Yanks Sign Int. Prospect Brandon Mayea (OF)
Yesterday, the Yankees signed Brandon Mayea, a top international outfield prospect out of Cuba by way of the Dominican Republic.
The Scouting Report:
(per MLB Pipeline, found here)
Age/Date of Birth: 17 Years Old/September 12th, 2005
Height/Weight: 6'0"/170 Pounds
"Mayea is a premium athlete with advanced tools for his age, and the team that signs him is getting one of the most exciting players in the class.
He has the type of uncommon bat speed and power that scouts like to see. One evaluator described him as “mini Gary Sheffield” and others praised his advanced approach at the plate. He’s very aggressive in the batter’s box, and he's getting a better understanding of the strike zone.
He has a mature frame, but there is still plenty of upside because he is strong and twitchy. On defense, there’s a chance he stays in center field, but a move to a corner spot could be possible, according to scouts who have seen him play.
Mayea trains with Jaime Ramos in the Dominican Republic. The Yankees have shown interest in him. Ramos is a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program."
Beyond the Scouting Report:
Brando Mayea- who often goes by Brandon, but is Brando on Instragram- is a Cuban-born prospect who trains in the Dominican Republic. He comes in as one of the older international prospects, already having turned 17-years-old (and turning 18-years-old in September), though his older age has not kept him from being recognized as one of the best talents on the market this year. By the MLB Pipeline, Mayea ranks as the 9th best prospect, by Fangraphs he ranked 8th, and by Baseball America he came in as the #2 international prospect (behind only catcher Ethan Salas). He could have signed towards the end of the 2022 international signing period due to his age, but instead recognized his potential and opted to sick around until the beginning of 2023 to maximize his value. A risky move, but it definitely paid off.
Signing for a bonus of $4,400,000, this signing indicates a change in philosophy of the New York Yankees on the amateur international market. Though the Yankees have a bonus pool of money to spend up to $5,284,000, they instead have opted towards using most of that budget to sign one of the top players. This continues a trend we saw last year in 2022 with Roderick Arias (who signed for $4 Million) and also in 2019 with Jasson Dominugez (who signed for $5.2 Million). It's an interesting shift in philosophy away from signing a ton of international talent- as they infamously did in 2014 and 2015, to no avail.
It was no surprise that Brandon Mayea was going to sign with the New York Yankees either. Though some international prospects have "jumped ship" at the last minute- as catching prospect Jesus Galiz did by signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021- Mayea has been been linked to the Yankees since 2021 (as evidenced by Mayea's Instagram photos).
Originally noticed as a shortstop prospect, Mayea in recent years has switched to playing center field and according to some could have a long-term future in the middle of the outfield. Reports from Fangraphs indicate that Mayea possess a combination of well-above average defensive speed and intuition, combined with a strong arm, which should bode well for his development.
However, Mayea is most notable for his abilities at the plate. While most recognized for his ability to already start tapping into his power potential at 17-years-old, along with already being likened to Gary Sheffield, Fangraphs reports noted his ability to make consistent contact, while Baseball America noted his ability to hit to all fields. In all scouting reports on him too, a common theme of having a "mature approach" was highlighted. Maybe this is due to his older age on the market, but it is again a promising sign as it was noted across the board and was a key element in his high rankings.