Now free of International Signing penalties imposed in 2017, the Braves have picked up a few key prospects:
The @Braves have agreed to a $2.5 million deal with 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Diego Benitez, No. 10 on the Top 50 International Prospects list.
More details from @JesseSanchezMLB: https://t.co/cR923MoVoI pic.twitter.com/mLRIrtYeaR
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 15, 2022
The Atlanta #Braves today announced the organization signed 14 international players: pic.twitter.com/sQL3gTH6Na
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 16, 2022
I already talked about Benitez here, who some scouts have described as a ‘young Manny Machado’. Benitez has a ton of upside, and he was ranked as the 10th overall player by MLBPipeline and 7th by Baseball America. From MLB:
Benitez is a toolsy shortstop that has drawn some comparisons to a young Manny Machado.
He’s big — 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds — and strong with signs of power now that project to increase as he develops. He can already drive the ball out of the ballpark and hits line drives to all fields with authority. He shows good bat speed and a solid approach at the plate. He should benefit from the daily instruction in a team’s academy once he signs, but there is already a lot to working in his favor.
He’ll have to work on plate discipline and pitch recognition as he advances through the Minor Leagues, but that’s common for all young prospects — domestic or international. On defense, he shows good footwork, soft hands and a strong arm that has a chance to be plus-plus potential.
There’s also a chance he will be a plus runner.
And From Baseball America:
After multiple years of penalties from Major League Baseball for their international signing violations, the Braves are entering their first signing period free from those restrictions. Benitez, one of the top infielders in Venezuela, has a large, athletic build with fluid actions both in the box and in the field. His hitting ability stands out the most, with excellent bat speed and a smooth swing that stays through the hitting zone for a long time. He has gap power now with a chance to grow into average or better power as he gets stronger. Benitez is a sound defender, though his range and future size could lead him to third base.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Glod, who is only 16 years old:
Glod shined at the plate as the captain of the Venezuelan team at the U-15 World Cup Americas Qualifier in September 2019 in Mexico. Glod packs a lot of strength into his medium, compact build. He doesn’t have the same future physical projection as some others in the class, but his present strength already produces a mature tool set. He’s a power runner with a strong lower half and plus speed underway. He reads the ball well off the bat and has the ability to play center field for now. Depending on his physical development, if he slows down, he has a right field arm, grading out at least average with a chance to be plus. Glod has good bat speed, a sound swing, has hit well in games and makes hard contact when he connects, geared more for line drives than loft power
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