Boston Red Sox 2020-21 International Signing Preview
This is part of Ben Badler's 2020-21 international signing day preview. You can find the Red Sox 2019 International Signing Class here. You can also find his international big board of 2020-21 prospects here.
The international signing who produced the most Wins Above Replacement (per FanGraphs) in the major leagues in 2019 was Ketel Marte of the Diamondbacks. The No. 2 and 3 players on that list comprised the left side of the Red Sox infield, a pair of homegrown international signings in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers. The international player with the fourth-highest WAR in 2019, White Sox third baseman baseman Yoan Moncada, also originally signed with the Red Sox in 2015.
With a track record of signing impact hitters from Latin America, the Red Sox didn't sign anyone for more than $1 million during the 2019-20 signing period, but that's going to change when the 2020-21 signing period opens on Jan. 15.
The player the Red Sox are expected to give their biggest bonus in the 2020-21 period is Miguel Bleis, a Dominican center fielder who looks to be in line for a deal in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. Bleis is one of the best athletes in the class, with a lean, lively 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame with long, easy strides in the outfield and a fast bat from the right side of the plate.
Switch-hitting Dominican shortstop Luis Ravelo is expected to sign with the Red Sox for a bonus in the $500,000 area. When scouts initially saw Ravelo, he had a smaller, stockier build, but has grown and leaned out to 6 feet, 164 pounds.
He has some of the best defensive actions in the class, with a strong arm and sweet hands to make the flashy plays and a high baseball IQ, making for a fun pairing to watch in the same program as fellow 2020 shortstop Armando Cruz. His speed is limited, but he was showing some positive trends with the bat toward the end of his time at showcases.
One of the high-profile catchers this year is Enderso Lira, another Red Sox target. He has a strong, sturdy build and projects to stay behind the plate, where he has quick footwork and is a calm receiver with soft hands. He's a righthanded hitter with solid bat-to-ball skills and gap power.
Two of the more prominent arms in the class—righthander Alvaro Mejias from Venezuela and lefthander Peyton Nuñez from the Dominican Republic—are also expected to sign with Boston. Mejias has been trending up, with a projectable frame, good mechanics and a fastball that has reached the mid-90s already.
Beyond Ravelo, the Red Sox are expected to sign a few other notable shortstops from this year's class in Abrahan Liendo from Venezuela as well as Josue Castillo and Armando Sierra, both from the Dominican Republic.
They also seem to be active in Curacao, with outfielder Karim Ayubi, shortstop Yevganni Reinita and righthander Yeziel Burnet all expected to join Boston's class.