Pirates Agree to Deal with Their Two Biggest International Signings

Today is the first day of the 2021-22 international signing period and Jesse Sanchez has the bonus information of the two biggest signings this year for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He reports that the Pirates gave out bonuses of $900,000 to outfielder Tony Blanco Jr. and $1.2M to shortstop Yordany De Los Santos. These bonus take up just over 1/3rd of the bonus pool for the Pirates for this signing period. This year has a hard cap with no trades allowed for more bonus pool space, so once they reach that $6,262,600 limit (which they will), there will be no more signings of note (signings under $10,000 are still allowed).

According to the scouting reports on these two players from Sanchez/MLB Pipeline, the 16-year-old Blanco is the #11 prospect in this signing class. At 6’5″, 230 pounds, he offers off-the-charts raw power (40 home run potential according to the report). He has advanced strike zone awareness and good bat speed. He’s a corner outfielder with average speed and an above average arm. His father played in the majors and hit 41 homers in a season in Japan, but he didn’t have the size of his son.

De Los Santos is Pipeline’s 12th best prospect. He is also 16 years old, standing 6’1″, 170 pounds, and he gets 55 grades for his bat, power and fielding. He has a large frame with room to fill out, and he already makes hard contact, so there is potential for more power in the future. The belief is that he can stick at shortstop, but he might end up at third base once he fills out.

I’ll have more on both of these players once they officially sign later today.

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.

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