Happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans.
On Sunday, the Giants formally announced their latest class of international signings, listing 23 players that they had signed during this international signing period. 11 of the players are from Venezuela, eight are from the Dominican Republic, two are from Mexico, and there’s one signing each from Curacao and Taiwan. The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly reports that Cuban shortstop Anthony Tandron will also join the class in the next few days.
It’s more than double the size of last year’s class, when Ryan Reckley highlighted an 11-player class.
The class is highlighted by outfielder Rayner Arias, a right-handed hitter who turns 17 in late April. As is usually the case with notable international free agents, Arias has been linked to the Giants for quite a while, and they’ve been scouting him for more than two years.
Per MLB.com, Arias was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in this year’s class, though international rankings should be taken with many, many grains of salt. The Giants used more than half of their signing pool on Arias, inking him for $2.7 or $2.8 million, depending on whose report you trust. Either way, it’s the largest signing bonus the Giants have given to an international signing since Lucius Fox in 2015. Here’s hoping it goes better.
Baggarly quoted international scouting director Joe Salermo as calling Arias a “special player” who has “a combination of a power bat with hitting ability and a good makeup and good baseball IQ.”
It’s unclear whether Arias will start his professional career in the Dominican Summer League, where the vast majority of the Giants international signings go, or if they’ll bring him stateside for rookie ball. Baggarly quoted Palermo as saying, “The baseball skills are advanced enough to start (in the U.S.) but that’s up to player development.”
Either way, he’s one to keep an eye on this season.