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International Signings: How many of the top signings make it?

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The Yankees have poured millions into international signings this summer. In doing so they will give up the right to sign players to more than $300,000 over the next two years and pay a large tax. Is it worth it? How easy is it to determine the best players to sign at age 16?

In order to help answer that question I went to look at the top signings of the 2007 and 2006 seasons. Players signed in those seasons have now had 7 or 8 years to develop. They needed to be put on 40 man rosters or exposed to the rule 5 draft by 2011. They have used some of their options.

This is a list from Baseball America of the top 20 signings in 2007.
Michael Almanzar, 3b Red Sox 16 DR $1.5 million
Kelvin De Leon, of Yankees 16 DR $1.1 million
Jharmidy DeJesus, ss Mariners 16 DR $1 million
Julio Teheran, rhp Braves 16 Colombia $850,000
Gabriel Noriega, ss Mariners 16 Venezuela $800,000
Arodys Vizcaino, rhp Yankees 16 DR $800,000
Elio De La Rosa, 3b Yankees 16 DR $750,000
Jonathan Spraut (Galvez), ss Padres 16 DR $750,000
Wilmer Flores, ss Mets 16 Venezuela $700,000
Henry Pena, of Yankees 16 DR $600,000
Martin Perez. lhp Rangers 16 Venezuela $580,000
Wilson Suero, ss Rangers 16 DR $558,000
Jefry Marte, 3b Mets 16 DR $550,000
Eduardo Sosa, of Yankees 16 Venezuela $500,000
Ryde Rodriguez, of Cardinals 19 Cuba $460,000
Hitaniel Arias, of Brewers 16 DR $450,000
Efrain Nunez, of Mariners 16 DR $450,000
Cesar Puello, of Mets 16 DR $400,000
Angel Joseph, of Giants 16 DR $350,000
Kevin Moscatel, c Cardinals 16 Venezuela $350,000

  • It would be great to have Julio Teheran.
  • Martin Perez has started 34 games in the majors and has a pitch to contact profile. He is out with Tommy John surgey.
  • Arodys Vizcaino has been traded twice and missed two seasons due to serious injury. He is now a reliever in the Cubs system.
  • The Mets put Wilmer Flores and Cesar Puello on the 40 man roster in 2011. Flores may make it as a SS, but he may never hit. Puello is struggling mightily to hit as a corner OF in the PCL.

Those are the success stories. They are the players that made it to the 40 man roster. Some of the rest are still playing ball, but they have become available in the rule 5 draft. There were two players that I was not able to find any record of playing any baseball. One is Wilson Suero who probably really wasn’t Wilson Suero. The other player was Angel Joseph. Go to baseball reference and do a search for Angel Joseph. You won’t find him either. They do lead you to another player.

You probably noticed that there were no Twins on the list. Jeremy and Seth can correct me but I believe that Oswaldo Arcia and Danny Santana and were international signings in 2007.

How about 2006? These players are at least 24 now.
Player, Pos. Organization Country Bonus
Angel Villalona, 3b Giants DR $2.1 million
Jesus Montero, c Yankees Venezuela $1.65 million
Esmailyn Gonzalez, ss Nationals DR $1.4 million
Carlos Truinfel, ss Mariners DR $1.3 million
Young Il-Jung, rhp Angels South Korea $1 million
Larry Suarez, rhp Cubs Venezuela $850,000
Francisco Pena, c Mets DR $750,000
Balbino Fuenmayor, 3b Blue Jays Venezuela $725,000
Mario Martinez, of Mariners Venezuela $600,000
Engel Beltre, of Red Sox DR $600,000
Oscar Tejada, ss Red Sox DR $525,000
Manuel Solis, 3b Rangers DR $525,000
A few of these guys have played in the majors.

  • Jesus Montero is looking for a position and trying to figure out how to hit major league pitching well enough to be a DH.
  • Carlos Triunfel has played in the majors. He was DFA’d when he ran out of options this years and is now in the Dodger organization
  • Francisco Pena has played a game in the majors. The Royals acquired him as a minor league free agent.
  • Engel Beltre is on the 40 man roster with the Rangers and played a few games last year. He is currently on 60 day DL.

A few other notes…

  • Angel Villalona was arrested on suspicion of murder and lost two years due to visa restrictions. He is on the 40 for the Giants and playing AA.
  • Esmailyn Gonzalez is really Carlos Alvarez and made it to rookie ball as a 27 year old in 2013.

How about the Twins? Josmil Pinto and Liam Hendriks were 2006 signings. Any others make it?

Two years of top signings and so far only Julio Teheran stands out. Were the Yankees correct in their strategy? Volume gives them a chance. It is hard to tell which 16 year is going to be Julio Teheran so they threw their money at a lot of 16 year olds. Will they be lucky enough that some of their money landed on a Teheran?


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Updated 07-05-2014 at 08:17 AM by jorgenswest

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  1. ericchri's Avatar
    Nice bit of research. Also interesting, the biggest success story of the bunch is from Colombia, not Venezuela or the DR where most of the big-namers are from.
  2. Otwins's Avatar
    Very interesting. Thanks for the post. It is high stakes lottery.
  3. old nurse's Avatar
    MLBprospect guide.com lists the following as amateur free agent signings in 2007. Note this includes players from Cuba, Japan, and Canada
    Kelvin De Leon OF $1,100,000 2007 D.R.
    Young Il-Jung RHP $1,000,000 2007 Korea
    Julio Teheran RHP $850,000 2007 Colombia
    Martin Perez LHP $580,000 2007 Venezuela
    Jefry Marte 3B $550,000 2007 D.R.
    Dae-Eun Rhee RHP $525,000 2007 Korea
    Cesar Puello OF $400,000 2007 D.R.
    Rymer Liriano OF $300,000 2007 D.R.
    Esmailin Caridad RHP $175,000 2007 D.R.
    Tomas Telis C $130,000 2007 Venezuela
    Roman Mendez RHP $125,000 2007 D.R.
    Wilfredo Boscan RHP $15,000 2007 Venezuela
    Enrique Burgos RHP 2007 Panama
    Arodys Vizcaino RHP 2007 D.R.
    Dimasther Delgado LHP 2007 Panama
    Chris Jakubauskas RHP 2007 amateur free agent
    Michael Almanzar 3B 2007 D.R.
    Hideki Okajima LHP 2007 Japan
    Che-Hsuan Lin OF 2007 Taiwan
    Junior Lake SS 2007 D.R.
    Kosuke Fukudome CF 2007 Japan
    Larry Suarez RHP 2007 Venezuela
    Alexei Ramirez SS 2007 Cuba
    CJ Retherford 3B 2007 NDFA
    Juan Duran OF 2007 D.R.
    Mariekson Gregorius SS 2007 Netherlands
    Jason Smit SS 2007 Austrailia
    Alexander Perez RHP 2007 D.R.
    Gustavo Nunez SS 2007 D.R.
    Avisail Garcia OF 2007 Venezuela
    Yuniesky Betancourt SS 2007 Cuba
    Tim Collins LHP 2007 NDFA
    Jean Segura 2B 2007 D.R.
    Manny Correa RHP 2007 D.R.
    Fabio Martinez RHP 2007 D.R.
    Alexi Amarista SS 2007 Venezuela
    Pedro Baez 3B 2007 D.R.
    Hiroki Kuroda RHP 2007 Japan
    Santos Arias RHP 2007 D.R.
    Adrian Salcedo RHP 2007 D.R.
    Daniel Santana SS 2007 D.R.
    Scott Diamond LHP 2007 NDFA
    Oswaldo Arcia OF 2007 Venezuela
    Jenrry Mejia RHP 2007 D.R.
    Jordany Valdespin 2B 2007 D.R.
    Jeurys Familia RHP 2007 D.R.
    Francisco Pena C 2007 D.R.
    Wilmer Flores SS 2007 Venezuela
    Jose Ramirez RHP 2007 D.R.
    Arnold Leon RHP 2007 Mexico
    Leandro Castro OF 2007 D.R.
    Starling Marte OF 2007 D.R.
    Masahide Kobayashi RHP 2007 amateur free agent
    Yasuhiko Yabuta RHP 2007 amateur free agent
    Jonathan Galvez SS 2007 D.R.
    Edinson Rincon 3B 2007 D.R.
    Gabriel Noriega SS 2007 Venezuela
    Jorge Bucardo RHP 2007 Nicaragua
    Richard Castillo RHP 2007 Venezuela
    Alexander Colome RHP 2007 D.R.
    Wilking Rodriguez RHP 2007 Venezuela
    Leury Garcia SS 2007 D.R.
    Manny Solis 3B 2007 D.R.
    Eury Perez OF 2007 D.R.
    Marcos Frias RHP 2007 D.R.
  4. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    I basically tried to make the same point on Twitter tonight. For one, the Yankees haven't exactly been world beaters when it comes to the IFA market anyway. But this strategy is going to prove costly in my opinion. Luckily for them, cost is no issue. This certainly isn't going to turn their farm into anything special. They'd have been better off to take all the preps that fell in the draft and forfeit draft picks.
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