The Braves were expected to make a big splash in this international signing period and they have not disappointed. Not only have they signed top international prospect Kevin Maitan, but they have also signed a bunch of international prospects, in particular a bunch of position players which should help ease the minds of Braves fans who are weary of the pitching heavy direction of the organization of late.
New arrivals include Livan Soto, a shorstop prospect out of Venezuela who possesses a good, contact oriented approach at the plate and with good hands and enough ability in the field to stick at shortstop.
Yenci Pena is a large framed infielder prospect who seems destined to move to third base, but could feasibly stay as a middle infielder. He has some power projection and MLB Pipeline has his hit tool as a 55.
Yunior Severino, Baseball America’s #8 international prospect, is a shortstop who should field well-enough to stay at short and may end up hitting for some real power from both sides of the plate (man, the Braves are loading up on switch-hitters). His upside is a shortstop with 20-plus home run power....he is never going to torch the basepaths though.
Abrahan Gutierrez was one of the more heralded expected signings for the Braves as a guy who should hit well and will also stick behind the plate. His shine as a prospect has dimmed a bit as scouts haven’t seen him improve as they would have expected, but he is still one of the best catching prospects on the market with experience on big stages.
Juan Contreras is a right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic with a fastball that is already approaching the mid-90’s. He secondary offerings leave something to be desired at the moment, but this raw arm could develop into a special player and worst case scenario his should throw hard enough that a career as a reliever is possible if not likely.
Yefri Del Rosario is expected to sign with the Braves as well, a pitcher with a live arm and an uncertain future as to whether he ends up as a starter or a reliever. All told, as of now the Braves have spent (depending on which estimates you go by) between $11-12 million already on the IFA market which doesn’t including the penalties for going over.