Twins land one of top international prospects, outfielder Lewin Diaz
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
MINNEAPOLIS -- With Major League Baseball's international free agent signing period beginning on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins announced the signing of Baseball America's No. 15 International Prospect -- first baseman/outfielder Lewin Diaz out of Santiago, Dominican Republic. The deal is worth $1.4 million.
Diaz hits and throws left-handed, and at age 16 is already an imposing figure at 6-foot-4, 210 lbs. According to a source from the Dominican Prospect League, Diaz has "tremendous strength in his hands and shows off his plus-plus power in BP."
Diaz isn't solely a batting practice thumper though. "Lewin takes his swing into game situations and has good strike zone judgment as he rarely swings at pitches out of the zone."
The source was also skeptical that Diaz would remain in the outfield, rather settling in at first base with a "Ryan Howard-type build."
The Twins also agreed to a deal with third baseman Roni Tapia. Sources say the deal is worth $550,000.
Tapia is from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and is an "athletic third baseman with a lot of room for physical projection and present plus power." Tapia hits and throws right-handed.
That physical projection will be important, as Tapia is a bit on the thin side presently at 6-foot-3 and 170 lbs.
The same source confirmed the Twins have signed five free agents total, and are also interested in Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez, but that his price tag is presently too high for the club's liking.
Because Alvarez is 24, he is not subject to the $3.9 million signing budget imposed upon the Twins for the 2013-'14 year.