The Braves’ penalties from Major League Baseball for the club’s international signing violations are behind them, but they continue to have an impact on the team’s international prospects throughout the system. That has started to change in the last couple of years as the Braves return to normalcy, with another high-end hitter leading their 2023 signings and one of the premier pitching prospects in Latin America for this year joining the organization.
Top Of The Class
The Braves spent nearly half of their international bonus pool to sign Venezuelan outfielder Luis Guanipa for $2.5 million. Guanipa packs explosive athleticism into a strong, compact frame (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) with an impressive mix of power and speed. He’s a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale, cutting his 60-yard dash times under 6.4 seconds at his best. He gets solid reads off the bat for a 17-year-old with his speed allowing him to cover a lot of ground in center field. His arm is below-average but with enough strength projection left where that tool could still tick up. At the plate, Guanipa’s swing used to have a bigger hitch to it, but he has since smoothed that out and improved his balance at the plate. His raw power stands out, with explosive bat speed from the right side and the juice to drive the ball over the fence to any part of the field. He’s still learning to fully tap into that potential plus raw power in games, with an aggressive mindset that will require a more selective approach, but he has the hand-eye coordination that enables him to make contact when he swings.
Names To Know
Carlos Monteverde, OF, Venezuela: Signed for $600,000, Monteverde had a good offensive track record against live pitching in Venezuela and during events in Colombia. A 17-year-old lefty, Monteverde is 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and stands out for his offensive upside. He has a patient approach, drawing a lot of walks to get on base and can drive the ball for damage to the pull side with more power to come given the strength projection left in his frame. Monteverde projects as a right fielder whose offensive game will drive his value.
John Estevez, OF, Dominican Republic: Estevez, 16, signed for $310,000 on the strength of his hitting ability. He has a wiry 6-foot-2 frame with broad shoulders and a lot more physical upside, but for now it’s his on-base skills that stand out the most. He’s a disciplined hitter for his age with good bat-to-ball skills from the left side and doubles power. His…