The Cincinnati Reds are expected to sign outfielder Malvin Valdez. The 16-year-old is one of the most athletic prospects on the international market. Valdez hails from the Dominican Republic and will sign for approximately $2 million when international signings open up in early July.
The Reds are expected to sign one of the toolsiest outfielders in the entire 2020 international class for a bonus close to $2 million.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 10, 2020
Reds Expected to Sign Malvin Valdez
Valdez is one of the best outfielder prospects in the international pool this year. The Dominican Republic native has outstanding speed, range, and a great arm. Valdez has a good frame for a center field at 6’2″, 174 pounds, but he might move around if he bulks up too much.
Valdez has exciting tools but has work to do at the plate to realize his potential. His bat speed looks good but he will need to improve his pitch recognition. That will come with time and more exposure to quality pitching. His swing also has power, but it will be several years of development before knowing how that power will translate into his game. The risk on teenage international prospects is always high. Valdez looks good now, but is far away from making the big leagues.
What This Means for Valdez and the Reds
Valdez will go to one of the Reds’ two current Dominican Summer League teams after he signs. That will represent the first step on his journey to the major leagues. His development will be one to monitor closely over the next three to five years.
There is a strong chance that Valdez will be a top 30 Reds prospect going into 2021. He could be joined by fellow Dominican Ariel Almonte. Almonte could sign a similar deal in the $1.5 to $2 million range as a future fit in right field.
The Reds are starting to invest more in international scouting to build sustained success as they fight for position in the NL Central. Six of their current top 30 on Baseball America come from the international pool. That is far from the most in baseball but it will increase if Cincinnati continues to chase players like Valdez and Almonte.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images