Twins to sign Bryan Acuña among int'l class

January 18th, 2022

The Twins are once again making their mark during the international signing period and adding a name that is familiar in baseball circles.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a $1.7 million deal with outfielder Yasser Mercedes, who ranks No. 17 on’s Top 50 International Prospects list, shortstop Yilber Herrera, who ranks No. 35, for $700,000 and shortstop Bryan Acuña, who ranks No. 39, for $650,000.

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

Mercedes has a chance to be an everyday center fielder, in part because of his plus speed. Like most outfield prospects his age, he is working on fine-tuning his routes and angles in the outfield, but he covers a lot of ground and sports a decent arm that projects to be slightly above average as he develops.

At the plate, Mercedes projects to be an average hitter with average power, which are both good enough to keep him in the starting lineup if he continues to develop at a normal pace.

As for Herrera, he is a solid contact hitter with good bat-to-ball skills and flashes of average power. He has a good feel for hitting and can spray the ball across the outfield. On defense, Herrera has a chance to stay at shortstop because of his above-average actions and plus arm potential.

The younger brother of Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., Bryan is also an aggressive player and a playmaker on the field. What he lacks in “now” tools, he makes up for with his baseball IQ, feel for the game and overall awareness. He could move over to second base in the future, but what’s certain is that he profiles as an offensive-minded middle infielder.

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, 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 old 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 Twins in the 2022 international signing period:

Yasser Mercedes, OF, United States -- $1,700,000
Yilber Herrera, IF, Dominican Republic -- $700,000
Jose Rodriguez, OF, Dominican Republic -- $650,000
Harold Grant, IF, Spain -- $400,000
Ricardo Pena, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
Jesus Peraza, C, Venezuela -- $250,000
Leonardo Lugo, RHS, Venezuela -- $175,000
Anderson Nova, OF, Dominican Republic -- $150,000
Juan Zapata, IF, Dominican Republic -- $130,000
Ledwin Taveras, RHS, Dominican Republic -- $25,000
Cesar Lares, LHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Jeferson Lopez, RHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Daniel Pena, C, Venezuela -- $10,000