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Canaan Smith (Robert M. Pimpsner)


Yankees MiLB Mailbag: Florial, International Draft, Canaan Smith, Oswald Peraza

This mailbag has been a long time coming, and we have some great questions.

@TopSportsMind on Twitter asks: “When does Florial make his MLB debut if ever?”

A lot of this is going to depend on whether Estevan Florial stays healthy. If he has a fully healthy 2020 season and performs up to his abilities, I would not be surprised to see him make an appearance in September 2020.  But more conservatively, I would say Florial would be making his big league debut some point during the 2021 season.

@WeisCube on Twitter asks: “Do you think Ryder Green makes the jump to Charleston?”

This is a wholehearted yes.  I am surprised he didn’t make a brief appearance in Charleston in 2019 at the end of the season.  The only reason I could see Green not making the jump to Charleston in 2020 is if they have too many outfielders for the spots.  But skills-wise and progression-wise, I think he is ready for full-season ball.

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@jbj5613 on Twitter asks: “Jhon Diaz was another player we lost to the Rays for lack of Intl Money… Wander Franco is easily the most prominent. What is your thought on the CBA? And do you envision a draft and your thoughts on it?”

There is a lot to go into this one.  For those who don’t know, since 2017, MLB teams are subjected to hard spending cap for signing international free agents.  Teams were allowed to acquire 75% more spending space via trades during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 signing periods and beginning during the current 2019-2020 signing period that was brought down to 60%.  Before 2017, teams were able to spend over their allotment but were subjected to penalties.  One of the reasons the Yankees went crazy and spent a lot in the 2014 class was because they knew the hard cap was coming.

MLB attempted to add an international draft in the last CBA negotiations, but that caused an uproar from the trainers and several former big-name international draftees who were in the big leagues.  The proposal is back on the table, and MLB owners are in favor of it.  Part of the reason is that, like the domestic draft; an international draft would put a slot value on each pick.  That would reign in some of the crazy bonuses some international free agents receive.  What has changed since the last CBA, is that the feeling towards it has changed by international scouts and trainers.  Early agreements between MLB teams and players as young as 13 or 14-years-old is a big issue.  This has led some of the trainers to give kids steroids to make their bodies look more physically mature. This happens to kids as young as 11 or 12, according to some, all in the hopes of signing a deal with an MLB team for big money.

It is scary and wrong. Could an international draft help protect some of those kids?  I am not sure.  I do not know if there is an easy fix.  A draft assuredly will reign in international bonuses and eliminate early agreements between players and teams.  One part of the previous proposal from MLB would have seen players go to MLB-run academies, as opposed by the current system of private trainers, and players wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted until age 18.  That could help, but a lot of things will also depend on what ultimately happens in terms of the professional baseball agreement between Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. If contraction occurs, that will significantly affect what happens to international signees.

@LukeBecker_YN26 on Twitter asks: “The Yankees seem high on Oswald Peraza? What are your thoughts on him, and where do you think his ceiling maybe?”

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I had my first chance to watch Oswald Peraza play in 2018, and I see why many like him.  We ranked him as the #17 prospect in the Yankees organization in our 2020 pre-season rankings. I know other publications have rated him higher.  Over the last few seasons, he has shown that he is one of the better infield prospects in the organization.  We have him ranked as the #3 infielder in the organization behind Alexander Vargas and Anthony Volpe.  In some ways, he is similar to Volpe, he doesn’t have one plus tool, but overall, he is above average at everything excluding power.  The difference between Volpe and Peraza isn’t that much, and you could easily switch them based on personal preference.  I think Peraza could be a solid average middle-infielder in the big leagues.

@RickFord3 on Twitter asks: “Any thoughts about @CanaanSmith_ after a great season in Charleston?”

Canaan Smith has a lot of potential.  We ranked him at number 26 on our top 50, and in our write up we noted his plus raw power and the patience at the plate.  The only thing he needs to get credit for is the weight loss over last offseason that saw him move better in the field.  If he continues to improve his conditioning further, there would be no doubt he could stick in the outfield and quickly move up in prospect rankings.

Looking back at his 2019, how many people realized that he was 10th in the Yankees organization in stolen bases.  He had the most walks and hits, second in doubles, and third in RBIs. It was an incredible season, one that has earned him a spot in that Tampa Tarpons outfield in 2020.  But if he has another offensive year like that, I could easily see him getting a taste of Double-A towards the end of the season.

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