the Brewers might not have much wiggle room to add to this class over the rest of the signing period, given its size and scope already.

Here is the full class Milwaukee announced on signing day:

Jose Anderson, CF, Dominican Republic
Dalvin Bodre, RHP, Dominican Republic
Ayendy Bravo, RHP, Dominican Republic
Daiyiro Candelo, RHP, Venezuela
Luis Corobo, C, Venezuela
Yohandy Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic
Carlos Doñe, CF, Dominican Republic
Lonell Downs, RHP, Nicaragua
Handelfry Encarnacion, CF, Dominican Republic
Kevin Garcia, C, Venezuela
Victor Emiliano García, LHP, Mexico
Jeremy George, CF, Panamá
Angel González, CF, Costa Rica
Lukas González, RHP, Panamá
Paul Hoff, RHP, Germany
Dariel Jaquez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Wenderlyn King, RHP, Dominican Republic
Frandy Lafond, CF, Dominican Republic
Yoneiker Lugo, C, Venezuela
Jesús Made, SS, Dominican Republic
Juan Martinez, SS, Venezuela
Enderson Mercado, LHP, Venezuela
Frederi Montero, SS, Dominican Republic
Manuel Moreno, RHP, Panamá
Juan Ortuño, SS, Venezuela
Engel Paulino, CF, Dominican Republic
Joandrew Peña, SS, Venezuela
Christopher Peralta, RHP, Dominican Republic
Moises Polanco, SS, Venezuela
Jorge Quintana, SS, Venezuela
Jonathan Rangel, SS, Venezuela
Jean Carlos Rodriguez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Jhoanjel Saez, SS, Dominican Republic
Josue Toledo, RHP, Nicaragua