Reds sign three top int’l prospects

January 17th, 2022

The Reds have emerged as one of the most active teams on the international market in recent signing periods, and that trend continues this year.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to deals with shortstop Ricardo Cabrera, who ranks No. 3 on the Top 50 International Prospects list, along with shortstop Anthuan Valencia, No. 32, and outfielder Esmith Pineda, No. 49, for $800,000.

The Reds have a $5,721,500 bonus pool.

Cabrera is known for his bat and has a chance to be a five-tool player. At the plate, he shows an advanced approach with pitch recognition. He sprays hard line drives all over the field, stays through the strike zone well and creates backspin. He already shows gap power and is on track for plus power in the future.

On defense, he has soft hands, good footwork and the type of range that will make him at least an average shortstop. There’s a chance he could move to third base if he continues to grow and develop, but he projects to have enough offensive firepower to make the switch. He’s also an above-average runner.

Known as “El Capitán” because of his makeup and leadership abilities, Valencia’s internal clock combined with his soft hands and quick feet give him a chance to be a plus defender at shortstop. He makes all of the routine plays and can make extraordinary ones with some flare. He could move to second base if he outgrows the position or is forced to move.

At the plate, he consistently barrels up balls with hard contact.

As for Pineda, he is a big and strong corner outfielder who is best known for his big bat. He projects to be an average hitter overall, but he is expected to increase his power as he develops. On defense, he projects as a right fielder with a strong and accurate arm. His reads and routes to the ball are solid. He projects to be an average runner.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association finalized a deal in March 2020 that addressed the international signing period during the pandemic. The 2022 international signing period runs through Dec. 15, 2022, the second year in a row the period, which previously began July 2, started in January.

The current rules also state that teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Here are the prospects who have agreed to deals with the Reds in the 2022 international signing period:

Ricardo Cabrera, SS, Venezuela
Anthuan Valencia, SS, Venezuela
Esmith Pineda, RF, Panama
Jesus Correa, SS, Colombia
Adrian Reyes, OF, Dominican Republic
Lisnerkin Lantigua, RHS, Dominican Republic
Nelfri Payano, RHS, Dominican Republic
Carlos Sanchez, OF, Dominican Republic
Joneiker Arellano, RHS, Venezuela
Ben Walmsley, LHS, Australia
Henry Guerrero, C, Venezuela
David Lorduy, RHS, Colombia