KC inks int'l prospect who draws Tatis comp

January 23rd, 2021

The Royals have added an infielder who is built like a young Fernando Tatis Jr. and compares favorably to a teenage Manny Machado.

The club has agreed to a deal with shortstop Daniel Vazquez of the Dominican Republic, No. 12 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects list, the team announced on Saturday. Terms were not disclosed, but industry sources said the deal is for $1,497,500.

Vazquez was one of twelve Minor League deals with international free agents the Royals announced, including eight from the D.R., two from Venezuela, one from Nicaragua and one from the Netherlands.

Long and lean, the 17-year-old Vazquez has a lot of room to grow. He projects to be an everyday shortstop with a plus hit tool and average power in the big leagues one day. There’s a belief he will hit around 15 to 20 home runs and sport a batting average somewhere in the .285 range while hitting at or near the top of the batting order. For now, he makes a lot of contact with his smooth and repeatable swing.

On defense, he shows good hands and projects to be a plus defender because of his range and a plus arm. He features a quick release and the ability to throw from all angles. He also shows average speed and projects to be an above-average baserunner.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Rule 4 Draft have the most money to spend on international prospects, with a pool of $6,431,000. Clubs like the Royals that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive the second most at $5,889,600.

Unlike in previous years, 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.