The international signing period starts each year on July 2nd and the Pittsburgh Pirates were very busy this year. Just like every previous signing period, there are some players who are announced on July 2nd, then others we find out about down the line. This year, we posted six players in our international signing tracker, all of them being announced on July 3rd. Then last week, the Pirates assigned two players to the GCL Pirates, so we gathered information on them.
Today we got the full list of players signed on July 2nd, which includes another ten names. It’s important to remember that just because no one announced these signings, it doesn’t mean that they are just roster fillers. The Pirates signed 16-year-old pitcher Yeudry Manzanillo for $150,000 last year on July 2nd and there was no information available for him until this February. He has already been to the Fall Instructional League in Bradenton, which is a good indicator that he will start the 2017 season in the U.S.
Here’s a list of the players signed, along with their current age (some players have had birthdays since signing), position, height/weight and country. We will attempt to get more information on these players, but worst case scenario is that we will just have the better players listed in our 2017 Prospect Guide. The links above include information on the other eight players signed, including bonus information where available.
Francis del Orbe, 18 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’4″, 190, Dominican Republic
Luis Gonzalez, 18 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’2″, 187, Dominican Republic
John Lantigua, 19 years old, outfielder, 6’1″, 170, Dominican Republic
Jose Marcano, 17 years old, left-handed pitcher, 6’1″, 180, Venezuela
Ronaldo Paulino, 18 years old, third baseman, 6’4″, 200, Dominican Republic
Julio Rosario, 17 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’2″, 185, Dominican Republic
Pablo Santana, 17 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’1″, 180, Dominican Republic
Emison Soto, 20 years old, center fielder, 5’9″, 175, Venezuela
Angel Suero, 17 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’4″, 187, Dominican Republic
Noe Toribio, 17 years old, right-handed pitcher, 6’2″, 185, Dominican Republic
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.
Oh good. Another Ron[nie] Paulino.
I’d imagine that part of the reason for low(er) signing bonuses is that none are 16 and some are 18, 19, and 20.
There could easily be some six-figure bonuses in there. We have found out much later for many of the players who receive six figure bonuses. No one really announces them from the teams. It’s the people who know the agents, who then get the bonuses. They don’t know every agent or ask about every bonus, so plenty of strong bonuses slip through the cracks until the full list comes out next year.
As for the players listed above, at least four of them had birthdays since signing, may have been five total. So the age is a little deceiving for them because they will go through an entire season next year at the same age listed above.
Some players really hit their stride at 17 or 18, just like we see all the time with high school players jumping up the draft list out of nowhere. If they do that, then it’s best for them to wait until the following July 2nd period to sign because team’s are still putting together their wantlist. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates “agreed” with a few of them before April, but had to wait to sign them because they spent their entire 2014-15 budget by February.
What happened to the SS the Pirates were thought to be the favorites to sign? I know his birthday was in August, but haven’t heard anything since the July 2nd primer article.
There has been no news. All I can confirm is that he hasn’t signed with anyone. His name is Jean Eusebio and he’s an outfielder. It’s possible Ben Badler had or received bad information. It’s also possible there is a delay is signing due to identity issues, failed drug test, etc http://126.96.36.199/2016/06/first-look-at-a-top-international-target-for-the-pirates.html
John Lantigua . . . related to Edison?
Noe Toribio and Joel Cesar Toribio?
Lantigua could possibly be related, but not a brother. They are too close in age. Toribio could be due to age, but from what I know about both of them, I’d say no. Both are fairly common last names in the Dominican
Just to update, Lantigua is not related to Lantigua
Players have good size, that is positive in itself. Good luck to them all and we await further details.
As discussed before, throwing huge dollars at these kids hasn’t worked out so far. The quantity theory that we use seems to work out just as well.
I wish I got to be right twice in a decade at my job, too.
Not really a fair assessment. International players signed at 16 can take as much as 9 years to reach the majors.
You would be a hero!