2009 Int’l Signings Announced
Ryan Divish got a neat scoop on the international signings made by the Mariners this period. The brief list goes like this, but additional comments can be found over there from our man Engle.
IF Diego Mina
From the Dominican Republic:
OF Guillermo Pimentel
OF Alfredo Morales
C Ji-Man Choi (gee-mon CHOY)
RHP Seon-Gi Kim (sun key KIM)
RHP Waldy Alvarez
3B Andres Brito
OF Alexy Palma
RHP Julian Alvarado
RHP Daniel Mata
I’m going to put my comments after the jump, as not everyone goes nuts over this stuff like I do.
The big haul is Pimentel, obviously. I’ve talked about him earlier, but the brief recap is that he’s a corner outfielder and a lefty power hitter, whose approach isn’t half bad. The ball certainly leaps off his bat. Palma, I’ve also talked about a bit. Basically, think Denny Almonte, except not a switch-hitter and from a land of erratic competition and you’d be pretty close. He’s big, he’s fast, he throws hard, he hits balls really far, when he makes contact, but his tools are what scouts dream on, not his skills.
The other three Venezuelan signings are ones that I know less about. I do know that Mata, who is the taller of the two pitchers by an inch, is rumored to be throwing in the high-80s already and, along with Palma, has been part of Venezuela’s youth teams for some time. He has the polish, and is a several months younger, but some think that the lighter and shorter Alvarado will end up being the superior pitcher. Brito was a bit of a secret well-kept by the M’s, but they seem to really love his power potential and regarded him as one of the best signings they made. He’s a big kid already and currently plays third, but it seems like, as was the case with de Jesus, they might move him to first. Those three (and perhaps Palma as well) combined to make $1 million, so they’re six-figures.
I was on Kim and Choi, the two Korean signings back in the early spring. The short of it is that Choi came up as a third baseman and has great arm strength and leadership skills, so they thought it would work to put him behind the plate where his lefty bat, widely regarded to be the best among the prep hitters in the country, would be additional plus in his column. Shortly after that, they went out and found him a battery mate in Kim. The profile with him isn’t quite as interesting, as he throws high-80s and his curve isn’t quite complete yet. They talk about his mechanics a bit and how good they are, so it could be that his delivery is less violent, which is why he doesn’t have the big time velocity of past signings. The two of them were collectively signed for a million, each getting roughly half.
Mina seems to have plus foot speed and good arm strength, derived from a history as a pitcher. Bonus points are given to him for making statements like the money was unimportant and that he just wants to be in the big leagues, and his make-up is given some positive mentions. He seems to have been playing as a third baseman around the youth leagues in Colombia, but he might have a chance in the middle infield. The Mariners seem to have been following him for a few years now.
I don’t have anything on Morales or Alvarez. It’s possible that they were playing under different names before now, so I’ll defer to Engle in this case. Morales hits lefty, runs well, and has a good work ethic. Alvarez is a big kid at 6’2, 170 lbs. Alvarez is one of only a few Panamanians in the system, possibly only second, but either way I get to type Panamanian more often. It just rolls off the keyboard.