A year ago the New York Yankees were able to secure the top overall prospect on the international free agent market, signing outfielder Jasson Dominguez to a contract with a lucrative bonus. The Yankees appear set to pursue one of the top players on this year’s market, as well.
New York is viewed as the favorite to sign Jesus Galiz, the top catching prospect on the international market, according to a report from MLB Pipeline.
MLB Pipeline has Galiz ranked as the #7 overall prospect in this year’s international class — a group headlined by Yoelqui Cespedes, little brother to Yoenis Cespedes.
Their scouting report on him is certainly promising:
“Galiz dreamed of being the next Gleyber Torres and for most of his childhood, he followed in his countryman’s footsteps as a middle infielder.
All that changed two years ago when he began working behind the plate. His quick feet, strong arm, high baseball IQ, and the overall athleticism that he displayed as a middle infielder has helped him become the top catching prospect on the international market for 2020. He still has the soft hands of a middle infielder, but now he uses them to receive and block pitches. The internal clock and quick release he used to throw runners out from shortstop now make him a threat behind the plate.”
Glowing scouting report aside, should the Yankees land Galiz he isn’t likely to see the Bronx anytime soon. Organizations smartly take their time developing 16-year old international amateur signings. Speculation a year ago that Dominguez could see time at a US affiliate was rare for an international free agent signing, but he was viewed as a unique talent. That same speculation has not been thrown around about Galiz.
That said, there’s certainly reason to be optimistic about the potential. Galiz could challenge Anthony Seigler as the organization’s best catching prospect. Seigler had a 2019 season to forget. Injuries limited him to just 120 plate appearances and the results were less than stellar. The pair would give the club two strong defenders with quick hands and a contact-first approach at the plate.
Gary Sanchez is secure in his role behind the plate for the MLB club. The Yankees have him under team control for at least the next three seasons. There is time to worry about who steps into the role after him, assuming Sanchez isn’t extended (a possibility that can’t be ruled out). There is time for the Yankees to develop players like Seigler and potentially Galiz into viable MLB options.