As expected, the Nats land another top prospect in Cristian Vaquero as the international signing period opens today. The $4.9 million deal is a new club record on an international prospect by $1 million and uses up most of the Nats’ pool for this period. This move isn’t a surprise as the Washington Nationals have been linked to signing Vaquero for a while now.
Vaquero is another top prospect that the Nationals will be able to add to the improving farm system. Vaquero (17 years old) was “ranked” as the #2 talent among the top 50 in MLB Pipeline .
Vaquero is a 16-year-old center fielder from Cuba and Baseball America says that he has plus speed, a strong arm, and good defensive instincts. On the offensive side, he has a solid left-handed bat, and similar to Cruz, he projects to grow into some more power. Originally a left-handed hitter, the outfielder learned to switch-hit when he left Cuba, which has resulted in improved pitch recognition and more confidence at the plate. At 6-foot-3 and close to 190 pounds, he is a physical specimen with tons of raw strength and power. He can really cover ground in center field, shows a strong arm, and has a chance to be a plus defender at the position. He plays hard with lots of energy and shows tons of natural instinct in practice and in games.