09 March 2011
Baseball America has reviewed the Diamondbacks' international signings of the past year. Here is a brief summary of their report:
Wagner Mateo, OF (17) - Dominican Republic - Mateo had been considered one of the top international prospects in 2009, and had signed with the Cardinals for $3.1M. But Mateo failed his physical due to a vision problem, and he eventually signed with the Diamondbacks for $512K in 2010. Mateo has outstanding power for a seventeen year old, hit .257/.359/.401 in the Dominican Summer League, with 4 HR, 14 doubles, 4 triples, and 45 RBI in 67 games. He did strikeout 83 times, but also drew 35 walks. Mateo also has very good speed, and mostly played CF in the DSL, although many scouts project him as a RF as he matures.
Ronny Meijas, SS (16) - Venezuela - A 6-1, 175 lb. shortstop, Mejias signed for $320K last summer. He has a quick, compact stroke that should develop good power, and is often compared to Robinson Cano. Mejias is a switch-hitter who may focus on batting left-handed, and could eventually move to 2B or 3B as he matures.
Yorman Garcia, CF (16) - Venezuela - Considered among the most athletic of the available international prospects, the 6-0, 170 lb. Garcia has excellent speed and signed for $200K last summer. His bat is still somewhat unknown, but he is expected to be a good defensive centerfielder.
Socrates Brito, OF (18) - Dominican Republic - Brito had been signed to a $190K contract, but the deal was reduced to $90K after Brito tested positive for steroids last summer. Brito played in 22 games in the Dominican Summer League and hit .293/.363/.366, with 9 BB and 15K. He played all three outfield positions in the DSL, but probably projects as a LF.
Luis Hernandez, RHP (18) - Dominican Republic - Hernandez signed for $25K last February, and showed rapid improvement in his first year. Although his stats in the DSL were nothing special (4-2, 4.45 ERA, 30.1 IP, 23BB, 15K, 0 HRA), he reportedly added a few mph to his fastball since signing, occasionally touching 95 mph. Hernandez is still working on his breaking pitches, but already has a decent changeup.
William Castillo, SS (18) - Venezuela - A 5-10, 160 lb. shortstop, Castillo has shown good plate discipline and speed, but hasn't shown much power yet. In the DSL, he hit .284/.381/.339, with 29 BB and 26 K. He only had 7 extra base hits in 183 ABs, and committed 14 errors in 35 games at SS. Castillo did steal 11 bases in 14 attempts.