Shortstop Daniel Vazquez
Royals Prospect Ranking: 27
Royals fans complain that the team does not make enough splashy moves, especially when it comes to free agency. But the team surprised many when they signed one of the biggest international free agents during the 2020–21 international signing period, shortstop Daniel Vazquez.
The Royals have not inspired confidence in developing their international free-agent acquisitions, though. Catcher Salvador Perez and pitcher Yordano Ventura both came from that pool, but those are the only notable examples in the past 20 years. Royals farm followers hoped outfielder Erick Pea would be the team's next success story, but the 20-year-old went from being a borderline top-100 prospect to being forgotten. All that to say, Vazquez has a lot of things working against him in Kansas City.
Vazquez went straight to Columbia after signing, a bold move from the Royals. It was a great test for a player who drew comparisons to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. His glove and arm transitioned seamlessly to Low-A, and he is a natural at shortstop. His bat fell considerably short, but he faced a steep learning curve and older competition. Now 19 years old, Vazquez has every tool to follow Makiel Garcia's trajectory if his own bat progresses. The defense is ready for High-A and could even be ready for Double-A. But his bat needs to improve this season if Vazquez doesn't want to be another international flash in the pan.