The Oakland A’s have been one of the most active teams in the international prospect market over the years. Despite a general refusal to spend money on their major league roster, the A’s have consistently landed some of the top players on the international market as they look to build up their future core.
That was the same during the first day of the international signing period on Sunday. The A’s reportedly signed 17 international players, highlighted by pitcher Luis Morales and outfielder Darling Fernandez.
Oakland A’s set to add impressive talent to system
Morales is the prize of the A’s signing period. He was ranked as the fifth best prospect available per MLB.com who consider him to be one of the most “interesting and dynamic” players in this year’s class. He has a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and is already considered a plus offering. His secondary pitches – a slider, change, and curve – are still developing, with his slider considered to be the best of his other pitches. The A’s had been considered to be the favorites to land Morales during the summer and that projection proved to be accurate.
Fernandez is considered to have a bat first profile and is already considered to have an above average hit tool. His power is still developing and could eventually develop into a plus tool as well. As it currently stands, he can play all three outfield positions, but may end up being pushed to a corner outfield position as he continues to fill out.
As is the case with any prospect, each of these players is going to be a bit of a gamble. A large signing bonus does not mean anything, especially after seeing how Lazaro Armenteros and Robert Puason have failed to live up to expectations. Likewise, a smaller signing bonus does not mean that the player is just roster filler as some of those players have gone on to become stars at the major league level. The A’s could have a hidden gem somewhere in this year’s class.
The Oakland A’s made another splash during the international signing period. Luis Morales and Darling Fernandez highlight this year’s crop of prospects.