The Mariners announced the signing of eight more players to their international signing class Friday, giving them 11 players for this signing period.
“We are thrilled to be adding these eight young men to our organization,” said Frankie Thon Jr., the Mariners’ director of international amateur scouting. “I’m extremely happy for the players, their families and our international scouts who worked so hard to put us in a position to bring in all these talented individuals to the Mariners organization.”
The list of eight signees:
- Luis Bolivar, OF, Venezuela
- Ricardo Cova, INF, Venezuela
- Gleiner Díaz, RHP, Venezuela
- Gabriel González, OF, Venezuela
- Aneury Lora, RHP, Dominican Republic
- Bryant Mendez, INF, Venezuela
- Juan Pinto, LHP, Venezuela
- Roiber Talavera, RHP, Venezuela
González, a 16-year-old outfielder out of Venezuela, is the headliner. He was rated as the No. 30 overall international prospect in this signing class by Baseball America.
“He has good bat speed and plenty of torque on a power-oriented swing,” Thon said in the news release. “He projects to be a middle-of-the-order bat and is an above-average athlete. He brings a solid glove in the outfield, and won the 2019 Venezuela amateur summer league triple crown.”
From Baseball America’s scouting report: “With a strong, stocky build for a center fielder, González is physically advanced for his age, showing a mix of strength, bat speed and leverage in his swing to drive the ball out of the park in games. He has a good track record of hitting and hitting for power against live pitching, with an aggressive approach and swing that might ultimately lead to a power-over-hit profile. He’s an average runner with good defensive instincts, so he should start his career as a center fielder with a chance to stick there, though with his build he might end up in a corner.”
Boliver is a fellow Venezuelan outfielder who Baseball America rated as perhaps the best overall athlete and fastest runner in the international class.
“He is a truly elite athlete, arguably the fastest player in this entire international class,” Thon said. “He’s a natural defender in center field, along with excellent range and a plus arm. He will be a very aggressive base stealer with a contact approach and flatter swing. He’s a toolsy, exciting player.”
Pinto was considered one of the top left-handed pitchers coming out of Venezuela. At age 16, he’s already 6 feet 3 with a lanky frame and a smooth delivery.
“He works with an upper 80s fastball, along with his go-to out pitch, a plus curveball,” Thon said. “He is a solid athlete. He’s very charismatic and possesses a really outgoing personality. He will play the entire season at 16 as the youngest pitcher in the class.”
The three right-handed pitchers, Talavera, Díaz and Lora, were all expected to receive six-figure signing bonuses.
Díaz already has touched 93 mph with his sinking fastball while Talavera is up to 90 mph. Lora doesn’t quite have the velocity as the other two pitches, but has a better feel for his breaking ball. At 6-1, 145 pounds, the belief is that the velocity will tick up for Lora when he adds some weight and muscle.
Thon said Díaz has a “very aggressive, up-tempo delivery.” And that he’s known for his “competitive demeanor and toughness.”
“Talavera is a plus athlete with an athletic delivery and a fast arm,” Thon said. “His arsenal and technique scream tons of future projection. Lora is a control-command pitcher with good feel for three weapons. He has performed well in big showcases.”