Update on International Players

The Braves Show's Bill Shanks talked with Johnny Almaraz, the Braves Director of International Scouting.

The Braves continue to enjoy the tremendous work of Johnny Almaraz, the team's Director of International Scouting, and his scouting staff.

Almaraz updated The Braves Show on his latest signees, along with news on some of the kids signed last July.

Miguel Hipolito - CF - A 6'2", 165-pounder from the Domincan who bats right and throws right, Hipolito is 16 and will be in the Dominican Summer League this season. "He's got enormous ability," Almaraz said. "Miguel is a great defensive player and he has a chance to have a good bat."

Robinson Lopez - RHP - Another 16-year-old from the Dominican, Lopez is already 6'1" and weighs in at 185 pounds. He'll be spending this summer in the Gulf Coast League. "At such a young age, Robinson is kind of similar to (Julio) Teheran in that he commands all of his pitches," Almaraz explained. "He throws strikes with quality stuff. He's got a fastball that is 92 to 96 mph. Robinson is pretty advanced, so he's got the ability to compete at this level (GCL)."

Fredy Gamboa - OF - Signed last fall, Gamboa is a 16-year-old from Columbia who weighs in at 6'3" and 220 pounds. He hits and throws left and will be in the Dominican Summer League this season. "He can throw and really run well for a big guy," Almaraz said. "And he's got some power. We're hoping after this year he can compete in the GCL."


Now an update on some of last year's signees that you learned about first on The Braves Show.

Carlos Perez - LHP - Last summer's big signee pitched a few weeks ago in the Dominican and showed a fastball between 90-92 mph, along with an outstanding curveball and a good changeup. Perez will play this season in the GCL.

Ernesto Silva - RHP - The top pitcher signed out of Panama last summer. Silva has grown two inches and put on ten pounds. His velocity is now at 90-92 mph, with a great curve and the makings of a good change. "He commands all of his pitches," Almaraz said. "He's very intelligent and has a great work ethic. The best thing about it is he's doing this at 16." Silva will be in the DSL this summer.

Christian Bethancourt - C - Signed a year ago out of Panama, he's grown from 6'2", 175 pounds to 6'3", 198 pounds. Almaraz said Bethancourt has made unbelievable progress and will be in the Gulf Coast League this summer.

Bill Shanks hosts The Braves Show Talk Show. He is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.

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