It’s July 2nd, which is a very important date on the calendar in the baseball world as teams are now eligible to sign Latin American and other International prospects. Prospects signed today are typically are around 16-17 years old, which is a year younger than drafted players out of high school. The Diamondbacks are tied with 8 other teams with the largest bonus pool as a revenue sharing team with a Competitive Balance B pick, with a total north of $6.4M.
The past two seasons, the Diamondbacks went out and signed Bahamian outfielder Kristian Robinson and Dominican outfielder Alvin Guzman as their top international free agents. This year’s class projects to have a little bit less fanfare despite the large bonus pool, perhaps trying to corner the market on the players just outside the Top 30 or 40. International prospects aren’t too much different than US prospects in terms of baseball talent, although Deric Ladnier in his draft interview noted an obvious language and culture barrier with most of these players.
Ben Badler of Baseball America notes the Diamondbacks likely activity for this signing period is.
They’re expected to sign Dominican outfielder Franyel Baez (video and more video) for around $1 million. Dominican shortstops Jiter Heredia (video), Ronny Polanco (video) and Lewin de la Cruz are also expected to sign with Arizona.
Heredia ranks 32nd on Fangraphs’ prospect board from this year’s class.