Many of the most exciting young players in the game no longer solely hail from the United States, but from countries all over the world. These players are not drafted in the traditional June amateur draft, but rather tend to be scouted by teams internationally and then signed to amateur international free agent contracts. The signing period for this new cycle begins on Saturday, January 15th—a delay from last summer when it was supposed to take place due to COVID.
Because of the manner in which players can sign, many players go into the January 15th opening of the cycle with handshake agreements already in place. It’s not official until there’s pen and ink to paper, but in this article we’ll run down two of the more exciting prospects the San Francisco Giants are linked to. Don’t forget: the Giants’ current top prospect, Marco Luciano, was an international free agent signing in the 2018 class.
A quick explanation of how the IFA class works: each team is allotted a bonus pool, a certain amount that’s dependent on the market size of the team as well as whether they have a penalty for signing a player that rejected a QO. The bonus pool has a hard cap, and cannot be exceeded, but bonuses of $10,000 or less are exempt from the pool. For this cycle, the Giants have a bonus pool worth $5,179,700, the second-lowest tier, although not as low as the Toronto Blue Jays or Los Angeles Dodgers, both of whom have to pay a penalty for signing players who rejected their QOs (George Springer and Trevor Bauer, respectively).
As the source for this article, I’m using this tweet from @giantsprospects—a highly recommended follow for any and all Giants news!
New intl signing cycle will open on Sat. Giants will sign two of MLBdotcom's top 30:— GPT (@giantsprospects) January 10, 2022
SS Ryan Reckley - BAH
C Juan Perez - VEN
Other players I've heard:
OF Erick Arosemena - PAN
C Alessandro Duran - VEN
RHP Mauricio Estrella - DR
OF Alfonso Perez - DR
INF Denny Riera - DR
The Giants are the favorite to sign Ryan Reckley (#9 on MLB.com), a 17-year-old switch hitting shortstop out of the Bahamas. Reckley has an 55 overall FV, with praise for his athleticism and defense at shortstop as well as his above-average contact skills and bat speed that allows him to project as a plus hitter. He also has above-average speed and can steal bases. He has average power, but he’s just 17 and has room to grow into that, as well as the fact that he may become more of a glove-and-contact profile. He’s expected to sign for ~$2 million.
Giants are linked to SS/SHH Ryan Reckley (16.5Y, 5'10" 170, Bahamas) in the 21-22 intl cycle, per BA. Ranked 8th best in this class. Athletic, plus speed, good actions at SS, good barrel control, efficient swing from both sides. Expected to sign for >2M.https://t.co/dpEQDntk2r pic.twitter.com/gJVP0D4VRL— GPT (@giantsprospects) March 2, 2021
The Giants are also linked to Juan Perez (#30 on MLB.com), a 17-year-old right-handed catcher out of Venezuela. Perez has a 50 overall FV, with praise coming for his defense and his strength, with emerging talent in blocking and calling games. He also has good bat-to-ball skills and the ability to make hard contact. He is the 3rd-ranked catcher in his class, a testament to his massive potential.
There is very little information on the other prospects, but keep an eye out for signings starting tomorrow (and we’ll recap with video and scouting reports once they become available!)