Cubs Sign International Free Agents Mark Malave and Ricardo Marcano

Terms aren’t yet available, but the Cubs have signed two more international free agents. Scouting reports for the players are below. Malave is the 8th ranked international free agent, one spot ahead of Enrique Acosta who the Cubs gave big bucks to.

Malave’s arm might be his best tool. He has a short arm stroke and delivers plus throws consistently with great carry. Scouts who like Malave see him as a catcher who can hit from both sides of the plate, but not everyone is sold on his bat. He’s a better hitter from the right side, with questions about his bat speed from both sides of the plate, as the ball jumps off his bat due to his strength rather than his bat speed. He’ll have to make mechanical adjustments in pro ball. Malave is strong, but his thick, boxy body raises questions about his projection and isn’t the athletic frame that many scouts look for in young catchers.

Marcano is a 3rd baseman and also just 16 years old. He was the 30th ranked international prospect by Baseball America.

His body and swing remind some in Venezuela of Victor Martinez. Whether he remains in the infield remains to be seen. An average runner, Marcano will need work on defense, as his hands and feet aren’t ideal for third base. His arm also isn’t strong, though it could improve. Some scouts have looked at his body and thought about him behind the plate, though he could also end up in left field.

It’s very nice to see the Cubs be active on the Latin American market again.