Cardinals sign Dominican right-hander Branelli Franco #25 international prospect Of MLB.com, at the start of the international signing period on Monday. According to industry sources, the agreement is worth US$800,000.
In addition to Franco, the Cardinals signed 10 more players at the beginning of the international signing period. The signed youngsters included five pitchers, three outfielders, two shortstops and a first baseman and all of them will be assigned to the Dominican Republic Summer League (DSL).
The 1.92-meter-tall, 16-year-old right-hander has already been praised for his great ability on the mound.
Franco reaches 91-93 mph with his fastball, which moves and generates a lot of ground balls. As Young matures and gains strength, there is potential for him to become a plus-plus delivery, as he already displays impressive arm speed.
His changeup is a fastball pitch that ranges between 85 and 87 mph, but he benefits from having a similar arm angle to his fastball. A breaking “slurve” pitch with velocity under 80 mph is your weapon to entice hitters to swing at it.
The next task for Franco, praised for his great ability to mix up his offerings, will now be to create enough velocity separation to keep hitters off balance. He will need to strengthen his legs as he begins his professional career armed with vertical deliveries at the plate with very little effort.
The international signing period has been extended until December 15, 2024.
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