Each year as other teams are tossing around million dollar bonuses, the Tigers approach the international market with a different strategy; one of quantity over perceived quality. The Tigers consistently sign young international prospects for lower-level six-figure bonuses with an occasional higher dollar signing bonus mixed in for good measure.
Though perceptions of this strategy vary across industry and the Tigers fan base, it’s hard to argue with their success in both finding talented players across the international market, and generating value with those players, whether internally or on the trade market.
To date, the Tigers have signed 14 players as part of this year’s international signing class, including first day signings Gresuan Silverio, Juan Ramirez, and Luis Laurencio. Since that time, the Tigers have inked eleven more players, including several intriguing players.
TigsTown offers the following scouting reports on the Tigers first signings with more to come in the near future.
Gersuan Silverio – Catcher
Blessed with good size for a 16-year old catching prospect, Silverio stands in at 6-foot and 175 pounds with projection remaining in his strong frame. Silverio has a chance to be a sturdy backstop with strength that translates to both his offensive and defensive tools. Silverio is a switch hitter with a solid swing from both sides of the plate and projectable power that currently manifests to the gaps but could turn into some over the fence pop. Silverio has enough feel for hitting at this age that he could develop into an average hitter which would allow his power to play in game situations. Defensively, Silverio’s arm is currently below-average but projects to improve considerably and could be a solid-average tool down the line. His receiving skills are strong for his age, including soft hands and a firm glove with minimal drift. Silverio has a chance to contribute on both sides of the ball with an above-average bat and solid defensive skills that should keep him at the position.
Juan Ramirez – Outfielder
A potential right fielder down the line, Ramirez is a quality athlete that moves well in the outfield and a legitimate plus arm that plays at the position. With a smaller build at just 5-9, 160, Ramirez is very strong at this stage of his development and he has room to get stronger in the upper body. The offensive side of Ramriez’s game is where he truly shines, offering an advanced approach and excellent bat to ball skills. He drives the ball from line to line with authority, offering consistent loud contact that hints at the above-average power in his future. Ramirez’s bat will carry his profile as a prospect, but his defense projects to be of high enough quality that it will easily keep him in the lineup on a day to day basis.
Luis Laurencio – Third Baseman
The most physical of the Tigers first three signings, Laurencio already owns a pro body at just 16-years old. Standing an impressive 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Laurencio has a very mature frame with strength and an expectation that he is going to continue growing to some degree. While his frame stands out the most among this trio, Laurencio is also the rawest prospect of the group. Not a natural hitter, Laurencio has a long way to go to develop at the plate, but he can certainly put on a display during batting practice; driving the ball out of the park to all fields with ease. Scouts that believe in Laurencio project him as a classic power hitter with plus to plus-plus raw power down the line, but the determining factor will be how much contact he makes. Laurencio has to settle in defensively and learn how to play the hot corner consistently, but he has the athleticism and plus arm to fit at the position long term. Laurencio is very much a boom or bust prospect, and the boom could be really impressive.
The Tigers have also announced the signing of catcher Pedro Hurtado, infielder Ildemaro Escalona, outfielders Darwin Alvarado, Manfrey Ortega, and Santiago Vital, left-handed pitchers Alfredo Silva and Christhian Tortosa, and right-handers Bairon De La Rosa, Miguel Paulino, and Kibur Santana. Check back with TigsTown frequently for scouting reports on these new signings.