Blue Jays expected to sign shortstop Kennew Blanco, one of the top International Free Agents in 2024
2 months ago
The season may still be ongoing, but it’s never too early to discuss the 2024 International Free Agent market.
It’s been long rumoured that the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Venezuelan shortstop Kennew Blanco, a top 10 international prospect for the 2024 class. This rumour dates back to when ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranked baseball’s best players aged from 16-25, linking Blanco to the Blue Jays.
According to Blanco’s scouting report on MLB Pipeline, Blanco has a competitive streak and a great work ethic, along with being naturally athletic. Moreover, they note that he has the skill set to impact the game defensively and offensively. Blanco has a fluid swing with an “all fields approach,” along with being able to do damage. Still only 16 years old, Blanco may be able to add more power as he fills out his frame.
Over the past few seasons, the Blue Jays top international signees have been hit or miss. Their big 2018 signee, Orelvis Martinez, looks like a legit power-hitting third baseman, while their 2019 signee, Rikelbin De Castro has petered out after a strong debut in 2021.
Manuel Beltre, the Jays 2020 international free agent signing had a solid year as one of the youngest players in the Florida State League, while catcher Luis Meza, their 2022 international free agent signing, has yet to make an impact.
The Blue Jays’ 2023 international free agent signing, Enmanuel Bonilla, had a strong debut in the Dominican Summer League, slashing .307/.407/.429 with three homers in 226 plate appearances. In fact, he failed to reach base twice in his 50 games played.
Will Blanco be a hit? It’s yet to be seen. However, it’ll be interesting to monitor his career as he makes his way up the minor leagues when he eventually signs.
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