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Snake Bytes 1/16: More than Just an American Holiday

MLK Jr Day in the US turned out to be a big day for many young non-American ball players

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

International Signing News

[fangraphs] 2024 International Prospect Rankings and Scouting Reports by Eric Longenhagen

Every player who I believe is set to receive a bonus of $1 million or more (aside from a handful of players rumored to have failed MLB’s age and identification check) is included in this ranking, along with a smattering of players with high six-figure bonuses, guys who emerged as favorites of scouts or of mine throughout the process. Expected bonus amounts have been sourced via scout and executive word of mouth across the past 18 months or so, and then cross-checked in the week leading up to publication. There are a couple of bonus amounts below where my sources were not in exact agreement. In those cases, the gap is typically only $100,000-$200,000, but I’ve put an asterisk on those amounts below to indicate the imprecision. I’m going to talk more about early verbal bonus agreements, the byproduct of me trying to source them, and more after the ranking table and some thoughts on the class.

[MLB] Here’s where the top international prospects are headed by Jesse Sanchez

Below is a look at which players from MLB.com’s Top 50 International Prospects list have agreed to terms with clubs, and for how much. Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.

[MLB] D-Backs sign pair of Dominican outfield prospects by Jesse Borek and Jesus Cano

The D-backs have come to terms with Dominican outfield prospects Adriel Radney (MLB.com’s No. 10 international prospect), Belfi Rivera (No. 24) and 21 other players at Monday’s opening of the 2024 signing period.

The D-backs are one of six teams in Signing Bonus Pool B for 2024, resulting in a $7,114,800 signing allotment.

[MLBTR] Notable International Signings: 1/15/2024 by Anthony Franco

January 15 marks the official opening of the international signing period. While the vast majority of top talents have reached verbal agreements with teams months or years in advance, they’re allowed to formally put pen to paper to begin their affiliated careers. The signing period technically runs until December 15, but the top signees will ink their contracts as soon as first eligible.

Ben Badler of Baseball America and Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com are among those covering the activity. At MLBTR, we’ll highlight a few of the top signees. Both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline provide scouting reports and bonus information on more of the highly-regarded prospects. They’re each worth full reads for those interested in the class.

Note: MLB Pipeline ranks the class on talent. Baseball America orders the players by bonus amount, not on evaluations of the players’ ability. Since international amateurs are so young and tend to agree to their bonuses well in advance of signing day, a player’s profile can change significantly between the time they reach agreement on a bonus and the official opening of the window.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement (overall, not article specific): International signings are fun! It’s how the team ended up with names such as Miguel Montero, Kristian Robinson, Deyvision De Los Santos and Geraldo Perdomo. Both Lourdes Gurriel (slightly different) and Gabriel Moreno were international signings of the Toronto Blue Jays. But international signings also take forever to make it to the Major Leagues and bust a lot. It’s also often the ones who sign for “miniscule” bonuses that end up having the most prominent impact on a team: Geraldo Perdomo signed in 2016 (a legit, non-sarcastic THANK YOU to Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart) for $70,000 while Kristian Robinson singed one year later for $2,500,000. One of these players was a 2023 MLB All Star and the other is a borderline bust, albeit with extenuating circumstances.

If you are intrigued and want to follow these young players’ careers from start to finish, look to the various Complex Leagues. Recent/Current names of note in those leagues who may end up being bigger names in a few years are: Jansel Luis, Cristopher Torin, Abdidas De La Cruz, and Ruben Santana.