More and more signing bonus amounts are trickling in so let's go ahead and get down to it.
- Nationals outfielder Ricardo Mendez of Venezuela received a $600,000 bonus from Washington. Ranked as the 30th best international prospect by Baseball America, Mendez is a left handed hitter and thrower that weighs in at 160 pounds and is an even six feet tall. There isn't much physical strength to his game as he's more of a slap hitter that takes advantage of his plus speed. Really getting ahold of one for him is a line drive to the gap, but he is adept at working the count and can time pitchers well. He's an above average center fielder that shows excellent range and quick reactions. His arm needs...wait for it...more strength to move him up to being a potential plus center fielder. The $600K bonus is the fourth largest handed out by the Nationals this signing period, is tops for an outfielder this year, and the third largest bonus the Nats have handed to an outfielder since 2012.
- Another Venezuelan, catcher Juan Aparacio, locked in a $475,000 bonus when he signed with the Phillies earlier this year. The 5-foot-10, 170 pound back stop barely cracked BA's Top 50 International Prospect list at #47 and is one of the younger players in the class with a May birthday. A former third baseman that recently converted to catching, Aparacio is understandably rough when it comes to his defense as he's still in the nascent stages of learning the position. In cases like this, it's the bat that carries all the value. He's a high contact hitter with a line drive stroke that can already drive the ball the other way, leading some to believe his hard contact can translate to average power production down the road. Aparacio also has high level experience to draw from as a member of the 2015 15U Venezuelan National team. His signing bonus is tops handed out by Philly for a catcher this year, and is the largest bonus for catcher since Dievi Grullon in 2012 ($575K).
- Other bonuses received that eclipse the $100,000 mark include:
Braves - RHP Guillermo Zuniga ($350K), LHP Lisandro Santos ($130K)
Marlins - RHP Leudy Martinez ($175K)
Mets - 1B Wilmy Valdez ($180K), C Wilfred Astudillo ($150K)
Phillies - IF Raymond Mora ($400K), RHP Dalvin Rosario ($200K)
Nationals - RHP Wilson Severino ($100K)
- Bonuses that fell under the $100,000 plateau inclued:
Braves - OF Franger Carrillo ($75K), C Victor de Hoyos ($50K)
Marlins - LHP Luis Palacios ($75K), OF Jorge Caballero ($70K), OF Omar Lebron ($10K)
Mets - RHP Michael Otanez ($35K), RHP Miguel Mata ($20K)
Phillies - SS Leandro Medina ($70K), LHP Anderson Parra ($30K), 3B Enny Rondon ($25K), C Ronaldo Gonzalez ($10K)
Nationals - C Luis Santana ($65K), RHP Johan Adon ($50K), RHP Eric Pena ($40K)