According to Ben Badler, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Dominican outfielder Pedro Castillo to a $170,000 bonus, making him the highest known bonus for the Pirates during this current July 2nd class at this time. They have now spent at least $520,000 of their $2,044,800 bonus pool, with some of that remaining money set aside for Jean Robert Eusebio, who turns 16 on August 22nd. Earlier today, it was announced that the Pirates signed three players from Colombia.
Castillo turned 17 back on April 23, and he bats and throws left-handed. He played in the Dominican Prospect League last year. Numerous players the Pirates have signed over the years played in that league, which has a lot of the best unsigned talent in the Dominican playing against each other. Castillo was listed at 5’11”, 165 pounds at the time. As with any player that young, there is still room/time to grow. Our signing tracker has been updated.
We have one video on Castillo from October:
The Pirates also signed two other players from the Dominican, although I have no information on them. One is Ivan Rosario, who trained with Raul “Banana” Valera, the trainer for many of the recent top international signings of the Pirates. He’s a right-handed hitter and appears to be a middle infielder based on photos I’ve seen. The other is Matthew Mercedes, who is the son of agent Edgar Mercedes. He is a right-handed hitter. Both players signed today. The signing scouts were Victor Santana and Juan Mercado, two of the Pirates top scouts in the Dominican. If these players are significant, I expect to hear more about them in the near future. Something like a position would be helpful.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Now I can understand why the Pirates didn’t want to publicize its international signings. While teams are announcing million dollars signings the Pirates come in at one tenth of that amount to sign Castillo. No it is not the limited amount of the pool that they have that causes this, it’s just that they are not players for the higher end prospects. Regardless of what some may think, the industry knows who the best players are every year and their are lists of them, the Pirates refuse to play in the deep end of the pool. Sure the high priced guys may fail and the lesser prospects may succeed spectacularly but it would be nice if the pirates would try to get a potential starter or maybe even a star by spending a few bucs more in the international market.
You are 100% correct – the Pirates need to occasionally dip into their wallets if they want to keep this going long-term. You can occasionally find a diamond in the rough, but those are exceptions. At some point, the Pirates have to decide if they really want to compete and win a championship, or just exist…
If they were guaranteed to be signing another Starling Marte that would make sense. But the success rate for all of the signings is low. Save the money for a high quality, Major League proven, pitcher.
John … I noticed this on the Eusebio video also but the video seems to show him taking four balls – but no walk. Is this a game? Or some type of training set up?
I noticed that too. It’s the Dominican Prospect League, so I don’t think the rules are strict, sort of like the Fall Instructional League where some things are let go because it’s more about the players than the results of the game
Is that Satchel Paige pitching?
OK, he looks like Polanco with shorter legs!
I was tall and lanky when I was 17. People always said I’d grow and fill out, but neither happened.
Just sayin’ 🙂
Didn’t happen for Teke during his playing days. If you can play, you can play.
So your still tall and lanky and 17?
Technically he was still 16 before his 17th birthday. Young for his age.
“he was still 16 before his 17th birthday”
The video was from when he was 16 (as I pointed out in the article) and Lee commented on it saying he was 17. The young from his age comment was a play off something Harold Reynolds said during the draft.