I’m not going to try and explain the international signing process, which has spurred a flurry of transactions involving the likes of Cody Martin and 2014 2nd round pick Garrett Fulenchek. The objective, beyond signing 16-year-old prospects Cristian Pache, an OF with power potential, and speedy SS Derian Cruz, is to avoid exceeding their bonus pool and incurring penalties in 2016, when the Braves intend to make a huge splash.
According to Keith Law, the Braves already have a handshake agreement with 15-year-old Venezuelan SS Kevin Maitan, whom many scouts are comparing to a future Hall of Famer. Respected FanGraphs analyst Kiley McDaniel, in an article published last September, said they hype is legit.
Maitan has been compared to (Miguel) Cabrera by most of the scouts I’ve asked about him. He’s unusually physically mature for his age and flashes all the tools you want to see to throw that Cabrera comp around: he can play shortstop pretty well now, he’s got more raw power than most kids a few years older than him, he has smooth actions in defense and at the plate and so on.
Obviously, it’s still ridiculously early in the process to anoint a 14-year-old the next big thing, but scouts have already starting doing it, with rumors Maitan has already been offered seven figures by multiple clubs.
The kid already has at a commanding plate presence.