Checking In With Past July 2 Signings | The Process Report

Checking In With Past July 2 Signings

Catching up with the weekend action one last time, as July 2 passed, which is notable because it is the big day for international signings. The Rays have not signed anyone, or at least have not signed anyone reported by Baseball America, however it is a good time to look at the progress made by the recent July 2 signings.

Juniel Querecuto
Position: Shortstop
B/T: S/R
DOB: 9/19/1992
Acquired: Signed for $500,000 in 2009

Querecuto’s father, Juan, played baseball in the Toronto minor league system throughout the early-to-mid 1990s, albeit never well enough to reach the majors. Like most recent international shortstop signings, Querecuto’s glove receives plenty of praise, although he adds spice to his offensive life by switch-hitting. During his brief tenure at Hudson Valley, Querecuto has hit .365/.394/.476, with six extra-base hits in 63 at-bats—a decent amount of pop for someone listed at 5-foot-9, 155 pounds with minimal minor league experience. In fact, Querecuto is the youngest position player at Hudson Valley by a bit, at 18, as no other player is younger than 20. Sticking at shortstop is vital to Querecuto’s prospect status, and while working with dated information is risky, Chaim Bloom complimented his “quickness and great instincts at short” upon his signing.

Cesar Perez
Position: Third base
B/T: R/R
DOB: 3/8/1993
Acquired: Signed for $1,000,000 in 2009

Power potential is the name of Perez’s game. Listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, the Venezuelan native has the look of a future power hitter. Bloom mentioned Perez’s good bat speed and a good arm, which could come in handy should he somehow stick at third base, although he may wind up in right field, becoming a classic hard-hitting, hard-throwing corner outfielder. Perez has struggled in his minor league experience so far, hitting .153/.238/.191 in a tick over 200 Gulf Coast League plate appearances, but early struggles are not a kiss of death for someone with limited experience in organized ball.

Yoel Araujo
Position: Center field
B/T: R/R
DOB: 12/3/1993
Acquired: Signed for $800,000 in 2010

Possessor of one of the higher ceilings in the system, Araujo is a toolbox. He has plus speed, power potential, and an understanding at the plate. There is a school of thought that suggests Araujo may have to move to a corner outfield position, and his arm is only average, so that could mean left field duty. Still, the Rays have used him exclusively in center (and at DH) this season for the Dominican Summer League team, where he is hitting .273/.420/.418. Here is a video with a glimpse of Araujo’s speed:

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