Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Fabricio Macias out of Mexico. The deal will be officially announced on Wednesday by his team in Mexico. The 19-year-old has been on the radar of the Pirates for quite some time. He just concluded a two-week stint in the Dominican Republic in front of scouts for three teams and recently he mentioned that the Pirates were one of four teams showing heavy interest in the young prospect. The Pirates signed 19-year-old Fernando Villegas, his outfield teammate on Saraperos de Saltillo  last week.

Macias recently won a yearly award given out in Mexico when he was named as the top player in Mexico under 23 years old for the 2017 season. He played in the top level summer league in Mexico, where the competition level is about the same as a strong Double-A team, or possibly a weak Triple-A. In a league filled with much older players, some with big league experience, Macias hit .318/.351/.382 in 73 games, with 18 stolen bases in 25 attempts. Those are outstanding numbers for his age, though it is a high offense league, so they are slightly below average for the level.

I wouldn’t expect him to get a strong push during his first season in the United States, even though he did have experience at the top level in his country. You might see him start at a lower level as he gets used to pro ball, then he could move quicker after one season. That’s just a guess because players from that league have actually gone right to the majors in the past, albeit with much more experience in the league. The Pirates now have 45 international players signed since July 2nd.

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