Two International Names to Watch For Tomorrow

Ben Badler from Baseball America has the Pittsburgh Pirates in on at least two players when tomorrow’s July 2nd international signing period begins. There will undoubtedly be more, but the big name at this time seems to be shortstop Kevin Sanchez from the Dominican Republic. Sanchez comes from the same trainer as Michael de la Cruz and Jeremias Portorreal, two of the top Pirates’ signings over the last three years. Badler notes that Sanchez will get a bonus north of the $375,000 that Portorreal got in 2013, but it will be less than the $700,000 that de la Cruz got the previous season.

The Pirates are also in on catcher Samuel Inoa, who will receive a bonus in the low six figures. No scouting reports or details on these players, but assuming they sign tomorrow, then we will surely hear something. Not every player signs on July 2nd, as there are players that won’t be eligible to sign until their 16th birthday, as long as it falls before September 1st. Portorreal for example, was born on August 7,1997, so he was signed on August 7th. Pirates top signing from last year, Yondry Contreras was born on September 11,1997, so while he is only five weeks older than Portorreal, he had to wait until the following year to sign.

If I can find any information on these players today, I’ll update this article.

Update 8:43 PM: Sanchez is apparently extremely fast, as in a plus-plus runner. Inoa is apparently the opposite when it comes to running, but he has real good opposite field power. I’m sure there will be better reports on them tomorrow, but that’s the information I got from someone who has watched them play.

  • I’ve seen this multiple times so I gotta say something. Y’all realize that a guy born in September is YOUNGER than a guy born in August of the same year, right? Portorreal is the elder of the two prospects. Please start getting this correct!

  • The Pirates are cheap regarding international signings, so said the financial gurus. They have a top 3 in minor league ratings and the gurus are still not happy. Brilliant !!!! There are international players sprinkled thru out the minor league system and the Pirates are still called cheap. Ask Josh Bell if he thinks the Pirates are cheap. He was worth the 5 mil. as he is a future star in Pittsburgh.

  • Why do the Rangers, Twins, Cards, redSox and others get all the top talent. I can not believe its because they pay the highest bonuses. I see the Red Sox who can not go over $300,000 are going to sign 2 of the top 30 prospects for $300,000 each. What is going on under the radar there? Are teams paying off the player agents to access this talent? Gayo is good but he does not appear to have the connections that other teams have there. I think the Pirates lost the Island in the way they approached and handled the Sano non-signing. They lost trust and as a result they pick at the leftovers. Sorry to see this happening. Care to comment?

    • John Dreker
      July 1, 2015 9:01 pm

      Gayo is one of the most respected people in the business. The Pirates go for quantity. I think a lot of people miss the fact that we are talking about 16 year old kids and some of these deals are worked out a year in advance. I get that some people want dollar figures to rule over good scouting because you can’t qualify good scouting for 5-6 years at least, but you can look at dollar figures and know what they mean. A large majority of seven-figure signings in the international market fail, that is something that can be and has been proven. The Pirates would rather spend $2.2M on 10-15 players as opposed to one, especially when that one has about a 10% chance of being a star

  • Thanks john, hey tim how about sending john down to the dominican for some live reports? ( shh, don’t tell tim,I’m trying to get john a paid vacation ; ) )

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 1, 2015 12:16 pm

    So, safe to say, the Pirates will not be involved in on any of the top 20-30 International prospects for the 4th or 5th year in a row.

    • John Dreker
      July 1, 2015 12:22 pm

      They will not because they aren’t going to go over their cap and most of those players would take up 50%+ of their available cap space, a few they couldn’t even sign with their current pool. Once the Pirates play bad in the majors, then people can be happy that they spend a lot more on international players. Until then, they either have to wait for an international draft or play with the hand they are dealt

      • Complete, utter excuse.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 1, 2015 2:50 pm

        John – I respect and understand that to some degree, but to not be a player for ANY of the top 20-30 players over a 4-5 year period is really foolish for long term sustainability. Especially when other teams – and not just big market teams – manage to be active to some degree – such as Minnesota, Houston, Arizona, Seattle, Toronto, Florida, Atlanta, etc. So, how do these other teams manage to do it?

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 1, 2015 3:03 pm

        Okay, the Pirates have around $2.2 million available in 2015 for International signings. If they don’t spend all that, I assume they cannot carryover to 2016 the remaining? So, why wouldn’t a team want to spend as much of that as they can each year – assuming there are players good enough to justify the signing bonuses?

        If they sign this SS and catcher to say $150k each, that leaves over $1.8 million left. So what is holding them back from being more aggressive with a couple of the “top” ranked kids?

        • John Dreker
          July 1, 2015 8:57 pm

          They go for quantity and they do spend all their money each year. They had to acquire extra money in the Ike Davis deal to get all their signings done this year. I get that people don’t like quantity, but I’m, not going to pretend they won’t go that route when that is what they have done almost all the time.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            July 2, 2015 1:41 pm

            So, to put this in say the NFL draft as a context…its sort of preferring a bunch of 4th, 5th, and 6th rounders vs. just 1-2 first and second rounders? If the odds are similar to the NFL draft, I would prefer we go for quality, knowing that its not an exact science and misses will occur from time to time.

            • John Dreker
              July 2, 2015 1:57 pm

              I don’t know anything about the NFL draft, so I can’t comment. Not a fan of the sport at all.

    • Its kinda sad this is the best “they are cheap” digs you have. Big league club spends money, FO finds and develops talent relatively well in Latin america, showed willingness to go get a guy Internationally with Kang.

      Why are we shocked PIT doesnt like spending premium amounts? Its what they do, good value for the return. Dont use tons of resources on 1-2 options. Blame MLB for messing with the system in ways that clearly hurt small market teams.

      • Bologna.

        All you guys were head over heels when they were dropping $5m on a good-not-great North American draft prospect, but BuccosFan is somehow out of line for questioning why they don’t play in the premium July 2 prospect game? Please

        How many times has it been said the Pirates should be more like the Rays over the years? Go ahead and check out how the Rays attack the Latin American market.

        • Thats not clearly dumb either way, its a philosophy. They deem their resources better suited to not attacking 1-2 highly touted players and going for more moderately priced options that they scout heavily. I value that process. I get the other side, but i largely like the idea of trusting the scouting department and finding what you feel is decent guys and being able to get quantity of those. They are 16, so even the most touted have reasonable amounts of risk.

          I think the original comment came from a place of “we never spend” as opposed to a reasoned question of how best to use funds in that market. If im wrong, fine. But i too often see fans who largely ignore it see an article about not spending and suddenly get upset over how we spend money.

          • First and foremost, I’d like someone to actually do a thorough interview of the organization and get THEIR explanation instead of offering snarky, speculative answers that may or may not actually be correct.

            As for what *you* believe is the answer, I’ll say it again: this is NOT and either/or proposition. The Pirates DO NOT have to choose between “1-2 highly touted players and going for more moderately priced options that they scout heavily.” Look at the guys over the past three years who have signed. Very few even meet the penalty stage if the club were to exceed their cap. If the club chose to do so, they could’ve figured out a way to get just as many top July 2 prospects as they have $300k guys.

            As for the risk argument, I find that particularly disingenuous given how much the club has been lauded over the years for throwing seven figures at 17 yo American arms, quite literally the riskiest type of amateur prospect. Yes, there is a sh*tload of risk involved with all amateur prospects, and the LA market certainly has a ton. But with their North American budget slashed, it would logically appear that the only opportunity they have to reinvest that money into amateur talent is the LA market, and we’ve been told all along how important investing in amateur talent is to the long-term health of the organization.

            • Alas, the small market teams still lose. Last year the Yankee’s spent over 14M on the International draft. There is no realistic way that the Pirate’s can afford to do that. But I do agree to certain degree that throwing money at a bunch of lower talent level players in the hope that something might stick, is a rather, should I say “dumb” way to allocate resources. Like this years draft, I would rather have quality, not quantity. Last year, the Pirate’s drafted 7 players, which was the second highest number of all MLB teams. ( the Yankee’s won that hands down with 13 players). The only other team to draft as many as 7 were the Astro’s who had a 3M higher pool.

              So I sit strongly in the middle of this debate 🙂

  • Any word on the UVa pitcher signing.

    • John Dreker
      July 1, 2015 11:51 am

      None of the players from Vanderbilt or Virginia have signed yet. They CWS ended last Wednesday night. When he signs, there will be an article about it, especially since his bonus is a huge deal for the draft class. Last piece of the puzzle that tells you what the Pirates could spent on overslot picks later

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