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The difficulty of evaluating International players

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With minimal accurate information and not a lot of video available, evaluating the international class is difficult.

Pitching is the most difficult thing to assess in the 2014 International amateur class. Most pitchers develop immensely from 16-21 years old and often the most from 16-18. We don't get to see this development with international arms prior to them signing. We have to guess what is going to occur.

As for me, some of the information with these guys is flat out lied about. While scouts see these guys, I don't get that for all of them. I'll use Anderson Espinoza as my example. Don't get me wrong, I really like him as a prospect but there is some misinformation out there. If you go to MLB.com and look at their list, Espinoza is 10th on their list. He is a 5'10, 150 LB teenager that gets a Pedro Martinez comp dropped on him. It also says his "fastball hovers in the 91 to 93 mph range" but that is not even close to accurate.

Lets put this in MLB Draft terms to describe what can occur. Brady Aiken will turn 18 on August 16th this year. I saw Aiken at Perfect Game National last year sitting 88-90 and hitting 92. He was just shy of being 17 at this point. This spring he was 92-95 and touching 97. If he were an international prospect, he would have been eligible to sign on his birthday in 2012, I believe.

Aiken pitched at PG Junior National in 2012 and was 87-88 with a 76 MPH curveball and 80 MPH change. At the Area Code Games that August, he was 85-87 with a 74 MPH curve and 77 MPH change.As a comparison, Anderson Espinoza sits 85-87, has a 70-72 MPH breaker and a 76-78 MPH change.

Does that mean Espinoza will be hitting 97 in two years? Someone will have to make a seven figure decision on whether that he will or won't within the next month or so, if not the next week. In my opinion, he's worth whatever he gets but like any 16 year old throwing 87, it's a gamble.

One extra layer to think about here is that Brady Aiken is very young for his class and most players that attended PG junior national this year would have already signed last year.