The Yankees made some significant moves in the international market earlier this week.
The first two signings include a pair of Cuban 16-year olds in right-handed pitcher Osiel Rodriguez and shortstop Alexander Vargas. The other signing is 16-year-old right-handed pitcher, Jose Chambuco, from Venezuela.
Vargas currently ranks 8th on MLB.com’s 2018 International Prospect Watch. According to the scouting report on Vargas, offensively he is hitting better from the left side of the plate. He makes hard contact and has plus speed. Defensively, he seems to be ahead of the class, packing a strong arm and substantial range from both sides.
Rodriguez signed a $600,000 deal and currently ranks tenth overall in MLB.com’s 2018 International Prospect Watch. The Yankees shipped Adam Warren to the Mariners earlier this week to secure more pool money to sign Rodriguez. He is the third highest ranked pitcher after Richard Gallardo, who signed with the Chicago Cubs and Starlyn Castillo, who signed with the Cincinnati Reds.
According to MLB.com’s scouting report, Rodriguez’s “fastball has been clocked at 97 mph and the pitch usually hovers in the low to mid-90s.” Rodriguez also has excellent mound demeanor but changes his arm angle with different pitches, which some scouts seem to like and dislike, making Rodriguez an exciting project for the Yankees.
It has been a busy last couple of days for the Yankees in the international market, and as it stands right now, the Yankees have five of the top 30 prospects including the two mentioned above and No. 11 outfielder Kevin Alcantara, No. 12 catcher Antonio Gomez and No. 30 right-handed-pitcher Denny Larrondo.