Arizona Diamondbacks sign two top international prospects

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed two top international prospects from this year's amateur class.

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed three of the top international free agents today. January 15th marked the start of the international signing period for all teams. The Diamondbacks entered today with $7,114,800 to spend on international free agents. Of the international prospects they signed, two were considered among the best of this year’s class.

The first is Adriel Rodney. Rodney is a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Listed at 6’1”, 176-LBS, Rodney is a projectable player who has already shown some power potential. He has a ton of bat speed and is considered a decent runner. There’s a chance he sticks in center field in the long term, though he has a strong enough arm to play either outfield corner. Rodney has some slight hit tool risk, but scouts feel his approach is more advanced than many at his age. Baseball America had him ranked as the 15th best international prospect, but MLB Pipeline put him at #5 while FanGraphs had him at 3rd. Rodney signed for $1.8 million, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.

They also signed another outfielder in the form of Belfi Rivera. Rivera is a left-handed hitter who is also from the Dominican Republic. Rivera stands at 6’1”, 160-pounds, which also leaves some room for muscle growth. He has a good amount of offensive upside with the chance to have both an above average hit tool and power tool. An above average runner, Rivera has a chance to remain in center. Baseball America ranked him as their 17th best international prospect while MLB Pipeline placed him at number 24 and FanGraphs ranked him at 19th among their amateur international prospect list. Rivera projected to sign for a similar amount of money compared to Rodney and just turned 17 in mid-December.

These guys are still years away from the Major Leagues, as most amateur international prospects are. But every international MLB star had to get their start somewhere. We shall see how Rodney and Rivera progress through the Diamondbacks’ system. Both will likely rank somewhere on most D-Backs’ top prospect lists.