The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Samuel Reyes, who is the younger brother of Bradenton infielder Pablo Reyes. The younger Reyes was signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic, receiving a $45,000 bonus. He is the 19th international player the Pirates have signed since the 2016-17 signing period started back on July 2nd, with the Pirates adding 18 players that first day.
Samuel Reyes is bigger than his brother, who is listed at 5’10, 155 pound, though he’s probably put on a little muscle since then and the height might be generous. The younger Reyes is 6’1″, 175 pounds, with a frame that has some room to add muscle. He is a late bloomer at 20 years old, but the scouting reports make him an interesting arm. When I inquired about him, the report I got was that “He throws gas!”, sitting 94-95 MPH. For the rest of his stuff, I had to go to another source. According to Pablo Reyes, Samuel throws a curve, slider, changeup and a split-finger fastball. The Pirates will likely have him scrap 1-2 pitches in favor of concentrating on his fastball command. He is currently pitching in the Dominican Fall Instructional League, which has two weeks left.
We have also updated the 2016 signing tracker with all 19 players now listed and signing bonuses where available. The Pirates had a small bonus pool this year due to their second best record in baseball in 2015. Between the ten players with known bonuses, the Pirates spent $910,000 of their $2,044,800 bonus pool. With nine unknown bonuses and just over $1,000,000 left in the pool, they likely have some money left to spend. There are currently players at the Dominican academy who are there as tryout players, so there may be some more signings soon (though we might not find out about them right away).
As for Jean Eusebio, who Ben Badler from Baseball America called a top target, he remains unsigned. We don’t know his potential asking price, but teams are allowed to trade to get more international bonus room, so money shouldn’t be an issue for the Pirates unless his price is unrealistic.
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.
More players signed supposedly the better. I wonder when, if ever, the Pirates will sign the next Marte or Polanco? It would seem that if no one like them emergeres in the next 10 years the Pirates can always point to them as a successful way of acquiring international talent. At least they are getting what appears to be some good pitchers doing it this way.
“I wonder when, if ever, the Pirates will sign the next Marte or Polanco?”
Maybe they already have.
Marte was signed in early 2007. He arrived in the majors in his sixth professional season, and became a 4+ WAR player the following year.
Polanco was signed in early 2009. He also arrived in his sixth professional season, which again was just over five years after he was signed.
That’s kind of coincidental, as it won’t always take exactly six seasons for future players to arrive. Some could take more time and some could take less. But if a player was signed in 2013, and started his career in 2014, then he wouldn’t arrive until the second half of the 2019 season under that same pace.
Also, considering Polanco and Marte both made the jump to being top 50 prospects after their 5th seasons, a player signed in 2013 would have until after the 2018 season to make that jump to the top 50.
Thanks for the update on Eusebio, so that I didn’t have to bring my vague recollection of him up again.
I included because it has come up every time I mention international signings
the more it drags on, the more I feel that we are not getting him (a la Sano?)
Let’s not get out of hand here with the comparison. Eusebio wasn’t the top player in the class and no one had him rated high. Ben Badler could have been given bad info months in advance of him being available to sign. There could have been something else like a failed drug test, injury or he got a lot better/worse since the connection was made. He was 15, so a huge swing in talent is still possible.
I think this article right here shows you how much a player can change. If Reyes was sitting 94-95 at age 16, he would have been signed four years ago.
Eusebio isn’t signed yet, which is all that matters now