The international market is a very important part of any teams plans. It also can be tricky business when figuring out how to navigate all the rules and regulations. The Milwaukee Brewers have done pretty well with that so far.
When the sanctions were handed down to the Atlanta Braves, the league saw just how bad things can get in this market. Five of the Milwaukee Brewers top 30 prospects have come from international signings. 12th ranked Marcos Diplan was signed in 2013, and 16th ranked prospect Jean Carmona was signed in 2016. Then in 2017, Larry Ernesto and Carlos Rodriguez signed with the Crew.
The fifth is Freddy Peralta. He was signed by Seattle in 2013 without being a top rated prospect. It is likely that Peralta will be in the MLB this year.
Once again, the Brewers are expected to make a splash in the international market. Once the signing period opens, teams will be hoping to sign their newest future superstar. Milwaukee is considered the favorite for three players as of right now.
Eduarqi Fernandez is a 6’2″ outfielder from the Dominican Republic. His MLB Pipeline profile says he profiles best in center, due to his ability to run. Scouts are comparing him to Alex Rios when his tools develop. The 16 year old ranks as the 18 for this international class.
Just a couple spots behind Fernandez is Eduardo Garcia at the 20. The 15 year old is listed as a shortstop, but that can change as he grows. Much like Orlando Arcia, Garcia is a glove first player. However, it is thought that he will develop a little bit of pop as he gets older. He is very young, so it will be awhile before he starts with the Milwaukee Brewers system.
Widely considered the most talented available prospect from Columbia, Branlyn Jaraba is a potential power threat. Listed as a shortstop, his highest grade right now is his power according to MLB Pipeline. His defense is lagging at the moment, but the 16 year old is working with former MLB infielder Orlando Carbrera. That will likely help his defensive development. He is currently the ranked at 26 in the international class.
It can take some time for these players to reach the MLB. They are signed very young. Marcos Diplan is an example of this; he was signed by the Rangers back in 2013 during the international period. He is in Advanced A ball. Other players from that class, like Rafael Devers of the Red Sox are making a splash in the majors right now.
The Milwaukee Brewers made their first moves in 2013 according to MLB Pipelines top international prospect rankings. These date back to 2012, but the Brewers did not get one of the top players from that year.
In 2013, Franly Mallen was the 22nd ranked international prospect, listed as a shortstop. He is playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers now with a career batting average of .251. He is still only 20 years old, and he is a primary second baseman.
Another 2013 signing, Nic Pierre, was ranked 28th that year. He is now 21 years old and hit .286 for Helena last season. It looks as if he will start there again in 2018. He has played evenly between all three outfield positions.
Gilbert Lara was the fourth best international prospect in 2014. The 20 year old infielder struggled to the tune of a sub .200 batting average in Wisconsin last season. However, this year he boasts a .254 average to start the year.
Larry Ernesto & Carlos Rodriguez
Neither of these two outfielders have played a professional game yet. Ernesto was the 15th ranked prospect in last years international class. Rodriguez sat at 29 in the same group. There is nothing much to say about these two yet.
The international market can be tricky, but that obviously will not stop teams from trying. There are a select few who will make it to the MLB quickly, but the majority will not be heard from for several years to come.