MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that infield prospect Yunior Severino signed a $2.5 million deal with the Twins on Friday. The deal has not been publicly confirmed by the team and appears to be pending a physical.
The 18-year-old infielder was one of 13 prospects removed from the Braves’ system last month after they were found guilty of breaking international signing rules. He initially received a $1.9 million bonus from Atlanta and will be allowed to add that to the $2.5 million offered by the Twins.
Severino split his playing time between the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Dominican Summer League in 2017, slashing a combined .270/.345/.420 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 252 PA. He drew attention as a switch-hitting shortstop but transitioned full-time to second base/DH with the Braves, and continues to show power potential at the plate in spite of a slow start.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger notes that Severino is the seventh ex-Braves prospect to sign elsewhere this offseason, joining Guillermo Zuniga (Dodgers), Juan Carlos Negret (Royals), Yefri Del Rosario (Royals), Abrahan Gutierrez (Phillies), Kevin Maitan (Angels) and Livan Soto (Angels).
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.