The Mariners have signed four players so far in the MLB international signing period.
Major League Baseball’s international signing period began on July 2, and the Mariners have already signed four teenagers from Latin America to bolster a farm system in need of young talent.
Mariners director of international scouting Tim Kissner announced the signing for two pitchers, a shortstop and an outfielder:
- Julio Rodríguez, OF, Dominican Republic
- Juan Querecuto, SS, Venezuela
- Brayan Pérez, LHP, Venezuela
- Yeuri Tatiz, RHP, Dominican Republic
“We’re very excited to get these players in the organization,” said Kissner. “We feel that they possess good makeup and instincts for the game, which we’ve found to be very important rising through the system. We view Perez and Tatis as potential starters with clean deliveries who have a good feel for three pitches. Julio and Juan provide us with two athletic players who can handle the middle of the field as they develop.”
Rodriguez, 16 (17 on Dec. 29), is the most touted of the players. The 6-3, 205-pound outfielder was rated as the No. 6 prospect of the international signing period by Baseball America. For a while, he was considered to be the top prospect because of his raw power potential but some games with high strikeouts dropped him in the rankings. He projects as a corner outfielder because of his size and average speed. Rodriguez signed for $1.75 million.
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“Rodriguez has a power bat along with a good feel for hitting,” said Kissner. “We’ve been impressed all along with his raw power potential and his ability to make contact in games and we think the combination of both could lead to a power-hitting middle of the lineup type of player.”
Querecuto, turns 17 on Sept. 21, is a slick-fielding, right-handed hitting shortstop from Venezuela and the No. 21 prospect from Baseball America. He stands 6-3 and weighs 175 pounds. His father, Juan, played in the Toronto minor league system for six seasons while his brother, Juniel, made it to the big leagues briefly with the Rays lat season as a utility infielder and is now playing for the Giants at Class AAA Fresno. He signed for a bonus of $1.225 million.
“Querecuto is an advance-minded shortstop that plays above his years,” Kissner said. “He is advanced for a 16-year-old with good tools across the board and has natural abilities that come from playing baseball with his brother and father who both have professional playing experience.”
Neither of the two pitchers ranked in Baseball America’s top 50 rankings. Both are 16 years old.
“Perez is extremely projectable with a clean delivery and loose arm action,” said Kissner. “We really like his feel for the breaking pitch and like the upside that he provides from the left side. Tatiz is an athletic player with a clean arm action and a good feel for his secondary pitches. With his ability to repeat his delivery and throw strikes, we profile him a starter who will continue to mature physically as he gets into our system.”