With the the July 2nd deadline to sign International Free Agents fast approaching, here’s a quick update on who the Yanks are targeting. From the NY Post:
“It’s a very down year talent wise,” a baseball official said. “There are teams that are going to overpay to pay the better players who aren’t that good. The prices people are asking for are ridiculous.”
The Yankees aren’t poised to drop $3 million on a player, but that doesn’t mean they are ignoring this year’s class.
There is a belief among scouts in Latin America that the Yankees already have agreed on a deal with Javier Pimental, a shortstop from the Dominican. And they like power-hitting third baseman Elvis Sanchez, who has been working out in Tampa.
Melissa Segura Tweeted that the Yanks are also in on Wilmer Romero. He’s an outfielder from Santo Domingo, who has the tools to demand a seven figure bonus. He’s 6’2”, has above average speed, a strong arm and plus power. Here’s a video of him batting.
From Venezuela, Baseball America’s Ben Badler has an update that includes the Yanks Here’s his report:
The top shortstop from Venezuela is Rougned Odor (pronounced “Oh-Door”), known by some simply as “Roo” or “Rougie.” Odor, 16, is the nephew of Rouglas Odor, who reached Double-A with the Indians in the early-90s and is now the Indians hitting coach at high Class A Kinston. Rougned Odor has represented Venezuelan youth national teams for years, including in August when he played in the World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Odor was Venezuela’s best player in Taiwan, earning tournament all-star honors after hitting .538/.545/.857, going 15-for-28 with two home runs, a triple, a double, two walks, two strikeouts and five stolen bases in six attempts. Odor, who primarily hit in the three-hole for Venezuela, finished the tournament ranked eighth in OPS and second stolen bases. His four errors split between shortstop and second base were also the third-most in the tournament.
Odor has solid all-around tools, but he stands out more in game situations than in workouts. At around 5-foot-10, Odor doesn’t have great size, but his clean lefthanded swing and advanced feel for hitting have earned rave reviews. He has shown the ability to hit good pitching, reportedly performing well against Yankees farmhands in an extended spring training game in early May. He doesn’t project as a power hitter, but he has shown surprising pop for his size and the ability to drive the ball, with some scouts saying he could have average power in time. Odor is an average runner who might have to move to second base, but he can handle himself at the position for now with good hands, average range and a solid although sometimes erratic arm. The Yankees appear to have some interest in Odor, while the Phillies and Blue Jays (general manager Alex Anthopoulos has reportedly seen Odor) could also get involved.
Looks like between the US Domestic draft and amateur draft, the Yanks are targeting up the middle talents and possible replacements for Derek Jeter. But these guys are all 4-5 years away, and it’s tough to see Derek lasting at SS that long. Also, the Yanks target up the middle talents each year, feeling it gives them the flexibility to move players around the field is need be.
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