So last week I posted some of the J2 profiles from Baseball America for the "top" unsigned guys. Here are Baseball Prospectus' profiles on said players.
I am also listing a couple of links to BP's Kiley McDaniel so you can keep track of his J2 stuff at your leisure. He has a video site with a handful of videos on some of these prospects (from last June) and will post new videos from his trip to the DR showcase this W/E sometime next week, so keep an eye out. He will surely be tweeting from the DR starting Friday morning with some workout updates:
Luis Jolly, LF, Dominican Republic
Jolly is a well-rounded outfielder with solid tools and hitting ability. He is athletic, and gifted with above-average speed, but he lacks the defensive instincts to project him as a center fielder. A below-average arm makes Jolly a left fielder, but happily there's enough power emerging in his projectable frame. He makes consistent hard contact in workouts, but his bat will have to carry him to profile as an everyday left fielder. He's drawn heavy interest from the Phillies and Dodgers, with the expected price in the $600-900,000 range
Edgar Ferrera, LHP, Dominican Republic
Ferrera is another late-rising Dominican power arm; he recently hit 94 mph. There is a lot of projection left in his frame, but velocity is the main draw here. Ferrera's command and secondary pitches are lacking, but the basic elements are in place to attract a big bonus. The Cardinals and Athletics are believed to be hot on Ferrera's trail, and he is also projected to receive a bonus in the $600-800,000 range.
Victor Payano, LHP, Dominican Republic
Payano is represented by Edgar Mercedes, and I was able to see him pitch in the workout that Mercedes organized versus Team Canada, so I have another short video embedded below. Payano worked at 85-88 with a heavy fastball, and he also flashed an average slider and changeup. Payano's very projectable frame gives him a shot to add some velocity to his sinker and eventually own three average-grade pitches. His command was solid (even though the video doesn't show it) in part due to his simple, repeatable mechanics. ESPN's Jorge Arangure reported that Payano may be close to a $600,000 deal with the Rockies, who as I've noted are also expected to sign another Mercedes client, Rossel Herrera. I had Payano pegged for a $300-500,000 bonus, so Arangure's report makes some sense, as you normally pay toward the top end of the scale to try to get a player locked in early. The Giants, Cardinals, and Dodgers are among the other clubs that have shown interest in Payano.
Jacob Beltre, 1B, Dominican Republic
A few months ago, Beltre was being spoken of as a catcher some preferred over Gary Sanchez, but then Beltre hit a growth spurt, showed some stiffness behind the plate, and now he's a 6'5" first baseman. Being relegated to first base as a 16-year-old and hitting right-handed are some significant dings to Beltre's value, but he still has his share of supporters. Every scout praises his makeup, attitude, and infectious enthusiasm for the game. He has some significant power, decent feel for contact, and solid hands, but he isn't especially agile, as some have called him muscle-bound and one scout called him "stiff as a board." The Rangers, Pirates, and Brewers have shown the most interest; it's been tough to nail down a possible bonus, but $400-600,000 seems about right.
Leonardo Perdomo, RHP, Dominican Republic: A lanky right-hander whose fastball has been clocked in the 90s, Perdomo "looked bad" in a recent workout, according to one international scouting director. Many pitchers are having similar problems; with so many interested teams looking in on top players, workout fatigue has set in. This isn’t a good time for middling performances, as clubs have plenty of alternatives to choose from. A bonus in the $350-500,000 range is expected, though a team that saw him with better velocity may go higher than $500,000. The Rangers, Yankees, Rockies, Giants, and Dodgers are said to be in the hunt.
Rafael DePaula, RHP, Dominican Republic: DePaula is an interesting case as someone wwho may be getting a lot more press in short order. DePaula is 17 years old, and he had opted to wait and hit the market this year rather than go up against Michael Ynoa last season, but then he was suspended last month due to irregularities in his documentation. Word is spreading that these irregularities are being cleared up, and that DePaula may be unblocked soon; he would be eligible to sign immediately if the suspension is reversed. The Yankees and Red Sox are said to be very interested, and scouts have said that he may actually be a better talent than Ynoa. DePaula has had his velocity spike from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, and he's now sitting at 92-94 mph in recent outings, and touching 97 mph. He also throws a changeup and curveball that have plus potential, along with an aggressive approach and a projectable 6'3" frame. If the MLB suspension is upheld, he could sign with one of the interested Japanese teams, who are looking for their next posting-fee jackpot candidate. Insiders say that he is an easy seven-figure talent that could get well over $2 million. I managed to get some video, which is a little fuzzy, but you still get an idea of the talent:
Daniel Sanchez, RHP, Venezuela: Sanchez showed up at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis last week, along with the top prospects for the 2010 draft. Sanchez was throwing his fastball at 92-93 mph while showing the usual three-pitch mix and polish that clubs have seen before. You can check last month's article for details and a scouting report, but Sanchez's age is still disputed, though his ability is not. One onlooker at the showcase said that when Sanchez walked off of the field, he was "tackled" by representatives of Boras, Inc. It is still widely believed that Sanchez is 19 years old (fewer say he's 16), but once his representation and age get straightened out, he should still be a rich man.