Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Best Prospects Under Age 18

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Shortstop Yordany De Los Santos

Yordany De Los Santos was a headliner of a strong international free agent class that was inked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January. Along with the next guy we’re going to talk about, he ranked as top 12 international prospects per MLB Pipeline. The Pirates were the only team to sign two top 12 or better prospects from this year’s international class.

De Los Santos is a hitter, first and foremost. He’s received good reviews for his hit tool and power tool. He makes more than enough hard contact to be a potential middle-of-the-order threat someday. There’s a lot of projectability here. At 6’1, 170 LBS, De Los Santos still has time to fill out and add more power. Given his already good ability to make quality contact, adding a few pounds of muscle could end up making De Los Santos one of the better power-hitting prospects in the system.

Once he fills out, many see him moving to the hot corner. He’s a quality fielder at shortstop, but his range is already on the mend given his so-so speed. His arm plays well on the left side of the infield, so that shouldn’t be a worry.

De Los Santos was one of the best overall hitters in this year’s international class. The fact his primary position is such a premium spot like shortstop just adds to his value. Although he’s still ways away, FanGraphs lists him as the organization’s 26th best prospect. Pretty impressive given that most of the time, international signees usually don’t rank that high.