Although it was reported Tuesday night, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com is reporting Wednesday that Dominican OF Eloy Jimenez has signed with the Cubs for $2.8 million. He has reported to the Cubs' academy in the Dominican.
Jimenez is a 6'4" right-handed outfielder with a line-drive stroke. He probably projects out to be a corner outfielder with above-average power. I say "probably" because he's 16 years old and it's hard to project how guys that young will turn out. Jimenez has played internationally in both the Cal Ripken World Series and the RBI Program World Series. Scouts think he has above-average baseball instincts. He also seems to have an advanced approach at the plate for someone so young. (translation: he doesn't swing at everything) He doesn't blow scouts away like previous top Dominican prospects such as Miguel Sano, but he is the consensus top prospect. Along with Gleybar Torres, the Cubs now have either the top two amateur international prospects in this year's signing pool or two of the top three, depending on whom you ask. If he were an American, he would certainly be a top ten pick in the draft, and maybe even top five.
If you want to see Jimenez in action, check out the video here:
There are some reports that the Cubs are well over the international budget for this season, which would necessitate either making another trade to add cap space or the Cubs would be limited to $250k bonuses in next season's International signing period.
Jimenez is obviously a long term project. If he makes it to Wrigley Field in 2019, he'd still only be 22 and would probably be ahead of schedule. He and the other international signings can not participate in games this season, so don't go looking for him in the Dominican Summer League box scores until next year.
With this signing, the Cubs farm system just keeps getting stronger.