Brewers Open International Free Agency With A Bang, Signing 3 Top Shortstop Prospects

The Brewers continue their strong run in the international market
Jul 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Milwaukee Brewers hat and glove on the
Jul 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Milwaukee Brewers hat and glove on the / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

January 15th is the official opening of the 2024 International amateur free agent signing period. It runs through December 15th, but most everyone signs on the first day they can as they've had agreements in place for months, even years. The Brewers have had a great run of success in this market of late and it will continue in 2024.

The Brewers have $6,520,000 allotted in their bonus pool to give to these international players. They cannot exceed that amount, but signings of $10,000 or less do not count against the pool.

As the signing period opens, the Brewers are expected to sign three of the top shortstop prospects in this year's class, Jorge Quintana (Venezuela), Jesus Made (Dominican Republic), and Luis Pena (Dominican Republic).

The full Brewers international signing class is expected to include around 30 players. Let's dive into what we know of these top prospects that are joining the Milwaukee organization.

Brewers set to sign Venezuelan SS Jorge Quintana

Jorge Quintana is the 12th ranked international prospect by MLB Pipeline, making him the highest ranked Brewers signee since Gilbert Lara was the 4th ranked prospect back in 2014.

Quintana is a 16 year old switch hitting shortstop from Venezuela with incredible athleticism and polish. He's already 6'2" tall and reportedly has just about every positive characteristic you could want in a young player. Quintana has great bat to ball skills, is one of the most polished and complete hitters in the class, has the athleticism to stick at shortstop, and earns high marks for his makeup and work ethic.

Because of his size and arm strength, there's a chance Quintana could be moved to third base down the line, but he'll be sent out as a shortstop and given every chance to prove he can stay there.

The Brewers have had incredible success in getting players from Venezuela and Quintana is the latest in a line that includes Jackson Chourio, Jeferson Quero, and Luis Lara. Quintana will receive the largest bonus of the Brewers signing class, making him the headliner of this class.

Brewers to sign Dominican Republic SS Jesus Made

Jesus Made is the 22nd ranked international prospect by MLB Pipeline and he'll receive the 39th largest signing bonus, per Baseball America.

Like Quintana, Made is also a switch-hitting shortstop, but the 16 year old Made is a native of the Dominican Republic. Made's offensive skill set stands out more for his power than his hitting prowess, with reports indicating he'll have a power-over-hit profile. The Brewers have shied away from those types the last few years in the international market because of the high risk, but there's been a renewed focus on adding power to the farm system.

Made does have the ability to stick at shortstop but there's a chance he could be moved to a corner spot as well due to his power, but he has a strong throwing arm that will allow him to stick at short or handle third base if needed.

Brewers to sign Dominican Republic SS Luis Pena

While Luis Pena did not make MLB Pipeline's Top 50 list, Baseball America reports that the Brewers are giving him a Top 50-level signing bonus.

Pena is an explosive athlete with incredible speed. He's also pretty strong and drives the ball well. The Brewers have prioritized athleticism in their hitters and that will help Pena adjust to the higher levels and continue to improve as a hitter and he's already earned praise for his bat to ball skills. He's athletic enough to stick at short, but is a work in progress there with the glove, which could move him to the outfield, where his speed will be an asset.

Most international players start off as shortstops before being moved to other positions. Jackson Chourio was signed as a shortstop but was quickly moved to centerfield.

The Brewers are also set to sign Venezuelan SS Joandrew Pena, a big right handed hitter with an advanced approach and plenty of power to come. It's been previously reported by Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Milwaukee will ink Venezuelan catcher Luis Corobo, who was compared to Jeferson Quero defensively. Quero just won a minor league Gold Glove this past season.

These players represent the top of the Brewers international signing class. There will be around two dozen more players signing with Milwaukee today.