Top International Free Agents

Hardball Talk listed the top free agents for 2015. On that list were seven international players who have yet to appear in the major leagues but could make an impact after their signing. Absent from this list were Japanese players Chihiro Kaneko, Kenta Maeda and Takashi Toritani. Also not here is recent Cuban departure Andy Ibanez, who is considered a more promising second baseman than Jose Fernandez.

3. Yosmani Tomas (Cuba) - Only Max Scherzer and Jon Lester are rated higher. Yosmani is rated higher than Hanley Ramirez and James Shields. Many expect a Yasiel Puig or Jorge Soler clone as far as physical abilities. At 21 years of age he never showed the power of a Yoenis Cespedes or Jose Abreu, but that power should appear as he matures. He will lack the defensive abilities of Puig and Soler and limited to left field, but if the power plays that should not be a problem.

19. Jose Fernandez (Cuba) - A second baseman without much power. He could hit in the .280s and the question will be how well he will play defense in the major leagues. He does not hit for power to play a corner.

22. Jung-Ho Kang (Korea) - The Nexen Heroes are in the playoffs so it would be premature for them to announce his posting, but it is rumored he will be posted. He is a shortstop that hit 40 homers in the regular season while adding two in the playoffs. Some say he might not have the defensive tools to play in the majors, but he appears to have the power to play a corner and may have the athletic ability to play second. His 40 homeruns power in the KBO could translate to 20 plus in the majors.

32. Kwang-Hyun Kim (Korea) - The Wyverns have announced they will post Kim. When he was young the two hottest pitchers in the KBO were Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kim. Kim had injuries that stalled his career, even impacting his ability to impress in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He had a nice year in the KBO this year in a hitter crazy year where ERAs below 4.00 were rare. Kim finished with a 3.47 ERA. As a lefty he will attract some suitors.

38. Hector Oliva (Cuba) - He was one of the better players in Cuba before an injury forced him to sit out a season. He played last year but was used mostly at DH and did not put up the offensive numbers he has in the past. He is pushing 30 so he still could have a few years left but paying a large salary for his limited production would be a mistake.

69. Misael Siverio (Cuba) - pitching has been soft in Cuba and Siverio was not one of the top pitchers in the Nacional Series. He might be effective for a year or two with his different arm slots and array of pitches that fail to light up the radar. That would be a change of pace from the usual 95 mile per hour fastballs hitters are becoming used to seeing.

127. Yozzem Cuesta (Cuba) - Minor league fodder. He did not have an impact in the Nacional Series. He plays first base but the minor leagues are filled with players who play first base who carry more power than Cuesta.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.