While there are currently no games being played due to the coronavirus outbreak that caused all major sports to halt their operations until further notice (not to mention thousands of deaths in the United States and the world, so far) that doesn’t mean that the New York Yankees have been completely dormant.
Quite the opposite, actually. According to a report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler, the New York Yankees are considered the favorites to sign one of the best international free agents of his class.
His name is Hans Montero, and he was born in the Dominican Republic, a land of talented baseball players. He plays the shortstop position, which gives him a plus in the eyes of prospect gurus and talent evaluators because it is an up-the-middle position, significantly more difficult to cover than the corners (first and third base, left and right field.)
The scouting report on the Yankees’ newest target
Montero, currently 16 years old, was born in Christmas. Here is Badler’s scouting report on him:
“The Yankees landed the top international prospect in the 2019 class, signing Dominican center fielder Jasson Dominguez for $5.1 million. This year they’re going to spread their bonus pool space around more, with Montero likely their top target. Montero projects to stay at shortstop, with soft hands, a strong arm and above-average speed. He has a short righthanded swing with a line-drive approach and gap power.”
Speaking of Dominguez, so far he’s lived up to the hype, but he is miles away from a callup, which is expected to come in three years at the earliest. Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone was impressed with his physique and compared him to an “NFL running back.” He opened some eyes in a January batting practice session with Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar.
The Yankees tend to like up-the-middle players, meaning they usually sign catchers, shortstops and center fielders. They often emphasize athleticism, and Montero has plenty of that.
The Yankees are expected to secure the services of Jesus Galiz, a Venezuelan 16-year-old catcher, as well, according to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty.