Evaluating top international signees

A number of readers have asked about the major international free agents who signed or agreed to terms when the signing period opened on July 2. I don't go see players in that market myself but have gathered information on the most significant names who've signed already. Here are my thoughts on the six players who've agreed to bonuses of $1 million or more.

Franklin Barreto, SS/CF, Venezuela (Reported bonus: $2 million)

Barreto has an outstanding swing, very short to the ball with great balance and some extension for line drives to all fields, and he's an above-average runner with arm strength. Barreto's body doesn't look like a typical shortstop's -- I can see the Rafael Furcal comparison I got from one scout, but if anything he looks a little wider than Furcal did at that age -- while he has the speed to potentially handle center field if he can't stay on the dirt.

Luis Torrens, 3B/C, Venezuela (Reported bonus: $1.3 million)

Like Barreto, Torrens has a very solid right-handed swing, a little longer to the ball but with more loft in his finish to hit for power, and he has the bat speed and balance to do so, as well. He has the arm for third base but looks like he'll need a lot of help with footwork even though he's probably athletic enough to handle it. The Yankees intend to give him a look at catcher.