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Diamondbacks sign 23 international prospects

Bookmark this article for spring 2028. :)

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

Apart from the draft, this is the time of year when teams bring in most prospects for their farm systems, with the international signing period beginning on January 15. Quotas reset, and teams tend to pounce as quickly as possible, in order to get the players they want inked to them and on the books. I must confess, looking at the dates of birth, I was wondering why Arizona was signing 12-year-olds, before I realized: it’s 2023. Therefore we should be seeing players born as recently as 2006, beginning their long, arduous journey in professional baseball - even if they are younger than some of my grand-kids (albeit step-step-grand-kids - I’m not that old!). Here are details of the players in question.

D-backs 2023 international class

Eliesbert Alejos SS R/R 6'0 175 16 6/9/2006 Guacara, Venezuela
Jeison Calvo RHP R/R 6'2 200 17 10/31/2005 La Chorrera, Panama
Anderson Cárdenas RHP R/R 6'2 160 16 6/21/2006 Guanare, Venezuela
Maicol Carrasco RHP R/R 5'8 180 18 12/26/2004 Santo Domingo Este, D.R.
Pedro Catuy CF R/R 6'1 150 16 2/3/2006 Colón, Panama
Yordin Chalas RHP R/R 6'3 175 18 2/22/2004 La Romana, D.R.
Greudis De Los Santos RHP R/R 6'4 175 17 11/22/2005 Santo Domingo Norte, D.R.
Jesus Escobar RHP R/R 6'0 150 16 2/28/2006 Guarenas, Venezuela
Leo Gallardo C L/R 6'0 185 17 11/2/2005 Cabimas, Venezuela
Luis Martínez C L/R 6'1 190 17 9/19/2005 Barcelona, Venezuela
Walvin Mena RHP R/R 6'1 195 17 9/30/2005 La Vega, D.R.
Wilkin Paredes LHP L/L 6'2 180 19 9/19/2003 San Gregorio de Nigua, D.R.
Enyervert Pérez SS R/R 5'11 180 17 10/20/2005 Maturín, Venezuela
Miguel Pérez CF R/R 6'0 155 16 6/1/2006 Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Eleomar Reyes RHP R/R 6'2 170 17 11/3/2005 Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
Jeremy Rodríguez SS L/R 6'0 170 16 7/4/2006 Esperanza, D.R.
Kelvin Rosario LHP L/L 6'2 140 16 8/28/2006 Sosua, D.R.
Alexis Rubio RHP R/R 5'9 190 20 8/9/2002 San Fernando de Apure, Venezuela
Junior Sánchez RHP R/R 5'10 175 17 9/16/2005 Santo Domingo, D.R.
Yassel Soler 3B R/R 5'11 185 17 1/26/2006 Santo Domingo Oeste, D.R.
Jose Urbina C R/R 5'11 195 16 5/14/2006 Maracay, Venezuela
Daury Vásquez RHP R/R 6'2 170 16 4/17/2006 San Cristobal, D.R.
Carlos Virahonda C R/R 5'11 180 17 12/13/2005 Caucagua, Venezuela
Gian Zapata CF L/L 6'4 195 17 9/13/2005 Boca Chica, D.R.

Two of the players mentioned were listed in’s Top 50 International Prospects list. Outfielder Gian Zapata is #18 ranked, and signed for a bonus of $950,000, while we paid $1.25 million for shortstop Jeremy Rodriguez, who is listed at #47. The third-largest signing bonus went to third-baseman Yassel Soler, who got $425,000.

Here are highlights from the scouting reports for Zapata and Rodriguez:

Gian Zapata: Zapata will start in center field and stay there for most of his career. He has enough arm strength to move to right field if necessary but it’s too early to tell if he will need to make the switch. His arm projects to be a plus tool and his routes are expected to improve once he signs with a team and receives daily instruction at their academy.... At the plate, he hits line drives to all fields and shows good bat control. He shows some signs of power, and it could be a talent that develops as he fills out his frame and his body matures.

Jeremy Rodriguez: Rodriguez has tons of projectability and a good strong body, and he has a chance to be an offensive-minded shortstop with power potential. For now, his bat is a little more advanced than his glove, but he continues to make progress on both sides of the ball. He has the potential to stay at shortstop because of his solid arm, soft hands and footwork. Rodriguez hits from the left side and has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority. More power is expected as his body matures and he adds strength. He has also been praised for his makeup and baseball IQ. Rodriguez is a natural.

We’ll see how these and the others work out. Oddly, the D-backs have not had a great deal of success out of the Dominican Republic, in comparison, for example to Venezuela. While the latter has given us (by various routes!) Miguel Montero, David Peralta, Gerardo Parra and Ender Inciarte, the best position player Arizona has recruited out of the DR is currently Geraldo Perdomo. We have not much better luck out of the Dominican on the mound. Once you get past Jose Valverde, it’s down to the likes of Tony Pena, probably best known for playing as his nephew Adriano Rosario in his first two seasons of pro-ball. Hopefully, Zapata and Rodriguez can break the mold!