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Puppies will sign with players tomorrow! Let’s talk about International Free Agent Signature Day

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In a way, I think the first day of the international baseball signing period is the weirdest on the baseball calendar. It’s a day when we celebrate the signatures of the longest footage: 16-year-olds from all over the world, who offer us a little more than the smallest video clips to analyze. They have also agreed to the deal, tacitly and not very secretly, tall before the day of signing; January 15 is simply the festive day of putting the pen on paper.

Butis something, and if you’re a brave baseball fan right now, you deserve it SOMETHING. Let’s dream, imagine, and talk about how the Cubs can turn their rumored signatories and their $ 5,179,700 bonus group split into an improved street farm system.

The best resources for this day are always Ben Badler IN Baseball America AND Jesse Sanchez IN MLB.com, and I like the organization of Board and FanGraphs even for days like this. While last year the Cubs went the way of a big name buyer in Cristian Hernandez, this season dollar commitments seem more prevalent. Neither BA nor MLB have the Cubs lead maker as one of the 15 best prospects available; BA forces them to sign three of the top 50, in MLB there are only two.

And while the Cubs class of free international agents will surely include more than a dozen players, we only know three links at the moment. More will definitely be revealed on Saturday.

My favorite of the three players is Adan Sanchez, a catch from Panama, which means he follows in the footsteps of Miguel Amaya on the Cubs farm system. Sanchez was a highlight in the 2018 Junior League World Series, an early bloom that has done a fantastic job at weight over the last two odd seasons. So many players at this stage of their careers are pure projection games, while Sanchez is closer than most to achieving his final power projection.

Instead of the weight room, I think the most important first development steps for Sanchez will be at the end of the defense, as the Cubs will have to decide what level of investment they want to make in developing Sanchez as attractive. For example, I worry a little if (former IFA bonus kid) Ronnier Quintero’s attacking development was hampered by an overemphasis on putting work in defense. With Sanchez, if the stick is about to climb the ladder, I would not worry if it means pushing it to the third base (and ultimately the first).

The main name of the class will be Alexis Hernandez, because he is the younger brother of last year’s aforementioned gem, Cristian. While the game of comparison is inevitable between the two, both ranked in stock with the same height, I would not think of them as similar. To me, Alexis’s shoulders offer a little more potential for strength, but he shows (much) less athletic fluency.

When I watch the video, the actions inside the field look to me like a future player off the field. And then the question arises as to where he eventually settles on the muscle scale versus the speed scale in terms of finding a future position (for example, Brennen Davis put enough muscle to become a great power potential, but lost some process speed). Guessing where Alexis’s future power could go is a stupid task right now, as the hand road will also have to have better efficiency, but the ceiling is there.

The latest rumored Cubs prospect, and the one appearing only on the BA Big Board, is Dominican Jefferson Rojas. The 16-year-old is a more traditional perspective in midfield than Hernandez, with a smaller structure that will keep him playing in midfield. The physical projection similarly limits the attacking ceiling, so the question in five years will be whether he will hit hard enough to project a big league.

I think Puppies are smart that they always use free international agencies to fill up with mid-level players, but do not worry, the class will also have off-field and pitcher players. We will learn their names in the coming days and weeks and will start analyzing them as a prospect when they arrive in the state after 1-3 years.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2022/01/14/the-cubs-will-sign-players-tomorrow-lets-talk-about-international-free-agent-signing-day/

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