The international free agent market has become somewhat of a hot commodity in the last two decades. For the Kansas City Royals, the last 2 decades of international signings include Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera, Yordano “Ace” Ventura, and Adalberto Mondesi. These signings have defined the Royals organization by bringing in some of the highest performing talent to pair with other drafted players. Today the Royals look to find more talent in signing twelve international players. The list includes: Daniel Vasquez, Darnel Collins, and Yosmi Fernandez. Each of these players has a chance to impact the Royals in the future and I’ll take a short dive into the prospect profiles of each of these guys.
Daniel Vasquez was ranked the number 12th ranked prospect by Baseball America for this international signing period. Some scouts of talked high praise about Vasquez with one coining him “Built like Fernando Tatis Jr”. Vasquez shows quick hands in the field with a natural feel for both the backhand and front hand. He glides across open space to make plays that most shortstops can’t make. Vasquez has early grades of 55 in every category other than power, which is slightly under at 50. Vasquez has the potential to be an everyday player for the Royals or more importantly-A major trade chip moving forward.
Darnel Collins profile is very different than Vasquez. The brother of Royals 27th ranked prospect Darryl Collins, Darnel has played first base for the Netherlands World Cup team since 2018. Darnel hit .318 in the 2018 U-15 Baseball World Cup in Panama and showed the international world what he can do at the plate. Collins projects as an outfielder for the Royals like his brother before him. The Royals are one of the few teams that took at look at Collins, and we’ll see if he carves out a role in the future.
The final prospect to discuss is Yosmi Fernandez. The Dominican shortstop has a natural swing at the plate. He drives the ball into each of the gaps with little effort and I believe that he has the look of a Major League shortstop. In watching what he can provide on the infield, it’s very noticeable that Fernandez has a strong arm. After making play after play in the hole, there’s no doubt that Fernandez can make all the tough plays a shortstop is required to make.
The Kansas City Royals are a small market team that has to make the right calls in the international free agent market in order to be successful. The signings from this years class are another step in the right direction for the Royals and I am excited to see what the future brings for these 3 young men.