St. Louis Cardinals sign three top international prospects

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John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations for the St. Louis Cardinals, watches a game against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on August 24, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations for the St. Louis Cardinals, watches a game against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on August 24, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals sign three top international prospects, including Won-bin Cho, a top Korean high school prospect who has elite tools.

Major League Baseball owners have locked out players, meaning teams are not able to sign major-league free agents. But teams are still allowed to sign minor-league and international free agents. On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals did just that, and signed two of the most highly rated international prospects.

The Cardinals are in agreement on deals with shortstop Jonathan Mejia, catcher Luis Rodriguez and Won-bin Cho, a top Korean high school prospect, according to reports by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com and Daniel Kim of ESPN.com.

Mejia, 16, has been expected to sign one of the top international contracts in the 2021-2022 class and has long been rumored to be a Cardinals target. He was rated by Sanchez as the No. 14 prospect on MLB Pipelines Top 50 international prospect and the 6-foot, 165 pound shortstop immediately slides in as one of the team’s most intriguing prospects, though he is at least a few seasons – if not more – from being major-league ready. He’s raw, but has plenty of tools to work with.

Like Mejia, Rodriguez is another young player with upside. He is 17 years old and is already 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. He was Sanchez’s No. 26 rated player on MLB Pipeline and is the top rated catcher from Venezuela, which is known for producing talented catchers. A nice signing that could pay dividends in the future and further stockpiles the organizational catching depth behind top prospect Ivan Herrera.

The player that intrigues me most, however, is Cho. He is a 6-foot-3, 190 pound left-handed hitter who Shooter Hunt, the vice president of scouting at Prep Baseball Report says “clearly looks the part with present physicality and projection. Big power potential with fluid load/easy lag in the zone.” He won the Power Showcase Home Run Derby, but withdrew himself from last year’s KBO draft to pursue MLB opportunities.

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Among the other players that the Cardinals have signed include Arfeni Batista, SS; Junior Chirinos, RHP; Diego Dominguez, RHP; Jovi Galvez, RHP; Yordy Herrera, LHP; Yordarlin Pena, CF; Leonel Seguera, RHP; Jose Suriel, RHP; and Nelfy Ynfante, RHP.

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