On Tuesday, the international signing period opens and the Minnesota Twins are poised to be very active in signing young international prospects to add to their organizational depth. Each year on July 2, teams can sign prospects from outside of the United States, Canada and U.S. territories who are at least 16 years old. If you can remember, this is the same way the Twins got ahold of Miguel Sano—one of the top prospects in baseball and also in the Twins’ organization—when they signed him 2009 at age 16 to a 3.15 million dollar bonus; so the international signing period can be a crucial time to acquire young, talented players who could one day turn in to big-time prospects and future all-stars.
One of the top players the Twins are targeting this year is a Dominican teenager by the name of Lewin Diaz. Diaz, 16, is listed at 6-4 and 210 pounds and is projected to be a corner outfielder, but could end up at first base based on his stature and defensive skillset. Where Diaz receives most of his attention and the area that he is most accomplished at as a player is his offense. With that in mind, there is little doubt that Diaz has the potential to develop into a power hitter. Baseball America has ranked Diaz as the 15th-best international prospect available in 2013, so to sign him would be a great accomplishment for the Twins.
Reports have also suggested that the Twins may also be interested in Dominican righthander Mayky Perez who is ranked 19th by Baseball America. Whoever the Twins end up with during the international signing period, it is likely that they will not show up to the majors anytime soon, but could be on a fast track in the minors of they possess the potential of a Sano; however, it wouldn’t be fair to expect that every international player we sign will end up developing into the caliber of a player that Sano will likely become. Simply put, Sano is special and a rare player and there are few players like him available.