26. Diego Benitez
Personal Rank: 23
The big prize of the international signing class, Diego Benitez comes in at 26 on the Tomahawk Take prospect ranking. The number 10 international prospect according to MLB, Benitez signed a $2.5M deal with the Atlanta Braves.
Benitez and Douglas Glod (the other big name international signee) highlight the first international class the Braves have since the infamous scandal from the previous administration. The same scandal that has caused the lower level of the Braves minors to become as thin as it is.
Both guys along with Ambioris Tavarez, last year’s international signee, all bring intriguing potential that will be exciting to watch in the lower level of the minors. The biggest issue with the international guys is they are harder to scout.
The scouting report lists Benitez as a toolsy player with a good frame that will provide power to drive the ball out of stadiums. He also presents the ability to develop into a plus runner and above average defender.
Benitez is listed as a shortstop, but with the current projection that he will add bulk to his frame, he should move off the position.
One scouting report compared him to a “young Manny Machado.” While Machado is not the most popular baseball player, that is a lofty comparison for the young Benitez. If he can truly develop into a young Machado, the Braves have a potential stud prospect in their farm.
Like most international guys, the seventeen-year-old is likely several years away. He will likely spend time at the complex leagues and rookie ball and hopefully reach A-ball within a couple years. If he is a young Machado talent wise, he may accelerate that timeline.