Baseball America just finished an international signing review for all the divisions and surprisingly the Cubs signed some guys I had not heard about. I think everyone is aware of Kim, Sanchez, and 2 Cubans but I found some interesting guys who we gave good money to. The article in question is from pay content so I'll just highlight it for the community. Aside from Kim and the Cubans I think mos tof these guys will start in the DSL so we probably won't hear much on them for a year or 2. Everyone listed is 4-6 years (maybe longer or if ever) away from the ML.
I also noted in the cases of Kim and Sanchez the bonus amount BA lists is different from what I had previously read. Kim I had read signed for $1.2 million but BA says $850K not sure why the differnece and I'd be interested in finding out why. And Daniel Sanchez who is now know as Francisco Sanchez (Daniel was his middle name) is reported by BA to have revcieved $350K and not the $550K I had read before. It seems the name change had nothing to do with identity change so I don't think that is the reason.
While we have been very agressive and among the leaders for Pacific Rim IFA the article also notes that we are growing our presence in Latin America, adding scouting, and planning to build an Dominican Acedemy. I'm gonna skip doing Kim, Sanchez, and the 2 Cubans since there is nothing new to report that I have not either reported myself already or read from another member.
So I'll give a quick run down for everyone:
SS. Carlos Penalver - Venezuelan ($550K) - A 16-year-old righthanded hitter, Penalver has an athletic 6-foot, 170-pound frame with good hands, body control and footwork. He's an above-average runner with good instincts and should stick at shortstop. Penalver's medium frame doesn't project for power, but he has good bat speed and the ability to control the barrel with a line-drive stroke.
3B. Jeimer Candelario - Dominican Republic ($500K) - A thickly-built 6-foot, 185 pounds, Candelario is a switch-hitter who stands out with his potential to hit for average and power. Candelario has some movement in his setup but he generates power with good present strength—particularly in his hands—bat speed and advanced feel at the plate. Candelario is a below-average runner and his defense is behind his bat, but he does have a strong arm at third.
OF. Jeffrey Baez - Venezuelan ($350K) - Baez, 17, is a 6-foot, 170-pound righthanded hitter with athleticism, speed and a long-levered, projectable body. He's a plus-plus runner who could slow down as he fills out, but he has the present speed to play center field, good body control and an average arm. Baez's bat is still coming along but he has projectable power.
Mejias has good arm speed and sits in the mid-to-high 80s with some sink to his fastball, topping out at 90 mph. He's shown some feel for an inconsistent curveball with good bite and rotation, though he's had mixed results in the international tournaments in which he's participated.
LHP. Angel Mejias - Venezuelan (?) - 6'3 180 Mejias has good arm speed and sits in the mid-to-high 80s with some sink to his fastball, topping out at 90 mph. He's shown some feel for an inconsistent curveball with good bite and rotation, though he's had mixed results in the international tournaments in which he's participated.
RHP. Gilberto Abreu - Dominican Republic (?) - 6'2 180 At 17, Abreu has good arm action and an 87-91 mph fastball that could be a plus pitch once he fills out his projectable body. He's still learning to throw strikes, though, after recording twice as many walks (28) as strikeouts (14) in 27 innings last year in the Dominican Summer League.
RHP. Alexander Santana - Dominican Republic (?) - 6'2 180 Santana has a large, projectable frame. His arm works well and he gets good extension out front on his 87-91 mph fastball with above-average sink and a good curveball for his age.
SS. Antonio Gonzalez - Dominican Republic (?) -
a 5-foot-10, 165-pound switch-hitter, signed with the Cubs in December. Gonzalez doesn't have flashy tools but he has good baseball instincts and is solid in the field. He has good hands, quick feet and should stick at either shortstop or second base. Gonzalez will never be a power hitter but he has a decent bat and a contact-oriented stroke.
C. Alberto Mineo - Italy ($225K) - 16, 5'11 165, and LH stands out for his catch-and-throw skills. His strong hands and forearms help his receiving and he has good defensive instincts. Mineo doesn't project as a power hitter and he's still ironing out his mechanics at the plate, but he has the makings of solid, flat swing. Mineo enrolled in an accelerated high school program and is expected to stay in Italy to work out at the European Academy before coming to the United States, likely in 2012.
So there are some pretty interesting guys with potential. I would like to point out while some in this community blast the Ricketts for being cheap I say they are just not informed. The money to add international scouting and an acedemy is an awfull lot. The guys who I had ? for bonuses it is reported they were all 6 figure. So even for ? you put a number of 100K on we spent at least 5 million in international signings over the least year and ponied up 1.5 million for Szczur. Those facts stated above leave me very encouraged and I expect to see the Cubs spend more on the draft thsi year then the 2 previous years.