The Pittsburgh Pirates finished up day one of the 2021-22 international signing period with 18 players signed. They came in with a $6,262,600 bonus pool (hard cap) and spend more than 1/3rd of it on their two biggest signings. Then added 16 more players today, with another player set to sign tomorrow. Here’s a look at all 18 players, including the scouting reports I got for the two big names:
Yordany De Los Santos – He’s a very athletic shortstop with the tools to impact the game on both sides of the ball. He’s also still very projectable. All of the tools needed to stick at shortstop are there. He was rated as a 45 runner, but I’m told that’s a little light. He won’t be a base stealer, but he’s at least an average runner and maybe a tick better. His personality/makeup/excitement factor are off the charts. Real chance to be a middle of the order hitter here. He’s listed at 6’1″, 170 and he turns 17 next month.
Tony Blanco Jr – The raw power here was called “top of the scale, with potential to do damage”. Despite being 6’5″, 230 pounds, the 16-year-old shows good athleticism, moves well in the outfield and there is plus arm strength. The original scouting report from above has 40-homer potential and there was no argument there.
Pitterson Rosa. He’s a RHP with a very projectable frame (6’2″, 178 pounds), strong arm speed and great athleticism. He profiles as a starter due to his arm strength and secondary pitches, which have developed well quickly. Rosa is a converted outfielder, so he is very new to the mound, but he already shows polish to his game and he’s had his fastball up to 94 MPH recently. After the top two signings, this might be their best pickup.
Axiel Plaz – right-handed hitter, 5’11”, 165 pounds, he doesn’t turn 17 until August. He’s already a strong defensive catcher, with plus potential to that side of his game. He’s very athletic behind the plate with an above average arm. He also has present strength at a young age and drives the ball well, with potential for more power in the future. There’s a chance for strong value here on offense and defense, with the defense currently well advanced for his age.
Roinny Aguiar – Venezuelan shortstop, 16-year-old switch-hitter, stands 5’6″, 160 pounds. He’s a speed player, top of the order hitter. High energy player with great athleticism. He’s going to stick at middle infield, might be second base, and the base running is off the charts. His bat has a little pop, but he’s small. Still, he’s strong for his size and age.
Richard Ramirez – Venezuelan catcher with above average defense. Strong player with good athleticism. Could be a glove-only player, but the bat has some potential and there’s room for development. He’s 16 years old, and he stands 6’0″, 160 pounds.
Dermis Ordonez – right-handed pitcher from Venezuela, projectable pitcher, good frame, athletic and above average arm speed (a lot of pitchers will fit that mold). He throws a four-seam fastball with riding movement, a slider that’s showing progress and a changeup with potential as his third pitch. He’s 6’1″, 170 pounds.
Carlos Tirado – Power hitting first baseman from Mexico who has already played pro ball in the U.S., seeing action in the Pioneer League in 2021, playing against players who average eight years older than him. He’s still 16 years old for two more months. Held his own in the league, hitting .253/.320/.429 in 33 games, with four homers. He’s aggressive at the plate, power to all fields, strong kid with the bat as his carrying tool. He’s 6’1″, 187 pounds.
Angel Camacho – Lefty pitcher from Mexico, who played with Tirado in the Pioneer League. He just turned 18 two days ago. He goes after hitters with a low-90s fastball, and solid off-speed pitches (curve and change). Already has a solid feel for pitching. He struggled in pro ball, but he also struck out 21 batters in 23 innings at 17 years old. He’s 5’11”, 150 pounds, so there is room to fill out.
Cristopher Orelin – Shortstop, still 16 years old, stands 5’11”, 157 pounds. His bat is a little ahead of the rest. Has a feel to barrel the ball and works the middle of the field. Not over the fence power yet, but he could develop it. He has a chance to stick at shortstop, but not the tools of the others we have here. His speed is average. Not your typical shortstop we see here.
Alberto Saba – right-handed pitcher, 6’2″, 160, turns 17 on Tuesday. He has a lanky frame, but still room to add a little. He throws strikes with a sinking fastball in the 86-88 MPH range with plenty of movement. He has great spin on his curveball and he’s been developing his changeup recently. Very competitive pitcher.
Angel Rodriguez – He’s 17 years old, stands 6’2″, 174 pounds. He’s an outfielder from Panama, who signed for $60,000, and could be the steal of day one (day one steals rarely happen, so that’s not saying much). Gifted outfielder with tools, he’s basically a raw version of the next player…
Eduardo Oviedo – 17-year-old outfielder from the Dominican, 5’11”, 152 pounds. He’s a center fielder with projectable tools and ease on both sides of the ball, plus athleticism and a large frame that will fill out a lot as he adds strength. There’s lots of potential here, with current skills to match.
Jarlen De la Paz – lefty pitcher, turns 17 in June, stands 6’4″, 180 pounds. He has a good feel for three pitches already. Fastball currently sits 85-87 MPH, and he mixes it with a sharp breaking curve and a changeup that shows good fade. Still has a ton of room to grow and there’s a ton of projection here to add a lot of velocity.
Alexis Torres – right-handed pitcher, 6’0″, 153 pounds. Old man of this crew, late signing at 18 years old. Teams passed over him in previous years, but he has developed a lot lately. Now sits 89-91 MPH with his fastball, and mixes it with a curve that has plus potential. He gets high marks for his bulldog mentality on the mound
Daje Morales – Dominican shortstop, 5’10”, 155 pounds, 16 years old. He’s a natural right-handed hitter, who has recently started hitting lefty as well, and has taken well to the move to switch-hitting. He’s got a small frame, so there won’t be power here, but he has the tools to stick at shortstop, with quick hands and solid instincts sticking out among those traits. Gets a lot of praise for how hard/smart he plays the game.
Isaac Paulino – 16-year-old shortstop, 5’11”. 160 pounds, right-handed bat. Pirates went after athletic shortstops and he fits the trait. Projects to stay at shortstop with all of the tools you want to see. Needs to add more power to his hitting game, but he makes solid contact and he’s a plus runner.
Hader Blanco – lefty pitcher, 5’11”, 150, 16 years old. Projectable pitcher from Colombia, who has a TON of room to fill out and needs to add some weight. He’s an athletic kid, who throws an upper 80s fastball and has a feel for his breaking ball. There’s mostly projection here and likely reliever future for now.
The signing tracker has been posted. Bookmark it. All of the signings will be posted there as they come in.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.