Ben Badler of Baseball America has released scouting reports for nine players to remember for the upcoming international signing period, as well as ten more players to watch. In the “ten more” group, Badler notes that the Pittsburgh Pirates are linked to third baseman Julio de la Cruz, who comes out of the Dominican Prospect League.
The Pirates have signed a few players from the DPL in recent years. Last year they signed third baseman Edwin “Tank” Espinal, and right hander Leandro Rodriguez. In the past they’ve also signed Isaac Sanchez and Miguel De Aza to six figure deals. Most of those guys are still playing in the international leagues, with Espinal making the jump to the GCL this year. The biggest signing so far has been Willy Garcia, who signed for $280 K in 2009, and is currently playing for West Virginia at the age of 19.
Badler notes that de la Cruz is the top prospect in the DPL this year, with good contact and projectable power at the plate, and a good arm on the field. He mentions the Mets and Cubs as other teams linked to de la Cruz.